Book Review: Degrees of Love

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Degrees of Love: A Novel by Lisa Slabach

Author: Lisa Slabach

Pages: 344 pages

Plot: At thirty-six, Susan Sinclair has it all. She’s just been promoted to Senior Vice President of Mobile Banking at her firm, a prestigious position bringing fresh creative challenges and a hefty salary increase. Like the shiny new BMW in the driveway of the Silicon Valley home she shares with her husband, Matt, and their two beautiful boys, Susan exudes confidence and style.

Yet despite her success in juggling the roles of wife, mother, and businesswoman, Susan struggles with a secret dissatisfaction. Matt’s work in cutting-edge computer research pays less than her job, and with each advance in her career, he has grown more distant. But Matt refuses to admit there is a problem, and Susan forces herself to play along, determined to give her boys the close-knit family life she never had.

Then she meets her new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick. Working and traveling together, she and Reese become a crackerjack team, but little by little, pleasure mixes with business. For the first time in a long time—maybe ever—Susan feels seen and appreciated for who she is. Certain she would never allow their friendship to cross the line, Susan lets herself stray dangerously close to the edge.

A moment of weakness changes everything. Now, unable to stomach the façade her marriage has become yet unwilling to decimate her family by moving forward with Reese, Susan faces a choice that could cost her everything—including her children . . . but possibly bring her more than she can dream.

Thoughts: In ‘Degrees of Love’ we follow Susan a Silicon Valley, soccer mom who is dedicated to her two boys, her husband and her career. Susan just got a promotion as the vice president in her company and a hike in her salary. She has it all from a lovely family, to a promising career, but things that look perfect from outside really aren’t so perfect.

Her husband, Matt is not exactly what she needs in a husband. Over the years he has become indifferent and distant. She craves to connect with him at all levels. Matt had already made her quit acting which she loved, after they were married and now, he is unhappy with the time Susan has to dedicate to her job. There is unspoken discontent between the couple but they are determined to stick together for the boys, until Reese comes into the picture. Reese is Susan’s boss who soon becomes Susan’s friend and more. They have a spark and an understanding that Matt and Susan never had. Susan tries to distant herself from him as much as she can but all her efforts are down the drain. They are drawn to each other like a moth to fire.

This is the first time I have read a book where adultery is the key plot. I in no way support or accept cheating in a relationship, but the way Lisa has narrated the story and explained Susan’s plight in a way that I felt empathetic towards her. I could understand why she was doing what she did. The characters are as real as it gets. May it be Susan, Resee or Matt; each character’s actions were justified.  There was no right no wrong everyone was right on their part.

The narration was seamless and was moving at a steady pace throughout. The story picked up towards the end since the three quarters of the book was plot and character building. I am glad that the book ended in the way that I was hoping for. 🙂

About the Author: Degrees of Love is Lisa Slabach’s debut novel. She is currently working on her third full-length manuscript and a collection of short stories inspired by her experiences growing up in a small farm community in Washington’s Yakima Valley. In addition to writing, Lisa works for a Fortune 500 Company, leading a sales team in the financial industry. She currently resides in Northern California with her husband and has two daughters, who are both pursuing careers in film. In her free time, she enjoys drinking wine with friends and cooking in her pink kitchen.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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Book Review: Without Merit

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Title: Without Merit

Author: Colleen Hoover

Pages: 384 pages

Plot: Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Favorite Quote: “It annoys me when people try to convince other people that their anger or stress isn’t warranted if someone else in the world is worse off than them. It’s bullshit. Your emotions and reactions are valid, Merit. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. You’re the only one who feels them.”

Thoughts: It’s not a secret that I am a huge fan of Colleen Hoover’s work. ‘Without Merit’ won the Goodreads Readers Choice Awards 2017 in Romance category this year. She is the queen of contemporary love stories and this is the third consecutive year she has nailed this award.

