Tag Archives: Women Writers

Review: The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain

    “Dear Anna,

What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I’m so sorry…

The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life.

Yet there was so much they didn’t know.

With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle’s friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives—and the life of a desperate stranger—with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.”

It’s a story of friendship, secrets and in some ways an ultimate betrayal but one thing Diane Chamberlain’s latest work is not is predictable. Chamberlain has that unique talent of making you think that you have the whole plot figured out….as if it will flow in predictably good fashion all along and then wham! She gets you but only in a good way. She takes her characters and their lives and makes them more than you could have ever imagined before you turned the page.

Friendships play a large role in this work especially those between women as both friends and relatives. We see the highs and lows of both represented, the inside jokes and the darker moments too. As we get multiple points of views from an all female narrating cast, we are given a glimpse into each character’s head, personality and life. This is where Chamberlain truly excels as a writer. Her character formation is superb. Her characters are real, 3D, lovable and able to be despised at the same time…she also is very talented with writing multi-generational characters. Chamberlain’s voice rings true both as a teenage and a middle aged adult. Her voice as angry teen Grace rings true as an angry teen not a writer trying to sound like an angry teenage girl. A feat not easily done well.

In the end The Midwife’s Confession is an addictive read that will draw you in until the last page has been turned. A calm, structured voice with smoothly written prose, Chamberlain enchants while her characters take center stage. A perfect book for a lazy afternoon or a day at the beach.

Book Giveaway

Thanks to the generosity of Meryl L. Ross Media and Mira Books, one Stiletto Storytime winner will win their very own copy of The Midwife’s Confession. To enter just leave a comment telling if you have ever kept a secret from a close friend/family member or vice versa? Secrets and friendships play such a vital role in this book. No intimate details needed. Just let us know where you stand on secrets between friends/family and when not to share or always share….it will be interesting to see where everyone stands before reading this book.

Giveaway ends midnight EST June 1, 2011. US and Canada addresses only please. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower of Author Diane Chamberlain on Twitter

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, New Books

Blog Tour: The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton

 

“Meg Waite Clayton’s national bestseller The Wednesday Sisters was a word-of-mouth sensation and book club favorite. Now the beloved author is back with a page-turning novel that explores the secrets we keep, even from those closest to us, and celebrates the enduring power of friendship.

Mia, Laney, Betts, and Ginger, best friends since law school, have reunited for a long weekend as Betts awaits Senate confirmation of her appointment to the Supreme Court. Nicknamed “the Ms. Bradwells” during their first class at the University of Michigan Law School in 1979—when only three women had ever served full Senate terms and none had been appointed to the Court—the four have supported one another through life’s challenges: marriages and divorces, births and deaths, career setbacks and triumphs large and small. Betts was, and still is, the Funny One. Ginger, the Rebel. Laney, the Good Girl. And Mia, the Savant.

But when the Senate hearings uncover a deeply buried skeleton in the friends’ collective closet, the Ms. Bradwells retreat to a summer house on the Chesapeake Bay, where they find themselves reliving a much darker period in their past—one that stirs up secrets they’ve kept for, and from, one another, and could change their lives forever.

Once again, Meg Waite Clayton writes inspiringly about the complex circumstances facing women and the heartfelt friendships that hold them together. Insightful and affecting, The Four Ms. Bradwells is also a captivating tale of how far people will go to protect the ones they love.”

I have to say I have been wanting to read this book since the very first moment I saw the cover. It’s simplicity and elegance caught my eye immediately. The shelf appeal is undeniable. However once I began to engage in the story…the elegance and importance of the writing won me over much more than the design of a book cover ever could.

Unlike many readers I have to admit I have not read the much loved The Wednesday Sisters but I will be doing so very soon. Meg Waite Clayton seems to have a talent for writing about women- not just as individuals but as humans in all the roles we portray in our lives. The role of wife, mother, daughter, friend, revolutionary, victim, advocate and even the professional role in whatever career path we choose. I loved that the women were portrayed as strong individuals and yet their flaws, victimization or mistakes in life were still explored showing we all have secrets…we all have a past. But that past does not define who we are. Who we are is inexplicably tied to these roles and experiences and yet we are also separate selves who exist independently. This author “gets” that and even more amazing she can portray it in a way that will leave readers spellbound and thinking about her work long after the last page has been read.

