Judy K. (Oshkosh, WI)
Worried about the title
The book was very interesting in the way it was written. Each chapter told a different story of lives of family members and friends. The title did throw me off. I did not like it and was afraid to read the book. I did not know what I was getting myself into. There a few surprises in the book, which I liked. This could be a book club book with all that goes on in it. The story line is weak, though.
Susan K. (Dartmouth, MA)
Just not my cup of tea...
What I liked best about this book were the descriptions of the mating habits of various birds and animals at the beginning of the chapters, and then trying to see how they often tied in to the chapters. What I didn't like was the lack of clarity, the awkward run-on sentences, the characters themselves, and on and on....
I forced myself to read the last half of the book; I just didn't care about the characters, and had a hard time remembering which daughter had which problems. The language used was also too cut and dried for my taste, almost like reportage. I can appreciate that others like that style, but it's just not for me (I actually would like to give this a 2 star rating, but don't want to be so mean-spirited in my review.)
Liz B. (Fairview, TX)
Good, not Great
This is a fairly quick read focusing on the relationships of three sisters and their mother. I found the title to be a bit misleading as most of these characters have had multiple relationships with men and do not appear terribly successful at "mating for life". The story flows nicely as the chapters rotate among the different women. The opening blurbs about wildlife at each chapter are interesting, if a bit unnecessary. This is a book that would work for book club or make a light read for a weekend vacation at the lake.
Gwen C. (Clearfield, PA)
Mating for Life
I liked this book much more than I thought I would. Three half sisters with distinct personalities and different relationship problems? A make-love-not-war kind of mom? Come on! Yet somehow Marissa Stapley takes this contrived plot and turns it into a refreshing and thoughtful read. Each chapter begins with an animal and an explanation of that animal's mating rites and parenting skills. How that particular animal surfaces and what it may symbolize is a clever device that holds up well throughout the book. The role of the father; mother's love, love itself...or obligations are all scrutinized. Not only did I become drawn into each character, I also found pages and phrases that gave me pause for their insight into our human condition. Here's to the lessons on life skills, especially rewinding!
Christine P. (Gig Harbor, WA)
Mating for Life?
This book is like sitting down and having a great conversation with a lifelong girlfriend. It encompasses all parts of women's lives and their relationships. This novel is guaranteed to make you laugh and cry, and have every other emotion in between. I loved it because of the relationships and the emotions, its characters and their stories. I felt like the author made me an active part of the story, not someone who was watching the action from a distance. I loved that the chapters wove the different characters into a tapestry made from their challenges and triumphs, and above all the love they have for each other. Stapley obviously loves to read with her references to books and the reading life. I also found interesting that at the beginning of each chapter, she included how different animals mate. It's a book that touched my heart and I will remember it for a long time.
Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)
This is an excellent book, characters are very realistic and have very real problems which anyone can relate to. Also, you get to learn the mating habits of various birds and animals which are similar to humans at times. A very worthwhile and easy read.
Bobbie D. (Boca Raton, FL)
Mating for Life - Not so Much
It is amazing that many birds and animals mate for life. This is demonstrated at the beginning of the chapters. Humans, however, have choices. Helen raised three daughters who had different fathers, none of whom were part of their lives. She never married any of them. The book is mostly about these girls and their lives and their families. Being married, a legal contract, does not guarantee happiness. And not being married can work too. Nice story of the girls, their mother and how their lives separated and came together again.