Good Karma by Christina Kelly

  • Title:  Good Karma
  • Author:  Christina Kelly
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  320
  • Pub. Date:  June 6, 2017 – Harper Paperbacks
  • Source:  Publisher; Edelweiss

Description:  After almost forty years in New Jersey, Catherine, Ralph, and their beloved Boston Terrier Karma are hitting the road, relocating to a gorgeous, serene island off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, where Catherine can work on her backhand and Ralph can hit the links. But upon their arrival in the Seven Oaks gated community, it becomes apparent that Catherine and Ralph’s visions of retirement couldn’t be more different. While Catherine is intrigued by their quirky neighbors, Ralph’s golf-and-poker routine seems to be interrupted only by his flirtations with their zealous real estate agent. 

As the pair drift further apart, Catherine cannot help but sense her marriage is at risk. Then, she meets recent widower Fred at the dog park. United by their dogs, they embark upon a friendship that could be something more—until she discovers that he’s not quite what he seems. As she sorts out fact from fiction and discovers what sorts of secrets might be hiding behind Seven Oaks’ pristine picket fences, she’ll have to make a decision affecting her future happiness and her chance at newfound love.  (publisher)

My take:  You work hard your whole life with the goal being retirement in a nice place where you can enjoy life, your spouse, and keep doing the things you love. That’s what Catherine assumed would happen when she and her husband made the move south to a lovely gated community near Savannah. What she didn’t expect was that he would want to enjoy activities without her. Every day. She’s feeling ignored, uncared for, and lonely.

Fred’s wife died a while ago. He’s wading through grief but trying to keep a foot in the day-to-day. His dog is the reason he goes out each day – mainly to the local dog park where he sees other community residents. He’s seventy-five and wondering if his best years are behind him. There are more characters who can relate to the same feelings as Catherine and Fred and they all intersect in unexpected ways at Seven Oaks.

Good Karma is a quirky, poignant, entertaining novel that I enjoyed and think will strike a chord with readers of a certain age or readers looking for something a little different.


 

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Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn Dingman

  • cancel the wedding (Aug5)Title:  Cancel the Wedding: A Novel
  • Author:  Carolyn Dingman
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction; Southern
  • Published:  August 2014 – Harper Paperbacks
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  On the surface, Olivia has it all: a high-powered career, a loving family, and a handsome fiancé. She even seems to be coming to terms with her mother Jane’s premature death from cancer. But when Jane’s final wish is revealed, Olivia and her elder sister Georgia are mystified. Their mother rarely spoke of her rural Southern hometown, and never went back to visit—so why does she want them to return to Huntley, Georgia, to scatter her ashes?

Jane’s request offers Olivia a temporary escape from the reality she’s long been denying: she hates her “dream” job, and she’s not really sure she wants to marry her groom-to-be. With her fourteen-year-old niece, Logan, riding shotgun, she heads South on a summer road trip looking for answers about her mother.

As Olivia gets to know the town’s inhabitants, she begins to peel back the secrets of her mother’s early life—truths that force her to finally question her own future. But when Olivia is confronted with a tragedy and finds an opportunity to right a terrible wrong, will it give her the courage to accept her mother’s past—and say yes to her own desire to start over?  (publisher)

My take:  Cancel the Wedding is the story of Olivia Hughes and her search for answers about her mother. Her search takes her to Tillman, Georgia where her mother grew up. It is there that, with the help of her niece and a very helpful local newspaperman, Olivia starts to figure out the mystery of her mother’s early life.

Carolyn Dingman filled her story with charming and eccentric characters. The story was funny at times and emotionally charged at others. Olivia needed to find answers in her own life as well as her mother’s. She knew she wasn’t headed in the right direction where her personal life was concerned so the time away afforded her the space she needed to figure things out. She hadn’t planned on meeting someone new on this quest. Elliot ended up helping her solve the mystery of her mother’s life before she met Olivia’s father. He also helped her see the possibilities in her future. 

The title Cancel the Wedding might make readers think this is a breezy chick lit novel but it is not. It’s the story about a young woman searching for answers from the past so that she can move forward. I enjoyed it very much and can’t wait to see what Carolyn Dingman writes next. Recommended to fans of Southern contemporary fiction.

Spotlight and Giveaway (US): Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn Dingman

cancel the wedding (Aug5)

Description:

CANCEL THE WEDDING (Harper Paperbacks; Original Trade Paperback; August 5, 2014)  by Carolyn Dingman follows one woman’s journey to discover the secrets of her mother’s hidden past and confront her own uncertain future.  On the surface, Olivia has it all: A high-powered career, a loving family, and a handsome fiancé.  She even seems to be coming to terms with her mother Jane’s premature death from cancer.  But when Jane’s final wish is revealed, Olivia and her elder sister, Georgia, are mystified.  Their mother rarely spoke of her rural Southern hometown, and never went back to visit. So why does she want them to return to Huntley, Georgia, to scatter her ashes?

Jane’s request offers Olivia a temporary escape from the reality she’s long been denying: she hates her “dream” job and she’s not really sure she wants to marry her groom-to-be.  With her fourteen-year-old niece, Logan, riding shotgun, she heads south on a summer road trip, looking for answers about her mother.

As Olivia gets to know the town’s inhabitants, including Elliott the kind, handsome owner of the local newspaper, she begins to peel back the secrets of her mother’s early life – truths that force her to finally question her own future.  But when Olivia is confronted with a tragedy and finds an opportunity to right a terrible wrong, will it give her the courage to accept her mother’s past and say yes to her own desire to start over?

CANCEL THE WEDDING is a heartfelt fiction debut which will appeal to fans of Emily Giffin’s Southern charm and Jennifer Weiner’s compelling, emotionally resonant novels about the frustration of blood ties.

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About the Author:

carolyn dingman

Carolyn Dingman lives in her adopted hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and their two daughters.  CANCEL THE WEDDING is her first novel.

photo credit: Jo Reeves Photography

 

Cancel the Wedding

by Carolyn Dingman

Harper Paperbacks

ISBN: 9780062276728

Original Trade Paperback; 416 Pages; $15.99/$19.99 Can

On-Sale: August 5, 2014

cancel the wedding (Aug5)

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