I think I'm going to shut From My Bookshelf down for a while; maybe for good. I've been putting this together for quite a few years now and it's starting to feel a bit more of a chore. I'll keep my Goodreads & Instagram connected, but with the state of the world right now, I just want to read without worrying about making sure I post something about it. Who knows - when the world starts to make some semblance of sense again, I may start actively posting here again. Until then, as always, happy reading!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Love to the Women by Heather Trefethen
Title: Love to the Women
Author: Heather Trefethen
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Author Website: In This Scene...
Rating: 5/5 stars
OK, first off, full disclosure. Heather is my cousin. She came to me to be a beta reader for her book, and I broke my one rule for reviewing: never review something by a family member/friend. Firstly, because I don't want to be biased in my reading, and no matter how bad something could be, say it's the greatest thing ever, just because I know the writer personally. Secondly, because if something really is bad, I don't want to tell somebody I care about that they have written something bad. But, I know Heather, and I know how hard she's worked at being a writer, and I know it took a lot for her to make that leap of faith and ask somebody to read her work and quite frankly, I was honored that she asked me, so I said yes. I tried to be very subjective when I read that first draft of Love to the Women, and you know what? I loved it. I offered what I hope was some good, constructive criticism on that first draft, but she was telling a damned good story. So there you have it, full disclosure on how I came at Love to the Women.
Now, on to a proper review.
Steve Sheridan has lived in London the last couple decades, working as a senior architect in a firm there, while his wife and three daughters lived in the States. He's always provided for them, and tried to give them everything they wanted, trying to make up for the fact that he wasn't at home, making a living abroad. When it is Steve's time to retire and move home for good, the idyllic life that he has had pictured at home with his family proves to be anything but. His daughters each have their own struggles that they are going through, self-imposed or otherwise, and his wife has been struggling harder than he realized to hold their family together. Over the course of that first summer back home, we watch as Steve's family falls apart, little by little, but by the power and love that is found in his family, they are able to pull through and find a happy place in their lives. It may not be the idyllic family life that Steve had imagined, but it turns into the kind of family life that he needed.
The characters are all vivid and Heather has done a great job bringing them to life and fleshing them out, imperfections and all, and their actions and reactions seem genuine. She paces the story along nicely, not rushing anything, letting the story tell itself. This is a great debut novel and I'm excited to see what else Heather will be writing in the future.
If you'd like to pick up a copy of Love to the Women, you can order a copy of the paperback on Amazon here or download a Kindle edition here.