The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

Wow, what a great read!  I could not put it down.

Having said that, for some reason I did have a hard time getting into it.  But once I did, boy what a great read.  So rich in so many ways. A book about love, a book about our family of origin and the impact it has on us, a book about betrayal, a book about psychotherapy . . . a book full of twists and turns.

What I really liked about this book was how it showed all sides of an affair.  I believe still today an affair typically gets minimized to stereo-typed roles:  the poor jilted good wife/victim; the scoundrel cheating husband; the home-wrecker younger woman.  But what about each of their stories and the reasons that led them there?  What about the roles that each one of them plays in the demise?

To me, any situation is like a puzzle to be figured out.  I really loved how this book helped identify the many pieces of the puzzle a tragedy has.

Secret by L. Marie Adeline

WARNING:  This book does contain explicit sexual content, which may be offensive to some readers.

I am not in the habit of posting book review blogs on soft porn books, but for this one I have made an exception.  The reason for the exception is that I believe this is a wonderful book for empowering women.

It is still true today that in our culture many women are oppressed in various ways: in the families they grew up in; in the relationships they choose; in their workplaces; in many unfortunate ways. What I liked about this book was the identification of the necessity for women to move beyond these barriers (whether they be self-imposed or external), and to grab the independence and confidence they need to be who they want to be — who they were meant to be.

Enjoy the read.  Enjoy the stimulation (grin). Enjoy the hidden important messages.  And keep it away from the little ones!

Beautiful Mind – Review

BEAUTIFUL MIND, movie starring Russell Crowe
This is an oldie (2001), but a goodie.  I like recommending this movie for clients to see to illustrate a number of things: mental illness from a patient’s perspective as well as a system perspective, perseverance and overcoming obstacles, marital commitment, and much more. “From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash, Jr. experienced it all.  A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim.  But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery.  After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally – late in life – received the Nobel Prize.”  Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures. Click here to view trailer.

Half Brother

HALF BROTHER by Kenneth Oppel

This book was recommended to me by one of my 12 year old clients, but this 49 year old enjoyed it just as much! It is a lovely story of a family, and to some degree, what every family goes through. Parenting issues, adolescent angst, marital issues, job stress, moving, adopting a chimp . . . you know, regular stuff. The story begins with Ben waking up on his thirteenth birthday just after a move from Toronto to Victoria, B.C. I love how the author writes the story from Ben’s perspective and how life and changes are seen through a thirteen year old’s eyes. For the young and the older, this is a great book that kept me engaged.

The Hole in the Middle


I must admit that I did find this book rather slow right through the first half.  However, that may have had more to do with my own state of mind and busyness.  I persevered because what I was needing was a break from my demanding life — and that it provided.  Having said all of that, I did end up really enjoying the book and its message.  Are you married, approaching forty, have two small kids, and wonder how in the world you got there and how are you going to survive and keep all the balls in the air?  Then this book is definitely for you!

What I was reminded of was my own life at an earlier stage.  I was the working mom with two small kids, and I hated it; parts of it, of course.  Hated all of the demands and the constant “not good enough” feeling.  The working mom’s guilt at its finest.  The title of the book comes from a stage of life referred to as ‘the doughnut years’, defined as:

The first half of life is about getting as far away from your past as you can.  And then, just when you’ve established yourself as a full-fledged adult, a hole opens up in the middle of life and the past comes rushing back in.  By the time you’re my age [says an older woman in her 70s], if you’re not careful, the past is more real than the present.

I like the notion of the doughnut years, giving that midlife transition some perspective.  At that point, it can be all too easy to sink into a depression or trade in your spouse for something you think you missed.  I hope that if you are in this boat, you will read this book and have a good think about your past, how far you have come, and want you really want.

Lullabies for Little Criminals


This book is not for the faint of heart, not because it is really graphic, but rather because of the range of experiences it covers.

The main character, Baby, is a girl born to two teenagers and the story is of her tragic life that ensues.  Not that you really get the sense that it is tragic from her perspective — it is her normal.  However, her normal includes losing her mother as an infant, a drug addicted father, poverty, foster care, prostitution . . . need I say more?!

This book will teach you about the reality of poverty, and the affects on children and their future prospects.  The author does a brilliant job of endearing Baby to you, and the humor a child can use to adapt to their circumstances.  You will fall in love with Baby and her resilience, all the way hoping it ends well for her.

