When a woman enters the five stages of grief at the wrong end and traps herself in acceptance she must use any means, and everyone around her, to force herself backward through depression, bargaining and anger to reach denial in time to save her own life.
Kak was running blindly toward the ocean water in front of her. Suicide was going to be the end of her depression and fruitless life. When making life-changing decisions her first impulse was to careen blindly into the great unknown. Keeping her eyes closed, she ran into a man standing near the beach. They both collapsed head over heels into the soft sand of the shore.
Ryan is wrestling with a monumental company puzzle. They had promised their employees faithfully that the company would protect them with health and life insurance for the rest of their lives. A man that had worked for the company over 43 years had asked Ryan not to discontinue the health insurance for the retirees. The move would save over a billion dollars and destroy the budgets and lives of over 67,000 former employees. They would be deprived of $2,000 dollars plus of their retirement dollars.
Kak has been betrothed to a man she could not see herself living with for the rest of her life. Yes, he was rich, well-heeled, and able to provide for her in the style most women would give their eye teeth for. What would possibly be wrong with having a loving husband who would protect and cherish her the rest of her life?
The author has developed a story that left me with more questions than answers. How could an attractive educated woman be determined to end a fairy tale life in favor of suicide? The doctors gave her anti-depressants to combat her dreary outlook, but she saw them as a way to quietly give up life. Mixed into this tale are entreaties to Greek gods and the contradictions they represented in mythology. This adds a real color commentary to the view of a tragic life! 4.5 stars – CE Williams
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.
Rosepoint Publishing:Four point Five Stars
Genre: Women’s Literary Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction ASIN: B09LH7YCTT Print Length: 349 pages Publication Date: November 9, 2021 Source: Author request Title Link: The Gods of Sanibel [Amazon]
The Author: The son of a government weapons tester and a pediatric nurse, Cook grew up thinking about the interweaving narrative of destruction and compassion that exists within us all. He lives with his two sons in Indiana. The Gods of Sanibel is his first novel.
Life hasn’t always been easy for Bernice, but she is reasonably content at the ripe age of eighty-one. She has raised two children, buried both her husband and son, and is doing okay despite a few minor health issues. When Bernice’s daughter, Sarah, insists the time has come for Bernice to forfeit her independence and move into her backyard carriage house, Bernice refuses.
“I have a perfectly good house in Arkansas. Why on earth would I move to Atlanta?”
Despite Bernice’s protestations, Sarah moves forward with death cleaning and estate sale planning as though Bernice has no say in the matter.
Bernice has plenty to say about a variety of things.
With Miss Fiona packed stem to stern with only those things that spark joy (thank you, Marie Kondo) and inspired by an old black-and-white photograph of her first true love, Bernice leaves her cozy home in Savage Crossing without a glance in the rearview mirror. And without a word to her family.
Once Bernice decides to run away, there is no telling what might happen next.
A charming story of second chances and the transcendent power of love, Bernice Runs Away clears away life’s clutter and gets to the truth of what is essential in life.
The cover is cute, eye-catching, and compelling. But don’t let it fool you–this is prose-perfect literary fiction. If the cover didn’t get you, this beautiful narrative of Bernice will. Don’t worry about the age thing—this is an easily identifiable theme of family, relationships, and an inspirational story that is trans-generational.
What teenager, tired of parental guidance hasn’t thought to run away and rule their own lives? Independence, it seems, is hard won at any age and caregivers often become unwilling recipients.
Bernice’s daughter Sarah, worried about her mother aging in Savage Crossing alone in her old stone cottage, has gifted her with a book on “death cleaning” and if that is not enough, announced plans to move Bernice to the backyard bungalow in Atlanta being built for her—so she can be close.
Bernice, like any independent adult rebels and begins plotting her escape. In the head of this octogenarian, the reader follows Bernice as she goes about her business dutifully clearing and cleaning (keeping only those things that “spark joy”), no way will she move to Atlanta. Her heart is in this home where she spent decades with her husband, now gone. She’s had a succession of cats, the current kitty being Dolly Parton—not as gregarious as her namesake—but still, she’s there.
What a poignant story, at times light-hearted or scary, riding with Bernice as she makes her way to Lake Norfolk, a special place in her heart, so many good memories! The little cabin that she booked with Jason, the owner of Cooper’s Bluff is perfect and the book becomes atmospheric with her efforts to prevail, do-overs and make-overs (old Bernice, new Bernice). Bernice is old school, old morality, and she is immensely empathetic. You can’t help but love her or the others in this character-driven novel.
As Bernice shares her memories and desires for tomorrow, the reader gleans that while age does not change desires of the heart and mind, some can be resolved.
