Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)
Mating for Life
How can three sisters grow up to be so different? Or are they. Marissa Stapley's Mating for Life is an entertaining look at three women whose mother was a Joni Mitchell-esque singer who never really thought much about marriage. Until….in her later years she is contemplating this while her daughters are dealing with their own partnership issues. Fiona states toward the beginning of the novel, "how strange it was that there were truths that could exist in families that everyone ignored, even though they were devastating." Many of us can relate to that I'm sure. Each daughter's father was absent in some way either by death or non-interest. Do we need that man to guide us or do we just need each other? Interesting stuff. As Fiona discovers and states with a Cezanne quote, "We all live in a rainbow of chaos." And yes, I believe we all do!
Deb Y. (Parkersburg, WV)
What a lovely book!
I am so lucky - I haven't gotten a bad book yet. Some need a little work, but this is not one of those books.......Read it, it will make you smile, most of the time. It's true to life and I have seen myself in all the ladies at one time or another.
Ariel F. (Madison, WI)
Is it really mating for life?
This book about families and their functionality vs dysfunction was interesting. A hippy mom who did not to be monogamous and her 3 daughters, each with their own issues. I found myself thinking of how I would handle some of the situations that the daughters encountered. Would I decide that I wanted to swim over to the pier of the man next door and introduce myself? Or would I just let things play out as they would.
I think this would be an ideal book for a ladies book club and would bring forth an enlightening discussion.
Susan H. (Chappaqua, NY)
Families, oh my!
Mothers and daughters, sisters … there is nothing better and yet nothing more complicated and often times difficult. I enjoyed reading about the relationships … the ways the family related to each other, the way they love, dislike … often outright hurt one another ... and then put it all back together in the name of love and family. No-one can hurt your soul like a sister and then give you the shirt off their back to make it better!!!!
Sharalynne P. (Valparaiso, IN)
Liked it - didn't love it.
I thought it was a light read about a family of women with the same old problems....hippie single mom, unhappy daughters, marriage problems, nothing new here. I couldn't get emotionally connected to the characters, maybe because I had nothing in common with any of them. I did like her style of writing though and would read another book of hers.
Christina C. (Powells Point, NC)
Love the characters and the format
I really enjoyed the format of this book. Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of that particular character. I feel like as a reader this helps you to learn each character in the story in a more intimate way, versus just from the voice of a narrator. It was also exciting to have heard about a character from others and then get to the chapter where you got to hear from "them" and their side of the story. It felt almost like you were finally getting to "meet" somebody you'd only heard about.
I think the story did a beautiful job of exploring the different relationships of mother and daughter, sisters, husband and wife, and parent and child. There were a lot of characters to build different dynamics, but not so many that you lost track of who was who or felt like they took away from the story.
It's been a few days since I finished reading this book and I find myself missing the characters, wishing I had more pages to read to revisit them again.
Debra P. (Belmont, NC)
This book is a tangle of relationships and how they are connected and impact one another. The author does a great job developing the characters to the degree one feels part of their family. I especially appreciate her deep understanding of the impact a parents decisions regarding their marriage or love life may have on children. Also how children are deeply affected in their developmental years to assume certain adult roles based on their early relationships with parents and siblings. This book can generate some really deep conversations in a book club because I believe all of us share a certain level of family dysfunction and have stories to tell. I really enjoyed the book and am giving it 5 stars.