This was my first opportunity to read a novel by Keith Maillard, however it won't be my last experience! I thought that he did an excellent job as a mThis was my first opportunity to read a novel by Keith Maillard, however it won't be my last experience! I thought that he did an excellent job as a male author to capture the protagonist's (Gloria) female spirit, insecurities, and, most importantly, her POV as a debutante on the edge of womanhood. It was evident that he did his research in describing the intricacies of baton twirling, competitions, and pageants. I initially purchased this book from the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble as the cover art caught my attention and the setting in the 1950's intrigued me as I was born afterwards and wanted to learn more about the era of housewives wearing pearls and vacuuming their carpets in high heels.
I did not realize at the time I purchased it that this was the third and final novel in a trilogy that he wrote set in the fictional town of Raysburg, West Virginia. I am planning on ordering the other two to read in the future as I understand that each novel is a stand-alone with the common thread of being based in the same town of Raysburg. I learned a lot about how executives working in the steel industry lived while sacrificing the thrill of big-city life for a more quaint country club setting.
I found Mr. Maillard's writing to be very descriptive, hence the length of the book, and the reasons it took me about 8 months to read this book was that I savored every word while dealing with depression and lengthy periods of unemployment and underemployment during a very uncertain time in our country's sustained recession. I was very impressed with the author's characterization of small-town life, sorority life, and executive life centered around the safe and conservative comforts of belonging to a country club....more
This was my first Elizabeth Berg novel to read and I am happy to report that it won't be the last! Her prose is simple, concise yet very descriptive aThis was my first Elizabeth Berg novel to read and I am happy to report that it won't be the last! Her prose is simple, concise yet very descriptive as it accurately details the subtle nuances of everyday life. Her writing conjures up feelings and emotions that we all work hard to repress. We may not always be able to relate to the situations that her characters have experienced, but we very quickly come to care for them and we find ourselves submerged into their respective viewpoints as they deal with life's curves. I own a non-medical home care company, so I could relate to her characterizations of the nurses and nurses aides that attended to Lainey's husband, Jay, however I was pleased to see that she revealed layers to their character that were not readily apparent when Lainey first encountered each of them.
The author comes across as being a very keen observer of life, which translates into the spot-on scenes that her book depicts. It would be interesting to sit down with her and have a conversation with her just to find out how much of this book was based on her actual experiences. Although the book gave us the happy ending that we were seeking, it still left us with much to think about and to be thankful for as we realize just how much we take for granted in our own mundane, everyday lives. ...more