I was asked a while back to review The Best Place to Be by Lesley Dormen for the TLC Book Review blog. If you haven't checked out that blog, head on over there for a great list of reviewed books, author interviews, and you can even ask to host and review a book yourself. For authors, it's great exposure.
The Best Place to Be is about the life of Grace Hanford, a woman living in New York City, and is told through a series of short stories. I thought this was a spectacular way of presenting her life's moments because together they make a great story but they could also be read separately and still make sense.
The book is also non-linear with the first story taking place when Grace is fifty years old. To be honest, I really didn't think I was going to like this book. Grace is fifty, married but never had children, and I just couldn't really relate to her. But as the stories go back in time I really started to feel for her character. The stories follow her through her relationships with her various step-fathers and semi-estranged father, her glamorous mother, her best friend, her boyfriends and affairs, and finally her husband.
So really the book is about relationships and how they define and mold a person's life. It's about Grace's search to find that place in her life where it's just "the best place to be". And I relate to that. The book ends by finally wrapping around to Grace's present life and having known her background I liked and understood this Grace.
And as a side note, I loved her writing. She really can really place you in a moment, a time-period, or on a street in New York City in just a sentence or two. I'd quote a few passages but I think you should just check the book out for yourself since it's fairly short at 176 pages.
For fun, check out Lesley's website (I love the photo of her and her dog).
You can read part of the first story in the book here on her site.
And due to a mailing mix-up I was sent TWO copies of this book. Lesley even autographed the books to me...I LOVE that! So if you would like a chance to win my extra copy, please leave a comment by Friday, October 17th for a chance to win. For an extra entry, tell me your favorite book in which relationships play a key role.