Review: Go Ask Fannie by Elisabeth Hyde

Three siblings visit their father in New Hampshire. They all have different ideas about how to help him as he ages. They have different ideas about how to help each other (or not). What they have in common is love for their dad, and an ache in their hearts missing their mom.

I generally enjoy books about families and New England, so this was right up my alley. The siblings’ relationships with each other and their spouses was true to life, and I identified with the frustration of having so many opinions in one space!

My favorite part of the story was watching the mom’s secrets unfold. It really goes to show you that you can’t know everything about even your family. We all hold back a tiny part of ourselves — and unless we write cookbook marginalia or we have a secret room, well, those secrets might stay hidden forever.

Well done, Elisabeth Hyde.



Review: Chalk Houses by Tracy Clark

Most kids want to grow up to be just like their parents. From a very young age, they emulate everything their parents do. Imagine, though, a childhood so sad and traumatic that it leaves you reaching for the exact opposite goal.

Talon has had a rough childhood, to put it mildly. A revolving door of men in her mother’s life has left her scarred in more ways than one. More often than not, Talon has found herself in the role of the parent as drugs and alcohol ruled every aspect of her mother’s life. Now she has a chance to make something of her life. Her love of writing has given her the opportunity to leave her horrid life behind and to actually become something.

But Talon, desperate for approval and love and acceptance and all those other things, finds herself making the same mistakes as her mother. Will she see the error of her ways before it’s too late? And is there any way she and her mom can find their way back to each other?

Lots going on in this story. Typical teen issues, sure. But also some things that no teen should ever experience. Sadly, we all know that Talon’s experiences are all too real. This was a compelling story, one that I really want to end in a happily ever after. But as in life, that’s rarely the case…


Buy It Now: Chalk Houses

Musing: Catching up… Prepare for a Trifecta 

Slacker Calliope here. Been reading but not reviewing for a couple weeks, but all that’s about to change. Three reviews will come your way this weekend – maybe more if I finish another book! And the rest of the titles you see here will be reviewed in upcoming weeks, barring the distraction of acquiring more books, in which case… slacker Calliope here. 😜
Btw, my current read is The Final Vow by Amanda Flower 

Review: The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

20131227-125151.jpg It’s the late ’60s and five ladies who hang out with their children at a park in Palo Alto strike up a friendship. Ally, Kath, Brett, Linda and Frankie have different marriage situations, different backgrounds, and varied financial statuses, but they all want the same thing: to be noticed and appreciated.

The women decide to start writing — and sharing their work on Wednesdays at the park. As they navigate the world of literary critique without hurting feelings, they learn to love each other despite any shortcomings in their talent or personalities.

I just loved this book. It reminded me of my relationship with my sister and my best friends – always honest, sometimes abrupt or annoyed, always loving. These ladies were strong and independent, even as housewives in the 1960s. But they intelligently chose to rely on each other when a husband cheats, a pregnancy ends in miscarriage, self-esteem tanks, an old injury leaves physical and emotional scars, and breast cancer threatens to take a mother from her children. The women weren’t perfect. They judged each other silently, and supported each other out loud. But I guess you don’t really care what someone thinks of you when you’re suffering; you care how people treat you.

I think I mostly loved this book because the friendship was real – flawed and imperfect, but they always figured out what to do to move on from their mistakes. I laughed and cried at these five women sharing a relationship this special, while raising children, taking care of their homes and husbands, and dealing with the tragedies life threw at them.

The ending? Think Johnny Carson, blatant hilarity, and true love for our fellow man. I mean, woman.


Buy it now The Wednesday Sisters