So many quotables, including this, one of my favorites:
Told in an easy pace (not to be confused with slow—as this is always engaging), the author has a wise sense of the decade, paints a casual kaleidoscope of visions as the story unfolds to a pleasing, satisfying conclusion. A lovely tale of adventure from a storyteller I’ll revisit with enthusiastic expectations.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.
Genre: Women’s Literary Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, Women’s Friendship Fiction Publisher: One Mississippi Press LLC ASIN: B0B919LW6X Print Length: 403 pages Publication Date: October 1, 2022 Source: Publisher and NetGalley
The Author: Here are a few things about what makes me tick, and why we should be friends. I’m not afraid to drink from a regular garden hose or eat raw cookie dough. Unless I’m buying books or plants, I don’t like to shop. I love freshly ground coffee and logo t-shirts. I know how to make mud pies and snow cream and play dough from scratch. Yes, I’m a farmer’s daughter who really was raised in a barn.
I love interesting writing, some poetry, old movies, and hardback novels, especially southern classics. I have a degree in economics from Baylor University, and once upon a time worked for the previous owner of the Dallas Cowboys. My two grown children are the best people I know. I hope to be like them someday.
Clutter and incessant chatter make me crazy. I’m an extroverted introvert and need my quiet time. I’m inspired by music and nature. I have a butterfly garden in the backyard; milkweed is my favorite plant. I am an Arkansas Master Gardener and an Arkansas Master Naturalist.
I believe most any meal can be improved with a side of collard greens.
I live in Fayetteville, Arkansas with my husband and two schnauzers, Lucy and Annabelle (who rule the house). I think the Ozark Mountains are as gorgeous as any place on Earth.
A Mags Munroe Story (The Mags Munroe Series Book 2)
If you want to disappear, start again, make a new life, a small Irish village is probably not the wisest place to go, since anonymity is not something we do well here.
The arrival of someone new is always a cause for twitching curtains and whispered conversations.
But here, like everywhere, people have their secrets, and as the local sergeant I’m expected to have my eyes peeled for anything unusual.
And I do. Usually. Until I don’t, and the consequences are potentially fatal.
Once past St. Patrick’s Day, if you need an “Irish fix” there is none better than picking up a Jean Grainger book. The author has that understated ability for placing you in the center of the Irish village set in the book you are reading—in this instance—Ballycarrick, Ireland.
It’s a book filled with characters, the MC being Mags Munroe, a newly promoted Sargeant in the local Garda. She has taken on the duty of coaching her community, settle conflicts, prejudices, and little offenses. She is married to Kieran, an independent roofer. Also prominent is Mags mother and Delia, newly minted Garda and also a Traveller, which is the main focus of this narrative.
As always, however, there are several under-plot threads one being her mother’s new love life and Mags own grapple with menopause. Her husband is living in fear of her being hurt again, last time seriously and they must come to terms with that aspect of her job.
It sounds like the little town of Ballycarrick is torn right down the middle regarding moving the Travellers from an area for which they’ve long been occupants without benefit of ownership. There are those who would move them to the area of another family of Travellers who are not so carefully or cleanly law-abiding. The Travellers are looked down on in any case and this provides an opportunity for proselytizing. Some good arguments here that sound as if they’d be the same for many of similar situations around the globe.
“She is only the monkey; Joanna Burke is the organ grinder.”
It is the everyday life though that the author manages to wheedle out of the pages, the little struggles, triumphs, and solutions brought about through thoughtful consensus. It is life in every village, every city—human life with bits of candor and clarity–and that iconic Irish sense of humor.
I received an advance copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my unbiased thoughts.
SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS.
WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE
Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think of the late great Maeve Binchy but sometimes with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 and I come from a large family of storytellers, so much so that we had to have ‘The Talking Spoon’, only the person holding the spoon could talk!
I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dogs, called Scrappy and Scoobi..
My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years.
My current series, The Queenstown Series, centres on twelve year old Harp Devereaux and her mother Rose and the first book opens on the day Titanic sails from Queenstown, Co Cork on her last fateful journey. It is a bestselling series and people really seem to connect to the precocious Harp and her hard-working mother as they battle to survive in a society where conforming and playing by the rules was paramount. It is so far a three book series, The West’s Awake, and The Harp and the Rose being the next two books but I’m currently writing book four.
Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.
I'm glad I learned to express my thoughts clearly and everyone loves to read them. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinking power to think about the surroundings. Someone who likes it, someone who enjoys it, appreciates that he is writing very well. Reading and commenting on the post I wrote would give me a lot of bullshit and I would get new ideas to write new ones.
I'm really glad I got your response.