Souvenir & Giveaway (2 books)
Don’t be fooled by the candy-coated exterior, I’m here to tell you that Souvenir by Therese Fowler is more than a pretty cover.
Meet Meg Powell, a young woman about to make a life-altering decision. Fueled by the duty she feels towards her family, Meg accepts the proposal of Brian Hamilton, who has promised to pay off her father’s debts after they are married. Even though Meg likes Brian, she lost her heart a long time ago to lifelong friend Carson McKay. Growing up together on neighboring farms in a small Florida town, their friendship eventually turns into a romantic, loving relationship. Carson is heartbroken when Meg leaves, assuming she married Brian because he has money, never knowing that Meg entered into the marriage knowing it was the only way it would save her parent’s farmland.
Fast forward seventeen years. Carson is now a Grammy award winning musician about to marry the much younger Val, a professional surfer. Meg is an obstetrician who works long hours and is in a loveless marriage to Brian. She is also mother to teenager Savannah, who is playing her own dangerous dating game with a man she met on the internet. Even though Meg and Carson haven’t seen each other in years, they are still both stuck in the past. When Carson comes home to plan his wedding to Val and Meg gets devastating news, both of them are forced to reexamine their lives and to see if there is a way to make things right.
Don’t you love it when a book totally surprises you? I found the cover art to be appealing and the synopsis sounded interesting enough, but when I started reading Souvenir I was surprised by how much depth the story had. Expecting a light read, Souvenir turned out to be a touching book about lives full of regret, redemption, second chances and ultimately life and death decisions. Told by three points of view (Meg, Carson and Savannah) the characters were all genuine and not in the least bit one-dimensional. The author didn’t take any short-cuts with the plot, making way for a very satisfying reading experience, which is so much more than the pastel colored exterior would suggest. In the end, this book really made me THINK, which is more than I can say for a lot of other books I’ve read.
My one quibble with the book would be that even though we get a glimpse of what Meg and Carson were like as children, not enough time was spent in the past to fully develop their relationship. I wish the book had been a bit longer and had explored their budding love a little more.
Souvenir would make a great selection for reading groups since it touches upon some serious issues. I don’t want to give any more of the plot away, but I am sure that most book clubs would find this to be an extremely interesting read. The author also has a new book out called Reunion.
If either of these two books sound interesting to you, then you’re in luck since I have both to giveaway! Just leave a comment below, along with your e-mail address for one entry. If you’d like to increase your chances, mention this giveaway on your own blog or Tweet about it on Twitter (linking back to this post) for an additional entry. This contest is open to my US and international readers too! You have until Monday, April 6th at 9 p.m. EST time to enter. I will announce a winner next Tuesday the 7th (my hubby’s birthday). Good luck!
In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about her books, check out Therese Fowler’s blog. Thanks so much Therese for sharing your book with me.