For Betty Pavalak, who moved to Sounder to save her own troubled marriage, the island has been a haven for fifty years. But Betty also knows the guilt of living with choices made long ago and actions that cannot be undone. The unlikely friendship between Susannah and Betty ignites a journey of self-discovery for both women and brings them both home to what they love most. "A Simple Thing" moves beyond friendship, children, and marriages to look deeply into what it means to love and forgive--yourself.
First Line: The first escape fantasy Susannah ever had came when she was thirteen, sitting in the backseat of her parents' gray Buick with her younger brother and sister, watching the trees zoom by the windows.
Random Quote: Seeing Bill with their son and Jim's eager love for his father tore at her. She wondered if she could turn her marriage into a real marriage if Bill ever came home to stay for than a month or two, be herself with him and let him get to know her as she was now, forged as she was into someone much more solid and authentic than the girl he had married.
Review: I don't read a lot of domestic fiction. Too often it's about the problems of suburban housewives/mommies or families with a much higher than average income and I just don't really relate having been neither of those categories. I was an urban mommy and have never had a stratospheric income. I decided I was interested in A Simple Thing because the story sounded different and also because it takes place on one of the San Juan Islands - one of my favorite places in the Pacific Northwest. As I child I was in a camp at the Seattle Zoo and one of thing things we got to do was go camping for a weekend in the San Juans and I've never forgotten the experience.
|San Juan Ferry (image source)|
A Simple Thing did not disappoint. A good read with issues of anxiety, mourning, death, learning to trust, marriages ending or renewing, a new awareness of self threaded throughout. I loved that there were two stories here - that of Susannah and of Betty. The friendship that develops between the two women in the book and the ways their stories intertwined really works for the reader. They both gave me some things to think about. Highly recommended.
I am pleased to be on the author's virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours.
About Kathleen McCleary
Kathleen McCleary teaches writing at American University. A former columnist for HGTV.com, Kathleen’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA WEEKEND, Good Housekeeping, More, Health, and Ladies’ Home Journal. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two daughters.
Kathleen’s Tour Stops
Kathleen McCleary will discuss A Simple Thing on Book Club Girl on Air on Tuesday, August 21 at 7 pm ET.
Tuesday, July 24th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Wednesday, July 25th: Mutant Supermodel
Thursday, July 26th: BookNAround
Thursday, August 2nd: A Worn Path
Friday, August 3rd: Chaotic Compendiums
Monday, August 6th: A Novel Source
Monday, August 6th: Being 5
Tuesday, August 7th: Mommy Uncensored
Tuesday, August 7th: Bookworm “Another Book Please”
Wednesday, August 8th: My Convertible Life
Thursday, August 9th: Kritters Ramblings
Friday, August 10th: Moments of Exhilaration
Friday, August 10th: Mother Fog
Monday, August 13th: Kind of a Mess
Tuesday, August 14th: Paperback Princess
Be sure to check out Kathleen McCleary's discussion of A Simple Thing on Book Club Girl on Air on Tuesday, August 21 at 7 pm ET.
FTC Disclosure: Copy received from the publisher for review through TLC Book Tours
Publishing Information: William Morrow Paperbacks - July 24, 2012