Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Things We Do For Love by Kristin Hannah

My love for Goodreads and thrift stores has apparently come together over the last year to help me find some great new authors to read. Kristin Hannah is one of those authors. The Things We Do For Love is a very sweet story of a woman who is struggling with infertility and the teenage girl she takes under her wing.

Angie is the youngest of three daughters in an Italian family that operates a small family restaurant. The family is tight-knit, but Angie finds herself pulling away as the pain of seeing her sisters with their children begins to make her feel hurt and angry. She and her husband have been trying unsuccessfully to have a child of their own and she hasn't quite felt like herself following the loss of her baby. She withdraws from the majority of life and becomes so obsessed with the efforts of becoming a mother that her marriage suffers and eventually crumbles. She finds herself living a life she never expected.

Across town, a young girl is struggling to be successful despite the poor influence and example offered by her own mother.  Lauren's mother is a drunk who is rarely at home and bounces frequently from man to man. She fails to provide for her daughter, leaving them leaving in a small and rundown apartment without heat and very little food.

Their two lives collide when Lauren's mother abandons her and Lauren finds herself completely on her own.

It may not be a sophisticated and academic read, but I still very much enjoyed this book. It was loving and simple (in a good way). I was relaxed by this book. I didn't feel awkward or tense, I didn't feel that I had to work terribly hard to stay focused or follow the plot. It just flowed.

I know that chick lit has become a cliche for many people and that there are a lot out there who judge a girl based on reading this type of book. But you know what? I say go ahead and judge if you will. I'll take books I enjoy over stuffy books that require me to look up every other word in the dictionary or books where the author has a condescending attitude from word one. Chick lit is a nice break every now and then...I say the same thing for young adult fiction. This book was nearly a perfect blend of the two.

However, most books do have a flaw. This one was not the exception. It may be petty, but I found that this book suffered from being too predictable. I need a little bit of a surprise and it wasn't there. much as I enjoyed it, The Things We Do For Love earns 4 out of 5 stars.


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