Monday, March 29, 2010

Review: Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright

Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright follows Elyse who is nearing 40 and unhappily married with a young daughter.  She meets an attractive married man aboard a plane when she is asked to change seats. This is the start to a change in Elyse's life that she never expected. Life is never the same for Elyse after this chance encounter with a stranger that she finds herself attracted to.

Elyse must decide if she will pursue an affair with Gerry and after a roller coaster of emotions she dives in headfirst. Elyse starts to confront her own discontentment in her marriage to a distant husband. She realizes that she has been unhappy with Phil for a long time. She loves being a mother and is able to balance this with a career as she works at home as a pottery artist. She looks at her friends lives who also have their own marital issues but fail to acknowledge them openly. These friends, are all in book club together. As Elyse shares her feelings with them they are forced to confront their own feeling in their marriages. They also must deal with knowing a secret about Elyse and challenge her to think about what she is doing with her life.

The author, Kim Wright, shows that women can easily find themselves in unhappy marriages for a variety of reasons. There are choices that women and men make that effect marriages and it's easy to let things go and not face them until it is too late. We often don't know what is going on in our friends lives, are they really happy? Women often confide in their girlfriends and this is the case with Elyse. She shared her feelings with some of her book club friends and faced judgement and understanding. I can see this happening in a book club, and some friends may keep quiet while others would challenge someone in Elyse's situation.

Love in Mid Air takes an interesting perspective on how an affair and divorce effects a marriage and a woman's friendships including a book club. There are a variety of characters that a reader can relate to in this book.  If you don't care for or relate to Elyse and the choices she makes, you may relate to her friends. This would be a great book to discuss with a book club as it covers so many issues related to women, marriage, divorce, parenting, friendships and book clubs. I could easily see a heated discussion about the choices Elyse made in her actions during her affair and what her friends choose to do that know she is having an affair.

I read Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright along with the Hachette Blog tour that started this week.

Disclosure: Thanks to Hachette for sending me a galley copy of this book for review. I am an Amazon associate.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Guest Post with Kim Wright, author of Love in Mid Air

I am pleased to welcome Kim Wright, author of Love in Mid Air, who has graciously written a guest post to share with us today.  I'll be sharing a review tomorrow of Kim's novel, Love In Mid Air, as part of a Hachette blog tour.  Today, Kim will be talking with us about...

The connection Love in Mid Air has to women's book clubs:

One of the reasons I wrote "Love in Mid Air" is because of my own experiences in a community book club.
When I got divorced twelve years ago, I realized that there were very few books that dealt with the subject of divorce in a realistic manner. Most of the books were about men leaving women, even thought it’s more statistically likely for a woman to initiate divorce, especially after the age of 40. And there was often some sort of quick fix – the deserted woman ended up falling in love with her attorney or some hunky handyman who showed up to help at her new house. Not terribly realistic - and besides, I resented this whole idea that divorce is about swapping one man for another – ideally as fast as possible – with little exploration of the affect a woman’s divorce has on her friends and the whole social web. It was my job to pick the books for the fall series and I wanted to include at least one book about divorce; since I couldn't find one that struck me as emotionally resonant, I decided to write one myself.

One of the reasons that "Love in Mid Air" has proven popular with book clubs - I'm already lined up to meet with twelve of them, some virtually and some in person - is because there's a book club in the book. So you have a circle of women in real life talking about a circle of women in the book who are talking about women in another book. Which is kind of fun for readers, I hope, and also gives the readers a lot of women's points of view to pick from. If you think Elyse is selfish, you might prefer Kelly. As for the other women - Nancy, Belinda, and Lynn - I tried to give each of them her own personality and her own perspective on marriage, love, and men. So even though the book is first person, we're not really just seeing everything through the eyes of Elyse. There are four more points of view that are also represented.


Wonderful guest post Kim! I enjoy reading books about women and book clubs. They seem to reflect true relationships and experiences with the added bonus of reading about a book club. Love in Mid Air definitely hits on some major issues that effect women's lives and some of the dynamics of a book club. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today!


About Love In Mid Air from Hachette website:

A chance encounter with a stranger on an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly Elyse is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage, her seemingly perfect life in an affluent Southern suburb, and her position in the community. She finds herself cutting through all the instincts that say "no" and instead lets "yes" happen. As Elyse embarks on a risky affair, her longtime friend Kelly and the other women in their book club begin to question their own decisions about love, sex, marriage, and freedom.

About the Author Kim Wright from  Hachette website:

Kim Wright has been writing about travel, food, and wine for more than twenty years for many magazines including Wine Spectator, Self, Travel & Leisure, and Vogue, and has twice won the Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing. She is the food and wine editor for Charlotte Taste. She has written the annual Fodor's Walt Disney World with Kids for 18 years and also writes erotica. This is her first novel. Kim lives in Charlotte, NC.

Make sure to stop back tomorrow (Monday, March 29th) to read my review of Love in Mid Air!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Gilmore Girls and Books

I've developed a bit of an obsession with the Gilmore Girls since I started watching the series on DVD a few months ago. I can't believe that I missed this show when it was on TV. I have to blame this obsession on Molly from My Cozy Book Nook after reading her post in December, it sparked my interest to start watching the Gilmore Girls. Well, I've gotten the first two seasons from the library and I am anxiously awaiting season three. Can I tell you how excited I am that I have 5 more seasons to watch?!

Gilmore Girls is about so much more than a mother and daughter although, they have a pretty amazing relationship. It's considered a comedy-drama and the writing is superb and the acting is outstanding. It's the story of a fictional, small town and the mother-daughter team of single mom Lorelai and her 16 year old daughter Rory. There is also a cast of quirky and colorful characters that add zest to the show.

