I received a free copy for my honest review.
About the Book:
In 1960, at twenty years old, Anastasia left her parents and the cold mid-western winter behind in Milwaukee and drove her powder blue Ford Fairlane down Route 66 all the way to Los Angeles, certain that’s where all her dreams would come true. Just two years later, she’s forced to retrace her steps, traveling back home with her dreams shattered, a broken heart, and a daughter she would have to raise alone.
Thirty years later, following her mother’s untimely death, that daughter, Meredith, learns the shocking truth about her origins, the father she never knew, and the mother whose life was very different than it appeared. When the attorney who prepared her mother’s will delivers Anastasia’s personal journals along with the keys to a trust fund Meredith never suspected she had, she and her boyfriend Derek retrace Anastasia’s path west, in search of answers.
About the Author:
Valerie Joan Connors is the author of Shadow of a Smile (Deeds Publishing, June 2014), In Her Keeping (Bell Bridge Books, 2013) and Give Me Liberty, which she self-published in 2010. She is the current President of the Atlanta Writers Club, an organization with more than 600 active members and a 100-year history in the Atlanta area. During business hours, she’s the CFO of an architecture, engineering and interior design firm. Valerie lives in Atlanta with her husband and two dogs.
I don’t read a lot of what is generally classified as “women’s fiction.” Once in a while a synopsis will grab me and I’ll venture into the reading pool and that was the case with Shadow of a Smile. I can’t tell you what attracted me to the book. Heck, I might have just been in a mood when the offer came in my email. It’s not a long book but it kept me interested for its duration. I basically read it in one split sitting driving to and from Missoula so it made a great reading while driving book. Not that I was doing the driving….
Meredith grows up thinking her father had died shortly after she was born. She always felt different since she didn’t have a father and always felt as if she really didn’t fit in. She was happy though a her mother and grandparents did the best they could to raise her as comfortably as they could.
She’s now an adult in a relationship with a man who is not yet divorced from his mentally ill wife. Her mother dies unexpectedly and suddenly everything Meredith thought she knew about her mother and her life gets turned upside down. Her mother left instructions for her journals to be delivered to Meredith upon her death and wanted her ashes spread in the Hollywood Hills. As Meredith reads the books and endeavors to fulfill her mother’s final wishes she learns about her mother’s life and even more about herself.
The book kept my interest but I have to admit I was more interested in Meredith’s mother’s life than Meredith’s. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my stage in life- I’m long married and quite settled in my relationship so reading about a young woman vacillating back and forth about will I or won’t I love him, – eh. Meredith was not the driving interest for me but I’m sure for most people she will be. I did enjoy the book but more when it focused on the lives around her than on her.
You can purchase Shadow of a Smile on Amazon.com