Feb 212012
 

 Olivia

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.

BARNES AND NOBLE / AMAZON / SEAGULL / DESERET BOOK

 

 

 

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Feb 162012
 

Today we welcome Julie Wright to the the blog. Julie is the author of several novels, including My Not-So-Fairy-Tale Life, Eyes Like Mine, Cross My Heart (for which she won a Whitney Award in Romance), Hazzardous Universe, and her newest release, Olivia.

Julie is one of the sweetest and most sincere people I have ever met. She’s a dedicated wife and mother, has a great sense of humor, and is generous with her time and talents.

Leave a comment and help us show Julie how much we love and appreciate her!

Keep reading for the Olivia Launch Party details.

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Top Ten Reasons You Should Be An Author

At every signing I go to, a random stranger will confess their longtime dream of becoming a writer. I think they believe somewhere in the backs of their skulls that trying to peddle your art in a bookstore signing for several hours is glamorous. Don’t judge them . . . let them have their dreams.

Though the reality is that signings are frightening, wretched, degrading sorts of things, there really are perks to the whole writer thing.

Top ten reasons you should be an author:

1. It’s one of the few jobs that can be done in your pajamas.

2. When your spouse comes homes and finds you lounging around on the couch with a book in your hand, you can always smile and say, “I’m studying my genre.”

3. No one gives you a second glance when you start talking to yourself, because that’s just what crazy writers do.

4. You can write off vacations from your taxes as research as long as you use the locations in your writing.

5. It’s one of the few jobs (besides being a lawyer or politician) where you get paid to make things up.

6. If you’re in a foul mood, you can blame it on your characters misbehaving, or on a cruel Goodreads review.

7. Unlike reality, you have time to come up with smart remarks and clever comebacks so your characters can always sound brilliant even if you don’t.

8. You get to throw around words that make you sound important like, “My editor,” or, “My agent,” when you’re talking to people who were jerks to you in high school.

9. You can count the hours you spend messing around on Facebook as important marketing time.

10. If someone ticks you off you can write them dead in your next book.

Writing has been a million shades of awesome for me, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve met some of my best friends on the planet through writing and cannot imagine my life without them. And there is something truly humbling about reaching the end of your story and realizing that you accomplished something many people will talk about but never actually do.

My shameless plug: We are celebrating the release of the Newport Ladies Book Club! It’s Olivia’s launch party! What makes the Newport Ladies Book Club unique to everything else out there is that it’s written by four different authors through four parallel books following four different characters whose lives intersect in a few places but who have their own perspectives and struggles. Mine is Olivia and is in stores now. Daisy, written by Josi Kilpack, will be out in June. Paige by Annette Lyon and Athena by Heather Moore will be released before the end of 2012. It’s exciting to be part of something so different and fresh and yet something that gives me a greater appreciation for womanhood and friendship. We’re hoping everyone will be as excited by it as we are.

The Newport Ladies Book Club: Olivia Launch Party Details:

Saturday, February 18th 1-3 PM

Deseret Book 1110 FORT UNION BLVD MIDVALE, UT 84047

There will be food and prizes and fun and BOOKS! (food is mini cheesecakes, because I rock)

Please come join me in the celebration!

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. http://thenewportladiesbookclub.blogspot.com/

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Thank you, Julie!

 

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