All the Best People was terrific! Once again Yoerg has gifted us with an excellent set of characters, and one very compelling story! (House Broken being her debut that I loved as well.) Thank you to the author and Netgalley for the advanced reading copy, it is one I highly recommend.
As Mother’s Day is this weekend, the creation of lists of books celebrating Moms appear aplenty the closer we approach the day! Bustle created a list “Top 10 Books About Mothers and Daughters to read with your Mom”, which got me to creating my own list of books about “Mother & Daughter Relationships” to include the books that I read that weren’t on Bustle’s list, but were still perfectly related. All the Best People is included in this list of course, as it is an excellent story of three generations of women – mothers and daughters.
It’s 1972 and Carole LaPorte is managing her family’s life and husband’s auto business just fine. She’s content, it’s not that exciting but she’s completely comfortable and happy with that. She visits her mother, Solange, as often as she can – Solange has been institutionalized in a mental hospital for most of Carole’s life. But Carole is starting to struggle with her grip on reality. She’s starting to hear voices, and the accounts for the auto business aren’t reconciling. Terrified she’s going to end up like her mother, she starts to hide away in her room, avoiding the family as often as possible in a concerted effort to hide what is happening to her. Carole’s daughter Alison seems to be the only person in the family to notice her mother’s increasingly strange behaviour. Convinced she can help her mother through magic, and reading tarot cards, she also seeks answers in a mysterious blue box she finds that belongs to her grandmother.
Normally, my interest in these stories that shift from present day to the past, rests firmly in the past’s storyline. And the story of Solange, and how she came to be institutionalized is truly fascinating and wonderful! However, I truly have to say that Carole and Alison’s storylines are just as engrossing! For the mystery surrounding Carole’s mental health and the link to her mother’s becomes more and more intriguing as we learn the reasons behind Solange’s institutionalization. This is a fascinating aspect of the story as we’re taken back to the time when husbands had the power and control along with the male doctors to lock women away with a quick signature and a flimsy excuse. Solange’s story is seriously captivating! But so is Carole’s and Alison’s desperate attempts to draw attention to her mother and her thinking she is the only one that can help her make for gripping reading. I did not want to be long away from this story of three generations of mothers and daughters!
All the Best People is available now and like I mention above, I do highly recommend!
After the Bloom is another excellent story about mothers and daughters, and is one already included in Bustle’s list, linked above. After the Bloom was one I fairly ripped through! Once I started reading, I found I could not put it down, for I just had to find out what happened to Lily! Why did Rita’s mom disappear? It sucked me right in from those first few pages. After the Bloom is part mystery and about Rita’s late coming of age/coming to terms with the state of her family, the nagging mystery surrounding her father, and her mother’s lifelong distraction and denial about being interned in California during WWII.
After reading, I perused through other’s thoughts about After the Bloom. Many describe some “distance” or detachment from Lily and Rita, and felt there were not fully realized characters. I can agree somewhat with this feeling, and perhaps feel more strongly about this towards Lily’s character. She does come across as empty-headed or scatterbrained, and her relationships with men are a great cause for concern. All men in her life were exploitive and abusive, and took advantage of her frivolous nature. I think because of the depths of her denial of being interned, that perhaps this may have contributed to a feeling of detachment? Because of her denial, or flightiness, we really aren’t provided with a solid picture or history of the internment and her time there. But overall, I thought this was a very good read, and was one I read in just a few short sittings.
Below is a book trailer for After the Bloom. (I do love when these are created!)
Happy Mother’s Day to those celebrating and I do hope you find your way to these two books to experience the varying types of mother and daughter relationships!