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Read with Me, Outside the Ordinary World

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Harlequin Books Book Blurb

Sylvia Sandon always swore she wouldn't become her mother. But one August morning, she finds herself walking the same prodigal path as the fervently religious yet faithless Elaine, into an affair she feels powerless to resist...

Against the backdrop of California brushfires and fundamentalist mores in the '70s, 12-year old Sylvie had agreed to hold a secret that would devour her family's dream of happiness. Now, 30 years later, in chosen exile from her family of origin, Sylvie attempts to build a better life in small town New England. Nonetheless, she finds herself caught in the coils of history: she confronts the embers of her own dying marriage, the all-consuming needs of a teen and a toddler, and her faltering artistic career... Then Tai Rosen, the father of her most difficult student, ignites an unexpected passion and a familiar betrayal that could illuminate the past, even as it threatens everything dear...

Outside the Ordinary world is a complex story of love, betrayal, regret and forgiveness that spans three generations of women. It's about the powerful, sometimes disturbing bond between mothers and daughters, and the illusive boundary between self-discovery and self-destruction.

Personal reading thoughts...

I've just started reading and am just getting to know the characters. At this point, I don't like Sylvia's mom much but I can't say how I feel about Sylvia the adult because I've only read one chapter set in her current life since the book starts out set in the late 60's and early 70's when she was a child. What I can tell from this point is that this will be a very emotional book for me. I'm very attached to the young Sylvia and I fear the pain I can sense coming to her little world. I'm curious as to how Ms. Ostermiller will portray all the mixed up feelings that I know come with the situations Sylvia will be facing in both her past and present.

What was your first impression?

Harlequin Books pg 58-102

I'm getting a better sense of who Sylvia is and what her life has been like. Do I agree with everything she has done? No. Do I understand why she did some of those things? Yes. As a yound lady she was searching for something special and I believe she is still searching for that elusive something. OTOW is making me think of my past and wonder how much of it and which parts formed the person I am today. I do know that I would not have been able to take that hike! Not for the reason you may be thinking. I've never been a fan of squishy mud between the toes. Ewwwey, LOL.

Is OTOW making you think of your childhood and how it shaped who you are? Do you think you are totally different than who you dreamed you would be?

Harlequin Books pgs 103-184

The lies multiply right along with the guilty feelings. Sylvia compares herself to her mother and is still defending the choices she is making. She isn't anything like her mother. The two situations are totally different. Hmmm, not really. When she finally decides that for herself I'm wondering what her choices will be then. What about you?

Harlequin Books 184-246

I've been struggling with what to say. Ms. Ostermiller has mixed up my emotions and capivated me with Sylvia in both her childhood and present life. She has shocked me in ways I wasn't expecting at all. Outside the Ordinary World is a very thought provoking and stirring read. I'm looking forward to tonight when I can pick it up again.

What emotions did she provoke in you?

Harlequin Books pgs 246-326

I find myself sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for all the secrets to come out. At this point Sylvia isn't sure of her feelings or what she really wants. A visit to her family home doesn't help clear things up for her. Her mother tries to offer advice since she knows what her daughter is going through but of course Sylvia feels her situation is totally different. But is it really? To me, some of it is different but a major portion of it is exactly the same. I'm not sure if Sylvia will ever see that for herself.

I'm going to finish this book tonight because the suspense of not knowing is driving me crazy. lol

Harlequin Books pg 327-the end

Wow, not the ending I was expecting. What about you? Did it surprise you? Sylvia's family has some work ahead of them and I hope that it all works out. I know they are just fictional characters but I also know the hard road ahead for them all and I am a sucker for a HEA. This book was quite a journey for me. My parents divorced in the late 70's and I found many similarities between my life and Sylvia's. At times it made it difficult to read but I feel better after reading it and exploring my feelings which I thought I was completely ok with and discovered I still had questions. Did it stir question for you?

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