Staff Picks: Facing the Holidays When All is Not Perfect

Posted by Aaron on

It’s the time of year we start talking turkey, hearing the Christmas bells, and dreaming of sparkly parties on the horizon. Unfortunately for some the holidays can highlight dysfunction, loneliness and loss amid the pressure to make everything romantically happy and perfect. Real life and regular times are different from tinsel time…

If you have or are currently going through hard times, take solace in knowing you are never alone. Illness, accidents, crises or trauma eventually affect us all with deep and widespread impact on ourselves, family members and relationships. Relationships, however, can flourish like never before when tested.  Love will rebound and grow when it goes the distance over life’s challenging course.

Read on for books featuring female characters that flourish, despite challenges and tragedy.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

A sweet, suffering, vulnerable yet strong as steel twelve-year-old travels along a journey you will never forget. Cecilia Rose Honeycutt struggles to help her mother, trapped in demented dreams of long ago pageant glory.  That’s until her great-aunt Tootie Caldwell steps in to care for CeeCee in the aftermath of a childhood plagued by a mother’s psychosis and a father’s absence. Deep troubled sadness is soon swept away by relatives, neighbors, mentors and friends in a wash of Southern charm and perfumed grandeur. An enthralling cast of bold, eccentric, colorful and awesome women show her new life, love and hope. You will love each chapter in CeeCee’s “life book” full of the most memorable episodes, events and outcomes. As a side note, the voices on the audio CD version of this book are also entertaining.

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

This debut novel is heartbreaking, heartwarming, tragic and witty at once. The suicide of stay-at-home wife and mother, Maddy, leaves her teenage daughter Eve, and husband Brady, reeling. Maddy works from a higher dimension for healing as life, love, parenthood and marriage are exposed and explored. As the character Eve cites, “It’s amazing what can happen when someone learns to learn from pain.” This book is stunning, riveting and surprising all the way to the end.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

In Alice Hoffman’s recent release, high school senior Shelby Richmond is utterly devastated after a tragic car accident leaves her best friend, Helene Boyd, in a coma. Through psych wards, depression, friends, family, work, and attempts to feel again and love if possible, Shelby tries to cope with oppressive guilt. With the help of family, dogs, friends and angels, she struggles to find her way back. Her life and relationships, particularly with her steadfast mother, take profound turns. “It’s true. Tragedy can bring you closer or drive you apart.” Her dark suffering, offset by the determined support of others, sets Shelby on a course that will keep you turning pages until the final destination.

Here’s wishing for a truly meaningful and special holiday season!

∼ Marti, Circulation, John Marshall branch library

Book listsreviews from our book clubs and favorites from library staff are great resources when searching for your next book. Or stop by the reference desk at your local library.



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