Tag Archives: book review

Chanel Bonfire – Book Review


I was lucky enough to get a chance to read this book through Glose free. There May Be Spoilers  This story is told by Wendy, the oldest of two sisters that lean on each other to survive their mentally ill mother. 

Wendy tries hard to shield her younger sister from the ugly details of their mother’s life. Later, it is Robin who can stand up to their mother while Wendy tries to be the help their mother needs. 

Georgann, has an uncanny ability to manipulate people, especially her daughters and men. She has several marriages, several boyfriends, and several married boyfriends. Although Wendy and Robin live an extravagant life full of theater, top private schools, being with the popular crowd, and famous people, they learned to hold their breaths for their mother to ruin everything. 

Their mother had a “Joan Crawford – Mommie Dearest” quality of being cruel. From telling them their father didn’t want them, to announcing they had different fathers, she kept her children from feeling loved or stable. They had to deal with suicide attempts, their rooms being destroyed in the middle of the night, her drinking, and humiliation even at high school graduations. 

This book reaches into your heart and stays there long after the end. It shows us an ugly truth that not all mothers are fit and what does one do when the person they depend on tries to hit them with a car or throws a burning shirt at them? This story has glamour, humor, sadness, and tragedy rolled into one book. On a scale of 1 to 10, I definitely rate it a 10+. 

Read any good books lately that you’d recommend? Share in the comments!



Looking for Mary Gabriel – Book Review


It is rare for me to read a book that makes me cry. I’ve had books touch my heart in the same way a good song will. It was different with Looking for Mary Gabriel. I stumbled onto a part that you don’t see coming, and it’s shockingly heartbreaking. 

Bonita Gaberiel wants a normal childhood with a normal sister but there’s nothing normal about her younger sister, Mary. Mary suffers from a mental illness that causes her to act on impulse, see and hear things no one else can, and to take off without warning. Bonita’s father appoints her Mary’s keeper. At times it seems he’s only trying to instill the importance of family. Then there are moments when he’s asking too much and his motives are questionable. Bonita and Mary’s mother had a sister who suffered with mental illness that led her to commit suicide. Their mother worries it’s her fault and she doesn’t want Bonita to ever feel responsible for Mary but rather than share this with Bonita, it is kept secret from her. At times it appears their mother is wanting to protect Bonita and other times it seems she just can’t deal with her sister’s death. 

Bonita struggles with wanting to protect her sister and wanting a normal life away from Mary. A tragedy occurs which leads Bonita away from her family and then another tragedy happens that cuts Bonita’s ties with her family. She chooses a quite life hidden away from family and friends who love her more than she thought possible. With the passing of Bonita and Mary’s father, Bonita is forced to emerge from her hidden life to handle funeral arrangements and deal with Mary. What she thought was true is contradicted by what she learns is true. 

Beautifully and poetically written, the story of a family that is flawed is wonderfully conveyed on every page. ‘Looking for Mary Gabriel’ is a story that shares the love of family and the harsh truths about family making it relatable. It’s a book that can be read a 2nd and 3rd time; each time bringing  some new fascination to the reader. I give it 5 stars and recommend it to everyone who loves reading. 

This was written for Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop – Prompt 3. Head over to Mama Kat’s and choose a prompt.




The Beach House – James Patterson

I have to say right off…… I am not a James Patterson fan.    (Gasp)

With this being said, I just finished reading his book “The BeachHouse”, and it was amazingly written, fast paced, and anything a reader could want from a book.

This novel has everything from murder, drugs, death penalty, methadone clinic, pornography, blackmail, scandals, and family strength.  The characters are not mild. They are very lovable or despised bitterly.

I won’t go into anything that can give the plot away. I am rethinking my thoughts on Patterson novels. I recommend this book to everyone. A must read!

Worth the Climb – Book Review Worthy

“some moments are nice, some are
nicer, some are even worth
Charles Bukowski,

What makes Audrey J. Snyder’s memoir, “Worth the Climb”,  worth reading is the fact that she overcame the moments that weren’t nice.  

Audrey’s story is one of struggles, obstacles, and determination.  As a Black American Woman, she realized she would have to work hard and be strong willed to succeed in Corporate America, where white men already had an advantage.  Being raised by a grandmother who believed Audrey’s success was limited to nursing or teaching did not discourage her.  She had inherited from her great, great Cherokee grandmother determination and strength to face challenges.

Worth the Climb” begins in the year 1976, when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had corporations trying to fill quotas of hiring minorities.  Rather than hold onto anger, Audrey embraced the chance to move up in the corporation where she worked.  Although some co-workers and peers resented her position, she pushed ahead, focusing on helping other Black Americans realize their dreams.  This would prove to be a challenge.  Standing up to a hiring manager who called all Black American Women “whores”, and realizing the complaint fell on deaf ears, Audrey still held her head high and held others to the standards she lives by.  

Audrey also had to decide between staying in a position that wasn’t fulfilling, or take the chance with resigning. Deciding to follow her heart, she found a more promising, exciting career path, and enrolled in college to further her education.  Obstacles were everywhere, from race discrimination to religious discrimination.  As America was changing, some things remained the same in the corporate world.  

With all the struggles, Audrey could have became bitter and angry.  Instead, she gathered strength from her heritage.  She stayed encouraged with a supportive husband, an aunt who inspired her, and her desire to break barriers for other Black Americans trying to make it into the corporate world.  This is a story of courage that will inspire anyone that feels discouraged.  

Audrey’s memoir is full of self reflection and how others perceive their co-workers.  A must read for anyone who needs a blast of positivity and reality.  “Worth the Climb” can be purchased on Amazon.  To learn more about Audrey J. Snyder you can go to her site where you’ll find her blog, as well as book reviews and her impressive resume. I’m honored that I won an autographed copy of this amazing book.

Stay Encouraged!