Not everyone is meant to have a happily ever after. While some may mourn the lack of a spouse and children, others accept their fate.
Never Change, by Elizabeth Berg, was published in August. Romance was never in the cards for Myra Lipinski. As a child, she did not socialize with her peers. Now, as a middle-aged adult, she limits her social life to the patients she works with as a visiting nurse.
Her newest assignment is Chip Reardon. Back in the day, Chip was BMOC. Every girl in her high school had a crush on him, Myra included. But he never gave her the time of day. After being given the diagnosis of incurable brain cancer that will take his life, she becomes more than his nurse. They start off as friends and slowly drift into something more.
To say that I was disappointed with this book is an understatement. I connected with Myra from the first page. I understood who she was and why she made the choices she did.
I had two issues: the first was that the proverbial editor’s pen kept appearing in my mind. I hate when I am reading a book and I feel the need to play editor. That is relatively minor compared to the second issue. Whatever romantic chemistry that should exist between Myra and Chip was non-existent. I did not feel it at all. I wanted to, but I couldnt.
Do I recommend it? No.
Never Change is available wherever books are sold.
In certain segments of our society, both in the past and present, a woman’s highest achievement was having a Mrs. attached to her name and at least one child at her feet. While some women were content to live within those parameters, others have taken the bold step of being more than someone’s wife and mother.
Clementine Churchill was one of the females. Married to the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, she was more than his other half and the mother of their children. She was his unofficial right-hand woman and his most trusted advisor. Her story is told in the 2020 novel, Lady Clementine. Written by Marie Benedict, the narrative takes the reader through the first half of the twentieth century. It starts with the early days of their marriage and ends with World War II. Through the decades, she deals with personal issues, as well as the complications of being a politician’s wife and everything that comes with that.
Through it all, Clementine has a spine made of figurative steel, ambition, and a sharp mind that transforms her into a feminist icon and a female who was ahead of her time.
Like Benedict’s 2016 novel, The Other Einstein, and Victoria Kelly’s Mrs. Houdini: A Novel, this story gives Clementine a voice and a spotlight beyond her title as Mrs. Churchill. I can’t help but think that if she would have been alive today, she would have been a politician in her own right. It proves, that if given the opportunity, we can potentially succeed in areas that were previously out of reach due to our gender.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Lady Clementine is available wherever books are sold.
The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).
*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television show All Creatures Great and Small. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.
Sometimes the best couples can be described as yin and yang. What one person lacks, the other makes up for.
In the PBS/Masterpiece television series, All Creatures Great and Small (based on the book series of the same name), Diana Brompton (Dorothy Atkinson) is an unusual woman for 1930sYorkshire. She is a divorcee who is vivacious, outgoing, and does not care what others think. Personality-wise, she is the complete opposite of anxious and out-there Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West). Their potential coupling represents a change for the widowed Siegfried, who has focused on his work since his late wife’s passing.
Unlike other women of her era, Diana is not afraid to speak her mind or tell a “dirty” joke. Though some might think she is “unladylike”, her charm and easy sociability quickly win over her detractors. Ahead of her time, she represents a future in which females are free to act as they wish without being called names.
To sum it up: It takes a bold person (especially a woman) to step out of the circle of what is expected of them and be confident in who they are. It is Diana’s belief in herself that makes her stand out and speak her truth without fear.
Which is why she is a memorable character.
This will be my last character review post for All Creatures Great and Small. Come back in two weeks for the next group of characters that I will be reviewing.