Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Yesterday Mourning by Renita Bryant (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Yesterday Mourning by Author Renita Bryant!

Book Review

Yesterday Mourning by Renita Bryant
Publisher: Mynd Matters Publishing
Publication Date: May 5, 2013 / 2nd edition: January 10, 2014
Format: Paperback - 144 pages 
             Kindle - 1284 KB
             Nook - 187 KB
ISBN: 0989916405
BNID: 2940044520417
Genre: Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Yesterday Mourning

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 Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Yvette is a forty-one year old woman struggling to cope with losing both parents during her twenties—one to terminal disease and the other to life’s complications. Over the years, she learned to repress the pain of watching her mother die and the resentment of having her father casually walk out of her life. Now as she packs her bags to return to her Georgia hometown and the house where final goodbyes were never spoken, a growing sense of uneasiness intensifies.

Vera is the kind-hearted stepsister Yvette never imagined nor wanted. She was an innocent teenager in search of answers when Yvette’s father, the Pastor, entered her life. Although broken from the loss of his beloved wife and daughters, he gave Vera the love and affection she so desperately needed. However, a childhood secret threatens to compromise everything Vera holds dear.

When the Pastor’s health takes a turn for the worse, both daughters must decide if they have the strength and courage to no longer be confined to burdens of the past. Will Yvette overcome feelings of abandonment and forgive her father before it’s too late? Does Vera’s childhood secret hold the key to mending this family’s broken relationship?

Yesterday Mourning is a heartfelt and poignant novella about two women learning invaluable lessons of forgiveness, love, loss and ultimately—peace. It is an impressive debut from an author with an authentic voice and a love for storytelling.

Book Excerpt:

I didn’t know what to say.

Two years had passed since I last laid eyes on him, and I had no clue what would be the first or final words spoken. Maybe I’d ask for an in-depth explanation as to why he didn’t try harder to salvage the relationship we built—the love we shared.

While I wanted to hear his answers, my heart recognized that simple words wouldn’t make our truth any less real. Our perspectives had changed because our lives had changed. Our interactions had transformed into something entirely different than the possibilities we would have imagined a few years ago.

A part of me wanted to run away in hopes of avoiding both him and the complexity of this moment—a moment built on the promise of closure. However, running away stopped being an option a long time ago, and as such, I got the privilege of sitting on a concrete step under an August Georgia sun waiting for my father to turn the corner into our cul-de-sac. I got to wonder whether he would try to hug me or engage in small talk—or do the unexpected and admit fault for the current state of our situation.

I wish things had been different. I wish he had made a different choice—one that involved me, or at least considered me. I replayed our conversations often, wondering whether I was too sensitive or whether he really was as heartless and selfish as I perceived him to be.

We were both mourning a loss—a wife, a mother. He yearned to feel her touch just as I longed to see her smile. Her voice had coached us both through the funeral, the holidays, and the random moments such as being in the grocery store and seeing a grapefruit and remembering how much she loved them. Both of us had changed hospital bed sheets, paged nurses, and authorized procedures while feeling her slip away from our hopeful grasps. The sting of tears on wishful cheeks was no less painful for either of us. Our tears just fell in two different states and for two very different reasons. The reasons were what hindered me from knowing what I should say to him.

My Book Review:

In her debut novella, Yesterday Mourning, author Renita Bryant weaves a heartfelt and touching story of love, loss, forgiveness and healing.

Yesterday Mourning is a poignant tale that follows two women as they struggle to reconcile their separate yet shared troubled family past that forever binds them together. It is a powerful and compelling tale that takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride, yet leaves them wanting more.

The author easily draws the reader into Yvette and Vera's lives, you can't help but become invested as their family story unfolds, you'll feel the full gamut of emotions, and it will give you much food for thought towards your own family relationships.

This is an inspirational, honest, and raw story that wraps itself around you as you delve into the complex and complicated dynamic of Yvette and Vera's family. Through the drama and emotional turmoil of their pasts, their struggle to reconcile and move forward in their lives is breathtaking as they are taught life lessons about loss, love, forgiveness, healing, and redemption.

As I read this beautifully written story, I couldn't help but reflect upon my own family relationships. I recognized a similarity in the dynamic of my own family relationships that touched my heart, and left an imprint on my soul. I don't think that anyone will come away from this story without feeling some emotional connection.

Yesterday Mourning is an amazing story with a thoughtful and soul searching message that will stay with you long after the last words have been read.


About The Author

Renita Bryant, a native of Fort Valley, Georgia, had visions of being a writer from an early age. "There's something magical about using words on a page to emotionally propel someone into another time and place."

Since obtaining her BS & MBA, Renita has worked for some of the world's largest companies on many of their most recognizable household brands. Although she finds the work rewarding, her passion for writing pushed her to complete and publish her first novella, Yesterday Mourning, in May 2013.

Renita currently resides in Ohio and stays actively involved in social media with her blog, Renita’s Mynd Matters, Twitter (@Mynd_Matters), Facebook (YesterdayMourningBook), and Goodreads pages! She's currently working on multiple projects including book #2 and a collection of poetry.


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  1. Great review. I love the sound of this book!

    From another Jersey girl. It's Liberation Day here in (old) Jersey - 69 years since the liberation of the island during WW2, so we have a day off work to celebrate.

    1. Hi Georgina! Thank you for stopping by and posting your kind comments. Enjoy your holiday. :)

  2. I am intrigued by how people overcome the pain of losing someone they love. It's never enough written about this end of life.

    1. Hi Tea Norman! Thank you for stopping by my blog. This is an intriguing book, hope you get a chance to read it.