Thursday, February 24, 2011

Time of My Life

I have been waiting to read this book for a long time - the hold list at the library was stagnant for more than six months as books were lost, rebound, and reordered.  I can't rememmber where I first read about this book - could have been the Bookpages magazine at the library, could have been recommended from another book I viewed on Amazon - but I remember being drawn to the title.  "I've had the time of my life, and I've never felt this way before..." drifted into my thoughts. 

While I was waiting for this book, I checked out the author's previous book, The One That I Want, last year.  It was one of the lowest rated books on my list.  I'm obviously not taking very good notes on my book list, because I can't remember why I didn't like it! 

However, this week my hold finally came due and I read Time of My Life over the past two days.  The book starts with Jillian having given up her job in advertising to move to the suburbs of NYC and be a full-time mom to her infant daughter.  Her marriage has become a shell, with her husband traveling and working late hours for work, and Jillian finds her life as a stay-at-home mom not as fulfilling as she had hoped.  She wonders what her life would have been like if she had not left her previous long-term boyfriend seven years prior.  When she wakes up in her life seven years ago, she has the chance to answer those questions. 

I think we all have "what ifs" in our lives.  My biggest ones - what if I had been braver and had looked at colleges outside of Kansas?  what I had been braver and had taken the job I was offered with Teach for America?  I've learned some from these decisions, because when I was braver when I changed careers, when I ran for City Commisison, and particularly when I made the terrifying decision three years ago to have a baby!  All of these paid off (and in the case of Lily, paid off big time!).  What are your "what ifs?"

Monday, February 21, 2011

What I've Been Reading

Just finished a good book today - Who Loves You Best by Tess Stimson.  It's a Target Book Club pick, and since it wasn't available at the library, my parents gave it to me for my birthday. 

Told from multiple points of view, this is the story of a working mother with twins who feels as though she must do everything perfectly or fail.  When she decides she needs help (in the form of a nanny because he husband is totally unwilling to help with the kids!), things get more complicated. 

In an interview with the author, she named Anita Shreve as one of her favorite authors.  Great segue into the next book I read recently and enjoyed, Rescue by Anita Shreve.

Anita Shreve has always been one of my favorite authors.  Like Pat Conroy, she has beautiful prose and I love to immerse myself in her language.   Rescue is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl and her single father.  Much of the story is told in flashback - how her parents met, why her mother left, her father's dreams that are put aside to raise his daughter. 

Favorite Anita Shreve books -
Fortune's Rocks - set at the turn of the last century, this is the story of a 15-year-old girl who falls in love with a writer three times her age. 

Resistance - set in Belgium during World War II, the protagonist is a resistance fighter who provides refuge for a British pilot who crashed behind enemy lines.

The Pilot's Wife - an Oprah book club book that I actually enjoyed!  When her husband, a pilot, dies in a plane crash, the protagonist attempts to clear her husband's name and discovers that she knows little about his life.