Friday, January 3, 2014

Review of 'Bond of Love' by Amy Suzanne

As a picturesque mother and wife, forty-one year old Avery Richards seems to have it all. Married to a successful veterinarian named Noah and mother to a spunky daughter named Kara, her life is far from awful but she is stuck. With the recent move of their daughter, who has just flown the coop for college, this story examines the deep and often-tumultuous bond between mother and child and the lengths we are willing to go to, as mothers, to sacrifice our own happiness for the ones we love.

As we watch Avery walk through her ‘new’ way of daily life, without her ambitious and stubborn child around to mother any longer, we are given a very unique opportunity to tip toe in the front row of their lives, from three very separate views. We will see life as it plays out through her mature and motherly eyes, through Kara’s young and sheltered heart, and then through ‘someone else’s eyes’ that has a vested interest in them both.

As Avery’s well-hidden web of lies come crashing down in an unexpected way, her secrets that she’s safeguarded for years will threaten to rip her peaceful world apart, as well as the world of the ones she loves most. As readers, we will watch how ONE single choice can alter everything. Each character will then be forced to examine what the true meaning of love and forgiveness means to them.

Every gamut of emotion will be explored: humor, sadness, love, joy, betrayal, hate, and forgiveness. Bond of Love will leave you pondering the age-old question: How well do YOU actually know the ones you love most?

**My thoughts**

Avery has had an okay life. She and her husband married young and had one healthy, beautiful daughter. She is fortunate to be able to volunteer with her beloved animals. She has also suffered a lot of loss. As menopause sets in, she seems to be reflecting a lot more on what her life was and how it could be. Noah, her husband, seems to love her a lot.

Kara is their daughter. She is a mere 18 years old and is off at college. She felt sheltered while growing up and is rebelling in many ways now that she has a taste of freedom.  Because of that, she doesn't seem to be able to make good decisions. She has her parents' voices in her head, telling her one thing to do, but is weak and will give in to what others want her to do. I can't stand her boyfriend, Lance, nor his brother Isaac. Lance is mean to her and very condescending. He seems to take advantage of her sheltered upbringing. Yet, Kara almost doesn't seem to mind.

The two women take turns telling their stories. It took me a bit to get used to their different voices, which actually seemed the same in the beginning. Later on, they developed their own voice. The third storyteller is the mystery man in the mountains, who ends up changing their lives forever. His voice also seemed quite like the two women's in the beginning, before finally developing its own sound.

What seemed to make the three narrators sound so much alike was the regular use of the same types of similes and metaphors when describing surroundings and situations. I appreciate a desire to be descriptive, but it was really too much. Also, everything seemed to somehow relate to food. Not all of the comparisons really worked. A lot of them could have been phrased differently or abbreviated to get the point across. It actually makes the entire first third of the book quite difficult to read.

Once you get past that first third (and my Kindle actually said 33%), the action gets going and the abundance of descriptions slow way down. The characters have finally come to life, and the thriller side of the story begins its ride. In fact, it ends up being quite a bit different than I had expected from reading the description of the book. You may be able to figure out Avery's secret and some of the other missing pieces pretty easily, but may also feel compelled to keep on reading to see if you can figure it out. I did.

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Meet the Author:

This is Amy’s second published work, the first being a memoir written exclusively for her children. As a former second grade teacher, and long time professional photographer, she has been writing and filling journals since she was young enough to hold a pencil and form words. Although writing brings her to a place of solace and joy, her most ambitious and fulfilling job in life thus far has been being a mother. Married for nearly two decades now, she and her husband share four daughters, who fill their lives with amusement, love, and drama daily. It is her lifelong goal to preserve her family’s history through the written word, pictures, and the human touch of love.

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