BOOK TALK ON A THURSDAY: SISTERS LIKE US

After a summer and fall foray into Happily Inc. Susan Mallery now returns us to Mischief Bay. Harper and her sister Stacey couldn’t be more different. Harper was a full time wife and mother, happily making home a haven for her family. Until her husband decided he SLUwanted a divorce. Harper wasn’t educated or trained to be anything other than a wife and mom and she had to scramble to put food on the table for her daughter. She opened a business as a virtual assistant and is now overworked and underpaid. Just like most personal assistants, 😉
Stacey is a brainiac nerd, who’s more comfortable in her medical research lab than with most real people. She’s pregnant with her first child and is terrified. She’s scared she won’t bond with the baby, that she won’t know what to do, that her husband will love the baby more than he loves her.
Harper and Stacey are opposites, but they stand together against their overbearing mother. Harper’s teenage daughter, Becca, is also a viewpoint character.
The three women navigate life and change in their own ways.

I loved this one! The characters are archetypes in some ways. Harper is the perfect homemaker, Stacey is the nerd, Becca is the temperamental teenager. But in Mallery’s world, they’re also real people I feel like I know. Harper knows she’s on a hamster wheel of perfection, but she can’t see how to climb off. I’ve been on that wheel a time or two myself.

There are some familiar characters who return from the previous Mischief Bay books. Lucas, the guy we’ve gotten to know for his penchant for dating twenty-year-olds, is back and even showing signs of maturing. Lulu, Pam’s Chinese Crested dog, has a cameo appearance.

Sisters Like Us is both new and familiar. In the best way. I highly recommend it!

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I received a free copy of the book in return for a honest review. We both kept our side of the bargain.

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Book Talk Tuesday on a Thursday: Best Food Writing 2014

It’s been one of those weeks. But I’m getting in at least one post this week!

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Best Food Writing 2014

It’s a bit daunting to offer a review of a book that is already self-proclaimed as “The Best.”

Good thing Best Food Writing 2014 lives up to its name.
A well curated collection of essays, profiles, and articles, each selection deserves its place in this annual compendium.

The articles range from serious examinations of current events (feeding families on food stamps and food bank handouts) to humorous (choosing homemade ketchup over a longtime friend). There are memories (tomato pie in Rhode Island) and commentaries (beyond the locavore to invasivore and free range gatherers).

I was surprised (although I shouldn’t have been) when what I was reading intersected my real life. I witnessed the lines at Hapa Ramen in San Francisco, shopped the farmers market there. After reading about $4 toast, I began seeing it.

For anyone who appreciates good food, whether it be as a home cook or diner at a fine restaurant, Best Food Writing 2014 has something for you to appreciate.

I received a free advanced e-copy of this book in return for a fair review. I ate it up and am grateful.