MOTIVATION to READ: I have been looking forward to reading this since I knew of it! When the author asked me to participate in the book promotion for its release this month, I excitedly said, “Yes! Of course!”
WHAT it’s ABOUT: This is a family drama involving a woman and her husband who decide to make a big change and move to California from Vermont. Lily is a college professor who writes math books and collects fabrics and Tom is a college professor of horticulture who wants to learn how to be an organic avocado farmer. They wonder how to navigate these new choices while examining how it affects their marriage and their family; their two boys also live in California so now they are closer but they are embarking on their own lives. Her mother is worrying about how to navigate her place in the world through the loss of her best friends and the interesting proposal that follows. When a fire comes sweeping through the valley, can they all survive what happens?
WHAT’s GOOD: The characters, dialog and situations were believable and I was quickly swept up into the story. Lily and her mother are very different in perspective and personality. Lily was actually more like her mother’s mother who had taught Lily how to sew. I appreciate Nash’s ability to weave the most interesting tidbits of stuff into the narrative – like the fabric collecting, the technical challenges of designing math curricula (I love math) and what’s cool about the avocado. She really does her research.
WHAT’s NOT so GOOD: I was slightly disappointed in one of the minor characters; I wanted more about the son who was trying to be a good father and husband. He kept comparing himself to his father but was actually a lot like his grandmother. I felt this story line was a bit unresolved.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There is actually a lot going on in this book and upon reflection, I’m impressed by what all happens in not so many pages! The main story was unpredictable and rolled me through a lot of emotions; I was concerned, shocked, upset, relieved, sad, and happy. I often get annoyed by characters in the so-called women’s fiction genre; I get extremely picky with women who could-be my demographic — if they have issues that I can’t relate to or do something I can’t accept or like, I can’t just roll with it and enjoy the story. However, Nash’s books don’t usually provoke me so much, which is a good thing and one of the reasons I love them so much.
Also, I must add that it was thrilling to be able to follow Jennie on the path of writing and publishing this book. I was introduced to her during the initial process and was able to cheer her along when she was concerned with ideas for marketing and whether or not the cover was ideal. Her blog, Meet Your Muse, is a great place to learn about how cool she is as a person and she shares writing tips and even discusses the highs and lows of the being an author. It’s been fun and fascinating to get to know her better.
RATING: FOUR slices of pie; perhaps a rum-raisin or something to go along with that rum cake? Would that me too much rum?
May 8th DEADLINE!
CLICK HERE or see prior post.
For an awesome interview/guest post with Jennie Nash, visit Lisa’s Lit and Life.