Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

From  Sandi Rosenthal

Title:  Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

Author:  Ayelet Waldman

Through 90 percent of the book I hated the main character. She is spoiled, careless and self-involved. She had an affair with a married man who had a young son; he left his wife and married her. Then she proceeded to treat his 5 year old son, her step son, with such carelessness and unconcern that I almost put the book down. At the end of the book, she has a realization that turns her around.  

Mockingbird

From Andrea Kalinowski

Author:  Kathryn  Erskine

Title:  Mockingbird

Just this past year, I have been reading some of the titles my nephew has been reading and, boy, was I pleasantly surprised by the advanced themes they tackled. My nephew is eleven and his recommendations have included Dave at night by Gail Carson Levine, Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine, Out of my mind by Sharon M. Draper, and Wonder by RJ Palacio. All of these books deal with children in unique situations. Out of my mind is an expose of a young girl trapped by cerebral palsy in a silent world while Wonder deals with a young boy with two facial deformities. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine was my latest read of his recommendations and it was terrific. A young girl, suffering with Asperger’s Syndrome, is forced to come to terms with her brother’s death. Asperger’s Syndrome can be characterized by problems with social skills and communication difficulties. The main character, Caitlin, struggles to show empathy and make friends. She has difficulty understanding why her brother’s death is so hard for her father. Devon was Caitlin’s main instructor in how to cope with life and she now needs to learn new coping techniques. Caitlin and her father, according to Caitlin’s research in her best resource, a dictionary, need to find “closure.”  Caitlin is not sure how to attain closure but she and her father triumph in the end and attain their goal of closure.

The possibilities

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author:  Kaui Hart  Hemmings
Title:  The possibilities 
The Possibilities, by the author who wrote the novel that became the Academy Award-winning film, “The Descendants,” is the engrossing story of a woman in Breckenridge, Colorado, whose son is killed in an avalanche. As she copes with her grief, surprises surface – and they don’t seem to be good ones. She finds out disturbing things, and then has to deal with a mystery girl who pops up out of the blue and immediately insinuates herself into the family. The Possibilities is an easy read and compelling story.

Big girl panties

From Andrea Kalinowski
Author:  Stephanie   Evanovich
Title:  Big girl panties
Big girl panties by Stephanie Evanovich caught my eye for two reasons. The first of the reasons being the author’s last name, Evanovich. I later discovered that Stephanie Evanovich is the niece of Janet Evanovich, one of my favorite authors. The second reason the book caught my attention was the title. I have oft heard or read “It’s time for you to put on your big girl panties” and so the title resonated with me. The way I understand the expression is that the time for wailing against fate is over and it is time to confront your demons. The main character, Holly Brennan, used food as a crutch and comforter during her husband’s final days. Now she is overweight and determined to change her life. When a chance encounter puts her in a plane seat next to Logan Montgomery, a personal trainer, it seems fate is lending a helping hand. Logan is, as all personal trainers are, in prime physical condition and snobbish with it. He is one of the perfect people and has difficulty in comprehending how life can sometimes overwhelm personal wisdom. Both characters undergo a needed transformation. Holly’s transformation is only skin deep because inside she was already a fine example of a human being. Logan, through his training of Holly, transforms into a better human being. I enjoyed this book immensely because it demonstrates that growth is always a choice.

Son of a gun : a memoir

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author: Justin St. Germain
Title: Son of a gun : a memoir
The author’s mother was murdered when he was young. He sets out to figure out why his mother dated horrible men and married five of them. When I got to the end of the book I was still waiting for something of compelling interest to happen.

The Cat

From  Andrea Kalinowski
Author:  Edeet Ravel
The Cat
The Cat by Edeet Ravel is an inside look at the torturous path to recovery from grief. It is a fictitious work but the author so clearly paints a picture that you are drawn into the mother’s agony and suffering. The protagonist is a divorced woman, raising her sole child, a boy, out in the countryside when he is killed by a motorist. Elise, the mom, after the tragic loss of her son, contemplates ending it all. The only thing binding her to this plane and this miserable existence is her son’s beloved feline, Pursie. You feel the wretchedness of Elise’s condition and cheer her as she takes stumbling steps back into the world of the living. She pays a psychiatrist to help her deal with the overwhelming epistolary response to her son’s death. The doctor wades through and selects a few letters, which he feels, do not minimize or negate the trauma Elise has suffered. An inside look at grief, sorrowful but well-written and worth the read.