This book revolves around a house, (not a home as Merit says) Dollar Voss where the Voss family resides. The family is dysfunctional in ways beyond it appears. We follow Merit Voss, through the book who is obsessed with buying trophies for every crisis she bypasses. Bigger the crises better the trophy. Her mother is a cancer patient living in the basement inspite of being divorced to her father. Her father is married to her mother’s former nurse Victoria.

Oh, did I mention Merit has an identical twin? Honor and Merit only look alike but they are starkly different in their personalities and don’t really get along anymore. She has one brother Utah and a half brother, Moby. And then comes Sagan, the only man who catches Merit’s eye from the first time they meet, which soon turns into a disaster. We also meet Luck who is Victoria’s half brother and quite a colorful character. These are the characters we encounter in the book.

Firstly for me this didn’t strike as a romance novel. It was more of a book about self discovery and family drama. A sweet romantic tale between Merit and Sagan was unfolding side by side. The book unfolds from Merit’s point of view. She is living with a lot of buried secrets and hurt within her. She is in complete denial that she is in depression to the extent that she becomes suicidal. Each character is thoughtfully carved.

I love the narration and the flow of the book. I like that the issues like depression are addressed in the book. There is always something about the authors writing that is so addictive, intruding and thoroughly entertaining. I would strongly recommend this book to everybody who likea Hoover’s book and otherwise.

Ratings: 4/5

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Book Review: The Rose and the Dagger

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Title:  The Rose and the Dagger

Author:  Renne Ahdieh

Page: 416 pages

Plot: The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

Favourite Quote: “It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”

Thoughts:   This is the second and final part in ‘The Wrath and the Dawn’ Series. You can checkout my review for part one here. As you know I loved the part one and was eager to read the final book. I am so glad that book two didn’t disappoint me.

This book picks up right where the book one concluded.  After the stormy night in Rey, the city is a shattered. Shazi leaves Khalid and goes to live with her family and Tariq in the camps. Khalid and Shazi are separated with a longing to be reunited. After Shazi comes to know the curse bestowed upon Khalid and the kingdom of Khorasan, she is determined to set both the king and kingdom free from its spell.

She soon discovers that she is more powerful than she thought. She has innate magical skills which she needs to master. Jointly they find a way to dissolve the spell, save the kingdom and be together. Their path is filled with thorns. But as the book mentions, the best essence of the rose is the thorn.

The book is filled with a lot of twists and turns that are jaw dropping. The writing like the previous book is majestic. My favorite character is Shazi and I continue to remain a fan of her wit and courage in this book too. Sharzad is fiercer than before as our heroine. In the first book her heart was torn between revenge for her friend and love for Khalid. In this book she was determined and surely knew her heart’s desire. Khalid’s character changed from an evil being, a perceived emotionless husband to a protective, loving one. Their relationship moved from young love torn between love and hate to a matured, secured one. The other characters are also well constructed. This book has more magic, love, betrayals and action scenes compared to the previous one. The plot that was erected in book one was beautifully taken forward in book two. The plot is evocative and I was absorbed in the book from the start till the end.

Over all the book is beautifully written, with well constructed characters and an exciting plot which keeps you gripped throughout.

Rating: 4/5

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Book Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

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Title:  The Wrath and the Dawn

Author:  Renne Ahdieh

Page: 395 pages

Plot: One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Favourite Quote: “Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”

Thoughts:   There was so much hype created around this series that I had to read it. This is a fantasy fiction based in the kingdom of Khorasan. The Caliph of Khorasan, an eighteen year old king is considered a monster. He takes in a new bride every night and has her executed the next morning. Sharzad our female lead has lost her dear friend to this inhumanity and decides to take revenge for her death. Sharzad volunteers to be the next Calipha of Khorasan. The night after they are married, Sharzad narrates an enticing story to the Caliph and decides to reveal the end only on the next night. This is how she manages to survive night after night.

But nothing is what it seems like to Sharzad. She decides to get to the bottom of the truth of why the women are being murdered at dawn. The relationship between Khalid and Shazi builds, from hatred to empathy to love. Their love story is weaved by creating beautiful situations,with beautiful words. There were few phrases where reading once was just not enough.

