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ALL DAY AT THE MOVIES: Family Saga Novel ~Fiona Kidman

Monday, February 5th, 2018

ALL DAY AT THE MOVIES is a beautifully told story of women who live in New Zealand starting in 1950 and continuing the story to the present day.  This is a story primarily of women and how they change a society with a few gutsy moves and through fabulously written words that just hold the narrative firmly in the reader’s mind.  The characters assist in the understanding of poverty, societies expectations, and norms all the while reflecting the change that the women are pursuing towards making a difference.

In 1952, war widow Irene Sandle takes up work in the New Zealand’s tobacco fields, hoping to build a new life for herself and her daughter.  But the bold act of female self-sufficiency triggers a sequence of events whose repercussions are still felt long after Irene’s death.  Against a backdrop of immense social and political change, Irene’s four children lead disparate lives, and learn how far family ties can bind – or be lost forever.

Fiona Kidman has written well-over 30 books and her writing parallels her own life story and the lessons she learned while being a journalist, script writer and producer.  “Kidman’s accessible prose and the way she shows (mainly) women grappling to escape from restricting social pressures has guaranteed her a permanent place in our (New Zealand) fiction.”

How Kidman could fill such a short book (300+ pages) with so many details and feelings, while moving the story line forward was amazing.  The reader was at the waves-water’s edge and then thoroughly surrounded by forest as one felt the character’s thoughts and feelings about the circumstances of the moment.  The reader is in the story and the story stays with the reader long after the last page has been consumed.

Kidman grew up in the Far North of New Zealand in small rural settlements where her parents farmed.  Later her family moved to the center of a major Scots migration.  In the thermal town of Rotorua, Kidman met her husband Ian, a schoolteacher, who is of Maori descent.  They live in Wellington now, and have lived there for 45 years, Kidman takes pride in the mixed cultural descendants who are Maori, Greek, Dalmatian, Spanish, and Chinese and is involved in refugee and migrant organizations.

Read more at  http://www.fionakidman.com

With unflinching honesty and characteristic compassion, Fiona Kidman deftly exposes the fragility of even the closest human relationships, as she weaves together the narratives of a family and its changing fortunes across fifty years and three generations. (cover)

Like a maker of fine lace, Kidman twists each thread of her plot – leaving some dangling while she gathers up others, weaving and crisscrossing each other until they meet to create a superbly crafted centre piece. (Daily Post)

The writing was so incredible in this book, I wish I could get many, many people to read this and enjoy the story.  Women do make change happen often.

Related:
Playing St. Barbara
Hannah Coulter
Sing Them Home

This lovely book was sent to me for review by:
Rachel Hundert, Senior Publicist
Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, Inc.
P: 917-493-3601 RH@mzpr.com
www.MZPR.com
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LITTLE BROKEN THINGS: A Novel ~Nicole Baart

Monday, December 18th, 2017

LITTLE BROKEN THINGS is a very good read and although about family dysfunction it is a story that could be true for many individuals and is very believable and interesting.  I enjoyed reading every page and did not hurry through to the finish even though I was not sure I had figured out the truth early on in the read.

The Sanford family lives in a small town and the father figure had sold real estate and was quite successful.  He got along famously with his son Jack but was rather tough on his daughters Nora and Quinn.  Liz the mom was a stay at home provider and found herself distant from her grown children.  The family was dealing with the loss of their father, Liz was trying to figure out what came next in her life and Jack’s wife was expecting the first grand child.   Quinn and her artist husband had just returned home and were living in a family rental unit and Nora had all but disappeared from their lives.  There were secrets that made a difference!

Nora surprises Quinn by suddenly, with no explanation and vowed secrecy, drops off a child for her to keep hidden and safe.  Little Lucy is quiet and sullen and has an interesting connection to the Sanford family.  The mystery needs to be solved.

There is a good deal about sexual predators and drug usage in the story and definitely Nora is on the run a great deal of the time.  The story includes interesting ideas about what is a loving relationship and how to be on one’s own, what should be done next to live life?  Lots of questioning until there is resolution for the child and path finding for the members of the family; it is very nice storytelling.

The family was well respected in the community and daughters were expected to go to college and come home to marry their sweetheart producing the next generation of the community.  The secrets would change the pattern over and over.  What the community did not know about this family kept them pillars and leaders.

I liked the book very much because of the character names also, as one of the characters has one of my daughter’s names and that of course made the story fun.  And the characteristics described for the name were very much in keeping with my child’s characteristics.

I definitely would recommend this story and I thought it was timely about drugs and sexual predation, which is big time in the news at this time and an important subject to bring to the light.

