Monday, September 8, 2014

#FRC2014 Review: Mating for Life by Marissa Stapley

Title: Mating for Life
Author: Marissa Stapley
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publish Date: July 1, 2014
Source: BookSparks

What's the Story?:

From "Former folk singer Helen Sear was a feminist wild child who proudly disdained monogamy, raising three daughters—each by a different father—largely on her own. Now in her sixties, Helen has fallen in love with a traditional man who desperately wants to marry her. And while she fears losing him, she’s equally afraid of abandoning everything she’s ever stood for if she goes through with it.

Meanwhile, Helen’s youngest daughter, Liane, is in the heady early days of a relationship with her soul mate. But he has an ex-wife and two kids, and her new role as a “step-something” doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Ilsa, an artist, has put her bohemian past behind her and is fervently hoping her second marriage will stick. Yet her world feels like it is slowly shrinking, and her painting is suffering as a result—and she realizes she may need to break free again, even if it means disrupting the lives of her two young children. And then there’s Fiona, the eldest sister, who has worked tirelessly to make her world pristine, yet who still doesn’t feel at peace. When she discovers her husband has been harboring a huge secret, Fiona loses her tenuous grip on happiness and is forced to face some truths about herself that she’d rather keep buried.

Interweaving the alternating perspectives of Helen, her daughters, and the women surrounding them, “each new chapter brings a wise and tender look at single life, dating rituals, and marital unease” (New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Close). In this “absolute feat of storytelling” (bestselling author Grace O'Connell), Marissa Stapley celebrates the many roles modern women play, and shows that even though happy endings aren’t one-size-fits-all, some loves really can last for life."

My Two Cents: 

"Mating for Life" is the story of Helen, a woman who has always lived life on her own terms and has tried to pass that onto her three daughters. Now Helen is trying to figure out whether her terms are the right ones or if her terms need to change as she's gotten older. The story also focuses on Helen's three daughters: Liane, Ilsa, and Fiona. Each of these now women are dealing with very different circumstances and are trying to figure out their own ways forward. At its core, this book is really about family and the way that we are both connected and separated from our family members.

This book felt very much like a slice of life kind of book to me. It took me a little bit to get emotionally involved with the characters. The author gives us each character story little by little so I felt like I was waiting a while to see how all of the different characters were connected and how each of their stories touched each other. Once this book hit its stride, it becomes very much warm family story with a little bit of drama added for interest.

I really liked how the author was able to make all of the characters seem very separate and distinct from each other. Each of the characters has a very distinct personality although we can see some common threads that come from being a part of the same family. I really appreciated how even if I didn't necessarily care for the characters I could understand their motivations and their feelings and where they were coming from.

Overall, this book has a very quiet start; however, if you're willing to give it a little bit more time, it turns into a good family story.




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