Today at Great New Books, we have the pleasure of hosting guest contributor Amy Sue Nathan, author of the new novel, THE GLASS WIVES.
Thanks to Amy and her publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin, we have a copy of The Glass Wives to give away to one lucky commenter at the end of this post (details below). Thank you, Amy, for joining us at Great New Books and sharing one of your favorite reads with us today!
Author, Amy Sue Nathan, on one of her recent favorite books:
One of the perks of being an author is reading friends’ books before they’re published. But is it fair to talk about a book before it’s out? It’s fair to the author, that’s for sure, because book buzz is a wonderful thing. But is it fair to the reader? Yes! Especially when the book is coming out soon and can be added to avid readers’ to-be-read piles and book clubs’ upcoming picks. That’s one of the reasons I’m talking about THE LIFE LIST by Lori Nelson Spielman that will be released by Bantam on July 9th. THE LIFE LIST is a completely relatable story with a vivid Chicago setting and character I loved to love and others I loved to, well, not like so much!
What I enjoyed about THE LIFE LIST was the fact that Brett Bohlinger, the main character, turns out to be a-stereotypical. She’s the supposed heir to a cosmetics fortune, and when she doesn’t inherit her mother’s company, and instead receives a directive from her deceased mother (whom she adored) to live out her childhood dreams, Brett doesn’t stomp her feet like a spoiled brat, but nor does she say “oh, okay.” There’s real conflict for Brett in why her mother did this, and how she is supposed to integrate childhood dreams into her real grown-up life.
I’ve recently written an essay on how I don’t “do” bucket lists. But this list of Brett’s was something she’d written at age fourteen. I may have had a list at fourteen too, I don’t remember. The thought of what I may have wanted out of life back then would clearly be different from what I want now. Or would it? That’s really Brett’s charge—to figure out not only how to accomplish those childhood goals and dreams but what they mean. Does “own a horse” mean she has to have one in her backyard? Does “have children” mean she has to get married, pregnant, and give birth in the one year her mother has mandated she complete the list? I related most to Brett in this wonderful story because she had to rethink things. She had to turn the list, and her life, upside down in order to find a way to get things done. Nothing was as she expected, or even wanted, but it worked. No, Brett made it work.
I think THE LIFE LIST reminded me, once again, that there are many ways to reach the same goal. That there are many ways to be happy and it might not always be the way you think.
All this, coupled with the tight writing (I’m not a fan of long, flowery passages) that is also eloquent and visual, and the visceral reactions from some emotional scenes, made THE LIFE LIST a one-and-a-half day read for me.
I bet it will be for you too!
To enter the drawing to win the copy of The Glass Wives, leave a comment (any comment) below, from Wednesday, May 22 until Friday, May 24 at midnight Eastern time. Great New Books will email the winner individually and announce them in the comments on Saturday, May 25. Thank you for joining us!