Apart from the main leads I loved Despina’s character. She is Shazi’s hand maiden and so witty and quick. The other important character was of Tariq, an old friend/lover of Shrazad is determined to kill the Caliph and set Sharzad free. But the question was if Shrazad really wanted to be set free?

The plot reminded me of the Arabian nights. But there is much more to it. More than the plot I loved the way the story unfolded. The writing is what I liked the most about the book. Some people might be of an opinion that it was too flowery and over written but for me the writing is what made this book beautiful. I loved Sharzad’s character. She is so self empowered, determined and fearless. When her heart and mind were conflicted about Khalid, I struggled too. I was basically transported to Khoransan every time I was reading the book. Towards the end there is a little magic that comes into picture. Hopefully we will see more of it in the next book.

I am almost done with ‘The Rose and the Dagger’. Will be reviewing it soon.

Rating: 4/5

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Book Review: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

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Title: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Page: 288 pages

Plot: Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Favorite Quote: “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”

Thoughts: I had heard a lot about this book by Elizabeth Gilbert and I wanted to read it ever since. I had loved ‘Eat Pray Love’ and I was expecting much more from this one. Well, this book is basically about keeping your creativity alive, growing and away from fears.

In this book the author has given creative ideas a life of their own. They pay a visit to an individual at any possible time and place, you grab it or they will visit someone else. There is never a “right time” for creativity. Procrastination leads do a missed opportunity when it comes to creativity. This is beautifully explained with examples from author’s personal life.

The other thing that I liked in the book was creativity’s relationship with fear. Creativity and fear co-exist the more attention given to fear, the more it expands. A lot of times an individual judges his creative output based on the success it will receive. The author advises to not fret about it and just do it. The most important thing is to give in your 100% and the work you produce should be perfect according to you. This particular thought is quite inspiring and comforting for anyone who needs to overcome the mental barrier of being measured by the success his creativity receives from the society.

The voice is narrative and it feels like the author is talking to the reader. There were few highs points for me in the book but I was expecting much more. Few ideas seemed impractical and not applicable universally. For e.g. the author states that getting a higher education in field of your interest is unworthy. Some people have innate talent to do things but other need to brush up their skills and that’s where education is required.

Overall, this book didn’t impress me completely but there are a few gems that can be taken away from this book.

Rating: 3/5

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Book Review: A Spool of Blue Thread

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Title: A Spool of Blue Thread

Author: Anne Tyler

Page: 358 pages

Plot: “It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon.” This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. from Red’s father and mother, newly-arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor.

Brimming with all the insight, humour, and generosity of spirit that are the hallmarks of Anne Tyler’s work, A Spool of Blue Thread tells a poignant yet unsentimental story in praise of family in all its emotional complexity. It is a novel to cherish.

Favorite Quote: “But it has occurred to me, on occasion, that our memories of our loved ones might not be the point. Maybe the point is their memories—all that they take away with them”

Thoughts:  I picked this book up last month since I was in a mood to read a well written family drama and this was my choice since Anne Tyle is famous for quirking up family tales. ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ revolves around the Whitshank family. The soul of the narration is the mother, Abby Whitshank.

The book tells us about the three generation of the Whitshank family. There is nothing remarkable about their family but like most of the families, they believe they are special. The story mostly takes us through the lives of the family members, their wills, regrets, dimensions, family dynamics, evolution of their family, etc.

It is a slow paced novel and very realistic in nature. The story progression is very slow which makes the book dull at times. A crisper edit would definitely have attracted more readers.  The story is not striking enough but what makes the book stand out is the character build up and the narration. The characters are very well studied and portrayed interestingly. Empathizing with the characters and their quirks was easy.

This book is for the patient readers who enjoy a well characterized novel and slow and steady unveiling of the story.