Rory is a booklover and there is much focus on this throughout the first two seasons that I've seen. It's interesting to watch how her love of books affects her life and relationships. It's also fun to hear about all of the books she is reading and her book buying and collections. Here's a fun video about Rory Gilmore the bookworm:

There is also a Gilmore Girls reading challenge hosted by Lisa of Lit and Life . According to this list, Rory read over 175 books over the seven seasons of the show, including such books as The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood to Atonement and Moby Dick. There are even Rory Gilmore book clubs on sites like Goodreads and Shelfari.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Tea: Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith

I'm halfway through listening to Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith. This is the 7th book in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I've been reading or listening to this series for several years  and enjoy picking one up now and then as they are enjoyable books to read. I enjoy the narrator, Lisette Licat who has the authentic South African accent to accompany this book. This series gives the reader a taste of life in Botswana. Mma Ramotswe is the head of the Ladies Detective agency and Mma Makutsi is her assistant detective. They have already encountered a cobra in their office, heard a blackmail story and went off on a road trip to pick up a part for Mma Ramotswe's husband JLB Matakoni who runs an auto repair shop.

The Tea: The perfect tea to accompany this series is one of my favorites, Celestial Seasonings Madagascar Vanilla Red, which is an African Rooibus tea.

“Native only to the mountainous Cederberg region of South Africa, Rooibos (or red tea) is naturally sweet and has a slightly nutty flavor with hints of cherry and toffee. In Madagascar Vanilla Red, pure Rooibos is perfectly complemented by the rich flavor of sweet, creamy vanilla – resulting in a sublime and satisfying tea experience.” — Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster Since 1975

The Assessment: Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi often take their tea breaks and brew up a pot of Bush tea, which is Rooibos tea. They serve it to their clients as well even on hot days.


What about you? I'd love to know what you're reading or listening to this week and what your drinking.

Thursday Tea is hosted by Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog. Here's how it works: Tell us what tea you are drinking (and if you like it). And then tell us what book are you reading (and if you like it). Finally, tell us if they go together.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

The Swan Thieves [Unabridged 17-CD Set] (AUDIO CD/AUDIO BOOK)

A renowned painter named Robert Oliver, attacks a painting at the National Gallery of Art and is sent to a private psychiatric hospital for treatment. Dr. Andrew Marlow takes his case when he is asked by a fellow colleague. Dr. Marlow leads a quiet life and paints as a hobby. He is intrigued by Robert Oliver's case as Robert barely speaks when they meet and then stops speaking completely. He provides Robert with paint supplies and notices that Robert is only sketching and painting the same mysterious woman. He also finds a  packet of old letters, written in french that Robert is found repeatedly reading. Dr. Marlow copies the letters and has an old friend translate them for him. He is compelled to put the pieces together to help Robert. Dr. Marlow becomes obsessed with Robert's case and is drawn to the mystery and intrigue it presents.  He goes above and beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to try and find the secret that appears to be tormenting Robert Oliver. This leads Dr. Marlow to the women closest to Robert, his former wife and former girlfriend as well as into the world of French Impressionism.

There are three narratives in The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. The first is told through Dr Marlow's perspective and experiences as he tries to find out more about Robert and the meaning behind the letters and paintings. There is the narrative from Robert's former wife Kate and Robert's former girlfriend Mary with their stories of how they met Robert and their lives with him. The third narrative is from the letters written in the late 1800's and the two characters who wrote them. These narratives alternate throughout the book to reveal two mysteries that relate to two parallel stories that are not revealed until the end of the book.  This is a story of obsession, love, passion and the power of art.

I listened to this as an audiobook which is an unabridged, 17 CD set and I understand the book is close to 600 pages. The reading of the novel is excellent with a cast of incredible narrators that held my interest and made this an engaging book to listen to. Treat Williams had the perfect smooth and gentle voice of Dr Marlow. Anne Heche had the concerned but yet strong voice of Kate.  Erin Cottrell was Mary, who had a young but self assured strength to her voice. The narrators who read the voices from the past were perfect fits with their strong french accents which were fitting for the time period.

Elizabeth Kostova has a great level of skill, detail and depth to her writing. In this novel The Swan Thieves, my attention was held throughout the reading of the story in the audiobook edition. I am unsure if reading the book would have been the same experience and if it would have held my attention in the same way the audiobook version did.

  • Visit Elizabeth Kostova's website, here.

  • You can listen to an excerpt from the book, here.

  • Watch a video with the author, here.

Disclosure: Thanks to Hachette for sending me an audiobook for review. I am an Amazon Associate.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mailbox Monday~March 22

Mailbox Monday is a fun meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that came into our house by mail. I got some wonderful books  and a few surprises this week in my mailbox.

The Dinner Diaries

Dinner Diaries by Betsy Block from my fellow booklover friend Bonnie

A Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick from my booklover friend Bonnie

Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You've Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time

Crazy Aunt Purl: Home is Where the Wine Is by Laurie Perry won from Booking Mama

Mom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between Siblings

Mom Still Likes You Best  by Jane Isay from Random House

The Threadbare Heart

The Threadbare Heart by Jennie Nash from the author and Penguin

How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly

How Clarissa Burden learned to Fly by Connie May Fowler from Hachette

The Red Thread: A Novel

The Red Thread by Ann Hood won from Early Reviewers at LibraryThing and
WW Norton

The Lonely Hearts Club

The Lonely Hearts Club  by Elizabeth Eulberg along with a $25 Itunes giftcard which was a surprise win from Big Honcho media.