by Cathy Lamb (Goodreads Author)
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Jones’s reviewNov 10, 2019 · edit
really liked it
bookshelves: 2019, netgalley-arc, 4-star, chic-lit, contemporary-fiction, mystery, romance, women-s-fiction
EXCERPT:The house is tucked back in the trees, in the middle of a field, a little ways out of town. The wildflowers and feverfew and irises would bloom soon, an old willow to one side, a gnarled oak tree in the front. Weeds had overtaken much of the yard.
It used to be charming, a bright yellow home with white trim and a green door. Now it wasn’t. I had many memories that were stuck behind the dirty, ragged white picket fence and in the backyard, by the pond. There were memories at the end of a rope swing hanging from the willow tree, in the highest branches of the oak tree, and in a fort that had since fallen down behind the house.
Inside the house, too, were memories. In the kitchen with hand-painted yellow tiles. In a back bedroom painted a cheerful pink.
The pink bedroom didn’t match with the blood in the kitchen.
I sniffled as my eyes filled with tears.
What had happened there was my fault and I have never forgotten it, never forgiven myself. I had been young, yes, but I had known better.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: As a child, Evie Lindsay was unnerved by her premonitions. As an adult, they have become a simple fact of life—sometimes disruptive but also inescapable, much like her quirky, loveable family. Evie’s mother, Poppy, and her aunts, Camellia and Iris, are well known on San Orcanita island for their free-spirited ways and elaborately decorated hats. Their floral shop and Evie’s bookstore draw streams of visitors all summer long. This season promises to be extra busy: Evie’s sister, Jules, is getting married on the island.
As Jules plans her unconventional wedding, she arranges to do a DNA test with her mother, sister, and aunts, to see how much accepted lore about their heritage holds true. The results blow apart everything Evie has grown up believing about herself and her family. Spurred on by the revelations, Evie uncovers the real story of her past. But beyond her feelings of shock and betrayal, there are unexpected opportunities—to come to terms with a gift that has sometimes felt like a curse, to understand the secrets that surrounded her childhood, and to embrace the surprising new life that is waiting for her . . .
MY THOUGHTS: Anything with Cathy Lamb’s name on it is an immediate draw-card for me, whether she has written the book or is simply endorsing it. So you can understand my going into shock when, at 4%, I thought ‘I don’t like this book. I. Do. Not. Like. It.’ I sulked and wondered why she had written such a stupid book. I blamed it on my current reading slump, or book hangover, whatever you want to call it, stomped about a bit, then gave myself a mental kick in the rear, picked up All About Evie and kept reading, because I did not believe Cathy Lamb would write a book I didn’t love.
…and fell in love with Evie. I love her sense of humour, her sense of family, her stubbornness, her love of books, her love of animals, her love of food, her sass. I want her to be my sister, my BFF. I need an Evie in my life!
I laughed. I cried. I ranted – mostly at Evie because I didn’t understand why she was doing what she was doing. I wondered if she was one of those people who enjoy torturing themselves… This book was FUN.
I loved her eccentric family. And now is probably a good time to share a few of my favourite quotes from All About Evie. Picking just a few was extremely hard, but I could not limit myself to just my normal one….
‘we should have a day off each month where everyone is required to stay home and read and read and eat their favourite cake.’
‘I so hate running. It makes me breathless. Now and then I see people running or jogging, and I think, ‘My, that looks miserable.”
‘”We all have to take time each day for meditation and tranquility.” “Yes,” Aunt iris said. “And beer. Or tequila.”‘
So why not the full five stars? Because Cathy didn’t include the recipes for the cakes…..I want to eat the five layer chocolate ecstasy cake, and all the others that had me drooling as I read. Or are you planning, Cathy, to publish a separate cookbook with all the yummy recipes of the beautiful cakes and pies in this book. I hope so. And if you need a tester…..
4 five layer chocolate ecstasy stars
THE AUTHOR: Cathy Lamb was born in Newport Beach, California. As a child, she mastered the art of skateboarding, catching butterflies in bottles, and riding her bike with no hands. When she was 10, her parents moved her, two sisters, a brother, and two poorly behaved dogs to Oregon before she could fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a surfer bum.
She then embarked on her notable academic career where she earned good grades now and then, spent a great deal of time daydreaming, ran wild with a number of friends, and landed on the newspaper staff in high school. When she saw her byline above an article about people making out in the hallways of the high school, she knew she had found her true calling.
After two years of partying at the University of Oregon, she settled down for the next three years and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, and became a fourth grade teacher. It was difficult for her to become proper and conservative but she threw out her red cowboy boots and persevered. She had no choice. She had to eat, and health insurance is expensive.
She met her husband on a blind date. A mutual friend who was an undercover vice cop busting drug dealers set them up. It was love at third sight.
Teaching children about the Oregon Trail and multiplication facts amused her until she became so gigantically pregnant with twins she looked like a small cow and could barely walk. With a three year old at home, she decided it was time to make a graceful exit and waddle on out. She left school one day and never went back. She likes to think her students missed her.
When Cathy was no longer smothered in diapers and pacifiers, she took a turn onto the hazardous road of freelance writing and wrote almost 200 articles on homes, home décor, people and fashion for a local newspaper. As she is not fashionable and can hardly stand to shop, it was an eye opener for her to find that some women actually do obsess about what to wear. She also learned it would probably be more relaxing to slam a hammer against one’s forehead than engage in a large and costly home remodeling project.
Cathy suffers from, “I Would Rather Play Than Work Disease” which prevents her from getting much work done unless she has a threatening deadline. She likes to hang with family and friends, walk, eat chocolate, camp, travel, and is slightly obsessive about the types of books she reads. She also likes to be left alone a lot so she can hear all the odd characters in her head talk to each other and then transfer that oddness to paper. The characters usually don’t start to talk until 10:00 at night, however, so she is often up ‘til 2:00 in the morning with them. That is her excuse for being cranky.
She adores her children and husband, except when he refuses to take his dirty shoes off and walks on the carpet. She will ski because her children insist, but she secretly doesn’t like it at all. Too cold and she falls all the time.
She is currently working on her next book and isn’t sleeping much.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Kensington Books via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of All About Evie by Cathy Lamb for review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my profile on Goodreads.com or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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