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Mel's Procrastination Palace
Sunday, June 12, 2005 Definitely good for me!

I've started blogging half a dozen times, all to realize I was saying nothing while taking up space. Blah. Better to say nothing at all! Life's been much of a routine lately--work the day job, come home, play wife and then settle in to write (or find procrastination measures--easily done with the internet at my fingertips.)
Since I decided to write my current WIP without the aid of preplotting, once I got pulled away from it, the momentum came to a screeching halt. I did get to talk to a CP the other day who let me babble out the synopsis in rough form which got me a bit back on track.

Okay--point of the post. Yesterday the family and I went to Chicago via long-ass train ride. My intention was to write, but discovering muse wasn't into longhand, I ended up pulling out my Sony Clie and browsing the ebooks I'd downloaded. To my delight, I realized I had Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred on it.

I'd been looking forward to reading this book-- dubbed a women's lit by Cerridwen Press, since the first time Katherine posted an excerpt on the Cerridwen Press yahoo group. In it's own way, it's a coming of age story, but for an entire family--one that feels like YOUR family the more you read this book.

I was trying to explain to Jaci last night (still in tears after finishing it) what made it so special. I think the best way to put it is that I read to escape--I want to be taken completely out of my person and experience and be someone else for a few hours. This story went beyond that. There's no fantasy in this story. The characters are not larger than life--they're your family, your friends, the people down the street. You know the town, with it's gossip and quirks. There's a huge family, each with unique (non-cliche) personalities that remind you for your own aunts and uncles and grandparents...

While romance truly guides this story, and the book ends with it's own form of happily ever after, it's not your typical romance. That suited me just fine. Instead of a book, I felt like I was reading the diary of someone very close to me--or listening to a story told my by grandmother-- a story of her youth that she related with a sparkle in her eye and a tear on her cheek, one in which the characters came alive and touched my heart.

This book is a gem. I know it'll be one I read over and over, just to feel it. Do I recommend it? Absolutely. If you're ready for a story that opens your eyes, breaks your heart, makes you clench your fist in anger and then fills your eyes with tears of joy. I've already informed my daughter it's on her summer reading list.

It's available in ebook form at http://www.cerridwenpress.com.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:18 AM :: 2 comments

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