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Head Over Heels
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"Head Over Heels" discussion > Head Over Heels part 1

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Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 808 comments Mod
Hello Yoga Folks!

This board has been quiet for some time. Hopefully starting our new book discussion will enliven us again. As always, these questions are just prompts to get a chat going about the novel; feel free to answer only those that speak to you, or to just jump in with comments about anything. The only rule is no spoilers, so nothing beyond part one in this thread. Feel free to comment even if you aren't reading the book, if anything pertains to your own life or yoga practice.

1) This novel is more about the characters than about any plot. How do you like the format of Mitchell's jumping from one character to another and periodically weaving their stories together?

2) Lee is the hub in the wheel, so to speak, the owner of the L.A. Edendale yoga studio. As the novel starts we learn she's separated from her husband Alan, renovating her studio, struggling to connect with her twins, and deciding whether to teach at a huge, trendy yoga festival, Flow and Glow. Could you relate to her as a person and a yogi trying to stay true to herself amidst all this?

3) Which of the other women do you most relate to/like to as characters and why? Katherine, the massage therapist with the low self-esteem carried over from childhood with a boyfriend able to see past all that and adore her; Graciela, the dancer who still thinks of herself as small time even though she recently toured with Beyonce and has attracted the attention of a famous baseball player in New York; Stephanie, a woman coming to terms with her career success writing screenplays and her budding relationship with another woman; or Imani, a woman trying to balance motherhood and her acting career and her peace of mind?

4) Rain Mitchell seems fond of excess, especially regarding yoga and sexuality: Lee's mom isn't just gullible, she brought a yoga teacher into her home who enticed her to renovate her house for his teaching, which turn out to be nude male yoga classes (and now he now got her to send him to Saint Barts on her dime); the yoga class Katherine takes boyfriend Connor to turns out to be mildly pornographic, with "strip club" pelvic thrusts during the sun salutation; when Lee went on a TV show with teacher-rival Kyra (whom we learn is now dating Lee's ex), their yoga demonstrations end with Lee's face in Kyra's boobs, etc. Did you find this fun or over the top?

5) Lee pursues David Todd to teach at her studio, and seems to also have a crush on him; meanwhile, her architect Graham seems interested in her. Do you find yourself rooting for one or the other, or just for Lee to figure herself out more?

6) What's been your favorite plot-line so far? Your least favorite? Why?

7) And for my own curiousity, anybody have any idea why the cover photo that comes up for the book on Goodreads looks nothing like the cover of the book as it was published :)

Meryl Davids Landau


Lisa | 40 comments 1) I like how the book shifts from one character to the next, I did get confused once in a while and have to look at the back cover of the book to "refresh" my memory and figure out what character line I was reading ;)

2) I can totally relate to Lee and her struggles to maintain her zen in the midst of chaos! Divorce is hard and with children it's even harder. Trying to "find" yourself after such an event and create a new life is not easy. I speak from experience!

3) Well, I feel like I relate to Lee the most. Second would have to be Katherine with her troubled past and low self esteem. My troubled past aka (divorce with children) really affected how I looked at myself as a person and I felt a lot of self doubt and insecurity. Enter into the picture my current husband, the most wonderful loving guy that looks at me with stars in his eyes.

4) I thought it added a bit of humor to the book, how appropriate that Lee's life is falling apart and her mother is having nude yoga classes in her backyard!

5) Ooo la la David Todd "sounded" like a perfect match for Lee in the beginning of the book. So down to earth and in line with Lee's focus as a teacher, Graham seemed a little boring and reliable. So in my opinion the better choice is Graham!! David is just a little too much like her first husband, too focused on himself and how he looks to others. Graham seems to have a heart of gold and is only concerned with Lee's well-being and what he can do for her. Nice guys always finish last!

6) Lee has a special place in my heart with all her struggles and insecurities. I don't think she has a clue how much she means to the other characters in the book and how much they all look up to her.

7) I have NO idea why the cover photo is different!! I LOVE the one posted on Goodreads and think it would have been a better choice. One of the things that attracted me to the first book "Tales from the Yoga Studio" was the cover! I saw it on a display of new books at my library and it "spoke" to me. Loved it!


Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 808 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "3) Well, I feel like I relate to Lee the most. Second would have to be Katherine with her troubled past and low self esteem. My troubled past aka (divorce with children) really affected how I looked at myself as a person and I felt a lot of self doubt and insecurity. Enter into the picture my current husband, the most wonderful loving guy that looks at me with stars in his eyes. ..."

