Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Shake Down the Stars

Shake Down the Stars
Renee Swindle

Shake Down the Stars

Genre: Fiction

Summary (from the publisher):  Piper Nelson is stuck. She can’t quite stay away from the husband she divorced. She isn’t always attentive to the high school students she teaches. And even she admits that she’s been drinking too much and seeking out unsuitable men. Piper’s mother, married to a celebrity evangelist, and her sister, immersed in plans to wed a professional football player and star in a reality TV show, are both too self-absorbed to sympathize with Piper’s angst. They tell her to get a grip. But how can Piper ever really recover from the blow she suffered five years ago, when a car accident took the life of her young daughter?

When Piper’s ex-husband announces his new girlfriend is pregnant, Piper is forced to take stock. Realizing that it’s time for a change is one step, but actually making it happen is quite another. And despite what she thinks, Piper can’t do it alone Lucky for her, a couple of crazy, funny new friends are ready to step in when she needs them most…and show her how to live and laugh again.

Review:  This was an unexpectedly emotional read!  I almost put this book down after the first chapter, because I strongly disliked the main character (and all the supporting characters), and I thought this was going to be a disturbing urban chick lit book full of girls getting drunk and sleeping around.  Instead, it was a heart-wrenching story about a mother falling to rock bottom after the death of her young daughter, dealing with divorce and a dysfunctional family, and then pulling herself up from the bottom and making a new life for herself.  While I cried several times as Piper reminisced about her daughter, there were other scenes that made me laugh, and I was so thankful when Piper finally started taking charge of her life.

The only complaint I have is one that I'm not even sure is a complaint.  I couldn't figure out what race/ethnicity the characters were until at least halfway through the book.  Does it matter what race they were?  Absolutely not!  The issues faced by the characters are irrelevant to race, and perhaps that's part of the reason the characters were never physically described.  But for some reason, I'd had a picture of Piper in my head, and when I started getting inklings that she was a different race than I had pictured (talks of weaves, etc), it was bothering me that I didn't know.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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