Friday, March 25, 2011

Review -- A Song For My Mother

A Song For My Mother
by Kat Martin
Publisher: Vanguard Press
Release Date: April 5, 2011

I wrote a song for my mother, but I never played the notes. It spoke of the love I felt for her, my gratitude for all she had done. It told her how much I owed her for the years of her life she gave me.

I wrote a song for my mother, but I never sang the words.

Now she is going and the song is only a fading memory, a soft ache that reminds me of the unsung melody locked away in my heart.

This is such a beautiful love story! But not in the way you are thinking. Though there is a romantic interest in this story, the main focus is on the love and relationship between a mother and a daughter, forgiving the past and forging a new future.

Dropping out of high school and running away with the town’s resident bad boy was Marly Hanson’s way of dealing with a difficult childhood. Vowing never to return to her childhood home and watch her father abuse her mother again, Marly cannot believe she is here, back in the little town of Dreyerville staring at the door of her parents’ home while the butterflies in her stomach dance in chaos and the emotions of the past swirl in her heart. The one and only thing that could ever bring Marly back to Dreyerville is the love she feels for her 10-year old daughter Katie.

Marly is a very strong woman. After her loser husband split town for good, Marly worked her way through college while raising a fabulous little girl. But watching her sweet Katie battle cancer and all of its treatments was something no mother should ever experience. Watching a child in pain is heartbreaking and devastating for a parent. So when Katie pleads and pleads and pleads to finally meet the woman who is her Grandmother, Marly quickly agrees … if for nothing else but to see the smile on her little girl’s face.

While Marly is disconcerted about visiting her mother, Winnie Maddox is thrilled beyond words, or as my own Grandmother would say … her cup runneth over. Winnie cannot wait to hold her only child in her arms again. A dozen years is just way too long. Not only that, but she finally gets to meet her only grandchild, Katie. Sadden by the disease that has attacked the little girl’s body, Winnie is thankful for the opportunity to meet and love this little miracle.

Three generations of women, all anxious about their time together but all hopeful for a happy ending. It does take Marly a while to warm up to Winnie, but as the conversations slowly begin Marly starts to realize Winnie is still the woman she loved as a child. As the past is dealt with bit by bit, the future begins to look brighter and when Marly is introduced to Winnie’s next door neighbor, handsome sheriff Reed Bennett, Marly begins to think a future in Dreyerville might be a possibility. A very strong possibility. Reed is like no man Marly has ever met. He is not some loser like her ex-husband, instead he stands by his word, loves his son and seems to enjoy life even after losing his wife in a car accident a few years ago.

“Mothers did the best they could. They didn’t always make the right choices, but they did their very best.

Just as she had done with Katie. Just as Emily had done with little Tommy.

Just as her mother had done with her.

Marly’s throat closed up and tears burned behind her eyes. So many years had passed. So many wasted years. Maybe it was time for that to change.”

I will say it again, this is such a beautiful love story!! I enjoyed watching the journey of Marly, Winnie and even little Katie. The joy of motherhood and the all-encompassing love between mother and child are felt throughout this book. There were many times I wiped away tears from my eyes as I read. Kat Martin has a special touch when writing about mothers and their children. There was such sweetness, love and deep-abiding affection throughout the book. I have to say that my heart was touched by this book. If you are looking for a great afternoon read, one that will have you reaching for the phone to call your mother or child, then this is definitely the book for you.

Today we will be giving away one copy of A Song For My Mother to a random commenter. So tell me, dear reader, one of your favorite memories of your mother.

~ Buffie

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  1. What I wouldn't give for an afternoon with my mother.As a hard working mother of 6, we didn't get to spend much time together, just the two of us. That changed a bit after I graduated from high school and started college. Every once in a while, we would have an early afternoon with just the two of us. We would sit together and have tea and cookies (Ideal cookies I think, they don't make them any more) and just talk. During those 4 years we became more than mother and daughter. We became friends. She died much too young at 47 only 3 years after I graduated, I missed those precious years because I was overseas and only got home 3 weeks before she died.

    I have been so lucky with the women in my life. Both of my grandmothers were wonderful ladies. I spent a lot of quality time with them when I was growing up. My mother-in-law was a special lady who gave me the best gift in the world, her son. They are all gone now and dearly missed. I now have 2 daughters with families of their own. Grandsons but no granddaughters yet. There is a baby due in June and I so hope it is a girl.

    This sounds like a lovely book. Everything I have ever read by Kat Martin has be most enjoyable.
    Thank you for the review.

  2. I got into all sorts of trouble: but all my mother said was "Well, what are we going to do now? How can we help?"

    She didn't - doesn't judge. Not in the moment anyhow. That does come later when the storm settles but that is fair enough. I can take it then

  3. This sounds like a wonderful read. Everything I've ever read by Kat Martin has been very enjoyable.
    My Mom is gone now but she was the perfect Mom to me. I thank God every night that she was my Mother. Her hugs were what I remember most. Bear hugs and her "just get through today" is what enabled me to be a single parent to 7 children after my divorce.Her laughter was deep and you felt it through to your heart when you heard it. I was very lucky to have her. :)
    Carol L

  4. My mother has always been one to take care of her children and now her grandchildren. I remember that when we were sick we would be tucked into bed where we would be brought trays of food and she would insist we rest. The first time I was sick after I lived on my own I was very unhappy to realize there was no one to take care of me.

