Friday, May 9, 2014

Is This All There Is?

I initially offered to read and review this book based on the description.  I was intrigued to learn more about Beth’s character.  “Is This All There Is” seems to be Patricia Mann’s debut novel.  

From the onslaught of the story you can feel like you are standing there with Beth, feeling her every emotion in the mundane ritual of her life as a full-time mother, part-time university professor.  You can just feel the discontentment with her life.  

This was a shorter novel but it was full of so much raw emotion that I can’t even tell you much about the writing style because I felt like I was there with Beth every step of the way.  I wanted to give her a hug and be her friend, and yell at her in her weakest moments.  
I found myself to drawn into this book that I was stealing snatches of time to read it.  I even found myself reading on my lunch break to make it to the end.  Beth found herself in a dilemma of many marriage partners, tempted by the acceptance and adoration of someone else.  

I could really feel Beth’s pain and sympathize with her.  I wanted her to pull back and look outside of herself.  To find the happiness in herself to make her a more present and happy person for her family.  Although this book facing some moral marital challenges it is written from a true standpoint.  There is no sugar coating.  You are clearly in Beth’s mind as she is going through this attempt to spice up her life.  

At about the70% mark I really enjoyed the story but was thinking that it was more of a 4 star book until I read the last 30%.  Something about the complete bearing of one’s soul for the world to see.  For allowing herself to open up and for the final paragraph that made me cry for the bravery of such a painful learning experience; and for  the story shared.  It was a strong and emotional finish and earned the 5 stars for me.  I highly recommend this book, but caution that it is a VERY realistic look into what some marital issues can entail.  If you aren’t ready to deal with those emotions, then you may not be ready for this book.

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