Center Ring Review

If you are a mother, have a mother, or want to be a mother.  If you have a job, had a job, or want a job.  If you are married, used to be married, or want to be married.  If you relate to any of those categories, you will find a relatable character in this debut read.  Grab your girlfriends and your wine because this is a book you’ll want to read with company.

Center Ring is the first in The Circus of Women trilogy by Nicole Waggoner.  It features five best friends:

Norah, an ob-gyn struggling with her own infertility and marriage

Camille, a photojournalist at a crossroads in her career

Leila, mother of two and former professor

Ellison, a publicist for Hollywood’s elite and unlucky in love

Kate, brand-new mother struggling with trying to be perfect

As the girls get together for a night out, Norah lets out a secret and the book follows each woman share her story as they rally around her.  The book continuously changes point of view from woman to woman, but the chapters are short so it’s easy to read large portions at a time.

As a working married mother, I completely related to multiple stories in this book, especially those when the characters were trying to balance it all, just like the “circus” theme suggests.  Nicole does a fabulous job of bringing readers back to that concept throughout.  You’ll be rooting for each woman as she experiences her highs, and sympathizing with them as they experience their lows.

This book would make a great addition to your beach bag, but I guarantee you’ll want to share the story with your friends.  It will be hard having time pass by as you immerse yourself in the lives of these women.  What will be harder is waiting for Book 2 in the trilogy to find out what happens next.

Thanks so much to Nicole Waggoner for the copy in exchange for an honest review.  Be sure to follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

Somewhere Out There Review

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Amy Hatvany could publish her grocery list and I’d read it.  She has this ability to hook a reader from the first page without her book being a thriller and make you feel every emotion.

Somewhere Out There starts off with a glimpse of Jennifer, a young mom to two girls, living out of her car and trying to get them taken care of and fed.  Not being careful enough, she is caught shoplifting and even after an explanation, the store doesn’t want to cut her any slack.  Her social worker suggests that giving up her girls will be the best thing she can do for them moving forward.

Fast forward 30 years where we meet mother and caterer Natalie and cocktail waitress Brooke, the two girls Jennifer gave up.  The reader is introduced to their current lives and how each grew up in very different circumstances.  The book flashes back to what happened to Jennifer once she was arrested for shoplifting and, subsequently, what happened in the past as the girls grew up and how that shaped them in the present.

I love how everything Hatvany does is so realistic.  She doesn’t have Natalie living a picture perfect life with a lawyer husband and two kids.  She struggles between work and motherhood and even has spats with her husband, just like real life.  What may look more perfect on the outside is anything but.

As I read this, I kept going back to the fact that I couldn’t put this book down starting on page 2.  It’s rare that a women’s fiction story hooks me so quickly.

This is one you’ll want to discuss with all your friends and will make you want to complete your Amy Hatvany library.   As usual, I cannot wait for another new release from her.

Thanks to BookSparks as part of their #mywinterisbooked campaign for the copy in exchange for an honest review.