Rating: 3/5

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Book Review: Let it Snow

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Title: Let it Snow

Author:  Maureen Johnson, John Green, Lauren Myracle

Page: 365 pages

Plot: Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

Favorite Quote: “I always had this idea that you should never give up a happy middle in the hopes of a happy ending, because there is no such thing as a happy ending. Do you know what I mean? There is so much to lose.”

Thoughts:   The book has three stories written by the three best selling YA authors. The plot is based around the time of Christmas. All three love stories are interconnected in some way and towards the end we see all the three couples brought together. Let’s see each story one by one.

The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson: We follow Jubliee here. She has her Christmas planned with her “perfect” boyfriend Noah. Until her parents are put behind bars and she has to leave for Florida immediately. It’s snowing heavily and her train cannot go further and she is stuck in Gracetown where she meets Stuart, a sweet boy whose family offers Jubliee shelter until the storm ends. Her encounter with Stuart makes her realize a lot of things about herself.  It is a very cute tale of meeting a stranger who helps Jubliee with self realization and turns a nightmarish Christmas into the best one.

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A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green: Tobin, Angie (famously known as Duke) and JP are watching a James Bond movie while it is snowing outside. Tobin gets an unexpected call from a friend working at the Waffle House that a Christmas miracle has taken place and the otherwise dull Waffle House is filled with Cheerleaders. He commands Tobin and his friend to come there immediately with Twister. Considering this as a once in a life event all three of them struggle their way through the snow and finally reach the Waffle House only to realize that Tobin and Angie have always liked each other.  It is a very sweet story about two friends liking each other but not realizing it. I felt that the story was a little dragged but the end made up for it.

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The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle:  Addie and Jeb are having relationship troubles and they break up right before Christmas. She emails him to meet her at Starbucks and his not turning up means only one thing. He is not interested in patching up. On top of it Addie impulsively colored her naturally beautiful blond hair ‘Pink’. Plus her best friends think she is self obsessed and she doesn’t think about others as much. On the day of Christmas Addie has an early morning shift at Starbucks. In between she has to pick up a teacup pig for her best friend. She has so much going within her and experiences a major moment of self discovery. There are lots of ups and downs in their relationship but they still stick together through it all. I kind of like this tale the most.  Plus angels and teacup pigs add a flavor to it.

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All three tales are sweet, funny at times, mushy, cute and hilarious. This is a light hearted book, perfect to read on a lazy, cozy afternoon, curled by in a blanket with a cup of coffee.

Rating: 3.5/5

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Book Review: E-Squared

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Title: E-Squared

Author: Pam Grout

Page: 163 pages

Plot: Don’t face reality. Create reality! E-Squared could best be described as a lab manual with simple experiments to prove once and for all that reality is malleable, that consciousness trumps matter, and that you shape your life with your mind. Rather than take it on faith, you are invited to conduct nine 48-hour experiments to prove there really is a positive, loving, totally hip force in the universe. Yes, you read that right. It says prove.
The experiments, each of which can be conducted with absolutely no money and very little time expenditure, demonstrate that spiritual principles are as dependable as gravity, as consistent as Newton’s laws of motion. For years, you’ve been hoping and praying that spiritual principles are true. Now, you can know.

Favorite Quote: “It’s right underneath your fingers, baby. That’s all you have to understand—everything is right underneath your fingers.”

Thoughts:  I have always been fascinated by the Law of Attraction. I have read a couple of books about it as well. It is easy to read and admire it but difficult to consciously make an effort to implement it in your approach. Hence I was not so keen on reading this book until my friend insisted me to do so.

What makes this book different from what I have read in the past is the series of exercises that the author asks you to undertake. The exercises are simple and fun. I tried a few easy ones and they really worked.  It definitely takes time to intentionally make it a point to follow these laws but hopefully with practice it will become a part of your lifestyle.

E-Squared aims to tell the readers that 1. There is an invisible energy force or field of infinite possibilities.2.You impact the field and draw from it according to your beliefs and expectations. 3.  You, too, are a field of energy. 4. Whatever you focus on expands.  5.  Your connection to the field provides accurate and unlimited guidance.6. Your thoughts and consciousness impact matter. 7. Your thoughts and consciousness provide the scaffolding for your physical body.8. You are connected to everything and everyone else in the universe.9. The universe is limitless, abundant, and strangely accommodating.

