- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (February 12, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345499689
- ISBN-13: 978-0345499684
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 50 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,784,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Souvenir: A Novel Hardcover – February 12, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
The melodrama is thick and heavy in Fowler's debut. Meg Powell turned her back on the love of her life, Carson McKay, to marry Brian Hamilton, the scion of a banking family who saved her parents' farm from foreclosure in exchange for her hand. Now, 16 years later, Meg and Brian are so busy with their careers that they overlook their 16-year-old daughter, Savannah, who has typical adolescent concerns about being pretty and popular. Carson, meanwhile, has become a rock star and is now on the verge of marrying a much younger surfing champion, but he's never gotten over Meg. Trouble comes as Meg is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and Savannah meets an unsavory 23-year-old man online who woos her with the kind of positive reinforcement she wants to hear. Unfortunately, Fowler does little to create narrative tension or well-rounded characters: Meg and Carson reunite before Meg's health declines, Brian is a predicable schmuck, and Savannah gets a rough comeuppance at the hands of her bad news beau and his pals. The bungled handling of saccharine material limits this would-be tearjerker. (Mar.)
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Compelling...the characters are likable, troubled, and human, and they're well worth following on their journey. --USA Today --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
It was nothing like the writing of Z. It seems the author just wanted to put all her ideas into this one book. It was sort of a "formula" book, like Nicholas Sparks. It ends up having some good moments and good writing, but there is a lot of rhetoric that could have been left out..How about an editor? I didn't like the many so-called "letters"..letters from her mother, letters to various people for "the future", etc. I thought those were unnecessary and boring.
This book is about making wrong choices..and that happened a lot, with Meg, with her daughter, Savannah. There were too many thingss going on in this book, Meg her job, her relationship with her husband, with Carson..and Susanna's foibles, her indiscretions Meg's illness. Somehow the author fit all this together, and made it work, but often the story lagged. Some things were left hanging, like "What about poor Brian?" Did she write one of those letters to him? The whole premise of her illness, and its progression was just too sad, and the ending. Good writing at times though.
However, I didn't have a clue that it would be so sad.
"Fiction is where you get to read the truth" holds true for this novel. Deep Spiritual truths like you can't always control what happens to you, but you can control how your respond. The brutal nature of regrets in this novel, make one consider them in your own life. Not happy, is not happy-no matter the good intentions behind the decision.
I love the double entendre with the journals, regrets, money...... I have quite a few 'favorite lines' "if only, were there sadder words than these" was one, and of the moon: "Holy Mother's night light her mother had once told her...."
Other reviewers said it was 'heart breaking' I understand, but Therese's craft as as writer has more hope, more faith, more love than heartbreak--truly a gift.
This will be a book I re-read and that rarely happens.
Therese Fowler brings to us into the world of the Florida citrus growers and of the haves and the have-nots through her beautifully rendered imagery, and we understand the impact that a single choice can make. Life doesn't ever go as planned and when Meg is confronted with a situation where there is no good choice to be made, she's forced to re-examine all of her decisions.
While Meg struggles to come to terms with the hardest reality any human being can face, Savannah, her only child is courting danger. Savannah is a personable, intelligent teenager who believes she's capable of handling far more than her limited experience will really allow. Meg must come to terms with her own problems, and we watch helplessly as Savannah naively slips into a situation she's unequipped to handle.
The book is masterfully plotted, the characters are genuine and the story moves quickly. The author has managed to subtly weave literary imagery and the larger questions about parents and children, marriage, love, responsibility, regret, life and death into this fast moving story, without slowing down a thing.
Souvenir is heartbreaking and as we follow the characters, each with his or her story, we're never sure what will happen next. As each question is answered, each challenge resolved we recognize that the stories end in the only way they ever could.
This is a wonderful book, the writing is superb and the story will have you thinking, long after you read the final page.
Most recent customer reviews
I couldn't put it down. I am looking forward to reading her other book, Reunion