Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Emily and Einstein

By Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

Thanks to "P.S., I Love You" by Cecelia Ahern, I've been able to read books about women becoming widows (something I wasn't able to do before reading that story). Every so often, an author's take on the widow theme sticks out and leaves a lasting impression, similar to the one left by Ms. Ahern. "Emily and Einstein" by Linda Francis Lee is definitely on that list, as it is both heartfelt and creative.

Emily Barlow had just received a job promotion...and the worst news of her life. Her husband, Sandy, was killed in a tragic accident and he didn't even leave their apartment to her in his will, forcing her to face eviction. Soon, Emily finds out other things about him that leave her even more distraught. With the help of a dog named Einstein, who knows more than he probably should (for an animal), Emily tries to get her life back on track, even when various complications arise.

I totally loved this story from beginning to end. It's one that I was recommending before I even got to the halfway point. I just had that much confidence that it would stay amazing throughout, and I was correct. Ms. Lee creates vivid characters that stick with the reader long after the story is finished. Her use of description makes the people and places easy to visualize. She adds so much substance to her characters that it's easy to like them or hate them, or sometimes feel both ways. Emily carries the story along really well, making the reader laugh and cry along with her the entire time. And it's almost impossible to resist Einstein, who is more than what he appears. (He even had me at the cover picture.) The best thing about this story is that Ms. Lee fills it with surprises. I didn't know what to expect and that kept me on my toes, making the story very exciting and difficult to put down.

I do have some critiques though. I thought I wouldn't with this one, but some things nagged at me. The first was an issue of time that went along with the age of one of the characters. I won't spoil anything, but I would like to say that the character's story would have made more sense, chronologically, if the year was 2005 and not 2011, as Ms. Lee figured the reader would assume this was taking place. If you read the story and do the math, you'll see what I mean. (Let's just say that this person was in high school when a historical event took place and wouldn't have had a certain job as a result.) The other thing was that there was a lot of psychobabble, especially toward the end. Sometimes it muddied the story for me and I had trouble understanding what the real issue was. That could just be my brain on sleep deprivation, but I felt like Emily had almost too much inner turmoil at times. Finally, I picked up some grammar and spelling errors that should have been caught before going to print. I found this amusing, considering that Emily is a book editor.

Overall, I thought Ms. Lee's take on the topic of "widowhood" was original. I love how all the pieces of the story fit together. Emily is an unforgettable heroine who will inspire all readers. I would enjoy seeing this novel made into a movie. It would be a lot of fun to see on the big screen. (I've been casting it in my head already.) Until then, I hope everyone has a chance to read it. And thanks to Ms. Lee, one lucky reader from the US or Canada can win a copy of "Emily and Einstein" right here!

How to win "Emily and Einstein":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: Who is your favorite pet from a fictional novel?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends May 4th at midnight EST.

More by Linda Francis Lee:






More books with a similar theme or plot:




43 comments:

BRN2SHOP9 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BRN2SHOP9 said...

Nifkin from Jennifer weiner's books

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via facebook

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via twitter

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via gfc

BRN2SHOP9 said...

Okay I have a second and third favorite character. Rex and bob from the Stephanie plum books.

Sherry B said...

Sounds great
slbercu@msn.com

join on Facebook

Emilee said...

been wanting to read this book since it came out!
Emilee
emilee624@gmail.com

leonel said...

I follow via FB and RSS,

leonelescota AT gmail DOT com

Heather said...

My favorite pet is definitely Cannie's dog Nifkin!!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a follower!
ra6352 (at) gmail (Dot) com

Heather said...

I shared on facebook!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a member of Chick Lit central!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

PoCoKat said...

I like the cats in the Death on Demand series.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

GFC follower

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

Belong to Chick Lit Central on FB

littleone AT shaw DOt ca

PoCoKat said...

Shared on Facebook

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

sheen said...

follow the blog

wapneski@yahoo.com

Linda Kish said...

Marley from Marley & Me

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jencey said...

I could tell you all about some of my favorite dogs growing up. I just can't remember any from the books I have read. I follow Chick Lit Central on both fb and the blog. I will post on fb and my blog. My e-mail is jenceyg@msn.com.

a real librarian said...

Old Dan and Little Ann from Where the Red Fern Grows. *sniffle*

I also follow!!

areallibrarian[at]gmail[dot]com

Margie said...

I always liked Lassie!
(Love the cover of the giveaway book!)
-follower via GFC
-Facebook fan of Chick Lit
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Melissa said...

Yay! I'm melissa.maday AT gmail.com

StereoQueenBee said...

My favorite pet from a novel would be not really a pet but the apes in Ape House.

I follow the blog, the FB page and have posted on FB and Twitter.

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com

Juliet Farmer said...

I'm in the FB group and follow the blog.
As for my fave fictional pet, it has to be Dante in Pam Houston's Sight Hound.

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

Thank you for the giveaway!

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I would say Marley from Marley & Me, but that's non-fiction, so I'm going with Hermione's cat, Crookshanks from the Harry Potter series.

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I follow this blog!

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

Shared it on FB: http://www.facebook.com/#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=211709085519780&id=543401866

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/ArtsyBookishGal/status/65881806506950656

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I'm already a FB fan (Amy Sondova)!

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Nancye said...

This book sounds like an incredible read. I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

The only pet I can think of is Marley from the book and the movie. Not sure if this is fiction or true life. Hope this counts!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I am a follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/65970911697838081

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I join you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Susan Audrey said...

This sounds like such a sweet book. Would love to win it!

susanaudrey33 at gmail dot com

Susan Audrey said...

Oh shoot, I see now that this giveaway has ended. Oh well! Thanks anyway :)

Jennifer Essad said...

I follow via twitter

Jennifer Essad said...

I follow via facebook

Jennifer Essad said...

I follow via email/blog

Jennifer Essad said...

I think the first pet I read about was Lassie-that's how long I've been reading