This is quite a departure from Ms Kinsella’s Shopaholic series. Katie is a research assistant struggling in all facets of her life. She loses her job which forces her to return to her childhood farm. That’s where Katie begins to discover what’s really important and starts to shape her life into what she always wanted it to be. Although there are plenty of comedic events and situations to keep you laughing, this is a much more adult approach to addressing life’s issues and everyday struggles.
A large, emotionally distant Irish Catholic family take turns returning to their childhood home to care for their elderly widowed mother. It becomes quite evident early on that the family members have their own methods of dealing with thei issues and the overall dysfunction in the family. This dysfunction is highlighted when a secret held by the matriarch is inadvertently revealed nvolving the Catholic Church and the family home. This is a really interesting read on family dynamics and the roles one holds in a family. There are some characters that aren’t very likable but they add an interesting angle to the story.
I admit to an affinity for books about bookstores and the contents they contain. The contents of an unopened and long forgotten letter are at the heart of this charming novel. Monsieur Perdu, the recipient of the letter, opens it after finding it 20 years after it as written. The letters contents prompt him to take his bookstore barge on a trip on the river Seine to find his lost love. Monsieur Perdu encounters a number of interesting characters and experiences on his journey. The best thing about journeys is that while they may not bring the sought after answers they can be a journey of growth and unexpected discoveries. This is a wonderful novel full of warmth, humor and lovely surprises.
The lives of a little boy and the two women who love him are intertwined in this novel. Soli and Kavya couldn’t be more different: Soli is an illegal immigrant pregnant and abandoned in an unknown country and Kavya pressured by family and friends to have a child but silently struggling through infertility. The women’s lives are connected when Kavya becomes foster mother to Soli’s little boy. This is an emotionally charged novel as the reader is drawn into the plight of both women who want what’s best for the little boy. This is beautifully written and the pain and anguish of both women is felt throughout the novel.