#BookReview: Never Sit if You Can Dance: Lessons From My Mother by Jo Giese

Reviewer: Annie McDonnell

B7048EFB-7C10-4A4F-88CB-670AF41982F1Summary:

Jo’s mother, Babe, liked to drink, dance, and stay up very late. When the husband she adored went on sales calls, she waited for him in the parking lot, embroidering pillowcases. Jo grew up thinking that the last thing she wanted was to be like her mother. Then it dawned on her that her own happiness was derived in large part from lessons Babe had taught her. Her mother might have had tomato aspic and stewed rhubarb in her fridge, while Jo had organic kale and almond milk in hers, but in more important ways they were much closer in spirit than Jo had once thought.

At a turbulent time in America, Never Sit If You Can Dance offers uplifting lessons in old-fashioned civility that will ring true with mothers, daughters, and their families. Told with lighthearted good humor, it’s a charming tale of the way things used to be—and probably still should be.

Review:

Babe!

A mother that definitely deserved her very own book, let alone that sentence.

This book was ultimately a love story to Babe, written by her daughter Jo Giese. Sharing all of the special, witty, kind and often laugh out-loud wisdom that Babe passed on to Jo, we are given a beautiful gift.

This gift unwraps one chapter at a time, and it is just glorious advice. I know I will remember them, as I want to put into practice. Especially “Nobody Likes Depressed people”.

Brilliant!

Jo – I trust your Mother was with you for that special Mother’s Day! I have a feeling her spirit was strong.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: A Serial Killer’s Daughter by Kerri Rawson

Serial Killers DaughterSummary:

What is it like to learn that your ordinary, loving father is a serial killer?

In 2005, Kerri Rawson heard a knock on the door of her apartment. When she opened it, an FBI agent informed her that her father had been arrested for murdering ten people, including two children. It was then that she learned her father was the notorious serial killer known as BTK, a name he’d given himself that described the horrific way he committed his crimes: bind, torture, kill. As news of his capture spread, Wichitacelebrated the end of a thirty-one-year nightmare.

For Kerri Rawson, another was just beginning. She was plunged into a black hole of horror and disbelief. The same man who had been a loving father, a devoted husband, church president, Boy Scout leader, and a public servant had been using their family as a cover for his heinous crimes since before she was born. Everything she had believed about her life had been a lie.
Written with candor and extraordinary courage, A Serial Killer’s Daughter is an unflinching exploration of life with one of America’s most infamous killers and an astonishing tale of personal and spiritual transformation. For all who suffer from unhealed wounds or the crippling effects of violence, betrayal, and anger, Kerri Rawson’s story offers the hope of reclaiming sanity in the midst of madness, rebuilding a life in the shadow of death, and learning to forgive the unforgivable.
“No easy answers here. No platitudes. Only raw honesty, written with the gracious authority of one who has glimpsed hell. Kerri Rawson shares her earned wisdom and a hope that has been bought with tears and nightmares. This book is a gritty must-read in the library of hope.”
—Paul J. Pastor, author of The Face of the Deep and The Listening Day

Review:

This is such a sad story. This was a truly inconceivable story. When we watch the stories of Serial Killers, we forget that they not only have parents, but some may even have children.
This is the story Kerri Rawson tells of her life with her father Dennis Lynn Rader, the BTK Killer (Bind, Torture, Kill) He killed ten innocent people, two of them being children over three decades. During this time, he is the head of a family. Loving to his wife, Paula; to bring his daughter Kerri “to ease” when she needed to be soothed, and caring to his son, Brian. Kerri was never uncertain of her father’s love for her.
While she struggles with her faith throughout her life because their family suffers so much loss and their grief is huge, she tells us the story about how she dealt with her life and how her father seemingly dealt with the same circumstances.
You learn that the BTK Killer left behind more then ten victims. His entire family suffered the consequences of his actions.
The question is; will they recover?

3.5 Stars.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel via Netgalley.

 

“What I thought I knew” by Alice Eve Cohen…(flashback to 2009)

What I thought I knew

Please note: Original post with Elle Magazine

When married to her first husband, Alice was diagnosed as infertile due to having a 2-horned uterus. Being happy and settled by the age of 44 was the perfect scenario for her. She had an adopted daughter named Julia and an adoring fiancé, Michael.

When Alice started having symptoms of an illness that would consume her life with visits to several doctors, she was diagnosed with so many illnesses that would be less obvious than being pregnant. She was told she was in early menopause and put on estrogen therapy, told her belly was getting larger due to the loss of muscle mass at her age, and the possibility of an abdominal tumor. It was during her test to confirm the tumor that they discover she is 6 months pregnant.

Any woman’s life would be turned upside down if they found out they were pregnant under the circumstances of not having prenatal care, let alone knowledge of the pregnancy. Even though a “Mother’s love is unbreakable, even when you are not sure it exists yet” she still have doubts about keeping the child. She is depressed, unsure of herself, and scared to death. Mostly, she has a sense of guilt due to all of the tests she had taken in the past 6 months that could have harmed their child and taking the estrogen, which could cause irreversible damage to the fetus. Being 44 she was already in a high risk pregnancy category. How do you decide what would be best for your child, when you just found out about them and there is a chance they would be born with illnesses or birth defects? With Michael being adamantly against both abortion and adoption they reach the most difficult choice they will hopefully ever have to make. They decide to have the child knowing it was the right thing to do for all concerned.

They have a gorgeous little girl that they name, Eliana. She has Russel-Silver Syndrome, which makes her have an aversion to eating, dwarfing and legs that are not the same size. She would need a lot of care, therapy and surgeries, but most of all she needed love. She received and gave love to the family she was born in to. Their world was made a better place because of her. Gifts come from everywhere when you least expect it, so always expect the unexpected.

5 Stars.