I loved the unraveling of the story of these women, their friendships, the way they supported one another, the way they represented a group and yet also were portrayed as individuals. The Four Ms. Bradwells is a book so well thought out it can almost be hard to cover all the thought provoking themes held within its pages. As the story is told in flashback and modern day, we get a taste of history and the hard road of feminism that so many women have fought before us. All in all a great read for the women in your life and a very thought provoking journey. It may not be for every reader but those looking for a deeper meaning and strongly knit tale will be touched by this book.

Remember to check out all the other great reviewers for this fantastic TLC Book Tour.

Book Giveaway

I have to say I am so pleased to be able to share this book with one of my readers. I have one copy of The Four Ms. Bradwells to give away and I am so excited to be able to pass on such an extraordinary reading experience.

Giveaway ends midnight EST April 20, 2011. US and Canada address only please. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. The winner will receive the book sometime in May once the Book Tour is over. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

To enter simply leave a comment below letting my know what role friendships played in your life….especially those of women if you are female or leave me a suggestion of another great read about the power of friendship.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower Author Meg Waite Clayton on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, New Books

Guest Post: Author Sarah Pekkanen

Stiletto Storytime is so excited to present Sarah Pekkanen as our guest blogger today! What an honor. Pekkanen is the author of the already best selling The Opposite of Me, which is flying off the bookshelves on pre-order as we speak! I am so excited to have Sarah on my blog because not only is she an amazing writer, really nice person and one of the sassy debs of 2010….she is also a Mom. While I have struggled this past year with having my first child and learning to juggle life and parenting, I have sometimes felt I lost my identity when I had William. I realize now that so many women feel that way as well. Stiletto Storytime and my reading and writing on the side have been my way to cling to who I am without taking away from being Mommy… and without even knowing Sarah has written a post that speaks to my heart. Thanks so much Sarah for sharing and I am holding you to that toast together when I finish my book and get a deal…but only if we can each wear our fabulous ruffled heels while we do it ( mine will be hot pink)! As is the custom for many posters on Stiletto Storytime….Sarah has been kind enough to show a pair of sassy heels she herself is coveting at this time. Which only further proves that behind ever smart women is a great pair of heels! “Remember just like stilettos, reading never goes out of style.” Congrats again Sarah!

“I’m thrilled to be guest posting today to talk about my debut novel, The Opposite of Me. It’s the story of twin sisters who are complete opposites – or so they think. When people learn the premise, the first thing they ask me is whether I’m a twin. Nope; in fact, I don’t even have a sister.  But I’ve always been intrigued by the complex relationships my friends have with their sisters, so I tried to make the relationship of my main characters, Lindsey and Alex, as juicy and competitive and loving and tangled as possible.

I’ve heard about twins who are so close that they create their own language, and can feel each other’s pain from miles away – but I wondered what would happen to twins who were completely different. What if two sisters had nothing in common, but were constantly being compared? How would that shape their relationship?

I also think it’s very common in families for children to get certain labels, either spoken or unspoken – like the “pretty sister,” the “smart one,” the “drama queen,” or the “peacemaker.” I’ve always been curious about how those labels are formed – are they really a true reflection of who we are inside? It’s interesting to me that we can go out into the world and re-invent oursevles as adults, yet when we go home to visit our families, they still see us through the lens our childhood roles. And sometimes, despite our best efforts, we get dragged kicking and screaming back into those roles!

So I took both of those notions and spun them around in my mind for a while before they turned into the premise of my novel. The intersection of those themes – sisterhood and identity – is the heart of my book.  And the funny thing is, in writing it, I developed a new identity of my own: novelist. When I started my book,  I was a stay-at-home Mom, spending my days cutting the crusts off sandwiches and chaperoning school field trips. But I’ve always dreamed of writing a novel, so I began bringing my laptop with me whenever I went. I even wrote some of The Opposite of Me at Chuck E. Cheese (I used to work in loud newsrooms so I find background noise oddly comforting). It was my own secret project – the little bit of “me”- that wasn’t consumed by taking care of my family.

Tuesday, March 9 is my debut day, and I’m going to go into a bookstore to find my novel on the shelf and just stare at it. In my purse, I’m going to carry the letter I wrote on Raggedy Ann stationery to a New York publisher long ago, asking when my book called “Miscellaneous Tales and Poems” would be published. It’s my favorite reminder that dreams really do come true.”

*Sarah Pekkanen is a former journalist whose debut novel, The Opposite of Me, will be published in six countries and five languages. It’s a Redbook magazine March book pick and has won an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner, who called it “Fresh and funny and satisfying. A terrific book about sisters that actually made me laugh out loud.”

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Filed under Adult Books, Author Interviews & Posts, New Books