Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review - Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry

Coming Up for Air
By Patti Callahan Henry
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About The Book:
On the coast of Alabama, there is a house cloaked in mystery, a place that reveals the truth and changes lives...

Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband – between her reality and the woman she wants to be – she doesn’t quite seem to fit into her own life.

But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie’s world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother’s funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie’s not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother’s things, she discovers a hidden diary – and a window into stories buried long ago.

As Ellie and Hutch start speaking for the first time in years, Ellie’s closed heart slowly begins to open. Fighting their feelings, they set out together to dig into Lillian’s history. Using both the diary and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, they gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together a decades-old unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts…

Coming up for Air is the story of one woman’s search for truth – and what happens when love steps in along the way.  



About the Author:
NYT Bestselling author of eight novels: Losing the Moon, Where the River Runs, When Light Breaks, Between the Tides, The Art of Keeping Secrets, and Driftwood Summer and The Perfect Love Song. Her latest novel, Coming Up For Air will be published by St. Martins Press on August 15th, 2011.

Patti has been hailed as a fresh new voice in southern fiction. She has been short-listed for the Townsend Prize for Fiction and has twice been nominated for the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Fiction Novel of the Year. She is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups where she discusses the importance of storytelling and anything else they want to talk about.

After earning her Master’s degree in Child Health, Patti worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist until her first child was born. Patti is a full time writer, wife and mother living with her husband and three children in Mountain Brook, AL where she is working on her next novel.


Review by Lynda 

Being a girl of the South, I always enjoy stories set in those areas. In ‘Coming Up for Air’, we get to spend time in Georgia and Alabama with a protagonist, Ellie Calvin, who is truly ‘Southern’ in most aspects of her life. Her life is not that different from many others, but watching her perspective change as she faces a point of change, and watching her take the time to evaluate and determine who she is and who she wants to become, is interesting. 

I can’t say that I really loved this read, primarily because of the rather slow pacing. While I could connect with Ellie, I couldn’t get into most of the supporting characters. This was one of those books that half the time I was fully enjoying, and the other half, I was wondering where I lost the story thread, or why the characters suddenly seemed so shallow when earlier they were sympathetic and complex.  

If the storyline interest you, I suggest you give this book a chance. Some days I think I’m just too picky and a little testy. I really shouldn’t read when I’m in a mood… :(


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