Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Are You Willing to Let a Friend Go?

Anton Discalafani’s The After Party is one of the best novels of the summer according to PopSugar.  This novel entertains us with a tale of friendship between to two women back in the 1950s.  The story is set in the 1957 and through flashbacks of the two women’s childhood.   The women are both named Joans.


Joan and Cece have been together since elementary school.  They share a history that is hard for many to understand even her husband.    The story is told from Cece’s point of view, and her role in Joan’s life as her caretaker.  When her mother died she went to live with Joan’s family.  Joan’s parents expected her to keep tabs on their daughter.  The story flips between Joan and Cece’s growing up years to the present of 1957.  Now that Cece has her own family and baby how can she keep the same role?  Does Joan want her to?   Can she break the ties of her past?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story.  The author focused the setting in Houston and the Shamrock hotel.  A whole community evolves from the author's creative mind.   Then we the readers are introduced to the two Joans.  The theme of the story is who is Joan?  Cece and her parents think they know.  But do they really?  The only part of the story that I didn’t love was Cece’s obsession with Joan, in their relationship.  It is a great coming of age story.



Please visit Anton on her Facebook page and her Website.

Monday, September 12, 2016

In the Spotlight: HER NAME IS ROSE by Christine Breen

We are excited to have Christine Breen to share her debut novel HER NAME IS ROSE. In the novel the author explores the relationship between mothers and daughters.  How does that relationship become impacted by adoption?


When Irish gardener Iris Bowen could not conceive a child, she turned to an Irish adoption agency. There she found a young American exchange student who wanted the best for her infant daughter, but had one request: that the child be named Rose. Now, Rose has grown and is stepping out on her own at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Although a gifted violinist, she questions her talent as she struggles to meet the impossible demands of her brilliant but harsh teacher. Meanwhile, Iris has yet to fulfill her late husband’s last request that she find Rose’s birth mother, so that if anything happened to Iris, Rose would not be left alone in the world. However, when Iris receives some worrisome results on a breast scan, her husband’s words become hauntingly urgent. Without telling her daughter, she embarks on a voyage to find Rose’s birth mother. Since searches for a birth mother are usually initiated by the adopted child, Iris finds herself in a unique situation. With no records available to her and only a twenty-year-old envelope with a faded address to guide her, Iris begins a journey into the past that takes her to Boston and back to the west of Ireland, with surprising results for herself and for Rose and the others whom their lives touch. Iris discovers just how connected the world can be and how the world can feel much smaller thanks to love and music.

About the Author:

CHRISTINE BREEN was born in New York and educated in Boston and Dublin, where she received an MA in Irish Literature. She is an artist, homeopath, and garden designer whose columns on travel, gardening and health have appeared in newspapers and magazines in Ireland and America. She currently lives in Kiltumper, Ireland with her husband, the novelist Niall Williams, in the cottage where her grandfatherwas born. HER NAME IS ROSE is her first novel.

To connect with Christine Breen go to her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Webiste

To purchase her book please visit these retailers: