I received an ARC of this lovely book in exchange for a review.
Five glowing stars *****
Every now and then you grab hold of an unexpected treasure and this book was indeed an unexpected and very welcomed addition to my list of favorites. Having said that, I think that it will appeal strongly to some but others may not "get" it. So, who would this book appeal too?? I would say that you would need to be somebody who has had to overcome and cope with a few growing pains. This is the kind of book that those of us who have lived through those first loves and awful mistakes of our teenage years can relate to on a personal level. How many of us think back and wish that our families were "normal" and tried so hard to fit into that definition of normal that we often overlooked who we really were in the process? This book is a little about romance but it's MORE about how Gemini views herself and others and her need to go face to face with her childhood/adolescent demons.
Gemini comes from a very eccentric family to say the least. Her mom and aunts don't do anything normal from the way they dress to their shocking relationship and career choices. And... I fell in love with these very modern, flashy, I don't do marriage women. Each of their stories comes with it's own set of laughs, tears and heartbreaks. These women had me thinking back to some of the lovable southern women we met in Steel Magnolias except you need to mix in a little Vegas to spice it up a notch! And, despite how flamboyant these women were, one thing was clear... they loved their family and were very close.
When one of the aunts passes away it brings this big eccentric family back together again to Vegas for a funeral and Gem who is now in her thirties breaks the news that she is engaged. This was not cause for celebration as far as her mom and aunts were concerned. While she is in Vegas she also decides to face a demon from her past... an ex-husband she met, married and left on a whim without even saying goodbye when she was 19. This leads her on a journey of self discovery and awakenings that eventually help her come to a decision as to whether or not she should follow the Wilder tradition of no marriage or give in to normal and take a chance.
I loved this heroine and respected her choices because it highlights one of my golden rules to relationship survival: Complete openness and honesty with your partner and never ever giving up what makes you... you! Having a career or a hobby that makes you feel complete as a person is important as well as accepting your partner for all of their faults and crazy family members!
This would be a great book for a buddy read... so many things to think about and discuss.
Here are just a few of my favorite quotes:
"I'd been listening to the music of my childhood too long now. It was time to listen to me."
"I'd simply pulled the ultimate all or nothing act of my life. But instead of embracing the "all" side, I'd gone for nothing, never realizing that they were simply two faces of the same coin."
Dorcas strolled out on the deck wearing a robe of silver lame'...
Cyn took one look and burst into laughter. "What the hell are you supposed to be, a baked potato?"
Anyway... this is a book that makes you giggle, makes you think and brings on a few well shedded tears... I highly recommend!
To read T's review of Call of the Wilder click HERE.