Monday, January 13, 2014

Double Feature: Across the Pond II

The Vintage Teacup Club by Vanessa Greene

This book is about three women who each fall in love with the same vintage tea set at a carboot sale. Each one of them wants to get their hands on the teaset for their own special reasons and these strangers end up sharing it between them so each of their wishes can come true, leading these very different women to form unique and touching friendships. The novel follows the lives of Jenny, Maggie, and Alison as they take turns using the teaset, exploring family relationships through to careers along the way.

Overall I would sum this up as a nice debut novel with characters that work well; they’re fully developed, feel real and are very different to one another in personality as well as age. I thought this offered something different to the norm in terms of exploring friendships across different generations. I also thought it was extremely well written generally. Will it be a book that I remember in a couple of year’s time? Probably not. If I wasn’t reviewing it, I don’t think it would be a book that I would be drawn to, but I enjoyed it in a non-gripping way nevertheless.

Thanks to Little, Brown for the book in exchange for an honest review.

~Reviewed by Becky Gulc

Coming Clean by Sue Margolis

Eleven years ago, Sophie and Greg couldn’t get enough of each other. A pair of full-time jobs and two kids later, they’re in therapy asking themselves where all the sexy times went. Sophie thinks she knows: They’re buried under Greg’s mess. And even though her slob of a husband tries to make up for his shortcomings by cooking the occasional meal, Sophie is left to clean umpteen dirty dishes.

The last straw is when Greg uses some inheritance money to buy a World War II Sherman tank, which starts World War III in their marriage.

Sophie doesn’t so much surrender as retreat—right out of the relationship. While Greg almost immediately shacks up with someone else, Sophie finds herself facing even more uncertainty due to a job reorganization. And even though she begins to lose her heart to a high school crush, Sophie starts to realize that a shiny new relationship doesn’t always offer the softest place to fall…and she may find self-acceptance and love in the place she least expects it.
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

As with all Sue Margolis' novels, Coming Clean was light, entertaining and humorous. It had a realistic conflict that a lot of couples deal with in this day and age. Even I'm guilty of making a lot of clutter in my house, but that's what happens when life gets too busy and kids are involved. I enjoyed the Jewish references and humor, as well. Different from Sue's previous novels is the lack of steamy romantic scenes. I was counting on her for a few "cigarette-worthy" romps in the sack and there was maybe one short scene. I hope she hasn't tired of writing such scenes because she was SO good at it in the past. Overall, Coming Clean is a sweet story that takes a new twist on the usual relationship issues we've come to read about.

Thanks to Penguin for the book in exchange for an honest review.

~Reviewed by Melissa Amster

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