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Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe Paperback – May 6, 2008
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Deliver Her: A Novel
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
aDiana Loevy, author of "The Book"
aSmart, funny, and endearinga]one terrific read!a
aGarth Stein, author of "The Art of Racing in the Rain"
aFlawless storytelling make[s] this a book to remember.a
aKaren White, author of "The Memory of Water"
?[A] wry and funny portrait.?
?Diana Loevy, author of "The Book"
?Smart, funny, and endearing?one terrific read!?
?Garth Stein, author of "The Art of Racing in the Rain"
?Flawless storytelling make[s] this a book to remember.?
?Karen White, author of "The Memory of Water"
Top Customer Reviews
Mira is a middle-aged women who lives on the coastline of Oregon where she has dutifully taken care of her husband, daughter, father, grandmother and several relatives from her huge Italian family while also teaching 6th grade science. She faces menopause with a daughter, Thea, 22, and so rebellious she breaks Mira's heart. Mira's hubby has found a new woman, opineing he is unhappy and has a "friend;" she is helping him feel better in many ways.
Mira breaks; Mira hits the highway north!
Not knowing where she will end up Mira settles for where her radiator breaks.....downtown Seattle. She finds a job managing a coffee shop and a rat-trap apartment above it to live in. All the upheaval that is her new life is shared with us in so many amusing, touching, down-right heartbreaking details that the book can not be put aside. The prose is smart; the characters so believable, the plot always surprising. I LOVED this book. It is my favorite of all.
If you get the chance to purchase this book then do!!! Soon. Women will see so much of themselves between the pages. I laughed; I cried; I mused. It is sublime.
Thank-you Ms. Shortridge for making my reading life just that much more pleasant!!!!
That being said, I truly enjoyed this book. Jennie has written characters so vibrant, so real and so familiar that I swear I have been to the Serafino Family Christmas party. The interactions between the characters are real. Reading this book brought up memories of my family and some of their antics - in a good way. By the way, if you do not have a friend like Lannie then go find one. Everyone deserves to have a 'Lannie' in their life.
Mira's coming-of-(middle)age struggles kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next - all the way to the last page. As the story unfolded, I found myself alternately saying "You go girl!" when Mira takes a step forward; and "Oh! Mira, Mira, Mira - what were you thinking?" when she finds herself going back a step.
Jennie's dialogue (both internal and external) are masterfully written and engaging. She has skillfully back-dropped the story in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Having visited the Oregon Coast on several occasions and being a resident of the Seattle area, I was able to visualize all the locations in the book easily. She uncannily brings out the legendary Seattle coffee fetish with good humor. I think we have all stood in line behind some of the customers we see at The Center of the Universe. Yet, Jennie does all this with a light touch. She weaves the world around the characters in such a way that it adds to the story rather than detract from it.
In short, you do not have to be a perimenopausal woman who has had a bad relationship to enjoy this book. A good story is still a good story.
In my opinion, that's the best part of the book. Too often in books such as this, there is a no-good husband and a saintly wife. Though the book seems to start off that way, it quickly evolves into something more. Mira has to rethink her entire marriage and make some hard realizations, not only about her husband, but about herself as well. The fault isn't one-sided, and understanding is needed on both sides.
It is also nice to see the evolution of Mira's character in this book. Though she is definitely the same person at the end of the book as she was at the start, much has changed. She seems more aware, more thoughtful; she realizes that she has been living in a state of denial, and not everything has to be picture perfect, as she had planned it. And indeed, the book doesn't end on a perfect note. There are still difficult decisions to be made and relationships that haven't been patched up; in other words, it is real life.
There are definitely difficult, and sometimes unpleasant, characters to deal with, from Mira's daughter Thea to Sequoia, a difficult coworker. And Mira doesn't always handle these obstacles perfectly - sometimes she prolongs her own unhappiness, which, of course, is frustrating for the reader. But in the end, Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe is a warming read that makes you realize what really is important in life, and that keeping yourself happy is just as important as everyone else being happy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sometimes reading about someone else falling apart and putting themselves back together is just what you need to feel better about the things going on in your own life. Read morePublished on July 1, 2013 by cara@2ndglance
Mira Serafino lives in the northwest in a small town. She is a teacher, married to her college sweetheart, is a science teacher and leads an organized, well run life. Read morePublished on February 12, 2011 by Michelle Boytim
I devoured "Eating Heaven" and was looking forward to the author's next book. The writing is the same but the passion, love, sadness, joy and humor are not. Read morePublished on May 25, 2010 by E. Morse
After reading and completely enjoying "Eating Heaven", I was very disappointed with the never ending details of Mira's sex life---enough is enough. Read morePublished on February 15, 2010 by Virginia Ward
Once I started reading this book I could not put it down!! It's the perfect mix of life...all the ups, downs and everything in the middle.Published on December 28, 2009 by nhmomma
I've read Riding with the Queen, Eating Heaven, and Love & Biology, and of the three, Love & Biology is my favorite. Read morePublished on November 20, 2009 by Bathsheba Everdene
Jennie Shortridge has a natural writing style that pulls you in the story and leaves you wanting more at the end. Read morePublished on August 29, 2009 by Bookworm
This book has a nice balance of wit and drama. I was pleased with the ending, that really made the book come together. Read morePublished on June 30, 2009 by H. Collins
Vulnerable, honest, hopeful, just a little quirky, and seeped in northwest flavor. I didn't know where I was going, but I sure enjoyed the ride.Published on May 19, 2009 by Kaya McLaren