Book Review – Women’s Fiction

The Foreign Language of Friends

by Nadine Galinsky Feldman

Having been a foreign language teacher, naturally I was drawn to the title instantly. It’s not often that a title really resonates with my own life experiences, but in this case, after reading the book’s description (and the class being a Spanish one too), it was an obvious addition to my book shelf.

When four women meet in a foreign language class, their different backgrounds and experiences cause instant clashes! There’s Julia, vivacious and fun, who longs for something more than the country club, jet-setting lifestyle that she leads. Claire, a company attorney in a male-dominated field, intimidates everyone around her. Shy Ellen is trying to have a personal life while caring for her ailing parents. Mickey, a young newlywed, wants to get out from under the shadow of her domineering parents. As these women face various life traumas, they must learn to lean on each other. Ultimately, the foreign language they must learn is: friendship.

For me, this was a story for and about every woman. Four women, each at a different stage in their lives, join a foreign language class. Their reasons for doing so are as diverse as their backgrounds. Claire is clear about her needs; it all boils down to her career. Ellen struggles with the thought that, like her parents, she may face a future with Alzheimer’s and believes learning a language will keep her brain active and stave off the disease. Julia appears to have everything in life, but there is a void. Is learning Spanish the answer? She doesn’t know, but then again, she’s not even sure what is wrong with her life. Finally, Mickey, the youngest of the group, takes the class almost as an act of rebellion. She wants to make her own decisions for a change and break free from the pressures imposed on her by her new husband and preacher parents.

None of the women would ever have imagined how their coming together would affect their lives; especially given their initial awkwardness with each other, not to mention their contrasting attitudes and behaviours.

As life throws challenges their way, the language class becomes a safe haven, a place to try to forget their problems and work towards new beginnings. However, it is during their study group meetings that their personal issues come to the forefront. It is here too that they learn to open up and share their troubles with each other. What they don’t expect is that they would come to value the comfort and support they receive.  Bonds grow stronger and friendships blossom, these are ties that will last a lifetime.

Every reader will see some of themselves in these characters. They are real women with stories that readers can relate to. I am happy to give this a full 5 stars – not just because it’s a well-written story, but because it comes across as thought-provoking and heartfelt, honest and believable. This is fiction with oodles of credibility.

 

 

I asked: You answered

I have a feeling my reading slump is over. 

After asking for your recommendations, I’m excited to hide my nose in a good book again. I’ve even ordered real books – the ones with paper and everything!!

While I love my Kindle, maybe my reading practice was just getting too regimental. Having a physical book will – hopefully – rekindle (pun intended) my love for reading.

And, I’ll be asking for more recommendations from you all again.

These little darlings are winging there way to me right now – some as ebooks but a couple by post:

Thank you to all who replied with a recommendation.

 

In a reading funk: please help

If I don’t have a book at my side, then you can be sure I’m not well.

This month I surpassed my reading goal for the year. Yay, go me! (okay, so I probably underestimated how many books I’d read – 60 seemed like a good starting point at first)

But as the month went on, I struggled to enjoy—and sometimes, even finish—books that I’d been looking forward to reading.
Don’t ask me why? Had I burned out? Possibly. Maybe my reading matter had simply become repetitive; always the same types of story.
Had I become a formulaic reader? Eek, now there’s a thought—a scary one at that.


Maybe I need to explore new genres, or return to some old favourites.

Whatever happens, I can’t let this go on.
I’m going to ask my writing buddies to help out.

So, I’m asking for recommendations—any genre except horror or romance or paranormal.
Message me on Facebook, send me a tweet (the links are on the sidebar) or leave a comment here.

I’ll be forever in your debt if you can help me out of this big, black hole.

Thank you

Recommended Author: Michael Ross

I’ve just beta read a book for this author – Michael Ross – and without wishing to sing his praises too much, I feel compelled to let you all enjoy his offerings as much as I did.

Whilst the book I beta read is not yet out, he does have a couple of other books that will no doubt interest you.

A Face Not Seen

Martin Russell spends his last coins on a bus ride out of the city with barely enough motivation to face the future. Then a chance incident near his home triggers a sequence of positive opportunities for him. His life, unexpectedly, could not be better.

That is, until the phone call informing him his friend Hannah has disappeared, and people’s lives will now change forever.
a face
And who can be trusted? Certainly not the obsessive Nash nor the slimy underworld figure they call The Chemist.

How about John Staples, better known as Pin-up? Is his renewed friendship with Martin genuine or suspicious?

What is going on with Zachary and Bobby? One is a schoolboy drug dealer, the other is a disgraced ex-copper. What could they possibly have in common?

Why are their intertwined stories entitled A Face Not Seen? For the answer to that question, you would have to ask Xenon. But that is a problem, because no-one in their right mind ever questions Xenon…

Or if short stories are more your thing, then take a look at

Twenty Short Stories

What does it feel like20 stories to take another person’s life?

Will the good deeds we do come back to us in different forms?

Should we always trust our instincts?

Is it ever too late to turn back?

These are of some of the questions posed in this imaginative collection of short stories involving amongst others; a public executioner, a super hero who’s half man-half wolf, a failed celebrity writer, a disillusioned taxi driver, a father and daughter facing the end of the world, an ugly journalist, and a policeman seeking justice.
Just some of the characters in this intriguing and imaginative collection of stories where all the characters have a tale to tell. A collection that will surely leave a mark on the reader.

These are available on Amazon this weekend (from Thursday/ Friday onwards)  – FREE!

So, what have you got to lose?

 

Have a great weekend!