Glitter and Glue Book Review

Glitter and Glue

By Kelly Corrigan

Genre: Memoir

4 out of 5 chickadees singing! This book was “squarely in my wheelhouse.” I found it at a Goodwill and it was only $2, so I thought I’d give it a shot. As a former nanny/babysitter, I was intrigued by the story of Kelly nannying in another country. This book did not disappoint me.

Kelly goes to Australia as a 19 year old as part of her “seeing the world” tour. She gets a job as a nanny for the Tanner family. The Tanners have just lost their mother, Ellen. John is the father and his children are Millie, 7, and Martin, 5. Not until Kelly starts the job does she find out that Ellen’s son (John’s stepson), Evan, and Ellen’s father, Pop, also live in the house. She’s intrigued about the fact that Evan and Pop stay at the house even though their tie to the other family members (Ellen) is gone. She’s also interested in who Ellen was and how the family will move on without her. She becomes a bit of a surrogate mother to the children for a while. Throughout the story of Kelly nannying, she reflects on her relationship with her own mother. We also get to hear some of Kelly and her mother’s connection after she has her own children.

I was very interested in the Tanners’ lives and how Kelly fit into it. I thought she portrayed a lot of hope, positivity, and appreciation throughout this story. I really have no complaints. It was a well-done and sweet memoir.

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All I Can Handle Book Review

All I Can Handle: I’m no Mother Theresa: A Life Raising Three Girls with Autism

By Kim Stagliano

Genre: Memoir, Parenting

This book is probably a 3.5. Like many other reviewers, I was hoping this book would be more about how Kim manages three girls with autism and what their day to day lives are like. There was a lot of information in this book about various autism controversies. Do vaccines cause autism? Is autism exacerbated by diet? Should we try to “cure” autism or accept neurodiversity? These are a few of the issues that Kim brings up. While I found her discussions somewhat interesting, I wanted a little more memoir to this book.

Kim has a great sense of humor that shines through with her writing. She tells some hilarious stories that parents of children with autism will definitely be able to relate to. The book includes some personal pictures, which was a nice touch. Kim is at her best when telling stories about her life and her girls- I just wish there had been even more of that in the book.

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336 Hours Book Tour

336 Hours Tour Banner

We are excited to be featuring the awesome book, 336 Hours, today! Scroll down for my review of this relatable, heartwarming, yet funny, story! At the bottom of this post, you can enter a giveaway to win the book for FREE!

336 Hours

By Rachel Cathan

Genre: ‘Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.’

Release Date: 13th February 2017

Publisher: SilverWood Books

The next 336 hours will be tough. No, the next 336 hours will be really tough…

I feel like an Olympian, waiting to see whether the years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication are finally going to pay off, or whether my body is about to fail me at the last hurdle and make me wonder why I ever hoped I could win.

My best friend is pregnant, my single friends are planning their pregnancies and, after five long years of tests and investigations, I’m coming to the end of my third – and supposedly final – IVF treatment. There are 336 hours to survive before I’ll know if I get to join the motherhood club. That’s 224 waking hours of pure psychological torture. 112 sleeping hours to stare at the ceiling and wonder, what the hell am I going to do with my life if it turns out I can’t have kids?

Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.

Extract 1:
They should have IVF farms for women like me to book into at times like these; pretty padded cells with flat-screen TVs and row upon row of feel-good DVDs and relaxation CDs, and beautiful gardens and luxury bathrooms with hot taps that would never heat up to embryo boiling temperatures, and gigantic rocking chairs so that we could legitimately sit and rock ourselves backwards and forwards for hours on end without looking completely crazy in the process.

Extract 2:
I can’t pretend to have a clue what she means, of course. I don’t know what it’s like to have little people shouting, ‘Mummy! Mummy! MUUMMEEE!’ all day long, to never be able to go for a wee on your own, to make spaghetti bolognese and then watch your dinner dates tip it straight over their heads, to stay up all night comforting a teething toddler, to spend hours coercing and pleading with very small people to put shoes and coats on so you can at last leave the fucking house.

But I want to know this life. Because that stuff gives you stories, first-hand experiences, and the right to exchange knowing smiles of solidarity with other frazzled parents as you all manoeuvre your wayward shopping trolleys around the aisles of Tesco.

And it comes with other stuff, too: the good stuff.

336 Hours cover

My Review

I was given this book as part of a book tour and am voluntarily reviewing it. I thought that this book was amazingly relatable. It details the main character’s struggles with the 336 hours before she discovers if her third IVF treatment has been successful. She and her “DH” (dear husband) have decided this is the final time they will attempt IVF. She details the physical challenges, but more importantly, the emotional ones. What will she do if this treatment isn’t successful? She contemplated a childfree life of travel and wealth. Or will she foster or adopt? If this test is negative, will she really be able to stop trying for a baby?

