Hiding in Plain Sight {Book Review}

When I read that Angela’s novel was about to be published, I jumped at the chance to read it! I knew from being a contributor with Angela in the anthologies The Mother of All Meltdowns and Clash of the Couples that she is a talented writer. I couldn’t wait to read her book!

Angela Evans

Angela Evans’ debut novel starts off with a bang–literally! Kierra’s life changes dramatically one night when she sneaks out of the house to meet a boy, and the house where she lives with her grandparents and mother explodes because of a gas leak. But was this gas leak accidental? Ten years later, that same boy, Bryan, is now sheriff of that small town. Kierra returns to find out what really happened that night with Bryan’s help. The answer is almost directly under her nose…but she doesn’t discover the danger that lurks in that small town until it is almost too late.

The romance is hot and the suspense kept me turning the pages! Hiding in Plain Sight is the perfect reading escape! Are you heading somewhere warm for Spring Break? Be sure to take Hiding in Plain Sight with you! It’s available at Amazon.

You can also find Angela on her website, authorangelaevans.com, and on Facebook, too, at https://www.facebook.com/WriterMomBlog.

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Rules of Inheritance {BlogHer Book Club}

I approached this book, The Rules of Inheritance, by Claire Bidwell Smith, with trepidation. The author of this memoir was fourteen when her mother and father were both diagnosed with cancer; I was fourteen when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. And yet as I was reading this book, while I related to Claire’s grief (my mom died two years ago), I find myself relating more with Claire’s mother. I was diagnosed with cancer fifteen years ago, and as I was reading this book, I wondered what kind of mother I will be to my two young daughters if my cancer ever returns.

Claire writes her memoir in stages; the stages of grief.

Denial

Claire repeats over and over to herself, “My mother is dying. My mother is dead.” No matter how many times she thinks this, however, she really does not think her mother will die. When she is rushing to the hospital to see her mother one last time before she dies, Claire looks up a friend along the way. She decides to spend the night with the friend instead of continuing her journey to see her mother, and that night, her mom dies. Claire regrets this decision to this day.

Anger

Claire could have been the girl who goes to college in Vermont and has a hippie-like boyfriend with whom she drinks coffee and takes long walks in the woods. This girl disappears almost before she even exists. Her mother’s death interrupts this path for Claire, and instead she finds herself in New York City waiting tables and living with an alcoholic boyfriend who was rumored to have killed his own sister.

Bargaining

Claire finds herself totally alone in the world after her father dies. She look for her mom everywhere; from the depths of the ocean to an abortion clinic. She calls for her mom over and over, but her mom never answers.

Depression

Throughout ten years after her parents’ deaths, Claire experiences extreme bouts of depression; without her parents, she feels all alone in the world. Her grief cripples her, and stunts her growth.

Acceptance

It is only through allowing herself to feel her grief that Claire is able to accept the loss of her parents. She is able to forgive herself for not being crippled by grief any longer; to live her life as it should be lived.

At many points in this book, Claire wrote about her emotions in a way that screamed to me, “She gets it!” I have been struggling with a grief of my own since my mom died. Grief is indeed not linear; the stages of grief can be experienced in order, all mixed up, or at the same time. No one experiences grief in the same way. In writing this book in stages of grief rather than a chronological story of her grief, Claire writes about grief in a way that those also experiencing grief can completely relate to.

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Disclosure: I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own. Join the discussion at BlogHer Book Club!

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