Rowan Coleman worked in bookselling and publishing for seven years, during which time she won the Company magazine Young Writer of the Year award. She lives in England, where she is working on her next novel.
The Accidental Family
Love is supposed to be the happy ending. Maybe it's only the beginning....
Fashionable Sophie Mills was a corporate manager on a fast track to success. Then, in the space of a heartbeat -- the time it takes for a car to crash -- two little girls, Bella and Izzy, her best friend's daughters, change her life forever. Named as guardian in their father's absence, Sophie discovers that the soft touch of a little girl's hand can be far more precious than a closet full of expensive clothes or an exciting job. And when their father Louis returns, the word "family" takes on a whole new significance, as Sophie finds herself deeply attracted to this handsome, mysterious man.
Moving to Cornwall to be with Louis and the girls is a deliriously, frighteningly adventurous start to a whole new life for Sophie. When Louis proposes marriage, Bella and Izzy immediately vault into bridesmaid ecstasy, but Sophie is besieged by doubt. Is marrying Louis, who left one wife before, the natural next step...or a scary mistake? Can she honor her promise to the girls to be there always, forever, whatever? When startling news from Louis's past takes them all by surprise, can these individuals brought together by chance and tragedy make the commitment that a family is forever?
From the sensational Rowan Coleman, whose witty and deeply moving novels have won hearts on both sides of the Atlantic, comes a thought-provoking new tale of love, choices, and the true meaning of family.
Part mystery, part history, part adventure, part science, part education, part memoir; this book does it all and does it well. Buzzy Jackson takes us on a search for her family roots that introduces us to the world of genealogy but doesn't shy away from its complexities. The author searches for her past from the perspective of a cruise ship, an abandoned graveyard, a road trip through the south, and even a tour of the New World Vatican -- Salt Lake City. Jackson's book is hard to put down and if you are like me, you will find yourself picking it right back up again when you've finished. Buy it for your family as well--makes a great conversation starter. After all, it's a subject we all share!
I just completed reading Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist by Buzzy Jackson (Touchstone, New York, 2010). I picked it up on the recommendation of others, but the title alone was enough to grab me.
I must say that I don't find it the least bit ironic that written in an era dominated by online social networking, that I thought the book read like a 200+ page post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter. It is in fact sort of two books interwoven. On one hand you have the almost ego-driven story of Buzzy herself as she goes about learning and practicing family research. She tells us her opinion on practically everything -- guns, gays, cruises, cruise ship participants, the south, southerners, the use of the Confederate Flag, religion, the religious, the D.A.R., elites, and on and on. And perhaps most of all -- her undying support for Barack Obama. What does any of this have to do with family history, genealogy, or the search for it? Nothing. Yet that makes up at least half the book.
Contrast that to the other half, that which is relevant to her quest. And I do mean "contrast," for it is engaging and engrossing; Masterfully written. If you are a true genealogist, I dare you to put down the chapter on her trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City! But those genuinely golden nuggets are few and far between, and the reader must put up with yet another liberal rant about this or that to find them.
I am politically and socially conservative, Buzzy is clearly from the other end of the political spectrum. So I found all the political opinion irritating and irrelevant. I suspect that those who agree with her politically will find it lesser so.
Corporate manger Sophie Mills became the ACCIDENTAL MOTHER guardian to two kids (Bella and Izzy) when their mom her BFF died in a car crash. She met their father Louis and attracted to one another the two adults agreed to become the ACCIDENTAL FAMILY raising the children together.