This book had a few hilarious “dry humor” types of scenes with the physical symptoms that infertility treatment cause. I nearly laughed aloud when she felt so gaseous but couldn’t fart. Brilliant writing about an “improper” topic.

I love books like this that delve into emotional struggles on tough, real-life situations. I think this book is a must-read for anyone struggling with infertility. I also think that people who haven’t struggled with infertility could gain an amazing amount of empathy from reading this story, especially learning what not to say to someone who is childfree. Overall, this is a heartfelt book with the right amount of humor.

Links and Author Info

BUY LINK

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Silverwood Books

 

ABOUT RACHEL CATHAN

author pic

RACHEL CATHAN is a writer from Bedfordshire. In 2001, a mutual friend introduced her to a part-time pub DJ in Southend-on-Sea. A month later, they had moved in together, around seven years later they tied the knot, and a little while after that – just like so many couples before them – they made the exciting and terrifying decision to start a family. And then, like a growing number of couples today, well…not a lot happened.

Throughout the subsequent years of fertility investigations and failed treatments, Rachel kept a diary of her experiences, and it’s from these first- hand encounters in the world of infertility and IVF that her first book, 336 Hours has been adapted.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/336Hours/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelcathan

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33350325-336-hours?from_search=true.

 

Blog: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk/rachels-blog/

Website: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk

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Room Book Review

Room

By Emma Donoghue

4 out of 5 stars! Some spoilers ahead!

When I heard what this book was about, I expected it to be a lot darker than it was. However, this dark story is told from the point of view of young Jack who doesn’t know anything except his situation. He is happy and content with his life.

Five year old Jack lives with Ma in tiny shed. This room is the only world that Jack knows. He thinks that what he sees on the TV are made up stories about other worlds. He views room as it’s own universe. In reality, Ma was kidnapped at age 19 and locked in a garden shed that is inescapable. Her captor abuses her and so Jack is born. 

It was incredible to read about the love and bond that Jack and Ma had. Ma tried to make things as “normal” for Jack as possible. She makes up games from the few objects they have. For example, they thread a string through broken eggshells to make a snake. They do “P.E.” by running around the rug. They stick to a strict routine. I was amazed by Ma’s creativity and resilience. 

Eventually, Ma and Jack escape in a not-so-believable part of the story. I thought this was going to be the main part of the book, but it was actually quite a small part. After this, we read about Ma and Jack adjusting to the real world. I thought that the author did a pretty good job of showing the challenges that Jack would face coming into such a new environment. It seemed like he had sensory processing disorder as well as some OCD. In the room, Jack’s life was extremely small and predictable. His mother and he were never apart because there was no space to be apart! Ma is relieved to be back in the world and wants to move on with life, but Jack misses things about his old life. 

This is an emotional and moving book! If you can handle the “baby talk” Jack often uses, I recommend this story.

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Saving Abby Review

Saving Abby

By Steena Holmes

Genre: Women’s fiction

3 out of 5 stars. I loved “Finding Emma” and “Emma’s Secret” by Steena Holmes and had been wanting to read more of her books for a while. In “Saving Abby,” Claire and her husband, Josh, have been struggling with infertility. They go on a worldwide tour to get inspiration for the children’s book series Josh writes and Claire illustrates. This vacation is also a chance for them to put the past and their baby dreams behind them and move on. The story flashes back and forth between their vacation and the present day, which didn’t make that much sense to me. I think the book would’ve been just as complete without the vacation flashbacks.

When Claire returns home, she starts getting horrible headaches and being exhausted all the time. It turns out she is finally pregnant! Josh and Claire are so excited, but Claire’s symptoms are getting worse, not better. Josh and Claire’s best friend, Abby, push her to get checked out. They find out that Claire has a brain tumor and they can’t do anything to treat it while she is pregnant. Claire makes the choice of her baby’s life over her own. There is also the subplot of Claire having placed a child for adoption when she was a teenager and her continued grief over that situation.

This book had an interesting premise, but it could’ve been better executed. Claire’s brain tumor was discovered so late in the book, even though that was a huge part of the plot. In addition, there was no struggle in Claire’s decision. She decided she wasn’t going to get treatment until after the baby came and that was that. I think it would’ve been interesting to see Josh and her labor over that decision or see more conflict when they both had different opinions. Even though the subject matter should’ve been tear-inducing, I didn’t feel like the book really delved into all the emotions that the characters would be feeling. Josh was super supportive one minute and then annoyed with Claire the next. Claire was pretty resolute and we never really saw her stress over dying, even as she was making “just in case” preparations. The character who seemed to be the most developed was Claire’s mother, Millie. She was very relatable and you could feel her regret over choices she made in the past and her uncertainty as she attempts to make things right.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad read, it just wasn’t as good as it could’ve been.

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