Years after Leah Lynch's divorce, she's grown tired of dead-end affairs and yearns for a lifelong mate. Although she's a sassy, independent woman living in New York City, she fears attending her daughter's upcoming wedding as an unattached woman. To reflect on her past and invent a new lifestyle with a committed man, she books a flight to Madrid for a soul-searching trip. Not included in her plans is meeting Miguel Santiago, an intriguing seatmate, who sidetracks her straight into bed when they land. A Collector of Affections: Tales from a Woman's Heart is a heartfelt travelogue of Leah's life with Miguel and their love affair, as he struggles with his commitment to another woman. When diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, he faces his sobering truths. Leah also confronts her reality that transcends the magic of travel and chance meetings. It's then they come to grips with life without one another.
After writing freelance travel articles for decades, I wrote my first novel. "A Collector of Affections: Tales from Woman's Heart." The sensual story is for the middle-aged woman reader. It entwines fiction with reality, travel experiences, seatmates and lovers, Spanish moons and memories.
My memoir, "The Street or Me: A New York Story", chronicles my two-year friendship with a NYC homeless woman whom I returned to her family in Italy. It's a raw, riveting read -- one reviewer said it was 'a mystery of the heart' -- that should change a reader's perspective about homeless people and addiction.
This travel story is an arm chair adventure via Judith Glynn’s book, “A Collector of Affections: Tales from a Woman’s Heart.” It’s going to grab you by the throat, make you laugh, cry, mumble out loud with frustration, and finally give a fist pump or two for an inspirational ending. It’s a book that speaks to a woman’s soul – especially the maturing woman who might want a bit more sass and edge in her life.
The book is set in three fabulous places: Spain, New York and Rhode Island. It reflects the needs of a woman who has decided she could and should have it all– perfect travel, perfect excitement, the perfect man, the perfect lifestyle. How she gets to the “perfect” is the journey. Just when you think you’ve figured out the “how,” the book makes a spin and a turn.
You are going to see yourself somewhere – if not everywhere- in this not-so-typical coming of age story. You are going to become attached to the lead character Leah Lynch at first read. You’ll be tied up in knots as she finds her soul mate on a flight to Spain, only to find that the “perfect man” is not so perfect after all. You are going to enjoy all the travel elements thrown in that only an author who has traveled extensively could bring to life. You’ll be victorious with Leah as she makes some true benchmark steps in her life, but you’ll also be shaking your head at some of the decisions she makes to do that.
I met the author Judith Glynn on a trip to the Smoky Mountains. We connected immediately. When she found out I was next off to Spain, she offered to share her book with me. With a sassy backhand comment she told me, “I think you’ll appreciate the book. It has a lot of me in it. Read it on the plane.” I did start my read on the plane to Spain and finished it up the night before I returned. It’s not a book meant to be rushed through. Take a slow hand with it. Savor the nuances and the message. Gift the book to friends.
I really think this book would make a great movie. It has a new message to share with women, especially those who might think what they’ve done in the past limits what they can do in the future. I’d plunk my $10 down to see it on the big screen any day of the week. I just have one question for Judith (or if I am reading this right – Leah). When is part two coming out? Surely this can’t be the end of the journey?
A Collector of Affections: Tales from a Woman’s Heart is available at all major book sellers (About $9) or on Kindle for a very cool $2.99. (less) Dec 01, 2014 01:01PM
It's 3 am. My review will follow. I could not go to bed until I finished this book!! ************************************************************************************** I hate to say this, but I'm unsure of where I won this book and another by the same author. She sent me a cute little note with her two books when I won them, but I misplaced it. As soon as I locate it, I'll be sure to give the giveaway proper credit.
In the meantime, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this book at the beginning. I wasn't familiar with some of the cities in Spain and felt a little uncomfortable until I got to know them better throughout the story. This author, Judith Glynn, painted a beautiful picture of where Leah Lynch and her "travel companion," visited. I envy Leah's guts...meeting a stranger then spending time touring a foreign country with him. I am so happy that they fell in love...even if Miguel really did piss me off at times! She's a lady that knew what she wanted and she didn't take any stuff from anyone. That, I loved about her. Without giving anything away, I can't wait to share this book with my friends and will gladly suggest they all read it. I'm looking forward to reading the other book sent to me in this giveaway...and will post a review then, too. Thank you, Judith Glynn, for taking me away on Leah and Miguel's journey.
I thoroughly lost myself in this beautiful, well-written story, which I classify as both a travelog and a literary romance. I think it touches a heartfelt place within many women who are strong and independent, like Leah, but also would love to have a romantic interlude in their mostly ordinary lives. Do we need a man in our lives? No. But would we like a man and some romance in our lives? Yes. I also really appreciated the travel details in Spain since I have never been there. Now I definitely want to travel to Spain and visit some of the lovely places described in this book (and a little romance along the way wouldn't hurt). Yes, this is good escapist reading, but it is also a book that will linger with you for a long time. I have recommended this book to many of my friends and they have also loved it.
I loved this book. In fact, I honestly couldn't put it down. I finished it in two days then passed it along to my mother to read. The main character Leah is admirable. She goes after what she wants even though it may not be the acceptable norm. I think her desires are relatable no matter the age of the reader.
For me, traveling brings thrill of opportunity, it's a natural high, the feeling that anything is possible. This story completely captivated that feeling for me.
I think the author did a good job of giving enough description for readers to get the picture while leaving room for the imagination. The story is easy to follow and completely fun to read. I will definitely check out this author's next book.
The book had some really intriguing romantic parts...who doesn't dream about running away to Spain with a man you just met. I was extremely disappointed with the fact that the heroine claimed to be this strong independent woman, but didn't want to go to her daughter's wedding without a man on her arm. Where is the independence in that? I think I would have enjoyed the story a lot more if she hadn't been so hung up on that fact. And the "hero" was nothing more than a player...and old enough to know better.
