Candace B. (Grand Island, NY)
Feels like Life!
This book had characters who felt like people I know with problems we all can see in our lives. It was well written and kept me interested enough to read it in one sitting ( on a trip home from a vacation when I had other stuff I was supposed to finish). It's definitely "chick lit" but a step above average with many thought provoking themes about family loyalty, loyalty and love, the work of sustaining a relationship and the many roles we all have in life.
Patricia L. (Seward, AK)
As the World Turns in book form...
Reading Mating for Life feels much like watching an afternoon TV soap opera, lots of drama and close ups of faces with wide eyes and/or pained expressions. The story revolves around a former sixties folk music star and her three daughters, each with different fathers, as they forge through their lives striving for and clinging to whatever stability they can find. Ultimately, their unfortunate choices of partners, rather for life or the afternoon upset the delicate balance and drama unfolds. Author Marissa Stapley weaves the woman's individual stories separately, intertwining them occasionally, creating a confusing web of shallow characters and vain drama. Stapley's clinical definitions of the mating habits of specific wild animals at the beginning of each chapter, while interesting merely add to the confusion. Recommended only for soap opera and/or wild animal aficionados.
Kathryn M. (Bethel, CT)
This is a book that I read when I had time, but did not make time to read. I didn't not like the book, but it didn't pull me in. The main characters are Helen, the mother, and her adult daughters. Fiona, the oldest daughter and the most strong-willed, is the only character that stood out to me. I kept getting the other sisters confused.
Chapters are told from different characters point of view. Most from Helen and her daughters, but a few other characters too. Honestly, I had trouble at the beginning of some chapters figuring out who was who, and I'm not sure why some characters had chapters at all.
If you liked Little Altars Everywhere you will probably like this book. For a higher rating from me, I'd like to see stronger character development and tighter organization.
John P. (Boca Raton, FL)
What is true love. The author introduces us to the many aspects of love in family relationships, friendships, lovers and partners as well as ourselves. The reader will continuously be treated to insights that are warm and vibrant.
Mary Beth S. (Mequon, WI)
Mating for life
The book jacket summary of Marissa Stapley's debut novel, Mating for Life, held a lot of promise. Family dysfunction, free spirit mother, grown daughters struggling to find their own identity and coming of age for a spattering of characters all combine in this light read. Each story on its own provides a good read. However, while the book reads like a novel, the reader should approach it more as a series of short stories
with characters that are all loosely connected. A number of times throughout this book, I had to stop and try to figure out exactly how it character fit into the web of other characters. This book would not be high on my list for recommendation or book clubs.
Lynn W. (Calabash, NC)
Reading this book was sheer pleasure. The characters are well defined and I didn't find myself constantly trying to remember who was who. The sisters are so different and yet they have a common bond that I felt they got from their mother. As in real life, not all of their stories were wrapped with a big bow, but they were realistic and made sense for them. Not just a beach read.
Wendy W. (Ann Arbor, MI)
What a lovely story
As an only child who lost her mother fairly early in life, I found this story of mothers, daughters and sisters, delightful and insightful. Stapley's literary style is bright and breezy and the character's she creates for us are diverse and well rounded. My only complaint was sometimes when a chapter began I had to go back and remind myself of who the woman was being featured. If life had allowed me to read it straight through, that probably wouldn't have happened. All in all, this book left me with a longing for my mother and regret that I grew up without sisters.