Amalise Catoir is a young law student living in New Orleans in 1974. Growing up in a close knit, religious family, Amalise is somewhat naïve and a bit too trusting for the big city. While away from home, she meets Phillip Sharp, an artist, and is immediately taken by him. He is confident, a bit quiet, and charming, and when he asks Amalise to pose for a portrait for him, she agrees. During their sessions together, Amalise starts to fall for Phillip, despite his possessiveness and sometimes odd behavior. Amalise starts missing classes, her grades begin to slip, but she is in love with Phillip. When he tells her about his awful childhood and distant parents, she believes she was meant to help him, to provide him with the love and comfort that he never had. But her once safe world turns suddenly dangerous, as Phillip turns abusive, destructive, and tears Amalise away from her work, friends, and family. Can Amalise somehow escape Phillip, or will her choice to love become fatal?
Dancing on Glass by Pamela Binnings Ewen is a story that will make you hold your breath while you flip the pages. The story surrounding Amalise and Phillip will suck you in, and the exquisite writing and detail of New Orleans will make you feel as though you are there with the characters. It was difficult to read about abuse, especially when Phillip was obviously bad news from the beginning. Even without reading the synopsis, you know he is a violent man. It was hard for me to see why Amalise was drawn to him in the first place. She is portrayed as a very naïve girl, who could walk in a dark alley at night and not think anyone would attack her, but it was still a little tough to believe. And the ending made me positively want to scream at this girl- no spoiler’s here- but possibly that is what the author wants us to take away from the story? She certainly made me feel and brought up a lot of emotions while reading. I did enjoy the side story regarding Amalise’s career as a lawyer- which was very different for women back in the 70’s. Overall, I did enjoy the book and thought it was beautifully written, but it was tough to swallow some of the main plot points. I would still recommend it if you are looking for a deeper read, and be sure you can handle tough scenes with physical abuse.
In My Mailbox: April 21
Title: Dancing on Glass
Received: From Pamela Binnings Ewen
Synopsis: In the steamy city of New Orleans in 1974, Amalise Catoir sees Phillip Sharp as a charming, magnetic artist, unlike any man she has known. A young lawyer herself, raised in a small town and on the brink of a career with a large firm, she is strong and successful, yet sometimes too trusting and whimsical. Ama’s rash decision to marry Phillip proves to be a mistake as he becomes overly possessive, drawing his wife away from family, friends, and her faith. His insidious, dangerous behavior becomes her dark, inescapable secret.
Author: Marybeth Whalen
Received: From Marybeth Whalen
Synopsis: Ariel Baxter has just moved into the neighborhood of her dreams. The chaos of domestic life and the loneliness of motherhood, however, moved with her. Then she meets her neighbor, Justine Miller. Justine ushers Ariel into a world of clutter-free houses, fresh-baked bread, homemade crafts, neighborhood playdates, and organization techniques designed to make marriage better and parenting manageable.
Soon Ariel realizes there is hope for peace, friendship, and clean kitchen counters. But when rumors start to circulate about Justine’s real home life, Ariel must choose whether to believe the best about the friend she admires or consider the possibility that “perfection” isn’t always what it seems to be.
Author: Claudia Carroll
Received: From Charlotte @ Avon Books
Synopsis: Absence makes the heart grow fonder … doesn’t it? What happens when two people decide to give themselves the year off … from each other? Annie and Dan were the perfect couple. But now the not-so-newly weds feel more like flatmates than soul mates and wonder where all the fun and fireworks went. When Annie lands her big break in a smash-hit show that’s heading for the bright lights of Broadway, she’s over the moon. Goodbye remote Irish village of Stickens, hello fabulous Big Apple! But with their relationship already on the rocks, how will Annie and Dan survive the distance? They’re hitting the pause button on their marriage. One year off from each other – no strings attached, except a date to meet in 12 months at the Rockefeller Centre to decide their fate. Will they both turn up? Or is it too late for love?