Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Review -- Glitter and Glue

Glitter and Glue
Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan
My enjoyment rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hangover rating: 4
Source: Library
Genre: Memoir (mothers/daughters/relationships)
Objectionable material: One F-bomb, but it was so worth it.

"What is it about a living mother that makes her so hard to see, to feel, to want, to love, to like? What a colossal waste that we can only fully appreciate certain riches -- clean clothes, hot showers, good health, mothers -- in their absence."

Thus laments author Kelly Corrigan, while on an extended journey to the Outback, when she becomes a nanny to a recent motherless family (and who is also reflecting on the value of her own mother).

After reading and LOVING both The Middle Place and Lift, Ms. Corrigan's previous memoirs, I knew Glitter and Glue would be something special. And it was. Every word.

She has a keen ability to take the pedestrian-ness of life, the thoughts, feelings, the doubts that we all have (and are afraid to speak, in most cases) and turn them into a poetic and glorious reminder that life is damn good. Do not take it for granted. One second of it.

Like in her first two books, Ms. Corrigan has a theme: Mothers. Any mother daughter combination on the planet has issues. And the Corrigans are no different. What makes this book so special is just that: we are no different. We screw up, we yell, we regret, we say the wrong thing, and somehow, mothers and daughters all survive and end up normal (whatever that may be). The fact that Kelly Corrigan is "normal" gives me hope that my 13 year old daughter will survive me and turn out OK.

Now...I need to pick up the phone and tell my mom I love her. While I still can.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review -- Under the Jeweled Sky

Under the Jeweled Sky
Under the Jeweled Sky by Alison McQueen
My enjoyment rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hangover rating: 4
Source:  Received review copy from publisher; was not compensated in any other way for my review.
Genre: Fiction; historical fiction; women's fiction
Objectionable material:  None

What would you do for love? To what lengths would you travel?

Sophie Schofield, a young British colonialist living with her parents in India after WWII, learns that true love knows no boundaries, even if it is love for a servant boy within the maharaja's palace, for whom she is forbidden to see.

Author Alison McQueen, in epic form, recreates the life of British colonialism in India with a story that is as vast as the country itself.

I was swept away by the love story of Sophie and Jag, the boy she loved and would spend her life yearning for.

I was transported back to a time, that I knew very little about, when India gained Independence from Britain and chaos and mayhem reined. I felt like I'd traveled the entire country with both Sophie and Jag as their lives transversed in unexpected, and sometimes very tragic ways.

But where the story (and author) truly shined, was when Sophie, in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy, expresses unyielding love and grief over a baby that would be taken away from her, for no other reason than she was unmarried and the child was of mix race. It was a beautiful, if not tragic scene that made this mother (and adoptee) weep.

In the tradition of The Thorn Birds, where characters, forbidden love, and a continent play such a vital role, Under the Jeweled Sky, was an unexpected, but treasured gem.