Sunday, June 13, 2010

REVIEW: Hearts on a String by Kris Radish

    Synopsis

    Bestselling author Kris Radish delves deeply into the emotions of five very different women who are thrown together by chance—only to discover that they have more in common than they ever could have imagined.


    Holly Blandeen has always cherished the story her grandmother told her about the thread that connects all women, tying them forever in sisterhood. It’s a beautiful idea, but with all the curveballs life has thrown her way, Holly has often felt isolated, different from other women. That starts to change when she meets four strangers in an airport and they agree to share a luxury hotel suite because a powerful spring storm is barreling across the country, stranding travelers from California to Florida. What begins as a spur-of-the-moment decision becomes an unlikely, unexpected, and sometimes reluctant exercise in female bonding, as these five exceptional women—each at a crossroads—swap stories, share secrets, and seek answers to the questions they’ve been asking about life, love, and the path to true happiness. A storm may have grounded them for the moment, but after this wild adventure in which anything can and does happen, they’ll never have to fly solo again.

    About the Author
    from the Barnes and Noble biography

    Nationally syndicated columnist Kris Radish has taken a somewhat winding road to her current status as bestselling feminist novelist, although a strong love of fiction has been in her blood since childhood. "I fell in love with words when I was a little girl (and yes I was short once) and discovered the joy of reading and hanging out with Nancy Drew," she explains on her web site. "By the beginning of eighth grade I had read every book in St. Joseph's Grade School library and knew I was going to be a writer."

    Radish did not start out writing the kinds of tales she loved as a girl. She began in the more practical realm of journalism, which lead her to write her first book. Run, Bambi, Run is the true story of Laurie Bombenek, an ex-cop/ex-Playboy bunny who was sentenced to life in prison for murder. Bombenek's fascinating story -- which included a daring prison break and her subsequent recapture—was adapted into an equally riveting and critically acclaimed true-crime book by Radish.

    Now with her first taste of the publishing world, Radish began work on her second book. The Birth Order Effect was quite different from her debut and miles away from the fiction she would eventually pen. Instead, it is a serious but lively discussion of birth-order and how it affects human psychology and development. Ultimately, The Birth Order Effect would take ten years to see publication, putting Radish's publishing career on hold for that length of time. By the time it finally hit bookstore shelves in 2002, Radish had shifted gears again and would never suffer such a hiatus again. The same year that The Birth Order Effect saw publication, Radish published her breakthrough work of fiction The Elegant Gathering of White Snows, the mysterious, hypnotic story of eight Wisconsin women who embark upon a pilgrimage. As they travel, each woman's story is revealed and the bonds between them strengthen. The Elegant Gathering of White Snows established Radish as an important new voice in feminist fiction and there would be no turning back from there.

    Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn, the story of a wife and mother who sets upon her own journey toward self-actualization after finding her husband in bed with another woman, followed. Next up was Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral, another road novel in the vein of The Elegant Gathering of White Snows. By this point, Radish had gathered quite a following of devoted readers, all of her novels having found their ways onto bestseller lists throughout the United States. The Sunday List of Dreams, her next effort, should be no different. It is a funny, moving, sometimes ribald tale of a woman who reconnects with her estranged daughter, who now runs a successful sex shop in New York City.

    After the somewhat tentative journey toward her current success, Radish promises that she has many more stories to tell. "I write fulltime because I never, not once, let go of the dream I had to do this," she says. "To put all my manic words into sentences and then string the sentences into paragraphs so that they could become chapters and then a book."


    My Thoughts

    What happens when five women who are strangers meet in an airport bathroom, and after being stranded by a surprise storm, decide to get a suite together in a five-star hotel?

    Well it could have been a fun story, full of women finding out how much they have in common, laughing at each others stories, reveling in their womanhood, motherhood and sisterhood.

    Instead the majority of the story wound up being a bunch of nagging and nit-picking women constantly griping at one another, rolling their eyes, bemoaning their decisions to ever share a room with one another.

    Patti was probably the most likable of the characters for me initially, although later on Holly became quite likable as well, and over time you begin to see the appeal of each woman. After all, we are all beautiful in all of our flawed glory! The characters were developed quite fully, so that I could begin to identify with them. We've all known these women in our lives. Most of us would see a little of ourselves in each of them.

    It was probably the middle of this story that I enjoyed the most. My problem in the beginning was the constant nit-picking and griping by all of the women. About halfway through the story, the plotline just took a pretty preposterous turn. At that point, soon after losing my annoyance with the characters for their intolerance of one another (and soon after enjoying the turn in the characters attitudes), I became instead annoyed with the author for throwing so many different storylines into the story that it became the "Perfect Storm" of preposterousness.

    I had great hopes for this story, but in the end it was just "eh".


    My Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Post Title

REVIEW: Hearts on a String by Kris Radish


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http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2010/06/review-hearts-on-string-by-kris-radish.html


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