Friday, August 12, 2016

The Real Mother - The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings on Friday

    What makes a family?
   Sara has given up her dream of medical school to take care of her orphaned brother and sisters. Then their other flaky brother shows up, after years of absence, and upsets the home Sara has created, making promises to his younger siblings to win their support. The plot shows Sara's challenge of dealing with a stressful job, acting as a parent to her siblings, dealing with a brother she doesn't trust, and balancing those responsibilities with creating a satisfying life for herself. Lots of drama but believable.
     The Real Mother was published in 2005, but it is still relevant. The plot kept me interested and I cared about the characters. I also enjoyed the writing. This is a book I'll read again.

Book Beginning:
Sara arrived at the airline terminal as the Corcorans walked out, trailed by a young man pushing a cart piled with luggage. She wedged her car between taxis and stepped out to open the trunk and the two passenger doors before extending her hand to Lew Corcoran. "Sara Elliott," she said. "Welcome to Chicago."

Friday 56 (from Page 156 in my hardback):
Her glance lingered on Sara, taking in her brown-and-ivory checked shirt and narrow khaki pants, sleeker and probably a lot more expensive than any clothes worn by the marchers, then came back to Reuben. "Organized it? I don't know...."

Genre: Women's Fiction
Book Length: 421 Pages
Amazon Link: The Real Mother
Author Website: Judith Michael (Judith Barnard & Michael Fain)

Synopsis (from Amazon):
Sara Elliott has been forced to give up the life she's dreamed of to return home to Chicago and take charge of her sisters and brother. She finds a job and settles into the house she grew up in, building a life for ten-year-old Doug and teenagers Carrie and Abby.
But Sara has another brother, Mack, now twenty, who left home three years earlier. Suddenly he reappears, cheerful and unconcerned, as if he had never broken his promise to stay and help Sara with the children and the house. With bewildering volatility, Mack swings from kindness to cruelty, affection to hostility, keeping the family always on edge, his past and present a mystery. But with expensive gifts, storytelling, and the excitement of his presence, he is winning over the children, and sometimes the four of them stand together against Sara.
Mack challenges all Sara has achieved in trying to be a mother and keep her family together. And he does it at a time when she is confronted by crises at work that spill over into her home. Suddenly, events seem to be speeding past and Sara feels she cannot slow them down to regain control.
And then, when she thinks her life has room only for work and family, she meets Reuben Lister, a client from New York. As Sara helps him find and furnish a house and explore the city, they discover a closeness neither has known before and share new ways of dealing with conflicts each has always faced alone. Together, Sara and Reuben find answers to the questions: What is a mother? What is a parent? What is a family?
This is Judith Michael's most poignant exploration of the pressures and joys facing modern adults and children, in a story that will resonate with everyone for its universal themes and discoveries.


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  1. This isn't really my genre but it does sound like an engaging story. I have a thriller this week - The Damascus Thread by Matt Rees. Happy reading!

  2. Judith Michael is an author I've seen on the shelves for ages but I've never read any of her books. This one sounds rally good! I will have to try her.

  3. I have loved several books by this author, and because this title did not sound familiar, I had to check on Goodreads. Looks like I missed this one, so it's going on my list. Thanks! I do love authors who have been favorites for years.

    Here's mine: “THE TRUTH-TELLER’S LIE”

  4. Sounds like a good story with strong family characters. I'll have to give it a look.

  5. Sorry for the crazy Linky today! Operator error (mine)! I added a new Linky and posted your link to it for you.

    Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings!

  6. This sounds like a book I would enjoy. Thanks for mentioning it. :-)

  7. You definitely have me piqued. Sounds like an author I should look into. :-) Happy weekend!

  8. I haven't read this author in years but found their books dramatic yet relatable. Happy Reading!

  9. I enjoyed reading your post. I am convinced there is no perfect family. This one sounds interesting! Happy Reading!

  10. Sara sounds like a really strong young woman. Hopefully everything works out for her. Happy weekend!

  11. Wouldn't that be irritating to have someone waltz in years later and upset everything in the household?

  12. Looks like a great read. Thanks fro sharing and for the visit.

  13. Enjoy family drama!

  14. The reality of it somehow doesn't appeal. But maybe I'm just not in the mood ;) I do hope you're enjoying it ... the title reminds me of Coraline!

  15. This author is really popular at my library - I'm going to have to see what the fuss is about! :)

    Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings).

  16. This one sounds funny, cute and sweet. I like that, along with the clever cover art. Great post! Enjoy the series!


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