Over The Teacups, Review

Over The Teacups #5


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Why? I have enjoyed all of Kristy Woodson Harvey’s previous books and so of course I would read this one too.

Plot Ansley has three daughters who for all different reasons return home to Peachtree Bluff. Ansley herself (mother) has quite a back story and that is all revealed as the story progresses. The story is told from Ansley’s and daughter Caroline’s point of view. Caroline is deciding what to do as her husband has been unfaithful in a spectacular way. She is very pregnant and has an older daughter of about ten – Viki. Ansley has been dealt a hard card in life but the way she has picked herself up and looked after everyone is outstanding. There is a little plot twist that turns things somewhat as well.

What Appeals to me?

I loved the setting of course and the sisters relationship with each other was a drawcard. Each of the main characters is dealing with difficulties that are definitely quite south of simple! I did like too how Caroline grew as a character. Also that the characters each had their quirks and challenges. I just wish Ansley would think of herself just a little bit more.

And so… I see this is #1 in the Peachtree Bluff series so I am looking forward to catching up with this family in the future.

book coverWhy? I wanted a food memoir to read for the Better World reading challenge and I saw a review for this by Katherine over at I Wish I Lived in a Library.

Plot Well there isn’t one but there is a wonderful accounting of Edward in his nineties and Isabel who is in an unhappy marriage. Isabel visits Edward once a week and partakes in his delicious meals. No recipes but oh my, makes me want to appreciate and taste such food.

What Appeals to Me? The way Edward lives his life so fully in his nineties and his obvious deep love and devotion to his wife who is now dead. He battles with this loss but it does not diminish too much his participation in life. I liked the way Isabel valued the friendship and grew as a person in the time she was able to experience this special relationship.

And so… Very happy to have read it. As one person also pointed out from It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? pointed out there is a great tip for scrambled eggs that she uses to this day. I have yet to try it but I will.

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Why? This has sat on my actual TBR shelf for quite a few years! I was wondering about what to read next and saw there is a bit of a romance in this book while the couple are travelling. Perfect for the Better World reading challenge I thought! Besides I have never read Monica McInerney, but seen noted many good things about her books.

Plot. This is a book about a family! A grown up family who are in the Travel business. There are two men, two women – one of whom came to the family when she was eight – Lara. As a travel tour around Cornwall and Devon is to take place centred on an old TV show, Lara goes missing. Harriet is leading the tour and is worried about Lara as is Austin one of the brothers. So there is a little romance, (Harriet and the star of the TV show) a mystery, secrets and family relationships in the mix.

What Appeals to me? I found it a little slow, but the variety of characters was fun, the mystery and secret kept me going and the whole family aspect with its exploration of loss and grief was interesting. Plus how we often make judgements about others that is quite far from the actual truth.

And so... At some point in time I will be happy to venture into reading another Monica McInerney book .


Lies and Other Acts of Love. Kristy Woodson Harvey

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Published: Berkley Publishing
Date: April 5th 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 352
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:Publisher via NetGalley
4.5 stars            Add to Goodreads

After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.

Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.

But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .

My thoughts banner
Lies and Other Acts of Love was a very interesting and thought provoking read. The characters were really very real – not perfect, but very human. Especially in the second half of the book it was compulsive reading as events happened and I wondered where it would go next.
It is a story about family – three generations, with the spotlight mainly on the first and third generations, namely Lovey and Annabelle.  I really liked Lovey, she is in her eighties and she has gained the wisdom of life by raising a family of girls and marrying the man she loved. Now in their late years, we see old age creeping along and the limitations of sickness and infirmity. What I really loved about Lovey is her ability to hold her tongue, even when she can see her daughters or granddaughter making mistakes. She just wants them to be safe and happy.
While we have Lovey’s point of view, which does give us a little inside information, we also have Annabelle who narrates as well. She is young, a little indulged and impetuous. She is sort of aware of her own feelings but as yet has not learned to be like her grandmother and consider things from other people’s viewpoints. She is quick to judge and hasn’t yet the ability to look with eyes of love instead of judgement. She sometimes gets hold of the wrong end of the stick. However she is loved and I think there is hope for her! She comes from a strong line of women and I believe she’ll be one too.
Lies and Other Acts of Love is a ‘hook in’ title. It implies lies are okay! This book is riddled with lies! Some of the lies are upsetting, one of them I applauded and respected – to some extent. Possibly full truth would have been okay. But we live in a world where people judge and even though we say imperfections are okay, we point them out!
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Dear Carolina. Kristy Woodson Harvey

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Dear Carolina
Kristy Woodson Harvey
Published: Berkley
Date: May 2015
Format: Paperback
Pages: 308
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Local library
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My thoughts banner

I first noticed this book when I read a review by Kristin at Always With a Book, I made a note of it to read sometime in the future. When I was browsing our local library shelves there sitting facing me was a pristine copy of the book, so I felt the time had come to read it. The library rose a few more degrees in my esteem, for already having it on its shelves here in New Zealand!
Jodi Thomas says on the cover – “Characters with rich, complicated lives…. Beautifully shows how a family comes to be”. As Jodi Thomas is a favourite author of mine, I needed no further incentive to read.
Each chapter is alternately spoken by two women. It is addressed to baby Carolina, and while that sounds a little odd it works perfectly.  Frances Mason – Khaki to those closest to her, is a very successful interior designer, mother of Alex and wife of Graham. They live mostly on a farm in Nth Carolina, but they also have an apartment in New York.  Khaki has it all and is very happy, but the one thing she would love is another child to add to their family.
Jodi is a cousin of Geoffrey and while he has had a well adjusted life, Jodi has not been so lucky with an alcoholic mother and a father who died. Jodi also reaches for the bottle when things become stressful. So when she is pregnant at nineteen, she fears that her baby is going to end up having the same kind of life as she has had, and she doesn’t want that. With an aching heart Jodi comes to a decision that she hopes will give Carolina the love and sense of family she wants for her.
Khaki has a huge loving heart, and as the story progresses she makes decisions that are right for her and her family, so by the end she is very grounded. Jodi – so young, has a wonderful sense of planting and growing and is an expert in canning and jam making. She knows if she can keep busy she may have a chance of overcoming the need to drink. She too has a big heart and I enjoyed her evolution during the span of the novel. 
I really enjoyed this book, I think anyone who enjoys women’s fiction, and the exploration of parenthood, love, trust and strength and growth will find it right down their alley. It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel, it’s so accomplished, totally agree with Jodi Thomas!
4.5 stars