Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders - Book Review

Three generations of women. Grandmother, her daughter, and her two granddaughters.

Harriet, the grandmother and a famous author, tells her story posthumously through a hidden manuscript. Eleanor, her daughter, is living in her late mother's home and trying to keep her youngest daughter close in order to have the kind of mother-daughter relationship Eleanor and Harriet never had.

Ruth, Eleanor's oldest daughter who ran away from home at 16, is in the middle of her second marriage and second divorce when she's forced to return home. Is this her chance to keep the promise she made to her younger sister Tilton all those years ago?

Tilton, who has been waiting for Ruth to "return and save" as their pact stated, lives at home with her mother and lives under her mother's super close supervision. She's very bright but under the impression that she's allergic to the outside world. But is she or is Eleanor merely trying to protect Tilton and keep her close, something Eleanor obviously couldn't do with Ruth?

Eleanor and her daughters have their issues, which all stem from Harriet's secrecy about her past. Eleanor doesn't know who her father is. Eleanor doesn't know why her mother acted certain ways and did certain things. And Eleanor is tired of her mother's fans pestering Eleanor about a mysterious seventh book Harriet may or may not have written. Can Eleanor and her daughters piece together the missing pieces and keep their family intact?

It took me until after the first three chapters to really get into this book. But once I reached that point, I was hooked. This is an interesting look at mothers and daughters, and it's a book that I think would make a good book club pick. I like that it's told from the point of view of each woman and that each character has such a specific voice.

I actually saw the author, Julianna Baggott, speak at a seminar at Book Expo America, which prompted me to stand in line and get an autographed copy of this book. Well worth it! You can also read an essay by Baggott in the January issue of Real Simple magazine!

Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders is published by Little, Brown and Company. It's available on bookstore shelves now. I received a free autographed review copy at Book Expo America with no obligation to review.

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