Tag Archives: Help!

Win here, home, hope

Kaira Rouda’s book Here, Home, Hope: A Novel will not be released until Sunday, May 1, 2011 (Greenleaf Book Group; $15.00).   But you can enter now to win one of three copies that we’re giving away!   This is a tale that will appeal to readers of popular fiction who feel like they’re ready to transition into something new in their own lives.

Here is the official synopsis of Here, Home, Hope:

Kelly Mills Johnson becomes restless in her thirty-ninth year.   An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her ordinary middle-American existence and her neighbors’ seemingly perfect lives.   Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding but exhausting.   Meanwhile, Kelly’s own passions lie wasted.   She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathyrn and Charolotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all.   Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife makeover plan.

Kelly’s witty reflections, self-deprecating humor, and clever tactics in executing that plan – she places Post-It notes all over her house and car – will have readers laughing out loud.   The next instant, they might rant along with Kelly as her commitment to a sullen, anorexic teenager left on her doorstep tries her patience or as she deflects the boozy advances of a divorced neighbor.   Readers will need to keep the tissue box handy, as Kelly repairs the damage she inflicted on a high school friend; realizes how deeply her husband, Patrick, understands and loves her; and ultimately grows into a woman empowered by her own blend of home and career.

In order to enter this contest, just post a comment with your name and e-mail address below while answering the question, “Have you ever reached a point of restlessness in your own life?   If so, how did you handle it?”   This will count as a first entry.   For a second giveaway contest entry, tell us the name and location of your very  favorite bookstore in the U.S.  (Maybe Kelly will decide to pay it a visit, you never know.)

If you prefer not to post a comment here, you can send an e-mail or two to Josephsreviews@gmail.com .   In order to enter this giveaway you must live in the U.S., have a residential mailing address (books will not be shipped to P. O. boxes or business related addresses), and submit your entry or entries by Midnight PST on Monday, May 30, 2011 (Memorial Day).   The 3 winners will be drawn at random, notified by e-mail, and given 72 hours within which to provide a proper mailing address.

This is it for the complex contest rules.   As always, good luck and good reading!

Note:  Kelly Rouda will be doing a book signing and reading in Capitola, California on Monday, May 16, 2011, 7:00 p.m. at the Capitola Book Cafe (1475 41st Avenue).   She will be doing a reading and book signing in San Francisco at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at Book Passage (1 Ferry Building).   For information on these events, call (831) 462-4415 or (415) 835-1020.


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Help!

Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank by Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D. (W. W. Norton; $24.95; 302 pages)

Medical Journalist Randi Hutter Epstein presents an easy-to-understand, yet not patronizing, overview of childbirth across time.   Each of the book’s five parts features some aspect of the cold, unvarnished reality faced by pregnant women and the subsequent delivery of their babies.   The time frame discussed in the book spans the ages; however, the 19th and 20th centuries are Epstein’s primary focus.   Clearly, fads and political movements in these two centuries have had a heavy influence on how childbirth has been addressed.   The ongoing struggle between physicians and midwives for clientele became an ugly smear campaign, never mind that nearly all doctors were male and that they perpetuated ludicrous theories for hundreds of years causing massive harm to their patients.

“In the meantime, doctors were doing what they considered the best medicine.   They believed they were saving lives by luring women away from midwives and into the hospital, where doctors could control the business of babies.   Ironically, what they thought was (the) best medical care was sometimes the deadliest.”

Dr. Epstein conveys her views in a most engaging manner.   She has a very strong sense of irony and makes good use of it.   This reviewer was unaware of the sometimes-bizarre methods employed in the past during delivery, including twilight sleep that wiped out all memory of the childbirth experience.   Never mind that during labor a woman using twilight sleep had to be lashed to the delivery table in order to keep her from falling off while writhing in pain.

There is some overlap among chapters with regard to the material covered.   A reader interested in a particular section of the book will find a comprehensive write-up much like a stand-alone article.   This makes perfect sense because the author is a widely published medical journalist.

There does not seem to be an intended audience for Get Me Out.   Rather, most anyone can benefit from the book, as was the case for this reviewer whose granddaughter was born right after I finished reading it.   By the way, Dr. Epstein has four children of her own which qualifies her on yet another level.

Highly recommended.

This review was written by Ruta Arellano.   A review copy was received from the publisher.

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