Sep 112012


Author: Annette Lyon

Publisher: Covenant

Published: August 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1-60861-946-7

Genre: general fiction

Paperback: 238 pages

FTC FYI: Review copy, which did not affect my review

Reviewed by Mindy

Backcover Summary: After a bitter divorce from her unfaithful husband, Paige moves from Utah to California with her two little boys and vows to make a fresh start.  She finds a job at a dental practice that helps her get back on her feet, but it’s the friends she makes at her new book club who help her realize how strong she is and who give her support to carry on as she faces the challenges of being a single mom.  She also meets Derryl, a wonderful, kind, attentive man who treats her right–something her ex never did.  Yet, Paige struggles to figure out who she is a s woman rather than a wife, how to help  her boys adjust to a broken home, and whether she can ever trust a man or love again.  As Paige leans on the book club ladies and Derryl’s ever present care, one thing becomes clear:  healing from the past requires more than a change of address.

My Review

Paige is another strong offering from Annette Lyon and for The Newport Ladies Book Club.  From Olivia, and Daisy I was able to catch a glimpse of the woman that Paige was, and I really liked her then.  Reading her own story made me appreciate her even more, and also the other ladies through Paige’s eyes.  At the first book club meeting there is always the first impressions of each character.  I love going back to those meetings through a different character’s view point, to see what she thought of someone that first night, and after that.  It shows each of their journeys, and it helps me appreciate each character more.

Paige was hesitant to go to book club.  One of my favorite quotes from her is on page 20:

For years, I’d pretty much lived in the bubble of being Doug’s wife.  I hadn’t met any new friend in–I couldn’t remember how long.  Since the divorce, I’d turned that bubble into a cocoon.  And here I was, forcing myself out of it.  Meeting new people would be good for me.  I knew this on an intellectual level;  however, emotionally, the idea made me want to drive right back home.

Each of the ladies from the book club came to book club for different reasons, but they seem to have one in common, to find a friend.

There are some fun things that happen to Paige, some sad, and heart wrenching.  Christmas was hard for her.  I was able to really see what a loving character she was during the times with her sons.  She’s a great mom, and Paige finds she may need to make some difficult choices.

4 out of 5 stars.  Annette is an amazing writer.  She recently wrote a blog post about the series, and how each author would write their characters, or how the others gals would write it for them.  I laughed a lot.  Check it out.  Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, her blog, and The Newport Ladies Book Club.  The next book in the series is Athena by Heather Moore.  It comes out in November.


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Feb 212012


Author: Julie Wright

Publisher: Covenant

Published: February 2012

Softcover: 211 pages

Part of the Newport Ladies Book Club Series

FTC FYI: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary:  The Robbins household looks perfect from the outside: no dust, no stains, no wrinkles. Yet a glimpse into its heart reveals no laughter, no closeness, no joy. Olivia thinks that if she keeps everything tidy and serves delicious meals on time, family life is bound to get better. But when her husband, Nick, misses their anniversary, she realizes no amount of domestic success will compensate for failure in their marriage, or for her own failure to develop her identity, always busy as a mother, wife, and neighbor, she has forgotten how to be a unique and vibrant individual. Determined to make a change, Olivia joins a local book club, where she nurtures new friendships and explores new ideas. But her growing confidence falters when Nick declares his independence, and while her new friends lovingly encircle her with support, only Olivia can reach into the depths of her fledgling self to find the faith, hope, and love her troubled family needs.

After her disappointing anniversary dinner, Olivia tries to put it behind her.  Nick doesn’t even acknowledge their anniversary even passed.  Out running errands one day she sees a flyer taped to a door.

Looking for serious readers to join the Newport Ladies Book Club. Women only!  Eating and good conversation!  Space limited.

Olivia thinks of all the things that she needs to do.  Soccer games, schedules, dry cleaner runs, grocery shopping, school functions, Junior League meetings.  The list goes on and on.  Thinking of all that makes her tired.  Even the thought of her own lonely home makes her hurt.  After much inward discussion, Olivia decides to join the book club.  Meanwhile, her family life doesn’t improve.  Nick is still standoffish, and his silence is deafening.  Olivia wishes she knew what was wrong with him.  Nick was married before.  His two children from “The Ex”, Jessica and Kohl, feel his separation too.  Jessica is trying to plan a going away party for Kohl, who joined the marines to pay for college.  He is being sent to Africa.  Nick doesn’t want anything to do with him, Livvy wants to figure out why.  But it could cost Livvy her marriage.

Nick calls Livvy “The Giving Tree”.  Giving and giving until there is nothing left.  She calls him on that, and says he is the boy in the story.  Who takes all he can.  Nick also teases her about finding new friends.  Making her feel more hesitant and insecure.  Book club changes all that for Livvy.  It gives her confidence and courage.

I loved this book.  I loved loved Livvy.  She is too funny sometimes.  She talks to herself and always hears her mother’s words in her head.  I loved how she decides to do what she wants anyway, without Nick, to show her kids that life goes on.  And that’s not just joining the book club.  They go on picnics to the beach together, and do things the family hasn’t done in years.  I liked how flashbacks were used subtly.  I felt they never took me away from the story, and kept the current situation in my mind.  I was very proud of the woman that Livvy was at the end.  I loved (wow, saying that a lot) the other ladies in the book club too.  Especially Ruby.  I just wanted to give her a hug.  Each woman became a force in the book club, and they all grow to love each other.  Realizing that they need other too.

I’m excited for the other stories to be told in the series. Daisy by Josi S. Kilpack comes out in June 2012.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.  Olivia is a must read for Julie Wright fans.  She does an amazing job with each character.  The story is told so beautifully, I didn’t want it to end.  When I did get there, I loved how Olivia’s story finishes.  So well written.

Find out more about The Newport Ladies Book Club here.  Follow Julie Wright on Facebook and Twitter.





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