Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Sisters Club

The Sisters ClubFour women have little in common other than where they live and the joyous complications of having sisters. Cindy waits for her own life to begin as she sees her sister going in and out of hospitals. Lise has made the boldest move of her life, even as her sister spends every day putting herself at risk to improve the lives of others. Diana is an ocean apart from her sister, but worries that her marriage is the relationship separated by the most distance. Sylvia has lost her twin sister to breast cancer, a disease that runs in the family, and fears that she will die without having ever really lived.
When Diana places an ad in the local newsletter, Cindy, Lise, and Sylvia show up thinking they are joining a book club, but what they discover is something far deeper and more profound than any of them ever imagined.  With wit, charm, and pathos, this mesmerizing tale of sisters, both born and built, enthralls on every page.

I really enjoyed reading this title!  It read quickly and I thought the pacing was good.  The relationship between these women was fascinating to watch develop.  I had to suspend belief a little bit because I wasn't sure that these women really would develop a relationship so quickly in this way.  But I appreciated a break from the norm book that depicts women as hateful to each other. I loved each of the women and was rooting for them to become better.  My only disappointment was the lack of books in the actual book.  Aside from the titles mentioned at the beginning of each new section, they didn't seem to tie into anything.  For a group that started in a bookshop, I would have liked to hear a little more about that.  Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading books about relationships among women in a positive way.

   * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Penguin Lessons

The Penguin Lessons: A True Story'I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name, and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life-time.'

Tom Michell is in his roaring twenties: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure. He has a plane ticket to South America, a teaching position in a prestigious Argentine boarding school, and endless summer holidays. He even has a motorbike, Che Guevara style. What he doesn't need is a pet. What he really doesn't need is a pet penguin. Set against Argentina's turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt PerĂ³nist regime, this is the heart-warming story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by Tom from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term. When the bird refuses to leave Tom's side, the young teacher has no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school.

Whether it's as the rugby team's mascot, the housekeeper's confidant, the host at Tom's parties or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transforms the lives of all he meets - in particular one homesick school boy. And as for Tom, he discovers in Juan Salvador a compadre like no other... The Penguin Lessons is a unique and moving true story which has captured imaginations around the globe - for all those who dreamed as a child they might one day talk to the animals.

Hmmm...this book.  Aside from the cover being adorable, I couldn't help but absolutely fall head over heels for Juan Salvador.  I mean, a penguin, named Juan Salvador???  Instant love.  He is probably my most beloved animal in a book, because I so desperately wanted to have him for myself.  However, I wasn't always as in love with the direction of the story.  I realize it was a true story, but I wanted more about the penguin!  Rather than stories that didn't involve him, but involved the culture and politics of Argentina, I would have loved to hear from others about the affects of Juan on their lives.  We heard about the author and Diego, but I have to believe there was more.  I would have so much enjoyed it if the author would have been able to connect with those people from long ago to hear their accounts as well.  That's why the book only got 3 out of 5 stars from me because the star just wasn't showcased as much as I felt he needed to be to make it great.  In the meantime, I'm looking for a stray penguin...   

 * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *