Adult Fiction Clever Friends

Clever Heather reviews: The Divorce Girl by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

I’d like to preface this fabulous review by introducing Clever Reviewer Heather. She’s one of my local besties and a really awesome reviewer.  Check it out!

Stark, poignant, tumultuous – all words that describe The Divorce Girl by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. When I first glanced at the title I thought it represented a complete lack of creativity. But wait, before you cringe, I decided to give it a shot. After all, it is just a book. I can always shut it. I didn’t. I took it to the gym almost every morning, my only real downtime. The name is perfect. It sets the mood of this real to life story.

Many times throughout the pages I wondered if it was a real life story. We start in the young teenage life of a budding photographer, Deborah Shapiro, growing up in the unrest of a time when life wasn’t roses but everyone was searching for them. Her family in disarray, and ending in divorce, she resorts to seeing life through her camera lens. As a heartbreaking tale is spun, I find myself relating more with her mother than Deborah, the main character.

Deborah makes the choice to live with her father, choosing a life that leads to more heartache and pain than any kid should have to grow up in. She becomes a pawn in her father’s twisted game of life. Working a flea market, being along for the ride while immigration chases them, helping juvenile delinquents escape, she lives an excitingly dull life. Caught in lies of her father’s making, and feeling invisible to those around her, she sees no value in her life. This child woman is forced to run a house for her father, self-alienated from her mother. Her only outlet is photography class, and temple youth meetings, complete with a radical rabbi.

Finally, as we near the end of the book, she sees hope. She has a boyfriend who loves her. She has a plan to fast track her way to college – the chance to get out, to live her dreams, and take care of herself if her father signs his permission.

Will she ever see her mother loved her all along? Will she break free of the life her father has kept her prisoner to? Is her boyfriend really going to love her forever? Will she go to college or stay, stuck in her small town, an invisible person?

The last paragraph of the acknowledgements leaves you wondering just how much of this heart wrenching story is real.

I give this book 3 paws.

Unconventional Librarian 3 paws


So…whaddya think? Clever Heather is awesome, huh??? Here’s a little bit about Clever Heather:

In a normal week you can find Heather blogging about life at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond.

Growing up as the oldest of 7, and now being a wife and mother, homeschooling mama with a part time job and writing for two blogs, reading is her escape.

Her absolute favorite series of all time is Adventures in Narnia. About the only books she doesn’t devour are paranormal, sci fi, and self help books, although she has made exceptions in even those categories.


I love how Heather will make exceptions to her reading categories; isn’t that what the joy of reading is all about, finding something new??

So…go show Clever Heather some love on her food blog.  But DON’T lick the screen.  I’m just sayin…

Don’t forget to follow Heather on Twitter @heatherlm4 Tell her PammyPam sent ya!

Did I mention the author is the POET LAUREATE of Kansas?? How cool is that???




Books Reviews

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty a TLC Book Tour

I hope you had a chance to enter the contest to win a signed copy of Laura Moriarty’s book The Chaperone.  I want you to win!

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

I want to tell you a little bit about this book but I also want to warn you ***SPOILER ALERT*** I’m going to be all SPOILER ALERT up in here so if you hate that sort of thing, then read NO FURTHER. If you like that sort of thing, then keep reading you SPOILER ALERT liker…

Wow. Wow is all I can say.  A well written book and a MAD HOT INSANE  story drove me to finish this book.  Who knew that knee deep in the heartland of Kansas lived Will and Grace?

Who knew?

Who knew that Moriarty was going to interject a pleasant enough story with deception and homophobia and pedophilia?

And most importantly, who knew that stuff happened in KANSAS???

To be sure, you prolly figured all the gays lived in big cities like New York because that’s where all the fabulous is: aka culture and jazz and art but in Kansas? What is there in Kansas except The Wizard of Oz? Oh, but that’s where Moriarty has you fooled.  She wants you to question everything you thought you knew about the heartland and its people.  These good, wholesome, hardworking, God fearing people of the Middle West suffer from the same issues those in large cities suffer from: discrimination, repression, and isolation.

Alan and Raymond and Cora could have been any three people stuck in a painful situation anywhere. Anywhere that might make sense: New York or Hollywood, some place glamorous and full of interesting people who always pushed the boundaries of ideas. But these three lived in Kansas in a time when it was not only morally wrong to be a homosexual but criminally punishable.  And yet, they found the tenacity to thrive.

If greeting cards had been popular maybe these might have been helpful.

Wonder if Cora ever thought about getting on Oprah?

And then there’s the great Louise Brooks.  Everyone, save Cora, who had a chance to help her failed her.  To think that the person Louise probably despised the most, her beloved chaperone, was the one person who cared enough about her to try to help.  But of course, by then, Louise was too far gone to accept any help. Kinda makes you wonder:  If someone had helped Louise sooner would she have been a different person?

Only Moriarty knows that answer. I’m waiting for someone from Downton Abbey to announce that they too, are gay.  How fun would that be?

It goes without saying that I love this book because it explores some lifestyles and ideals that are not mainstream, which I applaud.  She treats the characters humanely and not as caricatures of fabulous gays. I’m thinking Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is NOT what she was going for.

But who knows? Maybe that is the kind of show Louise Brooks might like to star in.

Or at least watch.




I give the chaperone 4 paws.


Thanks TLC Book tours!