The Husband’s Secret


I really enjoyed this novel and could not put it down, as the writer had a way of keeping the story and the characters intriguing.  Definitely not boring or slow.  Having said that, I really needed to read the first few chapters in one sitting as the author developed the characters and their relationship to one another.  Was a tad bit confusing until they all came together.

This book will show you different kinds of families, interpersonal relationships, humanizes parents, and really gives you an appreciation for what is going on in people’s minds behind their outward behaviour or appearances.

What I liked most about the book was how it illustrated how fate, or choices, really change what happens next.  For many of us, I believe we often have regrets or what-if’s about our lives.  I believe this book will change that for you.  I know it did for me.

Forever, Interrupted – Review

FOREVER, INTERRUPTED, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

No one escapes loss.  We all experience it.  So why do we avoid it, deny it, or simply just become captive by it?  Because it’s hard, that’s why.  And it hurts.

This novel is a light read, but kept me engaged.  It is a story of loss.  A story of love.  A story of two women who help each other with their grieving.  Elsie has lost her husband after only nine days of marriage.  Her mother-in-law also lost her husband.  Now they only have each other.

If you are ready to look at your loss, if you want to connect with a woman in her grieving process for kindred comfort and for some ideas on how to move on yourself, this book may be for you.  If you have had a recent loss, it may be overwhelming at times and hard to face.  However, it is a story of hope.  And hope is important because everyone dies, no one escapes it.  So if we are able, why not attempt to find some hope to anchor ourselves in?  A reason to get up and live again.  And then maybe someday, maybe, we can be the one helping another behind us when loss grips them.


Unbearable Lightness

UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS, by Portia de Rossi CAUTION: THIS BOOK MAY BE TROUBLING, PARTICULARLY IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH AN EATING DISORDER OR BODY IMAGE ISSUES Having said that, if you do struggle from an eating disorder or body image issues — it is a must read. Portia does an amazing job in this autobiography of intimately describing her own personal struggle with Anorexia and Bulimia. For those of you who have never heard of her, her before-actor name was Amanda Rogers, a girl from Australia who went on to become a well-know actor. She was best known for her roles in Ally McBeal, Arrested Development and Better Off Ted. She lives in Los Angeles with her wife, Ellen DeGeneres. Portia does speak in great detail about her crazy and extremely sad thought process and behaviours. I would suggest that if you are at risk of being triggered by past or present eating problems, ensure that you are either engaged with your therapist while reading through this book, or at least have some good supports and self care that you can rely on if you need them. It can be disturbing and bring up many issues that people struggle with on a day-in, day-out basis that non-disordered eating people do not even think about. Lucky for them. Beyond the horror that is revealed about Portia’s emotional prison that she lived in for many years, it is also a story of hope. Hope that recovery is possible. Hope that love for oneself can be attained and become your new normal. You have to read through 272 pages of tough stuff before you get there, but in the Epilogue the hope emerges. The last 30 pages of the book are jam packed with great wisdom and life lessons. Be sure to take your time reading through the Epilogue, and have your paper and pen ready. The gems that exist in those thirty pages are worth reading and re-reading and figuring out how you can implement them into your own daily life. Whether or not you have an eating disorder, it contains healthy rules for living that we all should be consciously incorporating into our own lives. Enjoy the read.

What Alice Forgot

WHAT ALICE FORGOT by Liane Moriarty

Who should read this book?  Everyone who wants a good read.  A very engaging story and worth the distraction from life (isn’t that why we read?).  Also, anyone who is married and wishes they weren’t, or are recently separated and wondering if they have made the right decision.  You should read this.  It may help.  Or it may change your mind.  Or it may give you some perspective.  There is also a good side story within for people who have had a hard time conceiving their own child.  A unique struggle all unto itself, infertility is.

What Alice Forgot is an interesting read because it begins with a woman who has a fall and instantly loses ten years of her memory.  Imagine backing up ten years ago in your own life, with the thoughts and maturity (or lack thereof!) that you had back then, but you are living now in your present circumstances.  You don’t know who people are that were born in the last ten years, including your own children, and you don’t know why the relationships you have with people have changed so much over a decade.  That is what this story gives you.  Very interesting indeed.

This would be a good book for a book club.  There are so many levels of thinking and discussion to be had with it.  Enjoy