Category Archives: Fiction

Ending: A Novel by Hilma Wolitzer

Hilma Wolitzer’s acclaimed first novel—a powerful portrait of a family coming to terms with grief
At night, Sandy feels the pain of separation most deeply. As she settles into bed, she misses the sounds Jay used to make as he emptied his pockets and undressed. She misses the way a playful nighttime conversation could become significant in an instant. She misses his touch. To fall asleep, she imagines Jay’s voice, imagines their loving exchanges—but she cannot imagine lying in his arms.
Jay is in the hospital now, his body wasting away from cancer. As the disease progresses, he and Sandy try to come to terms with the fact that he will never come home again—and that his children will soon lose their father forever. Poignant and raw, Ending is a finely rendered look at love, loss, and survival.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Hilma Wolitzer, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

This book is listed as a novel, but I can’t help wonder how much is based on reality. I find it hard to believe that the author was able to bring the reader into the experience without having experienced it herself in real life.

Having worked in a personal care home at one point, I have watched families deal with palliative care and watching their loved ones die. I cannot imagine the pain of having to leave a suffering family member behind for weeks on end while attempting to carry on one’s life as if nothing is wrong. The author did an amazing job putting the reader in the position where they can experience of dealing with the realities a dying partner, especially when there are children involved.

While every grieves differently, grief in itself is the same for everyone and the author gets that message across very clearly in this compassionate love story.

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The Glass Wives: A novel by Amy Sue Nathan

Evie and Nicole Glass share a last name. They also shared a husband.

When a tragic car accident ends the life of Richard Glass, it also upends the lives of Evie and Nicole, and their children. There’s no love lost between the widow and the ex. In fact, Evie sees a silver lining in all this heartache—the chance to rid herself of Nicole once and for all. But Evie wasn’t counting on her children’s bond with their baby half-brother, and she wasn’t counting on Nicole’s desperate need to hang on to the threads of family, no matter how frayed. Strapped for cash, Evie cautiously agrees to share living expenses—and her home—with Nicole and the baby. But when Evie suspects that Nicole is determined to rearrange more than her kitchen, Evie must decide who she can trust. More than that, she must ask: what makes a family?

This book is listed as a novel but I could easily see it actually being a memoir. It was very well written, with an engrossing story. I found myself empathizing with the ex-wife – I could actually see myself doing exactly as she did. It takes a lot of courage to open one’s door to someone else, nevermind inviting an ex-husband’s widow (and former mistress) and her baby to move in with your family.

However, the unlikely duo discover many similarities that it becomes natural that for the sake of the siblings the two women helped each other get back on their feet after suffering the devastating loss of the father of their children. The author does a wonderful job showing compassion towards the grieving family while portraying the narrow-mindedness of the nearby community.

Die for Me by Cynthia Eden

She thought her fiancé was the perfect man—until he turned out to be the perfect killer…

Katherine Cole is running for her life, desperate to escape the Valentine Killer—so-called because he stabs his victims through the heart and leaves them holding a telltale single red rose. Still he tracks her to New Orleans and begins carving a bloody path to her door. But this time, Katherine refuses to run any farther. This time, she’ll do anything to stop the madman she once loved, even trust the sexy cop promising to keep her safe…

Detective Dane Black never lets his emotions interfere with his job, even as the Valentine Killer surfaces in New Orleans to stalk his prey. But when Dane agrees to protect the killer’s ex-fiancée, Katherine Cole, he can’t ignore the passion kindling between them. After a single unforgettable night binds them body and soul, Dane knows he won’t rest until Katherine is safe in his arms—and the Valentine Killer is dead. Dark and intensely sexy, this romantic suspense novel from USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Eden is sure to leave readers breathless.

I am just starting to re-visit my love for books with a good mystery combined with a believable romance and this books plays both very well. I found myself holding my breathe during several chapters and could  not wait to see what happens next. This is a very well done book with a great story!

The Tease by Nikki Pill

Anna Zendel is your average 32-year-old therapist, stressing about clinical exams and struggling to recover from an abusive relationship. But at night she transforms herself into the saucy burlesque dancer Velvet Crush, enchanting Chicago audiences with the art of the tease. As Anna struggles to keep the therapy and burlesque worlds separate and get over her crush on the troupe’s emcee, a new danger threatens women across the city. The papers have dubbed him the Darling Killer, because after strangling his victims, he scrawls the word “darling” on their skin. When one of Anna’s fellow dancers is murdered in the dressing room, she realizes that Darling Killer could be closer than she thought. Could Max, Anna’s new therapy client who confessed to fantasizing about dead girls and obsessing over the Darling Killer, have anything to do with the murders? As more women are murdered, and Anna begins receiving mysterious gifts, this burlesque dancer pits feathers and sequins against foul play in the deadliest dance of all.

I have a friend who introduced me to the world of burlesque and I have always been fascinated with the art form; so much so that I have considered taking classes so that I could do private performances for my partner. I think that is the main reason I got this book – it  melds two very separate lifestyles into one that works. I too have done something similar to this. Having a high stress job sometimes makes one do something that is so opposite, just to be able to finally get away from that stress and well, what a greater way to challenge one’self that to practice burlesque. I really enjoyed kicking back and reading this book

A Family Affair by Mary Campisi

When Christine Blacksworth’s larger-than-life father is killed on an icy road in Magdalena, New York, a hundred miles from the ‘getaway’ cabin he visited every month, she discovers a secret that threatens everything she’s always held to be true. Her father has another family which includes a mistress and a daughter. Determined to uncover the truth behind her father’s secret life, Christine heads to Magdalena, prepared to hate the people who have caused her to question everything she thought she knew about her father. But what she finds is a woman who understands her, a half sister who cherishes her, and a man who could love her if she’ll let him. The longer she’s around them, the more she questions which family is the real one. . . Note: This book contains sexual content and profanity. While the author believes these situations are handled in good taste, she acknowledges some readers will choose to pass on this book. Look for A Family Affair: Spring – coming late 2013.

There was something about this story that makes it so believable. In this day and age something like this can really happen (and I am sure that it has unfortunately); I also have to say, as a mom of four, this is why I have lead my life like an open book. For me, I’ve already seen how my decisions in life have affected my children and to think that there is some possibility that they will find something out about me after I am gone, that they will have to deal with, just breaks my heart. It does not seem fair at all. My heart breaks for this family – the father for feeling he had to lie all his life, the children, who never got 100% of their dad. Yep – it was a great story! Thank you