Once upon a time I went to San Francisco and met a spit-fire of an author. She asked if I would review her book on my site. I maintained my composure and said, “sure – send me a copy.” Right after that I called all my friends everyone in the entire universe my husband and told him how I had just gotten FREE stuff and AN AUTHOR wants me to review her book.
But then I sucked.
I read the amazing, awesome book and I did not tell any of you. See previous paragraph re: suckage.
I think the book deserves better than I can do. I’ll give it the ol’ college try though.
Shauna Glenn’s debut novel Heaping Spoonful is a wonderful, heart-felt read. I couldn’t put it down. I think I missed dinner and the children tucked themselves in. I can’t be sure, I was curled up on the couch reading.
The writing is smooth and easy. Easy like Sunday morning, a friend would say. Claire’s internal dialogue sounds like that of me and my friends:
My mom had been right – I needed to get my shit together – if for no other reason than so my kids wouldn’t grow up to be serial killers.
How many of us have thought something similar?
Protagonist Claire is an every-woman. She’s a single mom (not by choice, her husband died), a boss (owns her own bakery), a sister and a daughter. She’s pulled in every direction imaginable. It’s easy to relate with her. And Shauna makes her so likable. Even when she’s making poor choices, she’s likable. You feel her struggle, that really she’s confused and doing the best she can with the hand she’s been dealt. You can’t begrudge her one bit.
I think Claire speaks to a generation of woman that are trying to do it all. She runs a successful business. She begins dating. She loses her mother a little each day to Alzheimer’s. Her kids are in school. And somehow, in the midst of all this external activity – she’s still mourning her husband. She’s not leading a gilded life. She’s leading an ordinary life, with extraordinary pressures. Just like you and me. Well, except she owns a bakery so she could console herself with an entire chocolate cake pretty easily. That’s a good point that I’ll have to take up with Shauna. Maybe Claire’s on the points?
Claire’s story is about moving forward. She’s not starting fresh, it’s not like she’s hiding the kids in the cupboard while dating. She redefines her relationship with her sister, giving Lucy the space she needs to be Lucy and not mini-Claire. She reconnects with her mother through the Alzheimer’s fog. Claire most definitely pulls her self up by her bootstraps. She struggles. Again. And again. But eventually she finds her rhythm and in that her new life.
If you live in the DFW area, I highly recommend going to the launch party for this fantastic debut novel (Shauna will correct me on this matter, this is her third novel – just the first that someone had the good sense to publish, therefore the first that we’re able to read). Meeting Shauna is definitely worth your time. Saturday, Sept 27 at 7pm; 1020 Magnolia in Ft Worth. Send your RSVP here or check Shauna’s site for more information.