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Holly Weiss

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Member Since: Mar, 2010

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Blogs by Holly Weiss

A Review of The Other Life by Ellen Meister
2/25/2011 1:16:33 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Beyond a Crack in the Foundation Lies the Life She Might Have Lived
The Other Life is fascinating, original and intriguing. Exploring the complexities of mother/daughter dynamics, the book examines the consequences when that love is put to the ultimate test. If you are longing for invigorating, relevant writing over a broad emotional plane, you will love this book. Be prepared to be touched deeply.

What would you do if you had the option of escaping from today into a life that might have been yours had you made different choices? Quinn Braverman finds portals to the life she might have led to be irresistible lures. She vacillates between her present-day life and the road not taken throughout the novel. We find ourselves relating to Quinn and her family in one time frame and then, just as our comfort zone is set, we are drawn into Quinn’s alternate life. Grieving over an abnormality in her unborn baby, Quinn desperately seeks comfort from her dead mother, Nan. However, in that alternate life, Nan had tormented her daughter with unpredictable episodes of depression. Complicated? Yes. Grief, emotional chaos and the difficulty of making the right choices abound. Ms. Meister handles all of this tricky business with ease. Some descriptions of sexual encounters are included, but they do not overwhelm the book.

Author, wife, mother, curator, and lecturer on literary issues, Ellen Meister created a masterpiece in her new novel, The Other Life. A departure from her earlier light, hilarious books, The Other Life not only explores mother/daughter love but is also a tribute both to its blessings and curses. In an interview, Ms. Meister stated that book clubs enjoy novels with fresh writing, complex characters and emotional dilemmas to which readers can relate. She met that challenge with this creative tour de force.

The book is interspersed with metaphorically brilliant vignettes called “Quinn Deconstructed,” a series of paintings done by Nan. Each depicts Nan’s perceptions of Quinn’s earlier life. There are other stunning touches. A suicide note in the form of a painting. A house not put on the market for seventeen years to preserve a child’s memories. A pink infant’s outfit kept by a mother in anticipation of her granddaughter’s birth.

The Other Life is a riveting read for thoughtful women. Recommended for book clubs, mothers, daughters, and anyone who longs for the listening ear of a deceased, loving parent.

I thank G. P. Putnam’s Sons for supplying me with a review copy. The opinions expressed in my review are unbiased and wholly my own.

Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
http://www.hollyweiss.com



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More Blogs by Holly Weiss
• A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner: A Review - Wednesday, October 05, 2011
• Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks: A Review - Thursday, June 09, 2011
• The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan: A Review - Thursday, June 09, 2011
• The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon: A Review - Saturday, June 04, 2011
• Elizabeth I by Margaret George - Friday, April 08, 2011
• A Review of A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada - Thursday, March 03, 2011
• The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing by Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards: A Revie - Friday, February 25, 2011
•  A Review of The Other Life by Ellen Meister - Friday, February 25, 2011  
• A Review of Under the Mercy Trees by Heather Newton - Monday, January 10, 2011
• Crestmont review by Russian Winter author - Thursday, November 25, 2010
• Do You Need a Vacation? - Sunday, October 24, 2010
• “Sojourns of Journalist a Metaphor for Spiritual Journey of Believer” - Thursday, October 21, 2010
• Sharing with Writers - Tuesday, September 21, 2010
• Pacific Book Review Loves Crestmont - Friday, September 10, 2010
• Should A Christian Novel Be Advertised as Overtly Christian? - Friday, August 27, 2010
• Whirlwind book signings - Friday, July 09, 2010
• Meeting My Characters in Real Life - Thursday, July 01, 2010
• An Insightful Reviewer - Friday, June 25, 2010
• Lover Of Historic Inns - Tuesday, June 15, 2010