Tag Archives: Women’s Fiction

Review: Other People’s Houses

Other People's Houses

Other People’s Houses
By Abbi Waxman
Berkley Books, 9780399587924, April 3, 2018, 352pp.

The Short of It:

Grab a cold drink and clear your afternoon for this one.

The Rest of It:

I’ve been reading some pretty good books lately.

Frances Bloom is THAT mom. She’s the carpool mom and people in the neighborhood look up to her. She’s a friendly approachable type, reliable, and thoughtful but as she shuttles the neighborhood kids to and from school each day, she can’t help but see the imperfections of her own little neighborhood,

Her close, married friend is having an affair with a much younger man, affecting the neighborhood in many ways. One of the moms on the street is MIA (what’s that about?). Her cousin who happens to live just down the street from her is wanting another baby even though her partner may not want one. With all this going on around her, Frances begins to doubt her own happiness. Does she have a happy marriage? Has the thirty pounds she’s gained over the years driven a wedge between her and her husband?

This all sounds rather domestic and fluffy but I have to say that it’s pretty realistic as far as neighborhoods go. If you really pay attention while walking the dog, you see things. Reading this book is like flinging a window open and sticking your face right into your neighbor’s house.

The story is a bit scandalous and there’s some language. It feels kind of naughty and wrong. I can’t lie, I ate it up. Because along with wrong, there’s a lot that’s right. There’s a lot of honesty within these characters and truthfully, I could relate to several of these families in some way.

There are mixed reviews of this book. I’d hazard to guess that those who had trouble with it, probably couldn’t relate to any of the families in the story. But if you’ve ever done a carpool, been on the PTA with a bunch of catty wenches, lived in a tight-knit community, and had your best friend’s marriage fall apart, you’ll find plenty to relate to because there’s a little bit of everything in here and I found it to be pretty authentic in the telling.

Plus, it has  some juicy bits and at one point I was laughing out loud.

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

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Review & Giveaway: Summer Dance

Summer Dance

Summer Dance
By Nan Rossiter
Kensington Publishing Corporation, Paperback, 9781496705051, May 30, 2017, 352pp.

The Short of It:

Rossiter revisits the much-loved characters of Nantucket and goes a bit deeper into the family’s history, giving us the long-awaited love story between Coop and Sally.

The Rest of It:

Nantucket is the perfect setting for new beginnings so when Sally ends up there, she’s hopeful that a new job and change of scenery is just what she needs to recover from an abusive marriage. One evening at a dance with her friends, she sees Coop across the room and after just one dance, she begins to think that happiness is not far off. Summer Dance is the story of Coop and Sally and how their love for one another challenged them in ways they never thought possible.

I am a huge Nan Rossiter fan. She writes such beautiful stories with great settings (Nantucket, Cape Code, etc.) and all of her stories center around characters who are flawed, but genuine and typically good, family minded individuals. I shy away from the typical “summer” read because usually there isn’t enough for me to sink my teeth into.

In Summer Dance, there is plenty for you to sink your teeth into. Sally was raised in the Catholic Church and this greatly affects her relationship with Coop. Her childhood friend Lizzy, also Catholic becomes Jewish in order to marry and so Sally is left wondering what religion means to her.

Can you be a good person even though you may not be perfect in the eyes of the church?

Sally is torn between doing what is right and doing what feels right and whether religion is a part of your life or not, I think most people can relate to this dilemma which is why this book would be great to discuss with a group.

I really enjoyed Summer Dance. It’s a great book to kickoff these hot summer months. I suggest you grab some wine, grill some scallops, find yourself a shady spot and dig in.

Read more about Nan Rossiter here.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

This giveaway is for one copy of Summer Dance and is open to the US and Canada. A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher/author. Only one entry per person. Giveaway closes on June 9, 2017 (pacific). I will contact the winner for his/her mailing address.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! (Now Closed)

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