Monday, May 11, 2015

The Other Side of Heartache - Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter / First Paragraph

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    The Other Side of Heartache tells the story of two women - a mother (Penny) and her daughter (Grace). The book starts in the present in Grace's point of view, then goes into the past as Grace reads her mother's diaries. The switch in time was easy to follow, and I was caught up in both stories. 
     Sarah Jo Smith did a great job of showing attitudes towards premarital sex as well as the expectations placed on teenage girls in the early to mid-1960s (before The Pill). The author goes deep into her characters - something I always enjoy.

First Paragraph:
Oak Valley
August 2000
Grace pulled into the driveway of her childhood home, pea gravel crushing beneath balding tires, and turned off the ignition with relief. The waistband of her shorts cut into soft flesh, and her right knee locked into place for six hours as she pressed the gas pedal, ached to distraction. She twisted the rear view mirror toward her and groaned, wishing she'd kept that last hair appointment. Sweaty bangs clung to her forehead like little ropes, a result of the car's air conditioner that shot out sporadic blasts of heat. She tried fluffing her honey blond curls but nothing helped. She turned her head one way and then the other, examining herself with a critical eye, yet the result was the same. Exhaustion pulled at her, especially around the mouth. At thirty-two, she was too young to look this drained, but mirrors don't lie.

Teaser (from 41% on my Kindle):
Last year a senior girl left during Easter break and never returned. The talk was she went away to have a baby. 

Genre: Women's Fiction
Amazon link: The Other Side of Heartache
Book Length: 344 pages
Author's Amazon Page: Sarah Jo Smith

Synopsis:
     Grace’s well-ordered world shatters when she loses her unborn child and her mother within a few months. Summoned to her childhood home to sort through Penny’s belongings, the timing couldn’t be worse. Grieving over her losses and exhausted from a demanding teaching schedule, she worries that her marriage is collapsing under the pressure. While packing her mother’s closet, Grace discovers a box filled with mysterious keepsakes and old diaries written in Penny’s hand and takes them home. After reading pages filled with typical musings of a teenage girl from a generation ago, she stumbles upon a dark secret and is devastated to learn that what she believed her whole life about her family was based on lies.
     As Grace digs beneath the Rose family tree, she unearths more than one skeleton buried there. All the while, she must endure the wrath of her grandmother, Eleanor, who is determined to block her efforts to find out what happened when Penny was seventeen, as well as the underlying cause of her premature death. Yet Eleanor harbors a well-kept secret of her own, one more deceitful and calculating than Penny’s sin. Grace’s journey through an emotional labyrinth of passion, shame, and manipulation not only leads to more shocking revelations but also changes the course she had mapped for her life. 
     Through a story told in alternating voices between the past and present where old morals and double standards from the historical 1950s and ‘60s clash with modern day values, Grace must decide if it’s worth taking an unforeseen risk to reaffirm her belief in the power of love. BOOK GROUP GUIDE INCLUDED.


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please!
Link at ADailyRhythm.com





First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.


33 comments:

  1. This is one for me - I love books where an old diary is found, in fact I find them irresistible! Here is my Tuesday post for the week https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/first-chapter-first-paragraph-may-12/

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    1. Me, too! That's one reason I really enjoyed this story.

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    2. I guess I should add a plug for my first book (I.O.U. Sex), which features Baby Boomers who read a diary from their high school years.

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  2. The sixties was practically another world, wasn't it? This sounds interesting. I may have to check it out.

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    1. Yes, it was. Of course, I was a mere babe at the time (ha, ha).

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  3. Sounds like a good mother-daughter story. Thanks for sharing it and for visiting my blog.

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  4. I don't always love women's fiction but this looks good -- I am old enough to remember those days (although I was a kid).

    I'm playing today at Beth Fish Reads

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  5. I love stories that unfold like this, especially as they delve into the emotion and complications of a mother-daughter relationship. Sounds like a good one!

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    1. I think you'd enjoy this story, Jacquie.

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  6. This looks like a good one. I love stories that weave the past and present together. I like the opening. I could almost feel the heat from that unreliable air conditioner in the car! I'd keep reading!

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    1. I know what you mean. The author's description reminded me of growing up in Texas (no A/C) and my years in South Florida. Good writing.

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  7. I like the writing here. I can definitely relate. Here's Mine

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    1. I could relate too. The characters seemed real.

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  8. This is definitely one I should read! It has all the ingredients of an unputdownable book! Thanks for sharing. Here's mine: “BITTERSWEET”

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    1. Women who lived in that era will be especially able to relate to this story. I've added Bittersweet to my TBR list.

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  9. Family secrets are always fun in a read. Diaries and boxes of treasures. That first description was very compelling and made me 'sweaty'. LOL

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  10. Sounds good. I just finished a book that took place in the early 60s.

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  11. I don't think this one is for me, but hope you enjoy it.

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  12. This sounds like an affecting read, I cannot help but sympathize with the girl if the statement is true, having a baby all on your own is worrisome. I do hope things turn for the better; great teaser Sandra :)

    Claudia @ My Soul Called Life

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  13. Sounds like an interesting read. Hope you are enjoying it. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  14. Could have. People do that sometimes.


    mine: https://storytreasury.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/teaser-tuesday-zone-one-by-colson-whitehead/

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  15. I'm a sucker for diary/old letter books!

    Today I'm teasing Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

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    1. Shameless self-promotion: Then you'll enjoy my first book (co-written with Sandra Allen) -- I.O.U. Sex.

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  16. I love this teaser! I need to know more! Thank you for isitinmy blog:)

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  17. I'm a pushover for this kind of novel. I must explore this one further!
    Thanks for visiting my post today:)

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  18. Oh this sounds like something I would enjoy! Thanks for sharing!
    trish - my teaser

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  19. Although the opener seems to give off the idea of down-on-her-luck, it had an overall feeling of a fun story. I'd keep reading.

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  20. The teaser makes the book sound like it'll be a poignant one - and I like that the characters are well-written! I may have to pick this up!

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  21. Looking into your family history is always an adventure, but can also be pretty dangerous. I think I'd probably love this book. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  22. This sounds like a great book. Hope you enjoy reading it! :)

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