Home Recommended Reading Workshops About RSS

Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE: A Novel ~Nancy Star

Monday, January 9th, 2017

“An extraordinarily moving, beautifully written novel…I was riveted from the very first page.”  Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times best-selling author of ORPHAN TRAIN

SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE is a complex and funny read.  The characters in the Tangle Family just pull the reader right into the story and have a gripping hold as you laugh at their quirky thoughts and actions and as you are touched by their dysfunctions and fully actualized behaviors right to the sadness that they must not talk about or share.

The writing is extraordinary, the story line is perfectly linked and there are no dangling particles when you come to the last page.  I finished the last page and the acknowledgements, the interview with Star and went right back to the first page and read it again.  The story is wrapped around a song about a brother with SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE and the strangely dramatic mother who believes she is an actress. The second reading gave me a new opportunity to understand a narcissist’s ability to hold a family together, to love and be kind, while every third sentence is a lie or a fantasy.

Ginger is a worrier, a school nurse, a perfectionist, who teaches night school classes about Danger, and is the one in charge of protecting her siblings.   12-years-old

Mimi is the controller; quick and decisive.  Very high energy and gets the job done. 10–years-old

Charlie is the sports loving brother. 8-years-old

Callie is the innocent wanderer, who is gentle and loving; asking tough and strange questions of the people around her.  6-years-old

Sully, or Dad, is an entrepreneur for ‘seconds’ or damaged Toys.

Glory, mom, is a huge personality who really is unable to cook, and whose ideas and words permeate the household and the children’s lives.

You will not soon forget these children or these adults.

Julia, Ginger’s 17-year-old daughter, is thinking about leaving home, it is in the middle of teenage/mother stress that she learns that her mother does not know where her sister Callie is and that they have been estranged for a long period of time and that all three sisters had a brother, who died in an accident.  This discovery knocks the balancing act of silence right off its pedestal and the whole story begins to untangle.

TLC Book Tours sent me this amazing book for review.  SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE is a worthwhile read and some fine humor.

I invite you to read SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE – The Family Like No Other.

About the author:
Nancy Star Website
Nancy Star Facebook
Nancy Star Twitter

“Nancy Star is the author of four previous novels: Carpool Diem, Up Next, Now This, and Buried Lives. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, Family Circle, Diversion magazine, and on the web. Before embarking on her writing career, Nancy worked for more than a decade as a movie executive in the film business, dividing her time between New York and London. She has two grown daughters and a son-in-law and now lives in New Jersey with her husband.” (TLC)

Related:
The Eagle Tree
Whistling Women
The Moon Sisters

NOW EVERYONE WILL KNOW: A Memoir ~Maggie Kneip

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

“The Perfect Husband, His Shattering Secret; My Rediscovered Life”

McKinney PR, LLC (Larissa Ackerman | Claire McKinney PR, 41 Main Street Suite B, Chester, NJ 07930) sent me a copy of this book for review and it is quite the read about holding on to a secret for 20 years, denying a segment of a life and keeping a mythology alive.

“This is a book I just inhaled, I could not put it down… It will resonate with every woman who has something to hide – and that is most of us, myself included.” (Magee Hickey, News Reporter, WPIX-TV New York, cover)

Maggie Kneip was married to her dream husband and was the mother of 2 very young children when her husband collapsed and spent several years getting every cold that came along; having just one medical problem after the other. They finally got a diagnosis – AIDS.  When Kneip’s partner, before he was her partner, he had worked in Los Angeles and had explored the Gay lifestyle.  Now he was an editor at the Wall Street Journal and very highly respected and funny; giftedly bright.  He had tumors in his brain and an AIDS dementia, swollen legs, and a list of other problems.  Their son was less than a year old, and their 3-year-old daughter just could not understand.  He was dying and Maggie had to find a job and support her two children.

AIDS was a fairly unknown disease and the general population was very frightened, Maggie and the children were not carriers and did not have the disease, but they were discriminated against just the same because of the fear and the stigma.  The daughter shared about her Father at school and the other parents banded together to get her removed.  A conspiracy of silence began to keep the children safe from these attacks.  This silence left a big hole in the family until the family began sharing their story and Kneip began participating in creating awareness and support for other women on the AIDS journey. 20 years of silence.

It is a commanding read and quite an educational tool for informing and lessening the fear factor for others.

“Maggie Kneip was one of this country’s hidden women…who kept her husband’s deadly secret for more than two decades…Now she opens up for the first time in this stunning, beautifully written, and important book.”  (Joanne Lipman, journalist, editor, and co-author of Strings Attached – cover)

About the Author:

“Maggie Kneip is a veteran of the publishing industry, with more than two decades in publicity and marketing at Bertelsmann, Scholastic Inc., and Abrams Books.  She has performed as a singer at such Manhattan clubs as the Laurie Beechman Theatre and the Metropolitan Room.  Learn more about her at www.maggiekneip.com

Related:
Hidden Inheritance
Whistling Women
The Long Goodbye
The Bounce

THE ORGAN TAKERS: A Novel of Surgical Suspense ~Richard Van Anderson

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

“”Richard Van Anderson’s experience as a surgeon at the UW Medical Center gives him the ability to write a convincing debut thriller. The Organ Takers focuses on the moral failings and sociopathic behavior of corrupted medical practitioners. The verdict: Read if you like surgery and a standard thriller, but do not expect to trust your doctor after reading this.” –The Daily at the University of Washington”

THE ORGAN TAKERS was a very interesting read and I could not put the PDF/ Kindle book down.  I read the book in the hospital while undergoing a series of tests. I was glad my copy was in my Kindle (as the cover and the title might have worried the others in the waiting area) and I would not recommend one read this thriller in the hospital – the surgery details were very intense and I was worried about what my medical team was not telling me.  I think it raised my blood pressure a point or two.

