As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

August 7, 2012

DAISY (The Newport Ladies Book Club, Book #2) by Josi S. Kilpack, 2012

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. And no one knows that better than Daisy. Raising two kids as a divorced, single mom, Daisy has faced each and every one of the obstacles in her life with courage and determination. When, at age of forty-six, Daisy suddenly finds herself facing a very different future than the one she had planned--and an uncomfortable evaluation of the past she thought she understood--she realizes that there is still some growing up she needs to do. Looking for a distraction to escape the growing tension at home, Daisy joins the Newport Ladies Book Club, where she meets Paige, Athena, and Olivia--unlikely friends who offer encouragement and support when Daisy's perfectly crafted life is turned upside-down. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Laura Madsen: mother, veterinarian and writer

This series is such a neat concept it makes me wonder why no one ever did it before. Four books, each told from the first-person point of view of a different woman in a group of friends, each written by a different accomplished author.  (The authors are friends as well as collaborators.) The first novel, OLIVIA, written by Julie Wright, told the story of one woman in a book group whose marriage is threatened by her husband’s feelings toward his grown children.

In DAISY, the title character is a 46-year-old mother of two. Her older daughter is pregnant with Daisy’s first grandchild, and her younger daughter is mere months from graduating high school. Daisy can’t wait for her role as mom to finish so she can move on to the next stage of her life: enjoying her freedom and traveling with her new husband. She joins the book club on a whim but grows close to the other women in the book group. The women from the book club prove lifesavers when Daisy becomes pregnant—something she thought impossible—and is pressured by her husband to terminate the pregnancy.

Josi Kilpack captures the deterioration of Daisy’s marriage with spooky accuracy. Some of the things that Daisy’s husband, Paul, says to her are exactly the things I heard from my ex: “You don’t want me to make a decision right now” and “I’m here, aren’t I?” (But I emerged from divorce into a better place, and Daisy will, too!)

My primary complaint about the series is that the stories happen concurrently. The reader of OLIVIA knows that Daisy will be facing an unexpected pregnancy and impending divorce, so some of the tension that could have been generated is lost. However, even though the reader knows the major plot points, the unique experiences of the title character make each story fresh. Daisy grapples with her Catholic beliefs, a rocky relationship with her mother, guilt over her behavior as a teenage mother, conflict with a coworker who desperately wants a child, and emotional distancing from her husband.

Daisy’s closest friend in the book group is Paige, a single Mormon mom and title character of the third novel, PAIGE, to be released in August. I’m looking to forward to reading her story.

Market: adult fiction (women's lit)
Violence: none
Language: none
Sensuality: minimal
Adult themes: divorce, pregnany/abortion/adoption decisions, religion

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