Hi Lisa: Glad you're enjoying the book! It's great when characters jump out at us as being similar to our own lives. I haven't been divorced but I, too, like Lee the best; she seems the most fleshed out and real. Some of the others can come across as caricatures sometimes. (And glad your current husband is wonderful!)


Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 808 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "4) I thought it added a bit of humor to the book, how appropriate that Lee's life is falling apart and her mother is having nude yoga classes in her backyard! ..."

Nice perspective! I hadn't looked at it that way. I saw it as over the top, but you're right, it's also kinda fun. Although nude male yoga and then he runs off to St. Barts on Lee's mother's dime was a bit too much, methinks :)


message 5: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim Nixon (kim_nixon) | 11 comments I am not too far into the book yet, but I'd like to say I am pleasantly surprised. I have not picked up a novel in years. Usually I try and abandon books quickly. But I've fallen into the pages of this book and am allowing it to unfold. The writer has an ease to her words...


message 6: by Jenene (new) - added it

Jenene 1) I love character-driven stories, and I enjoy jumping between personalities.

2) I can see how real life is distracting, even for yoga teachers. It's a little heavy handed the way it's written out (soap opera-y), but I can relate with trying to 'live my yoga'.

3) I don't really relate to any of the characters… I like the characters but I am pretty far off from them. I think maybe the closest is Stephanie, because I am having some work successes but trying to figure out the new challenges that came from that success. And also trying to fit in yoga and other self care (just started acupuncture!)

4) Totally over the top. But I get it, it adds a bit of flavor. The book so far seems a bit romance-novely to me thus far, but I'm devouring it, so it can't be terrible right? ;)

5) I found myself wishing she'd give Graham a chance, but there seems to be more chemistry with David.

6) Hmm. I'm kind of enjoying the ridiculousness of Graciela's plot. I dislike Katherine's perfect boyfriend scenario. It seems a bit too perfect to be real.

7) nope- i am reading it on my kindle so i don't even get a cover image.

p.s. I now want to read Tales from the Yoga Studio - but will it be lame now that I know where the characters are in a year?

-jenene


Jill (jills7987) | 16 comments 1. I like how Mitchell jumps from one character to another. She always seems to put enough clues in there from what was previously written that I can remember them.
2. Yes I can relate to Lee. I think she's making a good attempt to keep her priorities straight by not jumping into a high profile opportunity. Her studio comes first.
3. I relate to or like Lee the most. All of her characters seem to have qualities that most every woman can identify with. I like the way she inter reacts with the other characters.
4. It was a little over the top, but doesn't life often happen that way?
5. I'm not rooting for David or Graham. I'll wait till Lee decides which is best.
6. Best plot line is Lee growing her business. I have no least yet.
7. No idea why cover pic is different. Does the e-edition have a cover? Maybe it matches that one.


Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 808 comments Mod
I'm glad you gals are liking the book so far. I'm enjoying it too, although I'm a bit put off by some of the extreme, soap-opera plotlines.

Watch for questions on the second section in a few days. And feel free, in any set of Q's, to answer only those questions that speak to you; no requirement to answer them all unless you want to.

Meryl Davids Landau


Ticia | 6 comments 1) I am enjoying the hop back and forth between characters.. I like how the author chooses "cliff hanger" moments to switch to a different character.
2) I think Lee is a pretty realistic character to aspire to be more like. Knowing her thought processes as she works through some difficult situations without blowing up and acting impulsively helps me see how human we all are.
3)I like Katherine. I am secretly hoping she is going to get to keep the house she loves. I love her "no bs" approach to people and situations.
4) I think the situation with Kyra on television was Rain's way to demonstrate her personality. I'm not sure
that was the best scenario to do this. I don't think Lee would allow herself to get into such a ridiculous situation.
5)At first I was rooting for the DT, but now I am starting to lean toward the architect. Lee needs a new start with a guy that is not involved in the yoga world.
6)Katherine's story is my favorite. I am especially enjoying her relationship with Renay. (I think that might be part of a different section of the book)
7)Hm. I'm going to have to think about that one! Maybe it is a real cover that is on some of the books published? Like hard cover vs. paperback?


message 10: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim Nixon (kim_nixon) | 11 comments The stories seem so far from my world. People live like this? :-) But then again I am enoying the book. Her writing is smooth and I glide along. Only reading a few pages each night--but this is the first non-fiction book I have read in years.


Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 808 comments Mod
Kim, I'm not sure people actually live like this. Some characters/scenarios are a bit far out. But it is fun, and a nice change from the nonfiction.

Meryl Davids Landau


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