About the Book: Saphora Warren, the envy of her friends, wife, mother, is the model of southern gentility and accomplishment. She lives in a beautiful Lake Norman home, and has raised three capable adult children. But she’s also married to a successful, yet philandering plastic surgeon. It is for that reason that, after hosting a garden party for Southern Living magazine, Saphora packs her bags to escape the trappings of the picturesque-but-vacant life. Her planned destination is a neglected family bungalow on the Outer Banks. Saphora’s departure, though, is interrupted by her husband Bender’s early arrival home and his words that change her life forever: I’m dying. Against her desires, Saphora agrees to take care of Bender, who instructs her to take him to fight his illness in their coastal home in Oriental—the same house to which she had planned her get-away. When her idyllic escape is overrun by her grown children, grandchildren, townspeople, relatives, and a precious neighbor child, Saphora’s escape to paradise is anything but the life she had imagined.
About the Author: Patricia Hickman, M.F.A., is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction whose work has been praised by critics and readers alike. Patricia first studied creative writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and then went on to do graduate studies in creative writing at Queens University. She has served as a writing professor at UNCC and taught in writing workshops across the country offering her popular “Creating Characters–Giving Story People Life” workshops and courses on fiction. She, along with her hubby, founded a non-profit charity that benefits moms and children with HIV called The Secret Angels Project. Her fiction is known for its depth of understanding of the human condition underscored by redemptive themes.
My Thoughts On the Book: The novel was far from perfect. I thought it was because I read it in e-book format but I don't think that was the case at all. Some of the character’s were well developed and others, not so much. I was a little confused when parts of the story were begun and then dropped. The acquiring of Bender’s journal is one of those moments….it is found, Saphora begins to read it, and then dropped from the story line. I also found that relationships among the characters are not developed fully either. Overall, the story line is good wonderful and there are nuggets of wisdom scattered sparsely throughout the story and at every introduction to a new chapter . The book has a Reading Guide at the end and I was impressed with several of the questions. I think I would like to participate in a book study of this book and look at it on many different levels. I enjoyed the book once I got into it. I loved many of the characters….and hated a few too. I will read something else by Patricia Hickman and would recommend this book for others to read.Download and Read the first chapter here
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group's Blogging for Books program . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.