Author Guest Post
Get Your Book Club Jammin!
It’s your turn to host your book club meeting. You’re looking to do something different. Fun. You choose I Know You’re There as the book you and your group will read.
The night of your book club arrives; you’ve prepared an assortment of Caribbean treats, the curry aroma is intoxicating. The pineapple slices drip their juice into the bowl surrounded by round slices of kiwi on top. The blender has a full bowl of ice next to it, mango and of course, plenty of rum. The stage is set, now for the music.
When your guests enter your home whether it is on a snowy, cold February night or a hot, sweltering day in July, you want them to instantly pick up the Caribbean vibe you are trying to create. You want them to leave their troubles behind, just as Jill Bradley, the protagonist in the story, did and experience a place of letting go and feeling irie.
So what tunes do you play? The King of Reggae, Bob Marley, immediately comes to mind. Some favorites include Is This Love, Three Little Birds and Jamming. Mix that with a little American Tropicana, Jimmy Buffett. Songs like Boat Drinks, Margaritaville, and the new duet with Zac Brown, Knee Deep make escaping their worries sound plausible. From across the pond, UB40, has some classics they’ll remember. Red, Red, Wine, Reggae Music, Kingston Town, and I Got You Babe will have them jamming in no time.
Once you’ve set the mood, your guests have had a drink, a bite to eat, their ready to relax and chat about the book. What issues in the book did they relate to? When they feel the need to escape from their problems, what do they do? Did they learn anything new about nursing? They laugh, they share, maybe even some end up shedding tears. It’s all good.
The evening ends with coffee and rum coconut cake. Your friends rave that this was the best book club ever! How are they going to top this? You hug the last guest as she leaves through your front door. You close it, go to the music and turn it on loud and dance in your living room.
About The Author
AUTHOR BLOG: READ-PONDER-COMMENT-BLOG
I Know You're There by Susan Allison-Dean
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Format: Paperback - 234 pages / Kindle - 366 KB / Nook - 323 KB
Genre: Contemporary Women's Ficiton
BUY THE BOOK: I Know You're There
BARNES & NOBLE
*Be sure to look for the sequel coming out sometime in the Spring of 2014*
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
Jill Bradley is a twenty-four-year-old nurse whose life is going great; she has established herself in her new career and she’s looking forward to getting engaged to her high school sweetheart. But faced with a watershed moment, she has to deal with simultaneous family tragedy, injury, and betrayal, and feels it’s way too much to cope with. In a moment of despair, Jill books a trip to a Caribbean island in an effort to escape. While she finds respite and romance, her problems have also packed their own suitcase.
Helen Bradley, Jill’s mother dedicated her entire life to her family like many mothers in the 1970’s and 80’s. Despite her best efforts, however, she hasn’t always been able to be the type of mother she wished she could be. She has a secret she was hoping would just go away, but it won’t. If she doesn’t share it with Jill it might bring her daughter more harm.
I Know You’re There is a mother-daughter journey, celebrating the highs and delving into the lows of family life. Can the power of love heal all things?
My Book Review:
In her debut novel, author Susan Allison-Dean weaves an intriguing story that delves into the intricacies of a mother-daughter relationship and family dynamics, the experiences of life's ups and downs, and a journey of self-discovery.
Jill Bradley is a nurse in the adult medical-surgical unit at Riverview Hospital in NYC. After working a double shift, Jill is involved in a car accident on her way home. She hit a car head on with a young couple who were on their way to the hospital to deliver their baby. The couple was fatally injured in the collision, but their newborn baby was delivered and survived. The guilt from the tragedy of the car accident coupled with finding out hidden family secrets, and a devastating loss within her family will change Jill's life forever. Unable to cope with life's traumatic ups and downs, Jill escapes to the Caribbean Island of Triton where she seeks refuge and embarks on a journey of self-discovery, healing, and romance.
Set in NYC and the Caribbean Island of Triton, this poignant story is told in an alternating first person narrative by Jill and her mother Helen. As their story moves between the past and the present, Jill and Helen easily draws the reader into their lives, you can't help but become captivated and embark on a emotional roller coaster ride as their life stories unfold. Dealing with tragedy and guilt, family secrets and betrayal, loss and self-doubt, Jill's journey on the Caribbean island is aided by the spirit of her mother via her journal, and a romantic encounter that will guide Jill in her self-discovery, healing, and enable her to move forward with her life.
The story is broken down into two parts: the first section deals with the intricacies of the mother-daughter relationship between Jill and Helen, while the second section describes Jill's internal journey on the Caribbean island. I thought that the story flowed seamlessly between the alternating timelines and the unfolding of the mother-daughter internal stories. I connected with both Jill and Helen, their relationship took me back to the relationship that I had with my mother. I could relate to their complicated relationship and family dynamic, the painful loss of the mother had me in tears.
The author draws upon her previous nursing experience to describe a realistic picture of the medical field and nursing in particular. As a nursing home administrator, I completely agree with the author's depiction of the issues that nurses face on a daily basis as caregivers, they really are the unsung heroes in the medical field.
What I enjoyed most of all about this story was Jill's journey on Triton Island. It was filled with wonderful descriptions of the island setting, and it had a more lighthearted feel as Jill's inner journey to self-discovery and healing is aided by a sweet island romance.
I Know You're There is a touching and emotional story about the power of love and the ability to heal and move forward after life has thrown unexpected curves.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
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February 25 – To Taste Life Twice – Review
February 27 – The East Village – Review
March 3 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Q&A
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March 19 – Book Suburbia – Excerpt
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