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Shaken and Stirred Paperback – June 14, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joan Opyr lives in Moscow, Idaho. Under the pen name Auntie Establishment, she writes a monthly humor column for Moscow’s Community News in which she takes on the most vital social issues of our day, from gay marriage (she’s for it) to wearing low-rise jeans (which she thinks ought to be a criminal offense punishable by up to five years working as a plumber). A graduate of North Carolina State University, Joan has a BA and an MA in English and is ABD for the PhD from The Ohio State University. Joan has taught composition and literature, worked as a technical writer, a library acquisitions supervisor, and a freelance book reviewer. Her most stressful job to date was a stint writing wedding and engagement announcements for The News & Observer, North Carolina’s largest daily newspaper; hell hath no fury like a Southern bride whose name has been spelled incorrectly.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bywater Books (June 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932859799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932859799
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,111,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a really fun book to read. This author has such a way with presentation of characters that just about everybody can relate to somone in this book.
I was captured by the first paragraph and enjoyed this book so thoroughly that I found myself watching the dwindling pages left to read with a bit of sadness.
These characters are so memorable, I chuckled out loud on more than one occasion while reading this book, trust me you will too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I admit I originally judged this book by its cover and put it into my, maybe read, as a last resort, column. I don't know why, I just didn't like the cover. Why I would decide to reject a book solely on the cover makes no sense at all since I do 99% of my reading on my Kindle, but let's face it, the cover art catches my eye, it makes me take a closer look at the book, and causes me to read the product description. Yes, it's ultimately the description or someone's recommendation that makes me buy a book but the artwork is what grabs my attention. It's why I love book stores. I like walking through the aisles and seeing the cover art

Fortunately for me, I'm part of an online book group and this is the book they are reading for February. I'm new to the group and I wanted to participate in a least some small way. So I sucked it up and bought the book. Well you know the adage; don't judge a book by its cover; that couldn't be any truer in this instance.

Shaken and Stirred is a quirky and fun novel. On more than one occasion I was laughing out loud and had to explain what I was laughing at. The novel is written in a way that tell's Poppy's story and relates childhood events to her current life situation.

When I first started reading the book I did find myself a little confused as the story worked it's way back and forth between current day events and childhood memories but it didn't take long for me as the reader to get into the flow of the story and how the author switched back and forth.
I don't know that I would personally classify this as a romance novel, in my opinion this is a great fiction story and now I have another author I can stalk read.
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Format: Paperback
Joan Opyr writes about family in the way that most people experience it and few have the nerve to discuss it. She describes the dynamics, love and frustrations, support and confrontations, warts and all, in an honest and open manner while demonstrating how important families can be and how aggravating. The thing that keeps Shaken and Stirred from being a brutally serious book is the tremendous humor that reverberates through the pages.

Opyr is adept at developing characters and creating scenes, blending them together like layers on a painting to give the story depth and detail. There are many moments when Opyr reveals herself as an astute observer of the human condition. Shaken and Stirred deals with serious situations such as the loss of a lover, living with an alcoholic, family infidelity and the death of a relative, but Opyr shows that sometimes they can also be very funny. The reality is that sometimes people laugh at funerals. Poppy understands each of her relatives and friends perfectly. There just is not anything she can do with or about them. At least she recognizes the absurdity of her situation. Laughter becomes a defense mechanism for both Poppy and the reader.

Joan Opyr used her own roots in North Carolina to create a story about a family of strong women, flawed if appealing men and children who are trying not to be associated with them. Southern mannerisms and attitudes abound, but in a genteel and sometimes preposterous presentation. There are issues for the reader to ponder and hardly a page will go by without eliciting a smile or a laugh out loud. This is an easy book to read and a lot of fun also.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a cute book the characters made me laugh and they where easily relatable. The only thing I have to say that's semi negative was I did not like all the hopping around from past to present. It was some times confusing, but overall a good book.
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Format: Paperback
The newest novel from Joan Opyr showcases a writing talent that should draw a wide audience. Family, dysfunction, humor, downright enjoyable. Opyr has a skill at revealing character and growth with a wry, laugh-instead-of-cry attitude that turns tragic into just another day in this family's life. This was a great pleasure to read. Getting some tremendous reviews. I loved this book.

Poppy Kowalski doesn't have time for a peaceful, quiet recovery from a hysterectomy. She has to fly across the country and deal with her entirely dysfunctional and hysterical family. Her alcoholic grandfather lies comatose in a hospital bed, and only Poppy can pull the plug. From pillar to post, from her grandfather's bedside to flashbacks from her youth, to ridiculous meetings with her mother and grandmother, from revisiting her first love to discovering a new one, Poppy has a full plate.

All is handled with tremendous skill, with humor, and with a genuine fondness for crazy.
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