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Literary Friday: Two Reviews

Friday, August 14, 2020


Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!

Today I want to share with you two entertaining books: one is funny, and the other is more uplifting, depending on your mood.

If you want to read a book that will lift your spirits, I suggest Elizabeth Berg's Tapestry of Fortunes.

According to Goodreads:

A wonderful novel about four women who take a trip into their past, to find again the people they miss, and to reconnect with their fortunes. From the beloved bestselling author of Home Safe and Open House.

Cecilia Ross is looking for a change. She has decided to take time off from her job as a successful motivational speaker and sell her home. She moves in to a beautiful old house in St. Paul, Minnesota, complete with a big front porch, a wild garden, a chef's kitchen-and three roommates. The four women are different ages, but all are feeling restless, and want to take a roadtrip to find again the people and things they miss. One woman wants to connect with a daughter she gave away at birth; another wants to visit her long-absent ex-husband; a third woman, a professional chef, is seeking new inspiration from the restaurants along the way. And Cecilia is looking for Dennis Halsinger, the man she never got over, who recently sent her a postcard out of the blue. This novel is classic Elizabeth Berg-a portrait of how women grow through the relationships that define them, and a testament to the power of female friendship.

My Review:

I confess that I am a fan of Elizabeth Berg's books.  Open House is a fantastic book, and one of the best books I read last year was The Story of Arthur Truluv.  I have the sequel to it, and I hope to read it before the end of the year.

Berg is very adept at writing books with well-drawn characters who are interesting, compelling, and unique.  Her stories always involve new relationships among these characters...and these are people who wouldn't normally mingle because they are either from different social locations or are in different phases of life.  This is why her stories are so compelling, though.  This is why she is one of my go-to writers.  

Tapestry of Fortunes also follows Berg's successful formula.  Cecilia is the main character of the story, and without her we wouldn't know anything about the women who become her roommates.  She has suffered the tragic loss of her very best friend, and she is not handling her grief very well at all.  So she goes against common sense and makes several life-changing decisions:  1.  sell her suburban house and move into a large urban house with three other women;   2.  go on a sabbatical from her lucrative job as motivational speaker;  3.  volunteer in a hospice care home.  When all four women decide to venture on a road trip for varied reasons, the women encourage each other to continue their journey when certain situations are not turning out as they had hoped.  They each have ventured boldly seeking connections with people and places on the road, yet their connections to each other sustain them along the way.

If this book doesn't encourage you to take a road trip with your girlfriends, then nothing possibly can.  

If you want to read a book where you will laugh out loud, and you will get in touch with your inner Doris Day, then I recommend The Thing About Jane Spring.


According to Goodreads:

There's something eating Jane Spring. At thirty-one, she has everything a woman could ask for and seemingly everything a man could long for: great legs, brains, rising star status in the Manhattan office... but she just can't find a man who'll fall madly in love with her. Men are always lining up to ask her out, but for some reason no one wants a second date. So Jane resolves to change her tack, but what is it that men really want in a woman? One snowy night while watching a Doris Day marathon on cable it hits her: Doris Day always got her man. Trading her nondescript black pantsuit for petal pink Chanel and pearls, Jane dyes her hair, stops cursing, softens her voice, paints her nails - even her apartment - Jane embarks on a fun-filled journey to find the smart, sweet, gorgeous, capable, ambitious, courageous, loving, adoring, hard- working man of her dreams.

Sharon Krum's magical and funny novel is the story of a driven young woman who must shed her rough exterior and embrace her inner ultra-femininity in order to truly find herself and, eventually, true love. The Thing About Jane Spring is a delightfully light and lively romp sure to charm readers all summer long.

My Review:

Jane Spring is fierce, beautiful, intelligent, and lonely.  Men rarely ask her out for a second date, and it's because she's intimidating.  Reared by her military father in a family of older brothers, she is no-nonsense, and has little patience for "civilians."  She yearns for a boyfriend and a relationship, but with no girlfriends, sisters, or a mother to guide her, she relies on a weekend Doris Day movie binge to educate her on the best way to catch (and keep) a man.

She goes ALL OUT on her quest to channel Doris:  She cuts her hair in a sassy bob; she completely transforms her black, masculine power suits for vintage and feminine suits, purses, and accessories; and she redecorates her spartan apartment by painting literally everything yellow and installing baby blue silk curtains.  She also talks and walks like Doris, and guess what? The new and improved Jane Spring is a hit with the men.  Even her arch rival from law school, the local hotshot attorney Jane often spars with in court, has it bad for her.  An added bonus: each chapter begins with a quote from a Doris Day movie.  If you love Doris, you will love this book.

Y'all, I can't say enough about this book.  I laughed out loud, I cringed and was embarrassed for Jane, and I cheered for her as she discovers that she can have it all because the real Jane Spring is a fascinating women.

Below are IndieBound affiliate links for the softcover versions of the books.

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I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!  

Stop by tomorrow for a delicious recipe!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

1 comment

  1. I am a huge Doris Day fan Ricki Jill, I can't wait to read this!! Thanks!!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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