Letter to My Daughter by George Bishop (A Fiction)

Letter to My Daughter

George Bishop (Adult Fiction)

Arguments. Mothers and daughters have them often, but this argument was different. This one ended with a mother’s slap and a daughter’s angry exodus into the night. As worry and regret floods her brain, Laura sits down in her quiet kitchen and begins writing a letter to her daughter, Elizabeth. A letter that she hopes will give Elizabeth some insight into her upbringing and past in order to help bridge the divide that has grown between the two of them. Simple and honest words on paper that might heal both of their souls and perhaps lead to understanding and forgiveness.
Anyone who automatically dismisses this book because the author is a man will be depriving themselves of a thoughtful, reflective, and meaningful read. I quickly became lost in this story and often found myself thinking it a memoir rather than a work of fiction as the emotional details are strikingly vivid and the writing is genuine and immersive. Although it’s a quick read, it instantly draws you in and will either make you wish that you had received a letter like this from your own parent or that you had taken the time to write a letter like this to your own child.  
Through Letter to My Daughter, George Bishop reminds those of us fortunate enough to be a parent, that our children really don’t realize that we had an actual life before their grand entrance into the world. That whenever they utter, “You don’t get it” and “You just don’t understand” that we truly do get it because we also dreamed big dreams and had our heart broken and were disappointed by those people that we thought we could trust. We also laughed and cried and had horrible (and sometimes humorous) lapses in judgement and so yes, we really do understand because at one time, we were just like them—young, overly confident, woefully unprepared, and ready to take on the world…whatever that meant. And while we beat our heads against the wall trying to impart our hard-earned wisdom into their beautifully thick skulls, we find ourselves saying, “You don’t get it” and “You just don’t understand” and then we realize that just like that, the circle is now complete.  

Throughout the book, I kept being drawn to the character of Sister Mary Margaret, a kind and compassionate nun who taught at Sacred Heart Academy where Laura was sent. Laura quoted several of her sayings in her letter and every one of them is a gem in its own right: Never be afraid of the truth; Begin at the beginning; Avoid sentimentality at all costs; and my personal favorite, Be good, and if you can’t be good, at least be sensible. With advice like this, maybe Sister Mary Margaret should consider writing a letter, too?

Rating: 4/5

* Book cover image attributed to: www.amazon.com

The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn (Adult Historical Fiction)

The Snow Globe

Judith Kinghorn (Adult Historical Fiction)

Inside her room, Daisy paced in circles. She’d been kissed. She’d been kissed at last, but not by the one she had wanted to kiss her. The one she wanted to kiss her said he loved her but seemed reluctant to kiss her. The one she didn’t want to kiss said he might love her and that he wanted to marry her. And the one she had kissed considered it a mistake.

It was Christmas 1926 and the residents of Eden Hall are preparing for another festive holiday. But this year, war still hangs heavy over everyone’s lives, the disappearance of famed mystery author Agatha Christie has the world gripped in intrigue, and eighteen-year-old Daisy Forbes’ heart is being torn apart by her feelings for her childhood friend, a few potential suitors, and a newly discovered secret about her adored father. As Christmas gives way to spring, the women of Eden Hall struggle to find their own voice, their own way, and their own sense of happiness and they’ll do all of these…even if it means leaving their beloved home behind.

I am a huge fan of the series Downton Abbey and so it’s no surprise that Kinghorn’s novel hit just the right chord with me. Full of conflicts without being overly dramatic and providing plenty of romance without being too schmaltzy, The Snow Globe shows us that the wealthy and well-to-do are not immune to such problems as betrayal, jealousy, pettiness, and all the other sins and shortcomings that make us human and fallible.

Although I always enjoy a good story showcasing the resilience of the human spirit and the power of overcoming impossible odds, there is also something to be said for a story that simply takes us back to a time and place where you could enjoy elevenses in front of a roaring fire in the family study or dance until dawn in the family garden while friends sip champagne under the moonlight. These little “reading retreats” of mine serve as an important reminder that there IS no place like home, that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder, and that you shouldn’t stop making wishes on your snow globe because you never, ever know when one just might come true.   

Rating: 5/5

* Book cover image attributed to www.amazon.com