One of best things about writing book reviews for Chick Lit Central is virtually meeting all the fabulous chicks and guys who participate on the site. Of course, getting to read the novels in advance of publication is pretty cool too. This time I’m reviewing Jillian Medoff’s novel,
I COULDN’T LOVE YOU MORE (Five Spot). The neat thing about reviewing is sometimes the book is sent with information saying it’s about one thing and then you read it and you, or in my case, find it’s about something somewhat different. I COULDN’T LOVE YOU MORE is one such case.
Thirty-eight year-old working mom, Eliot Gordon lives an unconventional life in suburban Atlanta with her partner Grant Delaney. She will do anything for her family. She and Grant have two daughters from his previous marriage and a daughter from their relationship. Eliot is obsessed with making sure all three girls feel equally loved and she focuses on maintaining a safe happy household. Charlotte, at age 14, is entering a difficult adolescent phase and is somewhat attached to her artist mother, as is her seven year-old sister, Gail. Four year old Hailey is affectionately regarded as the little Princess but the emotional juggling between the three girls is more often than not successful.
Eliot is the oldest of three sisters, followed by Sylvia and then Maggie. They all have fiery red hair and are extremely close and intimately involved in one another’s lives. Eliot is in charge, Maggie is the one they look after and Sylvia is caught in the middle. Overseeing all the girls is their divorced mother, the published author, Dolores who is in everyone’s business, but trying unsuccessfully to act as if she’s neutral and aloof.
Then Finn Montgomery, Eliot’s long-lost first love, appears triggering a chain of events that threatens to unravel everything she’s worked for. How Eliot survives – and what she loses in the process is a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever been a basically truthful person, had a family or loved a child.
Within the narrative, author Jillian Medoff goes back and forth between present day and flashback. In the past, this technique hasn’t always worked for me. More often than not, it has stood out as an attempted trick, but in Jillian Medoff’s skilled hands and she uses it routinely the narrative flows effortlessly throughout.
With honesty and depth, I COULDN’T LOVE YOU MORE reveals the unbreakable bonds of family and particularly sisterhood, that very unique and in many ways mysterious relationship. Medoff does an interesting thing having three young sisters in grade school juxtaposed with the three older sisters in their thirties. One watches the lengths they’ll go to save each other, even as they can’t save themselves.
Jillian Medoff is the author of two previous novels. I COULDN’T LOVE YOU MORE will be published May 15, 2012.
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