The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

Title Cover

5 out of 5 Stars

*I was provided a copy of The Idea of You through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*

To an outside observer, Lucy Carpenter has it all. She’s been promoted through the ranks at work and other women aspire to be like her in their professional careers. She’s finally found a wonderful man, and they’re happily married. But what no one else can see is the baby-shaped hole in Lucy’s heart. It’s what she wants more than anything in the world—to be a mother. And it’s the one thing that constantly eludes her. Her stepdaughter’s presence puts a strain on Lucy and Jonah’s marriage, in addition to being a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. And suddenly, Lucy’s on the verge of losing everything.

The Idea of You is a powerful, emotional book that had me turning pages late into the night. Lucy’s story drew me in immediately, and its hold never lessened. The format was interesting and different, keeping the reader somewhat guessing for a while but with enough information to feel Lucy’s despair and pain right along with her. Parts of the story were difficult to read, but only because the author made me feel like I was in the story with Lucy. I hurt for her, I cried with her, and I laughed and loved with her. Watching her knit so many baby items was heart-wrenching, and seeing her finally bond with her stepdaughter was inspirational.

This is the second book I’ve ready by Ms. Prowse, and it definitely won’t be the last. She has a way of presenting everyday human issues and taking you on a poignant journey through the lives of her characters. Having only been in Lucy’s shoes to a very slight degree, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to relate to her situation or the book, but that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Sometimes I wanted to hit Jonah over the head and tell him to take a good look at his wife, and other times I was sure Lucy was going through life with blinders on thinking of nobody but herself. Regardless of who was right or wrong in any particular situation, the story was about the journey, the ups and downs life takes us on in finding our path to happiness. And sometimes, that path doesn’t end up where you thought it would.

I look forward to reading more by this author and highly recommend this book.

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Happy reading!

Rach

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An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur

An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur

An Exaltation of Larks Cover

5 out of 5 Stars

*I was provided a copy of An Exaltation of Larks by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*

Alex Penda’s life is forever changed at the age of eleven, and though these changes will haunt him for years to come, he makes the best of it. A new country, new friends, ultimately a new family, and eventually a wife.

Valerie Lark comes from a prominent family in a quiet town, but Alex shakes up her world when she’s only twelve years old. They live their lives separately but connected until the time is right for them to be together.

Javier Landes is one of New York City’s top male escorts. Disowned from his family at the age of seventeen, Jav is unapologetic about the life he leads in order to make ends meet. He’s good at what he does, but love is no friend of Jav’s.

Lives cross paths and bonds are formed and strengthened. Everyone has something that shapes their life, and it dictates who we are and how we respond. An Exaltation of Larks follows the journeys of three seemingly different but strangely bonded people through life, love, hardships, and loyalty.

This novel takes you through three decades and across two continents, an intricately woven look at the lives of Alex, Valerie, and Jav. It’s an amazingly different type of story, showing us the events that formed the characters into who they become. Their lives intersect and diverge, but it’s in the divergence where the intersections make the most sense.

Ms. Laqueur’s fifth novel is a masterpiece of life. It’s brutally honest; life isn’t always pretty, and this author doesn’t withhold the ugly parts. Sometimes we make wrong decisions, but our mistakes are ours to own. The characters in this book are perfectly flawed—real human beings who have been molded by their circumstances and relationships. How they interact and the story they create made for one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read.

Each main character is interesting in their own right, and there is no rooting for any one person to come out ahead. Life is not always filled with simple choices, and loving each character equally made it all the more heart-wrenching to witness their ups and downs. I was fully engaged in the world the author created, feeling like a fly on the wall in every scene. I laughed and cried right along with Alex, Val, and Jav.

And if the story of the three main characters isn’t enough, Ms. Laqueur has a way of incorporating secondary characters into the plot that makes you love them too and want to know more. If she were to write a book about any of the secondary characters in this book, I have no doubt I’d be hanging on every word of it just the same as I did with this book.

Suanne Laqueur is a must-read author, and this latest book is no exception. It deserves more than 5 stars.

An Exaltation of Larks will be released on November 22, 2016 but can be pre-ordered from your favorite retailer now. All of my reviews of Ms. Laqueur’s works can be found by selecting her name from the Author Spotlight tab.

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Happy reading!

Rach