For the Love of Ethan by Marjorie Reynolds

This is the story of a family in turmoil when the 10-year-old son is diagnosed with liver disease. The reader is sucked into the hospital visits, the check-ups, the difficult decisions, and the marriage of the parents. I’m not typically interested in hospital stories but there was no escaping this one! It was a fast read, as I hoped that all would be right for Ethan, but could not imagine how that would come about.

The story describes how far parents can go to protect and save their children. Would you break the law, if necessary? Would you disadvantage others (and possibly sentence them to death with your actions) just so your son could live? These are serious issues that are discussed in a very readable way, both making you go with what the parents feel they should do, and at the same time, making you stop to think whether this is ethical – and what would you do yourself?

I do hope this really is a work of fiction, but the writing is so detailed and knowledgeable, that I could imagine this really happened to the author. Let’s hope not!

Publisher’s description: “Delainie Franklin is a devoted mother whose ordinary life runs smoothly — until Ethan, her ten-year-old son, becomes ill. Delainie and her husband, Joel, must not only face the challenges of Ethan’s uncertain future but also survive events that test their family bonds. How far will a mother go to save her son? Delainie must make that agonizing decision.”

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Book Review: Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

FletcherMrs. Fletcher is divorced and drops her only son of at college. She feels a bit lost: what’s next for her? She’s only 46, and she is ready to start all over again. She becomes interested in sex, and watches porn every night. Before she knows it, she’s kissing a female co-worker and has a teenage stalker, a boy who can only think of her.

Meanwhile, her son Brendan feels out of place at college. He tries his best, and parties hard, but he finds it difficult to fit in.

Both mother and son need to find a new path in life that suits them and that is not influenced by what they should do according to others.

The story is told mainly from Eve Fletcher’s viewpoint and from her son, Brendan. Brendan is portrayed very much as a typical student (maybe slightly cliché at times), with his own vocabulary and his focus on things that especially interest him (roommate, drink, girls, food – not his mother, much!). Eve is a decent adult with quirky interests (mainly to do with sex) and she finds it hard at times to include her new interests in her rather boring life.

The story is very engaging and I was always curious to know what would happen next. Eve’s stalker, Julian, has a plan that the sexually awoken Eve finds interesting, but the decent housewife in her finds impossible to consider.

A fun read that is entertaining until the very end. 5 stars

Publisher’s blurb:

From one of the most popular and bestselling authors of our time, a penetrating and hilarious new novel about sex, love, and identity on the frontlines of America’s culture wars.

Eve Fletcher is trying to figure out what comes next. A forty-six-year-old divorcee whose beloved only child has just left for college, Eve is struggling to adjust to her empty nest when one night her phone lights up with a text message. Sent from an anonymous number, the mysterious sender tells Eve, “U R my MILF!” Over the months that follow, that message comes to obsess Eve. While leading her all-too-placid life—serving as Executive Director of the local senior center by day and taking a community college course on Gender and Society at night—Eve can’t curtail her own interest in a porn website called MILFateria.com, which features the erotic exploits of ordinary, middle-aged women like herself. Before long, Eve’s online fixations begin to spill over into real life, revealing new romantic possibilities that threaten to upend her quiet suburban existence.

Meanwhile, miles away at the state college, Eve’s son Brendan—a jock and aspiring frat boy—discovers that his new campus isn’t nearly as welcoming to his hard-partying lifestyle as he had imagined. Only a few weeks into his freshman year, Brendan is floundering in a college environment that challenges his white-dude privilege and shames him for his outmoded, chauvinistic ideas of sex. As the New England autumn turns cold, both mother and son find themselves enmeshed in morally fraught situations that come to a head on one fateful November night.

Sharp, witty, and provocative, Mrs. Fletcher is a timeless examination of sexuality, identity, parenthood, and the big clarifying mistakes people can make when they’re no longer sure of who they are or where they belong.

Book Review: Best Laid Plans by Kathy Lette

best.pngI read this book on holiday and it’s indeed ideal as a holiday read.

Best Laid Plans is a fun novel about a woman, Lucy, who is looking for a girlfriend for her autistic son. She becomes a known offender at the local police office after several illegal attempts at helping her son find a nice girl (including kerb-crawling). When Merlin finally finds a girlfriend (without his mother’s help), Lucy is less than thrilled as she suspects ulterior motives by the girl. She now needs to find a way to dump the girlfriend. And so the story moves on, from one somewhat (or very!) unlikely situation to the next.

I loved the fun twists in the story, but because of the improbably situations, I was always aware that this was just a story. A fun one, though. A light read that will keep you entertained. 4 stars

Publisher’s blurb:

TO DO LIST

 

The 24-Hour Read-a-thon! #readathon

april2017

It’s time to start the 24 Hour Read-a-thon! Many book bloggers and other book lovers all over the world will be reading as much as they can within 24 hours. Some will read 6 hours, some will try and read the full 24 hours.

Everyone starts at the same time, 12 GMT, which is 2 pm for me here in the Netherlands. I do need my sleep, but I will try and read for 16-18 hours. That is, I’ll be reading, checking other participants’ blog, tweet and Facebook about the event, eat dinner, breakfast, and lunch (in that order), sleep (for 6-8 hours), answer inquiries from potential clients (I run a book editing company), and go for a walk.

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This is what I’ll be reading:

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Two brand-new books: All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai and The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang. I also added a book to my TBR that I’ve been wanting to re-read for ages: The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty.

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Opening meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I’m from the Netherlands. I live in a small town near Utrecht.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I’m looking forward to all three books! 
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I bought some mango slices, and some cashew nuts with curry flavour. Yummy!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m a sort-of ex-blogger. I blogged a lot between 2010 and 2015 but lately, I haven’t had much time. I’m running a book (yes, book!) editing business which takes a lot of time. (Check out https://www.facebook.com/BookHelpline where we’re running a contest to win a year’s subscription to writing software.)
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I’ve participated a lot of times already. This time I hope to be more active online. The last few readathons I spent most of the time … reading! 

After 6 hours:

I’m over 200 pages into All Our Wrong Todays and enjoying it a lot. I did the Show Me the Weather mini challenge. This is what it looks like here:

summer

After 10 hours

I almost finished All Our Wrong Todays (356 pages read) and it’s bedtime for me. I’ll be back around hour 18 for more reading!

After 18 hours

Back at reading. I finished my first book (see above) and am now reading The World vs the Wangs by Jade Chang.

After 24 hours

I read 280 pages of my second book, The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang. I’m going to read a bit more; it’s a fun book. I read a totla of 654 pages.

End-of-readathon survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Around 11 at night (hour 9)
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a reader engaged for next year? Anything that’s not too long. Don’t get bogged down in a door stopper. 
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? No.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I liked the different ways people could take part (Facebook, Twitter, blog, IG, etc.).
5. How many books did you read? I read 1.5 books.
6. What were the names of the books you read? All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai and The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
7. Which book did you enjoy most? I liked them both. No preference.
8. Which did you enjoy least? 
9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again?  11 on a scale from 1 to 10. I love the #readathon!

Do you participate? What are you reading?

Please leave a link to your starting post so I can easily find you.

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