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April 30, 2009

Serendipity: A NovelCarrie Manning is having a kind of mid-life crisis. She recently broke off her engagement to Howie but continues to keep in close contact with him. She was a partner in a successful chocolate making business with her best friend Zoe, but decided to sell off her share for no good reason. In other words, Carrie never finishes anything.

Recently her mother Rose died of cancer. Rose, herself a New York icon, was once glamorous wife to Broadway musical writer Bobby Manning and daughter of Lu, a Broadway star. But once her husband Bobby died, Rose moved her toddler Carrie out of their glitzy Park Avenue apartment into a one bedroom walk up and dedicated her life to philanthropy work. She also mysteriously cut ties with Carrie’s grandmother Lu shortly after Bobby’s death. Carrie had a strained relationship with Rose and never even got to meet her Lu. So when Rose dies, Carrie decides to look deep into her family history in the hopes of finding out more about her long lost star grandmother and the reasons why the family ties were severed. In Carrie’s search (which takes her all the way back to her great-grandmother Mifalda’s time as an Italian immigrant to Lu’s own rise to stardom) she not only uncovers family secrets, but also discovers a little bit about herself.

Serendipity by Louise Shaffer is a lovely little novel about mother daughter relationships. We get a glimpse of the relationship between Mifalda, an  unhappy housewife who has a daughter Lu who has set her sights on being a star. Then there’s Lu, ending up unmarried and pregnant but who chooses her own career over her relationship with her daughter Rose. Lastly, there’s Carrie, growing up in a small apartment with a mother who seems more interested in the welfare of the children in the homeless shelter she supports than her own child. In order to understand all of these relationships and characters in Serendipity, Shaffer flips back and forth in time, all the way back to the 1930’s when Mifalda was an immigrant in this country to present day Carrie trying to put her life in perspective.

I know the premise sounds a bit confusing, but once you get into the book it really all comes together. The characters were all richly detailed and interesting. I enjoyed Serendipity quite a bit for the mother/daughter relationships and would suggest this book if you are looking for a light read the next time you are on vacation. It isn’t earth-shattering stuff, but a good book. You can find out more about Serendipity or the author at her website.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2009 9:52 am

    I’ve seen this in a few places and the cover always draws me in. Another one to add to the TBR!

  2. April 30, 2009 10:01 am

    I agree that the cover is absolutely gorgeous. It sounds like a book that I’d love!

  3. April 30, 2009 10:19 am

    Sounds like a really good book. (But how could you walk away from a chocolate business?!!!!)

  4. April 30, 2009 10:32 am

    I’m glad to see that the book lives up to that gorgeous cover.

  5. April 30, 2009 2:21 pm

    Sounds good and I love the cover. Nice review!

  6. April 30, 2009 4:13 pm

    The summary does sound a tad confusing but so glad you enjoyed it.
    On another note, hope you are on the mend and that you are getting plenty of rest.

  7. April 30, 2009 7:42 pm

    Like others I think the cover is simply stunning – that would probably be enough to make me pick this one up!

  8. May 1, 2009 10:59 pm

    I want to wear that skirt. now.

  9. May 2, 2009 12:41 am

    It does sound like a quiet book you could unwind with 🙂

  10. May 4, 2009 12:18 am

    I really want to read this one!

  11. May 4, 2009 11:55 am

    I love the cover, too. Sounds like a good book. Speaking of, you won a copy of THE NOTICER on my blog. Click on over for more info!

  12. May 5, 2009 12:27 pm

    I haven’t heard of this book. I do really like the cover, though!

  13. May 5, 2009 7:53 pm

    hey there! i’ll be meeting you at BEA and it would be a shame not to actually check out your blog 😮 I’m glad I did! Very nice, very nice!

  14. May 7, 2009 8:32 pm

    I have this one on my shelf, so I’m glad to hear it’s good. Thanks for the review!

  15. May 8, 2009 9:55 pm

    I would’ve picked this book up based on the cover alone!! Loved your thoughts on this one!

  16. May 11, 2009 8:02 pm

    Love the cover~ there have been some really gorgeous book covers this year..The Piano Teacher was another one I really liked.

    This sounds like the kind of book I love – thanks for the great review!

  17. February 20, 2014 7:58 am

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