The Canterbury Sisters

Is there a name for (pre)menopausal coming-of-age stories? If not, there should be. I love them, even though I’ve still got several years (decades!) before I get there. But there is something about the shift in a woman that is beautiful to me at that point in her life.

These stories almost always include a journey of some kind–Under the Tuscan Sun and Eat, Pray, Love are the two that come to mind first. Wild is in there too. Stories of self-discovery and breaking out of the ruts that life has us in.

If you like these stories too, add The Canterbury Sisters by Kim Wright to your list. It comes out today, and it’s going to be the next one everyone is reading.

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Che (yes, like the revolutionary) gets dumped on the same day she receives her mother’s cremation urn. The instructions enclosed with the ashes are simple:  Go to England and spread the ashes at Canterbury Cathedral. She COULD just take the train from London. There’s one every hour. Instead, she sets off on a week long pilgrimage with Broads Abroad–a touring group for individual women looking to walk in the path of Chaucer’s inspirations.

The women in the group decide to follow Chaucer’s lead and each tell a story of their own, with the group host judging a winner upon arrival in Canterbury. And so the contest begins. 9 complete strangers set off, and become close friends by the end. The result is a funny, heartwarming book, filled with a no-holds barred “what happens on the road stays on the road” type attitude.

I’ll be surprised if Wright’s novel isn’t my favorite Women’s Fiction of the year. And I’ll really be surprised if I don’t hear about people reading it in a few months. I think this is going to be really popular.

The One That Got Away

Everyone has been posting pictures from the beach in the last few weeks. It is Spring Break, but for those of us here in Dallas, it has been rainy season. I’ve never seen such rain–in Indiana the rain is in short 20 minute cloudbursts and big storms. Here it rains for DAYS, and in constant soaking sheets.

But finally, the sun is out. It was a gorgeous 72 degrees today, not a cloud in the sky. It was warmer in the house than out with the windows open, so after yoga yesterday I decided to make myself a Bloody Mary (or two) and have a mini “Spring Break” day on the porch. It was pretty perfect.

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Bethany Chase is releasing her debut novel tomorrow, and it was the perfect read for such a sunny spring day. If you’re looking for a great beach or poolside read–this is the one! And it just happens to be set in Texas!

Ree’s design business is taking off and her newest client just happens to be a friend of a friend…and a one-night stand from her past. Her boyfriend is away on business in Argentina for a long-term trip, and they are struggling with the distance. Ree is figuring out exactly what she wants out of life, becoming more successful, and balancing two very good-looking (and to be fair, caring) men. It’s all very complicated, dramatic, and sexy. This is chick-lit at it’s best!

I’ll be honest, this isn’t a genre I pick up as often anymore because it can all be very stencil, paint-by number. But Chase had me laughing with the characters’ sarcastic humor. Ree’s countrygirl background was me all the way, and while sometimes in stories where two guys face off one or the other can be placed in a “villian” type role, this was very realistic in my opinion.

All in all, this was a funny, heartfelt book that goes down easily with some sunshine, a little music, and an icy drink.

 

Disclaimer:  NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review.

Before I Go

The last few books I’ve read have been intense–from Game of Thrones to a nonfiction memoir about a boy genius starving in Africa. My brain has been on overdrive, and so have my emotions. I was ready for an “easy read.”

And so I picked a novel about cancer.

What? So much sense I make, right?

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Colleen Oakley’s new book Before I Go is due to release on January 6. And yes, it is about a women in Stage 4 Breast Cancer. Or, as she calls it:  Lots of Cancer. She tackles her Lots of Cancer with…not so much grace as much as stark reality, frustration, and determination. What else are you going to do when you have an orange in your brain?

This isn’t a romance novel, but Oakley follows that same romance novel pattern, which I think is why it was so calming to read, even while it was an emotional subject. It’s very much Women’s Fiction…if not really Chick Lit.

I blew through this in an afternoon, and it was a page turner for sure. I fell in love with Daisy, maybe because she reminded me so much of myself..and Jack is so much my husband. Their relationship was so familiar, and I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t get maybe a little more emotionally involved than I normally would have in a book like this.

This is one to look out for in January. I’ll be recommending it to my mom and sisters. It’s just the type of book they’d like!