The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

10766509Title: The Best of Me

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Genre: Romance, Women’s Lit, Contemporary

Published by/on: Grand Central Publishing/ 2011

Length (HC): 292 pages

Synopsis: 

THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they’ve taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

Rate: 3.5 of 5

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You might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same.

I didn’t anticipate the lengthy amount of time that I would be reading this! It took me five weeks, five weeks, people! This is the second book I’ve read by Nicholas Sparks, and though I love most of the plot of his books (those that I’ve read and watched, I mean), this one in particular leaves me this particular sense that I’m missing something–as if there was a part in the book that I skipped; I’m not particularly sure if that’s the intent of the author. I just am not so fond of the ending of The Best of Me, perhaps.

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REVIEW// The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey

Copy of Review header

31815418Title: The Saturday Evening Girls Club

Author: Jane Healey

Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Literature

No. of Pages (Paperback): 250

Date Published: April 25th of 2017

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

For four young immigrant women living in Boston’s North End in the early 1900s, escaping tradition doesn’t come easy. But at least they have one another and the Saturday Evening Girls Club, a social pottery-making group offering respite from their hectic home lives—and hope for a better future.

Ambitious Caprice dreams of opening her own hat shop, which clashes with the expectations of her Sicilian-born parents. Brilliant Ada secretly takes college classes despite the disapproval of her Russian Jewish father. Stunning Maria could marry anyone yet guards her heart to avoid the fate of her Italian Catholic mother, broken down by an alcoholic husband. And shy Thea is torn between asserting herself and embracing an antiquated Jewish tradition.

The friends face family clashes and romantic entanglements, career struggles and cultural prejudice. But through their unfailing bond, forged through their weekly gathering, they’ll draw strength—and the courage to transform their immigrant stories into the American lives of their dreams.

Rate: 4 of 5



Thoughts bannerI had no high hopes for this book when I picked it up assuming that it would just be another one of my endeavors in reading Historical Fiction again after quite a while.  And the cover didn’t speak to me so much at the time. What I didn’t expect is how immersive and beautiful both the writing and the story will be. I was completely taken aback when this book became the object of my adoration for the four days that I’ve read it. Continue reading

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

256003Title: Life on the Refrigerator Door

Author: Alice Kuipers

Series: None

Genre: Women’s Literature, Fiction, Contemporary

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 220

Date Published: August 28th of 2007

Publisher: Harper

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Claire and her mother are running out of time, but they don’t know it. Not yet. Claire is wrapped up with the difficulties of her bourgeoning adulthood—boys, school, friends, identity; Claire’s mother, a single mom, is rushed off her feet both at work and at home. They rarely find themselves in the same room at the same time, and it often seems that the only thing they can count on are notes to each other on the refrigerator door. When home is threatened by a crisis, their relationship experiences a momentous change. Forced to reevaluate the delicate balance between their personal lives and their bond as mother and daughter, Claire and her mother find new love and devotion for one another deeper than anything they had ever imagined.

Heartfelt, touching, and unforgettable, Life on the Refrigerator Door is a glimpse into the lives of mothers and daughters everywhere. In this deeply touching novel told through a series of notes written from a loving mother and her devoted fifteen-year-old daughter, debut author Alice Kuipers deftly captures the impenetrable fabric that connects mothers and daughters throughout the world. Moving and rich with emotion, Life on the Refrigerator Door delivers universal lessons about love in a wonderfully simple and poignant narrative.

Rate: 3.5 of 5

Get a copy: Book Depository (PaperbackWordery (Paperback)



‘I think I’ll leave this letter for you here. In this empty kitchen. So you’ll know if you come home that I love you and I miss you. Please don’t worry about me.
Your daughter,
Claire

The presentation of this book is really unique because it is presented in notes left on the fridge door. It was such a fast read since I finished it in practically one sitting. This was a very random read since I wasn’t able to find the book I was opting to read, and I saw this instead.

My heart hurts. This was one of my impulse reads and I didn’t anticipate it would have such an impact on me. It is very inspirational and heartfelt, especially the parts approaching the end.  This book is deeply moving that it just seemed so real. I liked how the author let the reader decide what was really happening in the background instead of spoon-feeding us with a to-the-point scenario. However, I love-hated how there’s this air of impending doom, but then again, the said attribute really makes for a great book.

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One qualm I have is that I feel like the pain of having a cancer patient in the family wasn’t showcased thoroughly. Instead of talking about the disease, the events around it were tackled which is, I suppose, in some way correctly portrayed the thematic intent of the book since it is just made up of notes. Personally, I’ve had numerous loved ones who had gone through this path (my grandpa died of cancer, as well.) and I wished the story was more well-developed rather than the manner that this book has gone through–too many things happening in the ends and too fast.

While the story is deeply moving, and really cry-worthy, I didn’t see the merit of making it a 4 of 5 rating. So, I’m going to settle with a 3.5 rating because  cannot say that I loved it straight-away. BUT, I see the moral and  the efforts of the story-telling. Now, excuse me. I’m going to go cry again read a new book.  

‘The worst part about coming here was that I looked on the fridge door for a note from you, and there wasn’t one. The door was white and empty. I cried for ages.’
Do I recommend it? Yes. 🙂
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Cover image and Synopsis via Goodreads; Gif via Giphy.