Friday, March 22, 2013

Rand Paul, Puke, and Desperation

There's a new post on November Surprises, Lucy's political blog. To read about Rand Paul's filibuster, gun control, and Lucy's doubts over her new grad student, click here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

CLP Blog Tours - Nothing Come Close - Review and Author Interview

Today, as part of CLP blog tours, I am happy to host Tolulope Popoola as she promotes her new novel, Nothing Comes Close.

Nothing Comes Close, by Tolulope Popoola, is a tale of love, loss, and suspense. The story centers around Lola and Wole. At the beginning of the story Lola is alone, but then she describes everything that happens that has brought her to this point. The chapters switch perspective; every other chapter is told by Wole, and we learn the ins and outs of his story too. There is a lot of drama, including infidelity, betrayal, and even death, as the story focusses not just on them but also on their circle of friends. It’s an interesting read, although at times the dialogue and characterization was at times a little superficial for my taste. However, the suspense is riveting, and if you enjoy a passionate romance, then this book is for you.

 Read on for an interview with Tolulope Popoola!

 I like to do ten-word posts on my blog. Can you describe the story of your book in exactly ten words?
Nothing Comes Close is about love, hope and happy endings.
 What is the theme or the message of your novel, and how did you incorporate it into your writing?
The main themes in the book are love, friendship, secrets, loyalty and regrets. The characters are mostly single people in their twenties dealing with making choices in their relationships, so it wasn't difficult to incorporate these ideas.
Is there a book, song, television show or movie you can compare your novel to? If not, can you name some sort of influence or inspiration for this book?
There are not many books I can compare Nothing Comes Close to. I was influenced by the people I observed around me. I saw people struggling to make certain decisions when it came to their relationships, and I tried to capture that in my fiction.
What would be the perfect meal to enjoy while reading your book? (Include dessert and beverage choice.)
Fried rice with grilled chicken and a glass of red wine and for dessert, a strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake
There are a lot of heavy subjects in your novel, including death, infidelity, and betrayal. In addition, the main characters are tested repeatedly in issues of morality. How did you manage to incorporate all of these things into your novel while still maintaining a relatively light tone?
I don't think I did it deliberately when I was writing. I wanted the main focus to be on the relationship developing between the main protagonists. All the other things that happened twists and turns in that story that revealed more about who the characters were and the choices they had to make.
How does your culture and heritage influence Nothing Come Close? Is there anything you’d like your readers to understand in advance of reading it?
Most of the characters in Nothing Comes Close are Nigerians living in the UK, and I am one too. So there are some cultural aspects to the book in terms of some language, food and ceremonies.
  What do you do when you’re not writing? Can you name any ways that “real life” has influenced your writing?
When I'm not writing, I can be found reading, sleeping, looking after my family, or hanging out with my friends. I can get ideas for my work from anywhere, such as a song, an overhead conversation in a bus. I observe people and try to imagine different scenarios with different outcomes.

To visit Tolulope Popoola's page at CLP Blog Tours, click here.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Book Review - A Friend of the Family

A Friend of the Family, by Lauren Grodstein, is a suspensful novel about the tragedy of aging in the suburbs. There's a lot more to it than that, but to me that seemed to be the essence of it. Pete, a doctor and the narrator of the story, has had a good life. It's by no means over, he's in his mid-fifties as he tells his story, but he has suffered some MAJOR setbacks. His only son hates him. His wife is suing for divorce, and he's been kicked out of his house. He's also being sued for malpractice. Oh, and his best friend is no longer his friend at all. So basically, he's lost everything.

And yet, as he says in the first page or so, life goes on. Then he takes us through his story, breaking down the events that brought him to this point. Secrets,mistakes, and betrayals are revealed. At the story's core is the relationship between his son, Alec, and his best friend's dauther, Laura, who may or may not have murdered her baby when she was a teenager. Pete is convinced that Laura is bad news and he absolutley doesn't want Alec to be involved with her. Eventually he'll stop at nothing to end their relationship, even if it means losing his son.

This book is very well written, suspensful and packed with emotion. I wasn't quite sure WHY I was so involved, but I was really involved. I mean, I sort of knew he was headed for disaster. And he wasn't always a character I could like or even identify with. But the writing was efficient and compelling, and there was a ton of deeper meaning to the story though I'm not always sure I got what the deeper meaning was. If you read it, you'll see what I mean - all the stuff about the deer. Anyway, I enjoyed this book a lot, and I'd definitely reccomend it to a friend.