Patience is a virtue in this relatable, real-life love story.

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DANGLED CARAT

Grossman’s true-life account of her quest for a wedding ring despite a boyfriend wary of commitment.

In her mid-20s, Grossman found herself trying to get past an on-again, off-again boyfriend. Having a nice dinner with her mother, she met a mature man named Marc, who encouraged her to try new things. His gorgeous townhouse on a beach in Long Island wasn’t too shabby, either. As their relationship slowly progressed, Grossman discovered that Marc was known for his aversion to the idea of marriage. But she didn’t want to suffer the same fate as her mother, who had to wait a considerable amount of time for her father to commit; an even bigger fear for Grossman was the possibility that her romance wouldn’t end in a happy marriage like it did for her parents before her father passed away. Marc’s friends and family put pressure on him to pop the question by the time Marc and Grossman left for a New Year’s trip to Florida, and when he didn’t, Grossman was heartbroken—but she decided to give him more time. When another New Year’s rolls around, Marc was uncharacteristically open to the discussion of marriage and even promised that they’ll be engaged by summer. Although she was excited, Grossman wasn’t quite confident that Marc wouldn’t change his mind. Marc’s actions and his caring, loving attitude toward her seemed to outweigh his inability to express himself; however, Grossman says: “Sometimes a girl needs to be told what a guy feels, rather than trying to decipher the signs.” In this nonfiction story, Grossman honestly discusses her genuine insecurities in her life and relationships as she juggles career aspirations and a close relationship with her mother. Marc’s motivations, however, are largely brushed over since Grossman constantly tries to avoid confrontation; nonetheless, the story could have benefited from more of his perspective. Although the drama of it all can be engaging, and Grossman thankfully steers clear of whining, her lack of action can be frustrating even if it’s relatable for women who cling to the hope that someday the right guy will commit. Fans of Sex and the City—Grossman makes a reference to Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big—will enjoy the story, but its real-girl charm should draw an even wider crowd.

Patience is a virtue in this relatable, real-life love story.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 257

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2013

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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