The History of Us by Leah Stewart

13547493The History of Us by Leah Stewart tackles some hard truths in my opinion. It speaks of choices- choices to be who you want to be, choices to have a career- to being sucessful. It also tackles the topic of when a “choice” is not really a choice. Do you give up everything you’ve worked hard for to do the “right” thing- espeicially it it’s something that you never wanted? Or do you put yourself- dreams, goals, career- above it all?

Eloise, a young professor at Harvard, is late for her class. Right before she’s about to go into her class, she gets a phone call that changes everything in her life. Her niece, Theo, has called- Eloise’s sister, Rachel and her husband have died. As quickly as Eloise can, she hurries back to Cincinnati to see what needs to be done in regard to the death of her sister. What Eloise finds is a form of chaos- her own mother not able to take care of the 3 kids that Rachel has left behind in the world. Eloise makes the necessary, but tough choice that she’ll move back to Cincinnati, take over care for the kids, and try to ensure that they have a happy and productive life.

Years later, Eloise is still watching over the kids. Still has her life on hold. She still dreams of work at a more prestigious university, publishing more, being able to live her life the way she wants. The house they live in needs much up-keep- she’s ready to have a smaller place. With the kids being grown up, it seems time is right for some changes. Francine, Eloise’s mother, promised to turn the deed to the house to her once the last kid is grown up so that Eloise can do with the house what she needs.

However, the best laid plans do not always happen. Francine does not give the deed to Eloise as promised. The story from this point on becomes a story of the life of the 3 children- Theo, Josh and Claire. The disappointments they feel, how they’ve grown into adults, the ways they still are children. At the heart of the story is two things: Choices and at what point do people become responsible for their own happiness? At what point does a person put their energy into making the life they have been living the life they want- instead of thinking about past dreams and things that cannot be changed?

The History of Us– smartly written characters, characters  that can be identified with, situations that make the reader laugh and cry. This book has the writing to evoke emotion- happiness, sadness, even anger at some of the events. Read this, discuss with friends, take some time to think about this book, the plot and the characters.  This is a book that the reader does not just read and put aside to never think of again. This is a book that has content that begs to be discussed, to be analyzed.

I highly recommend this book for fans of fiction, books about families, and good stories. Thank you Touchstone Books for providing a review copy.


Literary Friday ya’ll….

It’s Friday. It’s been a week of getting ready for the holidays. A week of reading. A week of watching holiday movies.

Deep South Magazine has some good articles this week posted on thei website. Good food, good cooking, books to give as gifts.

Remembering F. Scott Fitzgerald at West Egg Cafe- this has made my list of must stop places on my next trip to Atlanta. If literary trails and eateries make your heart happy- do check out Deep South Literary Trail App. Still looking for books to give to the bookwork in your life? Our Favorite Books for Giving has some excellent selections- including Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck. Here’s my review of Hemingway’s Girl.

My  #fridayreads: The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe and A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano. What are you reading?

I read The Art Forger by BA Shapiro this past weekend. Fantastic. Review will be posted after the holidays. I also finished The History of Us by Leah Stewart– it’s good, emotional at times- some hard subjects are dealt with. However, I’m recommending it to book clubs- the theme, subplots, and overall tone of book will be excellent for discussion- I strongly believe that everyone will have an opinion on this book.

Preparing my list for Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge- quite looking forward to that. List will be posted in 2013.

Traveling With T’s Favorite Books of 2012 will be posted ASAP (I know I’ve been saying it, but I really mean it!) Traveling With T’s Books to Look Forward to in 2013 will also be posted (NOTE: This list will only contain books that I’m aware of being published in 2013 & that I’m RIDICULOUSLY excited for- if there is a book that you think I should be aware of- please, please, please comment!)

I made my goal of reading 110 books in 2012 this week. No applause, please 😉

Enjoy the holidays and have a Happy New Year! And happy reading as always!