Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...

QUICK NOTE...Update: 9/7/19

First of all, my heart goes out to all those affected by the recent heinous weather outbreaks, most recently being Hurricane Dorian. We were right in the path of Hurricane Michael (like so many others), and we're still trying to get back in our home. Things are very slow to progress towards normalcy...and every day presents a new headache/nightmare to deal with. Hopefully by month's end, we'll be back in there to start the next leg of recovery. Thanks for stopping by and sharing my bookish adventures. It helps remind me I'm not alone in this crazy journey called life.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer

Hi there!
Welcome back to the place that aims to end your craving for new literature....well, at least for a little while anyway (hehe)...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! 

Today we are exploring day three of our memory themed books.  This one is another wonderful treat from an author you may be well versed in.  Was I?  Sadly no, though I recognized the name as several of her book titles and covers have caught my eye at one time or another, I had yet to read any of them.  Then along came a tweet from the author herself that would make a mark on my reading other words, a mention of her latest title coming soon, and a reach out to bloggers if they were interested in doing a review.  I quickly hopped over to her site to read all about it and upon finishing the chapter excerpt, I did two things.  One, I created a 'WAT!' (that's "what a tease") post about what I'd read (seen here) and two, promptly formulated an email to the author requesting the pleasure of discovering more about this remarkable story.  But I'm getting ahead of myself and keeping you in much over do suspense.  Today's book of choice is....


From the publisher...

When life gives you lemons, call your best girlfriends and whip up some lemon martinis. Such is the mantra for the Ladies' Society for the Conservation of Martinis, which was established after one fateful PTA meeting, when four young mothers-Lynne, Mary Kay, Beth, and Carol- discovered they had more in common than they ever thought possible. Meeting once a month, the women would share laughs and secrets and toast to their blossoming friendship with a clink of their sacred martini glasses. The Society was their salvation, their refuge, but when life-shattering circumstances force the group to dissolve, their friendship is never quite the same...until two years later, when a tragic event puts the Society back in session.

When Lynne passes away suddenly, she leaves behind one simple request: that her old friends sort through her belongings. Reluctantly, the women reunite to rummage through her closets. There's nothing remarkable; no kinky sex toys, no embarrassing diary. But buried deep within Lynne's lingerie drawer is an envelope addressed to the Society. And inside they find a letter that reveals a shocking secret and a final wish that will send the women on a life-changing journey...proving that nothing is more powerful than the will of a true girlfriend and a good, strong martini.


Ahh yes....another tale plucked from the tree of women's fiction.  What's that?  Oh no.  I haven't lost my love for the YA, children's, or general fiction don't furrow your brow, okay?  I'm merely showing that its nice to step into the warm circle of friendship that books like this offer unabashedly to their readers.  It's nice....especially if you have no immediate group of intimate friends at your disposal.  (I mean in my virtual friends are another story altogether. ^_^)  The bonds of friendship (both good and bad) create a work of living art to be cherished by all parties (and envied by others)...and so it is here in this stunning tale of resilience laid bare before us by true friends in every sense of the word. 

Lynne was their strength, their mother figure and giver of sage wisdom though she definitely knew how to let her hair down and go with the flow.  Beth was their kindness, always seeing the good in people and situations and trying to bring it out of them ten fold.  Mary Ann was their drive, pushing everyone behind the scenes or forcibly if necessary to reach their goals.  Carol was their determination, making sure everyone followed through in the end to create the best version of themselves to show the world.  Separately they lived amazing lives and were better for the time spent finding themselves, but together they formed a group of women that could have a good time and were there for each other come what may. 

A story of life, love, and the amazing connections we forge along the way with those we surround ourselves with, author Sarah Strohmeyer allows us to become honorary members of the Ladies Society for the Conservation of Marshfield...or as they newly dub themselves, Martini's....and just kick back with the girls.  It's not an easy task set before those left behind, and certainly not one with a purely selfish result in mind, but it will uncover more than one truth, more than one revelation along the way.  After all, we may know ourselves, or rather think we do, but our friends, those truly close to our hearts, can shed a light on the darkest corners and show us things for better or worse we never would have known. 

The tone in which the story is told, especially the heart breaking sadness mixed with a sense of triumph in the beginning chapters is very moving.  As it turns out, the characters experience to some degree reflected a bit of the author's real life acquaintances as they too struggled with a life-threatening illness.  Though in real life, the ending was not their choice (may they rest in peace), the quiet resolve and determined nature to see things set right is authentic to this readers eyes and heart.  Her friends are true blue and their dedication to her memory knows no bounds.  I especially liked how they chose to remember her as well as mark her day of passing in another way later on in the text proving that while life does go on, our memories stay with us forever.

In summary, it's a wonderful novel filled with all the ups and downs life can throw your way, and a great reminder to choose carefully when considering who to travel that roller coaster ride with.  You'll learn a thing or two about martinis, both the making and their various useful occasions, but you'll you'll leave thankful for the connections you've made in your life so far and those yet to join you on your journey.  If that wan't enough, I have to give credit to the author for the character's reading choices.  I mean honestly, how can you not put salt in (or on the rim...hehe) a story that refers to The Help (of which I've been meaning to read) and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt?  That's taste right there for certain. 

Author Bio

Sarah Strohmeyer is a bestselling and award-winning novelist whose books have been adapted to television. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The Plain Dealer and The Boston Globe. She lives with her family outside Montpelier, Vermont.

ARC for review courtesy of author Sarah Strohmeyer.  (THANKS!)  For more information about this title as well as her other previously published works, feel free to visit her site, 'like' her on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  This book is scheduled for release June 30th from Dutton (an imprint of Penguin USA) so be sure to mark your calendars! 

Until next time....happy reading...


Dorothy Dreyer said...

Sounds like an emotional book. Great review!

Misha said...

Wonderful review! Ever since I read The Midwife's Confession and The Help, I love women's fiction which involve the theme of friendship. The book sounds like an emotional read; it seems to be perfect for me. Thanks for the review!

Belle Wong said...

Great review. I love the title (I'm a big Anne of Green Gables fan), and the idea of that envelope containing a secret is so intriguing!

....Petty Witter said...

Another to be added to my library list, you did a great job reviewing this.

GMR said...

Dorothy Dreyer: It is to some degree....some points draw you in, others you merely observe.

Misha: Thanks! Ah yes....there is a time and place for this type of literature and when it's right, it's right. Enjoy!

Belle Wong: Thanks! Oh yes...and what a secret it is!

Petty Witter: Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it as well....would love to hear your thoughts once it makes its way to your "now reading" list. ^_^

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