Tag Archives: William Morrow & Co.

Review: Count The Ways

Count The Ways

Count The Ways
By Joyce Maynard
William Morrow, 9780062398277, July 13, 2021, 464pp.

The Short of It:

An amazingly heartfelt story about a family.

The Rest of It:

The easiest way to describe Maynard’s newest story is to say that it’s a story about life. The life that you and I know,  have lived or are currently living. As I was reading it, I could relate to different parts of the story as well as different characters as they were walking through it.

At a young age, Eleanor scrimped and saved to buy a farm and the small but lovely house that came along with it. Having some success writing children’s books, she built a small, humble home for herself and when she falls in love with Cam, he immediately becomes her future. The talk of kids and family and raising them on the farm is all that matters to them and so they waste no time. Three children later, Eleanor’s writing career is somewhat on pause due to raising her young children, Eleanor and Cam struggle to make ends meet. Cam? Not concerned. He has what he wants. He’s creating his burl bowls in his workshop and he’s surrounded by his family.

Although the bowls he creates are beautiful, they don’t sell and with Eleanor’s writing career on hold, she slowly begins to resent Cam’s easy going attitude about making, or not making a living. He is the fun parent. Always stepping in to whisk the kids away to the waterfall, or play with them all day long while Eleanor sits in the house trying to come up with new story ideas. During these times, the cracks begin to show. The cracks in their marriage. All is not gold. Is it ever?

This is such a reflective type of read. Eleanor feels every bit of her age as her children grow. The hours spent feeding them, changing their diapers, tending to their every need. It all leaves a mark. At the same time though, it’s exactly what she wanted from life. A home. A family. A loving man to call her husband. As the home life she creates begins to unravel around her, she wonders why she never wanted more for herself.

I loved this story. There is so much to ponder. Especially for me, as my own kids leave this nest we’ve created. I’d turn a page and read something that I’d have to sit with for a little while before moving forward. I’d go to bed thinking about this family, about missed opportunities and about friends and the idea of home and what it means to each of us. This family will stay with  me for a very long time.

Simply put, get yourself a copy. It doesn’t matter if you are married, single, have had kids or not. There is something here for everyone. Highly recommend.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Mother May I

Mother May I

Mother May I
By Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow, 9780062855343, April 2021, 336pp.

The Short of It:

Motherhood can be tough. You try to do all the right things for your children, and you certainly go out of your way to keep them from harm, but sometimes their well-being is out of your control.

The Rest of It:

Bree Cabbat lives a pretty decent life. She has a nice home, her husband Trey is successful and that success allows her to spend time with her three children. Although she grew up poor and had dreams of being in the theater some day, her life is pretty good the way it is and she can’t complain.

One day, while attending her daughter’s rehearsal, she sets her son down in his baby seat and when she turns around, he’s gone. The school’s auditorium was empty. Who could have taken him? But then she is reminded of a strange woman she saw. She wasn’t entirely sure at the time if she was really there, lurking outside her bedroom window or if she had been dreaming it but when she sees the note where her baby used to be, she immediately knows that woman’s appearance was no coincidence.

As the details emerge, it’s clear that this is more than just a kidnapping for ransom set-up. This is personal and Bree, although desperate to find her son, realizes that she is going to have to play the game in order to get him back. Can she do that? Can she go along with this crazy woman’s demands? Can she do what she is being asked to do for the sake of her child? Would you?

This is a race-against-time story so once you pick it up, you will continue to flip those pages until you know how the story ends. I have now read at least three of Jackson’s books and two things are certain, she knows how to pull a reader in and knows how to tell a story. Mother May I has the added benefit of relaying a message and making a statement. This was rather important to me so I am glad she chose to go there even though perhaps the book could have been edited down a bit.

At this writing, Mother May I is scheduled to hit the shelves in April but the review copy has been glaring at me for weeks so I couldn’t wait anymore and had to read it. If you’ve read Jackson before then you know her books are a sure thing but if you haven’t read her yet, give her try.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.