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Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Cost of Hope - Book Review

June 24th, 2012 The Cost of Hope: A Memoir by Amanda Bennett Published: June 5th 2012 Publisher: Random House Non Fiction, Memoir 240 pages I was hesitant to read this book just because of the subject matter, another story about someone dying of a terrible disease. There seems to be a huge tidal wave of these books lately and although most are written to be inspiring and hopeful, they can really wear on you. This book is also about this woman's experience with her husbands terminal cancer. Having lost my mother in law a few years ago to lung cancer I was afraid to bring up some very sad feelings. But what intrigued me about this particular book was the concept. Yes, it is about a wife and her experience dealing with her husband's illness but she took a new angle on it. She chose to review the experience and go back and talk to the doctors about the choices that they made and also about the cost, monetarally, physically and emotionally. I found this authors writing style very to the point. She doesn't spend time describing things, instead she gets right to the point page after page. Her sentences are short and crisp. I think that this comes from the fact that her background is as a newpaper editor. Her relationship with her husband was facinating too. This was no typical love story, This was two people who loved and respected each other working their way through building a life and a family together. I would have loved to have met Terence! I admired the way that Amanda obviously didn't want anyone to feel sorry for her or her family. She wanted to investigate and in her case, appreciate the world of doctors, medical care and health insurance. As we all know this is a red hot topic right now. When Amanda begins to review the bills, treatments, options, etc for cancer you as the reader quickly realize what a tangeld web it is. In some ways it seems ridiculous and can make you very angry. But this isn't an attack on the system, it is simply a revision of the choices made during a very difficult time when all you can do is listen to different opinions and options and then guess. And that is where hope comes in! No one will ever know if the choices made were ultimately right or wrong but Amanda is not juding herself or anyone else she is just writing about surviving and respecting her husbands decisions and the way he made them. Thank you Amanda for sharing this story and Terence with us (and respecting your children's privacy). I thorolughly enjoyed this book and finished it in just 2 days.

The Dovekeepers Book Review

June 24th 2012 Ok today I am finally going to do what I have wanted to do for a long time and that is to start my book review blog! YAY ME! Let me start of by saying that I am a wife and mother who has always loved to read. I own over 500 books and I write book reviews for a magazine called Worldette. I will be posting my latest reviews of some new and upcoming books - (I am blessed enough to have access to a lot of Advance Copies) and I will also be posting reviews of the books that I have read over the years. I hope that you will find them interesting, funny, insightful, and helpful in some way. So here we go: The Dovekeepers: A Novel by Alice Hoffman Published: October 2011 Publisher: Scribner Historical Fiction 512 pages Let me start off by saying that this is my first book by Alice Hoffman but certainly will not be my last. The story chronicles the struggle and the plight of the Jews in 70 C.E. when their temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and they were forced out of their homes and into the desert. The Dovekeepers is a rich gorgeous tapestry divinely woven together by four unforgettable heroines. In the first section of the book we are introduced to Yael, a young woman whose life was over before it had even begun. Considered a murderer by her father because of her mothers death during her birth, Yael and her father come upon a mountain village where she is reunited with her beloved brother. Here they find a group of people who have made it their mission not only to survive but to rebuild their lives. Yael is given a job as a Dovekeeper and it is here that she meets and befriends Revka, Aziza and Shirah. As Yael struggles to make peace with her past she also learns about friendship, love and forgiveness. Revka, a baker’s wife, is still reeling after witnessing the brutal murder of her daughter years ago. As she struggles to raise her two grandsons on her own, she discovers that secrets and guilt are the true enemies that must be conquered in order to begin to heal herself and those that she loves. Aziza is a warriors daughter whose strife is to figure out her true identity and not who others want or need her to be. On her journey she will realize that the only person she can save ultimately is herself. Shirah, it is believed, is a witch whose spells and potions can heal the sick or destroy her enemies. But even as a small child she realized that there are forces in this world which no amount of insight or power can change or control. These four strong independent women have all had very different lives and paths that have led them to Massada. As we learn more about each woman and her past we are left to cherish the belief that even as individuals our lives and fates are all somehow intertwined. At the end of this book I was left feeling deeply gratified but yet a bit melancholy due to the fact that literary gems such as this are a rare find. (published in Worldette Magazine Nov 2011)