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Hello, my name is Kelly and I welcome you to the Bookend Diaries book blog. I created this blog to share my own reviews of existing and new books, to discuss with other readers what we’re currently reading, update you on my book club picks, and of course, to ultimately support the work of the authors we all enjoy. I am addicted to reading and I thought this would be a great way to reach out to other readers who are as obsessed with books as I am.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook

*** courtesy of the Author


Alice, Griffin, and Dinah Stenen's mother and father died tragically when they were quite young. The loss haunts them into adulthood. Alice is a stage actress in New York who can't commit to a relationship. When she meets Ian she's smitten, but suspects it's Ian's four-year-old son that really captivates her. Griffin and his longtime partner are settled into a contented domesticity, however Theo's insistence that they adopt a child throws Griffin into a panic. When he refuses to cooperate, the crack in their relationship widens. Dinah, the youngest, has a short, passionate love affair that leaves her pregnant and alone when she discovers the father is engaged to someone else. The three look to each other for support during this rough period but they falter. What they don't know is that their parents are watching them from a place outside time and space—worrying, reminiscing, and perhaps guiding their children as each makes their tentative way towards happiness. In luminous prose, Cook tells the story of these tender souls and a love that knows no boundaries.

My Review Comments:

The backdrop of this story takes off from the beginning pages set in Athens, Greece, and wraps around with its language, streets, monuments, beaches and moods and light with the splashes of blue. There are lots of other places it takes you to including New York City, Chicago, Buenos Aires and Washington DC. It was a very interesting concept story to me and it reminded me of the book, “Lovely Bones”. But, it can stand on its own merit. In the book you follow the lives of the Stenen siblings and the terrible loss they all experience after both their parents die. They were raised well and lovingly by their grandmother, who was a guiding force in their lives. As they reach adulthood you will follow them through their own personal struggles and obstacles that they or trying to make it on their own and overcome. Through a twist of fate they are brought back together to depend on each other for strength and guidance and love. All the while their parents are watching over them from a far. I thought it was interesting to hear their parents take and insight into each of their children’s lives when they are in heaven looking down. It makes you think that it is possible and that there is a belief that your loved ones even when they pass away are really always looking over your shoulder resting there like angels. My favorite lines of the book were the ones at the end from their parents so I have to share them with you. Here is their message to their children: It is all new and all the same. A hundred years, a day, ten thousand moons. For them, each day indeed is brand new, full of possibility, the unknown: a wonderland. And because of three who were once ours-and now all of theirs-we cannot help but think so too. We cannot help but watch their every move when they slide into view.

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds so sad, as was The Lovely Bones. I really enjoyed Sebold's book so will have to look into this novel. Thanks for your review.