This book was an out-of-the-ordinary romantic story. And the premise, at first glance, was off-putting: A fifty-something travel writer who walked away from her family to pursue a writing career struggles with her penchant for temporary romantic liaisons. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the "heroine" was not as seedy as she at first appears.
This is a story of Leah Lynch, a brave, introspective woman who has risked it all to pursue a more fulfilling life. What she realizes some years later, in her fifties, is that although her career goals have been met and exceeded, there is still something missing: a meaningful, loving relationship.
As a "fifty-something" myself, I could relate to Leah's motivations to fulfill her career goals. I admired her grit, questioned her flamboyance, and followed along as she worked her way through healing her inner weaknesses. A quick read, I found Leah's story compelling and thought provoking, although several unexpected point-of-view changes were somewhat distracting.
This is a modern-day tale of a modern-day woman. A strong, smart woman. And I recommend it to all who consider themselves to be in Leah's category.
I read A LOT--at least three or four books a month. I rarely put a book down--especially if I've read a third of it, or more importantly, if it's gotten good Amazon reviews. I trust my Amazon peers to steer me in the right direction. However, I am finding more and more, and especially with free or inexpensively priced books, that some of my Amazon peers are a little too generous with their stars. Perhaps they aren't expecting much for their money (or lack thereof).
This story starts off well enough, with what seems will be an interesting storyline. However, very quickly, the writing becomes forced. The author begins to impose her characters' feelings and opinions on the reader rather than letting things flow naturally. I found myself groaning and rolling my eyes at the generally contrived dialogue and psycho-babble. Leah's dialogue is very deliberate, as if the author is trying to prove how evolved she is (she being Leah or the author, take your pick). The author doesn't seem to know how to transition the story, so when she wants a character to talk about a past experience for example, she will have one character ask the other if he/she wants to hear "the story." It's obvious and awkward. The descriptions of the characters having sex are odd, uncomfortable and unnecessarily graphic (and I'm no prude!). The story (at least as far as I read) progresses, but the ride is bumpy.
I would classify this book as a (poorly written) romance novel, which, if I read the description correctly, was not how this book was characterized.
So, after reading 38 percent of the story on my Kindle, I couldn't take it any more and turned to another book.
Synopsis:"Years after Leah Lynch's divorce, she's grown tired of dead-end affairs and yearns for a lifelong mate. Although she's a sassy, independent woman living in New York City, she fears attending her daughter's upcoming wedding as an unattached woman. To reflect on her past and invent a new lifestyle with a committed man, she books a flight to Madrid for a soul-searching trip. Not included in her plans is meeting Miguel Santiago, an intriguing seatmate, who sidetracks her straight into bed when they land. A Collector of Affections: Tales from a Woman's Heart is a heartfelt travelogue of Leah's life with Miguel and their love affair, as he struggles with his commitment to another woman. When diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, he faces his sobering truths. Leah also confronts her reality that transcends the magic of travel and chance meetings. It's then they come to grips with life without one another."
My Review: I had the pleasure of meeting Judith Glynn at the RI Author Expo and discussing both her books before reading them. Upon reading this book I found it very interesting and different from just about every other book I have read recently. Many people would classify this as a romance novel (and even I have added it to my romance shelf for lack of better options) but for me it is more a novel about personal value. Both Leah and Miguel have emotional struggles throughout the book and to me it is a journey towards finding inner strength and peace before adding additional outside love and support to it. Granted there are the romantic European trysts and loving words shared by the characters throughout the book too.
Leah’s in need of some much needed soul searching. Since her divorce, she’s enjoyed the company of several men; has had laughs, some great sex and was even engaged. But Leah’s life has become a bit stale and she’s hoping that a trip to Spain is just what she needs to give it a kick-start.
On the flight to Spain, Leah bonds with her seatmate, Miguel. A native Spaniard whose conversation catches her attention immediately. Although marriage is not a road that Leah anticipates travelling again, the thought of this man potentially being her soulmate is somewhat intriguing to her. But she will learn that the person she thinks may be the perfect man, may not be so perfect after all.
A book about rediscovery of one’s self and not having to conform to the middle aged norms, A Collector of Affections takes you on a journey of one woman’s quest to have her perfect life in an imperfect world.
What a treat this book was. The setting was perfect, the emotions so real and the story so relatable. No matter if you are middle aged or not, this book will resonate with just about anybody! It is definitely the perfect read for this Valentine’s Day!
Leah is a 50-something-year-old woman who deserted her family at the age of 40 to move to NYC and write. She is successful but now believes she needs a man on her arm at her daughter's wedding, so she sets out to find one. Her ideal man turns out to have a live-in partner but they proceed to have an affair as she works to convince him that she should be his one and only.
Unrealistic, gratuitous dialogue; forced and contrived sex scenes; setting descriptions that leave you with a lot of history and titles but no sense of being drawn into the scene; poor use of tenses that fail to seperate backstory (and there is lots, lots, lots of it) from the present. A very disappointing book.
I couldn't put this book down. I didn't know what would happen, and I was amazed at how it turned to unexpected places. I found Leah to be a realistic character with conflicted feelings around love which made her more authentic to me. She questions her own motivations, she seeks higher ground, and yes, she'd like a life partner. In my opinion, a woman can be courageous, independent, and yet have a vulnerable side. Plus, I really enjoyed all the descriptions--of Spain and NYC. A visual feast.
This was supposed to be a later-in-life/middle age love story. I'm sorry to say but it just felt very tired. Cliched characters and a very slow plot meant I ended up skipping to the end after about half of it just to see what happened. I'm glad I didn't waste any more time on this.