Nicole Baart is the mother of five children from four different countries. The co-founder of a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, she lives in a small town in Iowa. She is the author of seven previous novels, including, most recently, The Beautiful Daughters. Find out more at NicoleBaart.com.

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Related:
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THE BONE TREE: BOOK TWO OF THE NATCHEZ BURNING TRILOGY ~GREG ILES

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Southern Lawyer Penn Cage and his fiancée Caitlin Masters the newspaper publisher have just escaped being set on fire by a ruthless businessman Brody Royal and are still searching for Dr. Tom Cage, Penn’s father, who is being accused of killing a black nurse who worked for him as we finish the exciting book NATCHEZ BURNING, which is the first in the Trilogy by Greg Iles.

TLC Book Tours  sent me book two in plenty of time to keep right on reading this compelling saga about family, about the KKK, about racism, corruption, the brutal history and the on-going conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassinations and Martin Luther King-the South revealed.

The writing in this story is fabulous and amazingly spellbinding.  As Stephen King says, “ You just want more.

“Greg Iles spent most of his youth in Natchez, Mississippi. His first novel, Spandau Phoenix, was the first of thirteen New York Times bestsellers, and his new trilogy continues the story of Penn Cage, protagonist of The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, and #1 New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Punchbowl. Iles’s novels have been made into films and published in more than thirty-five countries. He lives in Natchez with his wife and has two children.” (From TLC webpage)

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The incredible “hate” over family generations and how it manifests is fascinating to follow and just how does one help families that are so tainted by violence that they can be changed into decent, contemporary people for the future generations?  Will this kind of family system be destine to repeat itself – forever?  Do our social systems have any impact?

I have over the years often found book two of trilogies to be more of a fill in book adding more detail and transitioning to the big finish.  Yes, there is some transition material in this book and yet it is full of new components to the story and more contemporary problems that are proceeding because of the search being brought to the foreground.  It is riveting in it’s own right.  Another 800 pages of thrilling material and the death of new individuals is spelled out as the corruption and dastardly economic systems are spelled out and more and more African Americans lose their land and life in the re-building of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.

I have personally shared 5 copies of NATCHEZ BURNING with friends and the word is – The writing is amazing and thrilling – The pace and details are extraordinary – It is quite the read and perfect timing.

All the things you thought were going on in the South – They are!   It is nearly impossible to put this book down.  THE BONE TREE will not disappoint.

My copy had a reader’s book group guide at the back of the book and plenty of reference and acknowledgement material proves to be extremely interesting.

Book Three will be available March 2017.

Related:
Natchez Burning
The Contractors
Mississippi Blood

TRAIL OF BROKEN WINGS: A Novel ~Sejal Badani

Monday, May 4th, 2015

“Never depend on another person for your happiness.  If someone had the authority to give, then he or she had the authority to take away.” (location 142)

I did not know what to expect from the book TRAIL OF BROKEN WINGS.    I knew it was an immigration story and a debut novel but did not know much more.  I am often tempted to read the book descriptions sent by the publishers for advanced reading copies of books; I resisted and just dove into reading the story.  TLC Book Tours sent me a copy for review.

Three sister’s elegantly tell their stories of their lives in the USA after their family moves from India as an opportunity for daughters to achieve success and excel for the family when there are no sons.  Their father was successful and kind in India but he who was an engineer in his home country now can only get work in a tire store and experiences great racism and difficult circumstances.  He is driven to control his daughters and wife to the point of verbal and physical abuse.  He is in a coma and the family is forced to look at their lives and the shame they feel; the sad and unhappy outcomes of their lives.   A family story emerges as the family secrets are confronted by the violence exposed and events manifesting in their contemporary lives.

What blooms in the family tree as the family progresses and what changes in the patterns, so that history may not repeat itself? Can destructive behavior ever manifest real or solid success and provide growth and change for communication and allow love to emerge?

The telling of Sonja, Trisha, and Marin’s stories opens up the reader to explore what was expected of them from their own families and fathers.  How does original enculturation interfere or enhance a huge change in structures and systems and how does it breakdown the basic traits and expectations?  What are the freedoms that are attached to this change and could it be thought of as a good concept.  TRAIL OF BROKEN WINGS will challenge one’s thinking and expectations.

I highly recommend TRAIL OF BROKEN WINGS for those who like family dynamics, secrets revealed and want a story to end with hope for the future.

I was interested to see that Amazon already had 547  4+ reviews for this debut novel.

Sejal Badani is a former attorney.  She currently lives on the West Coast with her family and their 2 dogs.

Sejal Badani Facebook 

Related:
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