There is a very exciting part to the story in that several surgeons have figured out how to grow cloned organs for transplant patients.  Now that was exciting to think about, how they were going about the research was terrible and their lab’s fundraising techniques were horrendous.  So many lost everything, and others were driven to the limit of their capacity.  The greed factor certainly destroyed the happy factors of life.    It was a fast read, and I learned a number of things I did not know or understand before.  Although I would not have picked this book, I was very pleased to be asked to review this book and I contemplated the ethical implications  and what corrupts some folks and not others. Fascinating.

Larissa Ackerman | Claire McKinneyPR, LLC
larissa@clairemckinneypr.com
41 Main Street Suite B, Chester, NJ 07930

Larissa sent me a PDF copy of this book which I translated to my KINDLE FIRE and I was able to read the book early.  This was a bonus to have my copy ahead of the schedule so that I could squeeze it into the schedule when I had more time to read. Writing is intelligent and the author’s surgical skill plays out well in his story telling.  My only problem was I could not underline or book mark pages on the translation and I have become a bit lazy in my note taking – get out those 3×5 cards !

I highly recommend this suspenseful book to those who love medical reads and good writing.  If you have a queasy stomach about surgeries and medical ethics, I would probably not put it on the list.  The writing is very top notch and will not leave scar tissue and side effects for years to come.

About Richard Van Anderson from the book cover:

“Richard Van Anderson is a former heart surgeon turned fiction writer.  His surgery training took him from the ‘knife and gun club’ of LSU Medical center in Shreveport, Louisiana, to the famed Bellevue Hospital in Midtown Manhattan.  His education as a writer includes an MFA in creative writing from Pine Manor College in Boston, Massachusetts.  He currently lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two sons.

Website: www.rvananderson.com

“And finally, the best way for a book to find its audience has always been, and still is, word of mouth recommendations.  So, if you liked the story, please consider telling others about it, either person to person, using social media, or (and this is the most effective way) posting online reviews at your favorite review site.  Thank you.”

/

Related:
Healing and Prevention Through Nutrition 
Eat to Live 
Your Medical Mind  
The Signature of All Things 

THE ANGEL OF LOSSES: A Novel ~Stephanie Feldman

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

“’And what were you born for, my eldest?’  The rebbe asked. ‘Besides bringing disappointment to your family.’”
“ I was born to put the beauty of the world onto paper.  I was born to be a scribe.”
“’Ah’, the rebbe said.  ‘Then you give me nothing, nothing but disappointment.’” (uncorrected proof copy page 29)


The significant theme in this novel for me was the relationship between the two sisters and how that played out throughout THE ANGEL OF LOSSES.  Two New Jersey daughters, who were born four years apart, were very close all of their lives until they went to college and their Grandfather moved out of their family home to Coney Island where he died.  Their Grandfather Eli took care of the girls while parents worked and told them old stories and myths but nothing about his childhood.  Eli Burke was very angry about religion and especially about the Jews and their Berukhim School in the neighborhood.   His son, the girl’s father was raised as a Gentile (I would have said Protestant) yet the family did not practice any faith except events like Christmas.  At nineteen, Holly, the younger daughter, converts to an Orthodox Jewish Sect to marry Nathan a scribe who is older and this causes a rift between the sisters.

THE ANGEL OF LOSSES is about the heritage of WWII and Jewish Mythology highlighting the story of the Wandering Jew. Marjorie, the older sister, is actually getting her Ph.D. and her dissertation is about the Wandering Jew.  Eli Burke has left his granddaughters 4 notebooks about the major parts of the myth and about his childhood during the German invasion of Russia and the destruction of his family.  The notebooks are hidden and Marjorie spends her time trying to find the journals before her brother-in-law Nathan interferes with the family’s truth.

Through the author’s telling of the journey, the reader can begin to understand how the legacy of the war and loss, and the legacy of the old mythology can unleash secrets and lies which will affect and effect a family for generations to come.  How guilt, secrets, omissions and childish beliefs can harm others and separate families and futures; how the actions of wars keep on destroying well into the future.

These secrets nearly cost the life of the newest baby and Marjorie must work diligently to figure out what the message is being sent to her in her dreams then find and interpret her Grandfather’s notebooks.   Marjorie was destined to shed a light on these old stories and clear out the ghosts and myths which defeated family unity.

THE ANGEL OF LOSSES includes whole sections of the story of the Wandering Rabbis and that can be very interesting reading to those who do not know them. The argumentative and competitive nature of the brother in law was a bit hard to pinpoint until I started thinking of him as mildly autistic and focused on nothing relevant to the current times.  He was a disappointment trying to be significant. I too had a hard time with the negativity of the grandfather’s stories and there was not enough balance about the good times they shared like pancakes at a café and park visits.  These myths truly ruled his life from childhood to his death.

tlc logoTHE ANGEL OF LOSSES was a good read and I was very happy that TLC online book tours  sent me an uncorrected proof copy for me to read.

Stephanie Feldman is a graduate of Barnard College.  She lives outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with her husband and her daughter.
Stephanie Feldman Website
Stephanie Feldman Facebook

Related:
Little Island
The Moon Sisters
The Fixer
The Accident