This book if for you if you believe that your thoughts impact what you get in life and are looking for an experience to strengthen your belief. If you are planning to read this book, I would advise you to keep an open mind and try out the exercises. Don’t rush into reading the book. Read one chapter a day; implement the exercise before moving on to the next one.

Keep Believing!

Rating: 4/5

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Book Review: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

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Title: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams

Author: Deepak Chopra

Page: 115 pages

Plot: This is a book you will cherish for a lifetime, for within is pages are the secrets of making all your dreams come true. Based on natural laws that govern all of creation, this book shatters the myth that success is the result of hard work, exacting plans, or driving ambition.

Instead, Deepak Chopra offers a life-altering perspective on the attainment of success: When we understand our true nature and learn to live in harmony with natural law, a sense of well-being, good health, fulfilling relationships, and material abundance spring forth easily and effortlessly.

Deepak Chopra is the bestselling author of numerous books and audio programs that cover every aspect of mind, body, and spirit. His groundbreaking books blend physics and philosophy, the practical and the spiritual, with dynamic results.

The Seven Laws of Success distills the essence of Chopra’s teachings into seven simple, yet powerful, principles that can easily be applied to create success in all areas of your life. Filled with timeless wisdom and practical steps you can apply right away, this is a book you will want to read and refer to again and again.

Favorite Quote: “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present’.”

Thoughts: This is a pocket sized book which I managed to complete in less than an hour. But actual understanding of every aspect will take much longer. Deepak Chopra offers seven laws of success from a spiritual perspective. One should not seek success only in terms of money and fame but from a self growth and self transformation point of view. He sums up the insights of the secret to the overall success in seven laws:

1.Pure potentiality
2.Giving
3.Cause-Effect (Karma)
4.Least Effort
5.Intention and Desire (Intention & Attention)
6.Detachment
7.Purpose (Dharma)

Each law is explained in a compact manner, sticking to the point and yet offering the understanding of each law. There are simple techniques mentioned in the book on how to implement the laws in our daily life. The writing is flowy yet simple and to the point. After reading this book, I became responsive towards the law of pure potentiality and aware of the fact that everything works in harmony with the universe. I haven’t tried implementing all the laws myself but I do look forward to reading it again and trying to inculcate the learnings from this book in my life.

Rating: 4/5

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Book Review: The Nest

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Title: The Nest

Author: Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Pages: 368 pages

Plot: A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

Thoughts: ‘The Nest’ was a semifinalist for the Goodreads Readers Choice Awards 2016 in the best fiction category. I usually like reading family dramas and I had to read this one.

The book is about the Plumb family and the inheritance left by their father called “The Nest”.  The Plumb family siblings, Leo a successful entrepreneur in an unhappy marriage,  Melody, a mother of twin daughters who has a big home morgatage to pay off, Bea who is a short story writer stuck with her long due novel and Jack who lives with his husband Walker and has a loan to pay are eagerly waiting  to receive the inheritance. All the siblings are relying on the inheritance to solve their problems and ensure a secure future until Leo messes it up for everyone with drugs, an accident, a Porsche and a girl. Everyone’s morality and family love comes to a test.

While the plot was ordinary and the ending a cliché, the writing stood apart. The book was narrated from various point of views which could have worked for some readers but it didn’t work for me. At times the point of view changed with in the same paragraph itself. It was really brave and adventurous of the author to do this but it didn’t work well all the time.  There were too many opinions at once. I do like complex characters but I really couldn’t connect with any of the characters. They all seemed shallow, self absorbed and selfish. Maybe if the book had fewer characters or limited Point of views, the empathy factor would have increased. I could only finish the book because it was well written. In short, it is a well written book with a mediocre plot.

Ratings: 3/5

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