Mockingbird Lane Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
Can we learn from our ancestral past? Do our relativesí behaviors help mold our own? In “Unexpected Gifts,” that is precisely what happens to Sonia, a confused college student, heading for addictions and forever choosing the wrong man. Searching for answers, she begins to read her familyís diaries and journals from Americaís past: the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the immigrant experience and the Suffragists. Back and forth the book journeys, linking yesteryear with modern life until finally, by understanding her ancestors’ hardships and faults, she gains enough clarity to make some right choices.
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Praise for Unexpected Gifts
ìS.R. Mallery has caught the defining moments in the lives of one working class, upward striving family, as each one of them benefits from and contributes to the growth and setbacks of America itselfÖA rich and involving book, the author has written a gem. ñDorothy Salisbury Davis, A Gentle Murderer, Lullaby of Murder, The Pale Betrayer, etc.
ìS.R. Mallery, with her strong sense of history and deft narrative skills, shows us one American familyís fascinating journey through flashpoints of American history, as a modern day young woman discovers the spirited narratives of her forbears, and is inspired to take charge of her own lifeÖ. an impressive, wonderfully thought out and well-told first novel.î ñCarla Davidson, former Senior Editor at American Heritage Magazine
Fabulous events in history through various relatives writings from very affecting circumstances.. The silken thread joining past and present and of course the future is accomplished.
The various vignettes depicting a historical time combined with an array of characters mesh to create a fabulous story of history as well as the sensitive matter of OCD.
Numerous characters gave the narrative a burst of life, each contributing their backstory to enhance the present dilemma. The ‘diary/letters’ angle keeps the readers interest with a subliminal suspense hook.
Mallery’s exercise provides a great debut effort. Writing is tight with a pleasing ring captivating the reader.
I didn’t care for Sonia or her personal story. She came across as weak, too self absorbed for my taste. Her entire presence dragged the narrative, she failed to add anything of depth. If her role and story were altered this would be a great story, as is it’s good.
Mallery succeed in captivating, well translated glimpses into poignant moments in history. Characterization was well executed. Demonstrating her eye for a sharp narrative and more than capable writing puts her on my radar for future projects. A story all will enjoy as well as a great opportunity to discuss historical events all should be more than familiar with.
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About the Author
S.R. Mallery has worn various hats in her life.
First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy. Next came a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.
“Unexpected Gifts”, her debut novel, is currently available on Amazon. “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads”, her collection of short stories, Jan. 2014, both books by Mockingbird Lane Press.
Unexpected Gifts Blog Tour Schedule.
Monday, September 1
Review at Bookish
Review at Unshefish
Wednesday, September 3
Review at Reading Room Book Reviews
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Thursday, September 4
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Friday, September 5
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Monday, September 8
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, September 9
Review at Beth’s Book Reviews
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, September 11
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, September 12
Review at A Book Geek
Spotlight at From the TBR Pile
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time