Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blog Tour: The Doula by Bridget Boland

The Doula by Bridget Boland
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: September 4, 2012

 Growing up in a family that owns a funeral home, Carolyn Connors chooses to be a doula.  Helping mothers through their childbirth is more to her liking than shuttling people to the gates of death.  When her best friend Mary Grace asks her to be her doula, she gladly moves to Milwaukee to help her despite her premonitions of doom.  Her worst fears come true when Mary Grace dies shortly after giving birth.  The nightmare is only beginning when Mary Grace's husband decides to sue her.

Carolyn lives her life for others.  Her brother Paulie dies when she is 12 and her mother who had just had a miscarriage enters an extended period of depression.  But Carolyn also finds a bottle of pills when her mother miscarries and realizes that her mom probably induced the miscarriage (aka home abortion).  Carolyn takes responsibility for running the family.  She even becomes a nurse and works with her mother.  All the while, Mary Grace and Carolyn's siblings leave the nest and make their own lives.  Carolyn stays at home -  even sleeping in bed with her mom!!! - until the death of one of her patients while she was in nursing school.  So it's not surprising that she would pack up her life and move states to help out her best friend.  Even when Mary Grace sports some unmentioned implants and Mary Grace's husband clearly has some unexplained hostility to her. Carolyn grows over the course of the novel.  I was flabbergasted by the lengths she goes to in order to protect her clearly mentally ill mother and her super unhealthy relationship with her mother.   From allowing everyone to use her a crutch, she stands up for herself literally. 

Bridget Boland's writing is great but Carolyn was a difficult character to get into.  She seems to have some sort of foresight or prescience which she just chooses to ignore.  Even when a colleague advises her to fall back from the Mary Grace situation, she still charges in.  What's the use of ESP if you choose to ignore it?  Almost every conflict in her life is caused by Carolyn making the worst possible decision in every situation.  

**This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.**

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice this week

The Cutting Season: A Novel by Attica Locke
From Amazon
Caren Gray manages Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation that sits between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where the past and the present coexist uneasily. The estate's owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction, complete with full-dress re-enactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, a corporation with ambitious plans has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have been growing sugar cane for generations, and now replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property, her throat cut clean.
What can't you wait to read?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Murder, Monsters, Mayhem 2012

Murder, Monsters, Mayhem is hosted by Jenn of Jenn's Bookshelves during October.  The only goal is to read a book or watch anything from the supernatural, horror, or thriller genres.

At the very least, I plan to read Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist. My other book choices will be on the fly. Any recs feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bloggiesta 2012

It's time for Bloggiesta 2012.  Bloggiesta is hosted by There's a Book and  It’s All About Books during the last weekend of September.  The goal is to complete some items on our blogging to do lists and get to know some bloggers. 

My goals for this weekend:
  • Get current on posting reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, etc.
  • Catch up with my reviews.  (So behind OMG)
  • Make some changes to the blog design.
  • Meet some other bloggers.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Years Resolution Nearly Accomplished

One of my New Years Resolutions was to run at least a 5k.  Well last night I registered for a 5k.  I chose this race because it's close to home and I really like the medal.  At this point, the race is 46 days away so I'm already kind of behind as far as training for speed, so I'm just concentrating on finishing in a decent time and enjoying the experience.  I can't wait to compete in my first official race.  I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to get a copy of The Barefoot Running Book by Jason Robillard, so I've been reading and using the techniques to refine my running stance and manner.  I'm wearing light weight sneakers; I live in NYC and can't fathom running barefoot or in those thin soled shoes even in a park. 

Has anyone competed in any race lately?  Any training tips or book recs?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: Saving Peace by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

Saving Peace by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

 Saving Peace follows a group of women thirty years from students at  women only Peace University to their middle age.  Siobahn, calculating, in everything she does snags the man and manages to become a local news anchor.  Her ambition wreaks havoc on all her relationships, since she only interacts with people if there is some benefit to her. Mary Ann, the charming southern girl, is the first to marry but sets aside her poetry and writing to be a stay at home mom to her infant, teenage, and adult sons. Putting her dreams aside to focus on her family and her absent husband causes severe depression. Kim overcomes cancer and bulimia to become president of Peace University. Her decision to admit male students to Peace University sparks much criticism and angst amongst students and alumna of the school.

 Saving Peace intertwines the stories of the three women across the years. Although outside of the first couple pages of the books, they didn't really seem like friends.  Over the years they mainly communicate by voice messages and chance meetings.  As the story progresses, I was left to wonder why they bothered. The benefits to continued friendship or even acquaintance seemed minimal.  Not to mention that they didn't seem to have any other friends.  They all are emotional train wrecks. There were also issues with time: the term Bridezilla was thrown around and Golden Girls didn't start until 1985 although the girls were supposed to be watching it together in 1977.  Also one of the character's son had a Game Boy in 1988 even though they weren't released anywhere until 1989.

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to
the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had a baby,
and made the transition from writing as a hobby to a full time passion. She has since published five e-
books including a mom-ior for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me, a guide for aspiring writers, So
You Want to Sell a Million Copies, a short story collection, Coloured and Other Stories, and a novel
about women’s friendships, Saving Peace. Most recently, From Dunes to Dior, is a collection of essays
related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf. After she
joined the e-book revolution, she dreams in plotlines. Learn more about her work on her website at or follow her latest on Twitter: @moha_doha.