Monday 20 January 2014

Books ~ "Twelve Houses" (2013) Olga Soaje

From Goodreads ~ Can anything good follow the best thing that ever happened to you?

Amelia Weiss loved her husband of thirty-five years very much but now he’s left her a widow. Without him, she is unable to work in her sculpture studio without crying. She no longer has a bridge to her estranged daughter. And she can’t seem to keep her mind in the present.

But when her daughter reaches out asking for her help and her agent threatens a lawsuit if Amelia doesn’t deliver for an upcoming exhibit, she’s forced to make a choice. Will she reengage with her life and the people in it - allowing room for things to be different than they were before? Or, will she remain stuck in the past, choosing her memories over real-life relationships?

Thrust fully into the present, Amelia stumbles into a surprising journey of self-discovery.

Amelia's husband of 35 years, Nathan, passes away suddenly.  She's hurt and angry because he'd promised that they'd be together forever.  She is an artist and discovers she has lost her spirit for creating sculptures.  While in her studio, she hears Nathan's voice encouraging her and she's inspired again.

In the meantime, her daughter, Chloe, is having a rough pregnancy and asks her mother to spend some time with her in San Francisco.  Amelia has never had a good relationship with Chloe so she sees this as a way to get close to her daughter.  When she meets James, an editor where Chloe works, she feels an instant connection to him ... but she also feels guilty and like she is cheating on Nathan.  What follows is Amelia trying to figure out the future and her growing feelings for James and living in the past and betraying Nathan.

This is the first book I've read by this author and liked it.  It was a nice change for the main character to be a woman in her late 50s.

I liked the writing style.  I thought it flowed well.  I did have a problem with the timeline with Amelia's relationship with another man, though.  Amelia had been with Nathan for 35+ years ... and in about six months, she was attracted to James.  Yes, she fought it but I would think that after spending all that time loving one man that it would take longer to have an open heart for someone else.  As a head's up, some language is for mature readers.

I liked Amelia.  Her life had been unexpectedly upturned and she was just trying to figure out what to do now.  I liked her son, David, and his fiancee, Anna.  I didn't care for Chloe ... though she was in her thirties, she was self-centered, immature and demanding.  It seemed like it was always Amelia bowing to Chloe so they would get along and mend their fences.  It was great that Amelia had the support of such great friends like Natalie and Celia.


Masshole Mommy said...

After reading this I would definitely add this to my list of books I want to read.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I read this book recently, too, and I had the same reaction to Chloe. I understand why, after their challenging relationship, that Amelia would bend over backwards, but I don't think it's a healthy way to mend fences.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.