Sheila's Reviews > Games of Make-Believe

Games of Make-Believe by Julie Ann Wambach
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really liked it
bookshelves: family-drama

From grim past to struggling present, and from betrayals familial and religious, Julie Ann Wambach’s Games of Make-Believe follow the path of a wounded Cinderella whose fairytale ending is rooted in feet of clay. The story swerves like a conversation, with the reader’s words unrecorded. Each chapter easily read on its own, so the reader can return next day and pick the book up again, nicely reminded of what went before.

Biblical quotes give way to spiritual affirmations followed by the reading of cards. Meanwhile protagonist Bella switches churches again, first blind to falsehood then equally blind to truth, until an ending where she finally sees other people’s points of view. Meanwhile family pains continue, especially in a blended family where parents try too hard without learning to listen, and the music plays like a classical orchestra trapped in a drinking hall.

Even as Bella complains, “I want to embrace compassion the way Buddhists manage to do,” she’s wondering if “this is all an illusion created by my ego to attack God.” But this story strips illusions away, leaving the reader to ponder possibilities of healing without forgiveness.

Games of Make-Believe feels very personal, as if the characters are real and struggle to find meaning in their tale. But perhaps meaning is as elusive as fairytale endings, and the author offers instead a final scene both broken and complete, and oddly true.

Disclosure: I was given a copy by a publicist and I voluntarily offer my honest review.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2017 – Finished Reading
January 17, 2017 – Shelved
January 17, 2017 – Shelved as: family-drama

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