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A Piece of Heaven by Barbara Samuel

>> Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Published: 2003
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Romance?
Pages: 322
TBR Challenge #9

From the inside front cover:
In the sun-baked hills of New Mexico, Luna McGraw has lived a lifetime of regrets, struggling to conquer the demons that destroyed her marriage and caused her to lose custody of her beloved daughter. But as Luna fights to rebuild a relationship with the troubled teenager, she remains haunted by images of her own childhood and the father she barely knew.

Strong and resilient as the houses he builds, Thomas Coyote comes into Luna’s life one extraordinary night when his grandmother nearly dies while conjuring a fiery brew of spiritual enchantment. Luna does not need a man --especially one with a needy ex-wife --to complicate her fragile dreams of the future. Their attraction pushes them both beyond reason into a place where there is only possibility. Yet it will take more than passion to recover the tattered pieces of Luna’s soul, more than time to forgive the sins of an offending husband, and more than promises to mend the broken heart of a child.

I read Barbara Samuel’s first book (No Place Like Home) with a book group several years ago. I liked that one enough at the time to put the rest of her books on my TBR list. Although it’s not my favorite type of book, it was a good one to throw in the mix of what I’m reading this month.

It seems that everyone in this book is damaged or wounded and dealing with trauma from their past. Sometimes it seems like all the plotlines from a whole season of a nighttime TV drama are included somewhere along the way. Some of it doesn’t work (the diary entries of a friend of Luna’s daughter are an interruption and awkward), but most of it does. This probably could have been improved with the excision of a couple of characters and plotlines. Nevertheless, I liked the book, and will read more of Samuel’s work. The many familial relationships and friendships are interesting and most have some realistic and genuine feeling dialog along the way. With a few less characters and plotlines, it would have been better, though.


Joy 9/12/2007 12:39 PM  

I passed on NO PLACE LIKE HOME, so I think I'll do the same for this one. I love both of the titles though. :)

SuziQoregon 9/12/2007 12:42 PM  

Joy: I don't think you'd like either one.

Booklogged 9/12/2007 12:50 PM  

I think I'll probably pass on this one as well. That cover is very inviting, though. Makes me want to open the door a little further - or open the cover and look what's inside the book. If I saw this at the library I might pick it up.

SuziQoregon 9/14/2007 7:11 PM  

Booklogged - yeah - the cover is nice, isn't it?

Scarlet,  11/03/2007 2:14 PM  

I disagree heartily. This was a fantastic book, although Lady Luck's Map of Vegas is my favorite Barbara Samuel book. One of the joys of Samuel's stories is that everyone IS damaged - just like in real life - but the drama of soaps or night time TV is (thankfully) lacking. Her characters are painfully real. I even found Maggie's journal entries a wonderful insight into the teenaged mind that mirrors my own teen kids. I recommend this book.

SuziQoregon 11/04/2007 8:40 AM  

Scarlet: I'm glad you liked it, even though it wasn't my cup of tea. Just proof that it's a good thing we don't all like the same books :-)

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

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