Book Club

Going Through The ChangeGoing Through The Change by Samantha Bryant

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if Menopause came with an extra symptom? Say something like superpowers? Now that’s a symptom we might be able to work with. Alas, with great power often comes great responsibility. (Right, as if menopausal women need any more responsibilities.) Still, superpowers could come in handy. Very handy.

Samantha Bryant’s new novel, Going Through The Change, is a delightful tale of science gone awry. Four women develop unique superpowers using alternative creams or teas created by a menopausal mad scientist. Even the creator of the products enjoys some interesting benefits.

Helen becomes fireproof, just when she learns she can create fire (how’s that for flashing!) Jessica is lighter than air and can fly. Patricia develops a very thick skin, complete with scales. Linda actually turns into a man. And Dr. Liu is younger each day.

Part women’s literature, part comic book, and part scifi, this book is sure to be a fun-filled beach read for all menopausal women.

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The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A look at racial relations from the perspective of the domestic help at the beginning of the civil rights movement in Mississippi. These are real women with all the quirky personality traits and complex emotions of women. It will make you laugh and cry, while you wonder how it could have been like this so few years ago. A must read – and the movie is good, too.

 

The Silence of Trees

The Silence of Trees by Valya Dudycz Lupescu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

History and mythology of the Ukraine weave colorful threads in this tapestry of a woman’s life. Nadya moves to Chicago eventually – and her family dramas, love lost and found, and connection to her roots are just a yummy read. I love books like this with emotional intelligence – and I can learn a little about another culture at the same time.

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The Provence Cure for the BrokenheartedThe Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. It deals with the many faces of grief and learning to live fully again.

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J.A. Jance is one of my all time favorite authors. In fact, I’m not sure I’d be blogging were it not for her heroine Ali Reynolds. Ali starts blogging after a series of life traumas and changes. She begins to express her confusion, doubts, and feelings. What she finds and nurtures is community. Reading about Ali opened my eyes to the possibilities of a greater purpose for blogging than simply a diary on someone’s cats food preferences or other topics about which even friends might be hard pressed to feign interest.

Besides her series on Ali Reynolds, she writes a number of mysteries that take place in Bisbee, Arizona where Sheriff Joanna Brady solves cases and handles life challenges, doing the best she can. Ms. Brady is a heroine we can relate to: she has troubles with her mother, with work-life balance, and with being a female in the predominantly male profession. of law enforcement. I just finished the latest Joanna Brady adventure “Damage Control”. It’s tight, suspenseful, but most of all engagingly human. It’s fast paced mystery and insightful women’s literature wrapped into one yummy book. Like chocolate and red wine – they just go perfectly together.

Her other series takes place in Seattle where J.P. Beaumont struggles with his own issues against the backdrop of law enforcement while embroiled in crime and mystery. Again, Jance’s gift is in creating a character that we empathize with and care about within a taut thriller.

She’s written a few stand alone thrillers as well. I’ve read them all. My only complaint? I just wish she’d write faster! You can visit her website at jajance.com