  5. Buffie, great review of what sounds like a very lovely book. Thanks!

  6. My mother also died at a very young age of 45. I was 25 at the time and to say I was devastated at this sudden death is an understatement. My Mom and I were just beginning to come together in understanding and of course with my maturity so that we could have conversations.
    My memories of my Mom include Christmas when she went all out in decorating, cooking and presents. I will share one more anecdote among so many when she hung my bra and underwear on the flagpole at camp. I was just coming of age and was so embarassed and mad but looking back I cherish that memory.
    Love & Hugs,

  7. Buffie, I'm crying just reading your review, so I know I'll be a mess when I read this book.

    Thanks for the wonderful, review!

  8. The book sounds lovely, Buffie. Like Gannon, I got teary just reading the review.

    My mother has been dead for more than thirteen years now, but I still miss her and long to share things with her. She started reading to me before I was born, so many of my dearest memories are connected to books. I well remember the summer I was ten and complaining about being bored. Her response was to point me to her books. That summer I read Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and stacks of contemporary romances by Emilie Loring. I've been reading romance fiction ever since.

  9. I'm the youngest of three. Among my favorite memories of Mom are the days we would spend together, while the older siblings were at school and Dad was at work. It was so special to be alone with Mom. I'm lucky to still have her. She is truly a wonderful person.

  10. Buffie, what a beautiful review! And this book sounds just as beautiful. :)

  11. My mother was totally devoted to her family. That was her entire life, being able to love, support and take care of us. Even though her life was hard and she was raised during the depression she was able to entertain of with stories. Her letters and correspondence to friends and relatives was known far and wide. Her frugal nature and her generosity as well. I miss her everyday and wish we could be together but she has been gone for 12 years and is sorely missed.

  12. Pat, it sounds like you have been so fortunate with the women in your life. I think that you would really enjoy this book. Like I said in my review, this book really touched me as a woman, as a daughter, as a mother.

  13. Marybelle, it sounds like your mother gives you time to think about your choices. That is a wise thing!

  14. Carol, your mother sounds precious. I love that you remember her hugs the most. Big, tight hugs from a mom are wonderful. My mom does the same thing.

  15. This is a wonderful post and I appreciate it greatly. I have learned a lot from my mother and now that it is too late realize her wisdom, kindness, warmth and lessons in living. If there was more time, if we were able to understand things early in life and if we were not immature and cherished every single minute of being with our mothers I would not feel so regretful of many of my actions. She was a loyal friend, kind neighbor and loving parent.

  16. The first time I was sick after I lived on my own I was very unhappy to realize there was no one to take care of me.

    Oh Maureen, I feel the same way. Still to this day I want my Mommy when I'm sick.

  17. Thanks, PJ! It is a wonderful book!

  18. I will share one more anecdote among so many when she hung my bra and underwear on the flagpole at camp.

    Pamela, I LOVE this!!! What a great sense of humor!

  19. Thanks, Gannon! If you are crying now just wait until you read the book! It is just fabulous.

  20. I well remember the summer I was ten and complaining about being bored. Her response was to point me to her books.

    Janga, so your love of books began with your mother ... that is just wonderful. And what a great gift for her to give you!

  21. LSUReader, one on one time is so special. I still enjoy sitting alone with my mom talking and laughing about old times and dreaming of the future.

  22. Thanks, Andrea! It is a beautiful book!

  23. Thanks, Andrea! It is a beautiful book!

  24. traveler, your mom sounds fabulous! Your description of her actually reminds me of my Grandmother. Here's a link to the blog I wrote about her and just want a strong woman she was.

  25. She was a loyal friend, kind neighbor and loving parent.

    Petite, your mother sounds just lovely.

  26. Buffie, my mother is a pianist--a fine pianist--and some of my best and earliest memories are of lying on the living room floor while she practiced. December evenings spent staring at the Christmas tree while she played. And all the Sunday mornings at church, singing in the choir with Mom next to me on the organ bench. I'm one of the lucky ones--I still have Mom and we're still making music together.

  27. Since everyone has shared a little about their own mother, I thought I would too.

    My mother and I have a very special relationship. Not only is the mother/child love there, but there is such deep love, affection and respect given in both directions.

    One of my favorite memories is sharing the experience of our first hot air balloon ride over the red rocks in Sedona, Arizona. Many of you have already read my blog about this, but in case you didn't ... here is the link.

  28. December evenings spent staring at the Christmas tree while she played.

    Hey Tracy!!!

    I have to say that the image of a little girl watching the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree while listening to the beautiful music of her mother is just magical. This should really be a scene in a book!

  29. My mother was injured when I was eight and it left her crippled but she was one smart lady. I sometimes wish I had listen to her more because the things she told us back then we realize now she was almost always right. My mother has been gone for over twenty years now but I would love to go back in time and just set down with her and drink a cup of coffee and just talk.

  30. What a great review, Buffie! I have so many great memories with my mom. We always have such a wonderful time on family cruises. I get a card from her almost every week when I'm at school and that means so much to me. :)