I’ve been a little disenchanted with books lately. I know that sounds bad as I’ve been a big-time reader and book lover my entire life. I don’t know why but so many of the books I’ve read of late have had things I just didn’t believe would happen in real life and that has turned me off. I’ve read books about farming and I grew up on a farm, my husband was a farmer, my grandparents were all farmers, the majority of our friends are farmers or farm related…the things the author wrote were just wrong and inaccurate. So, I haven’t been listening to as many books as typically did.
I saw this book, Left of Tenth by Delia Ephron, and thought being it’s a memoir, maybe I wouldn’t find all those things I’ve been critical of lately. I gave it a try.
I should have been careful about what I wished for…remember a realistic book.
SPOILER ALERT: Um…This book might have been a little too realistic for me. The author’s husband died, her sister dies and then her dog dies. Then she is diagnosed with leukemia.
If you’ve followed my life in 2019. My husband died. My niece who was close in age to me and more like a sister died. Then my dog died. Then my thyroid cancer came back. I guess I can’t complain about it being too realistic. The book followed much of my life only she remarried and her cancer journey was much more trying than mine. Also, she had friends that surrounded her and gave her hope. My down and dirty support has always been my kids.
So did I like the book? I did…I appreciated the author’s raw honesty.
Here is what Amazon had to say:
“Delia Ephron had struggled through several years of heartbreak. She’d lost her sister, Nora, and then her husband, Jerry, both to cancer. Several months after Jerry’s death, she decided to make one small change in her life—she shut down his landline, which crashed her internet. She ended up in Verizon hell.
She channeled her grief the best way she knew: by writing a New York Times op-ed. The piece caught the attention of Peter, a Bay Area psychiatrist, who emailed her to commiserate. Recently widowed himself, he reminded her that they had shared a few dates fifty-four years before, set up by Nora. Delia did not remember him, but after several weeks of exchanging emails and sixties folk songs, he flew east to see her. They were crazy, utterly, in love.
But this was not a rom-com: four months later she was diagnosed with AML, a fierce leukemia.
In Left on Tenth, Delia Ephron enchants as she seesaws us between tears and laughter, navigating the suicidal lows of enduring cutting-edge treatment and the giddy highs of a second chance at love. With Peter and her close girlfriends by her side, with startling clarity, warmth, and honesty about facing death, Ephron invites us to join her team of warriors and become believers ourselves.”
Amazon readers gave the book 4.5 stars. I guess I would agree. Because our lives mirrored each other, it was sometimes hard to read. I think that is a personal thing though and not a feeling a wide audience would have.
You can find the book HERE if you’re interested.
Jo, I have just discovered a new author to me, Jane Harper. I am really enjoying her books, which take place in Australia. They are mysteries but also are very involved in family relationships. I am finding that I read these at a slower pace because I am absorbing the story. You might want to take a look.
Jo, another recommendation I know you will like, “The Last Blue”, by Isla Morley. *****
I haven’t read Delia’s book…but I have read several of Nora’s…and, curiously, I’m reading/listening to Hallie Ephron’s books (murder mysteries). I wonder if they’re related? All authors with the same unusual last name?
They are all sisters along with another sister, Amy, and all are accomplished writers and screenwriters. Nora and Delia wrote “You’ve Got Mail”, the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie and Delia also wrote “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. Nora wrote several screenplays including “Sleepless in Seattle” and “When Harry Met Sally” and also was a director and producer. Their parents were Hollywood screenwriters in the 40s and 50s.
Hi Jo. I’m a Jo too! Try reading a children’s chapter book for a change. The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder are still so good to read as an adult. Or try the book Sarah, Plain and Tall about a woman who answers an ad and goes west to become the new mother of a pioneer family. You will like her writing and the description of the prairie grasses as the ocean are spot on! Or try the James Herriot books, starting with All Creatures Great and Small. He was a country vet before WWII.
Hi Jo. Have you read any of Jennifer Chiaverini’s novels? She is the author of the Elm Creek Quilts novels and also Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival and others. Her latest is Switchboard Soldiers. All are historical fiction.
I’ve read a couple. I forgot about her. I didn’t know she had new books out.
Have you ever read this series of books? I think you would enjoy them. I did, as some of the series takes place in the part of Colorado where I grew up. “Little Britches” by Ralph Moody. There are 8 books in the series.
I know I read the first three. I didn’t know there was more.
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Jo, just finished The Less People Knows About Us by Axton Betx-Hamilton. True story and many connections to Iowa and Midwest. Very interesting.