Friday, March 27, 2009

Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice

After grad school, Shay Dixon feels like she's had enough for awhile. Inspired by her spiritual adviser - a soul soothing blues player named Nina Simon - Shay calls her estranged mother Nona for the first time in years and shocks herself by asking if it would be ok to come home for awhile. Things were difficult before, as Nona spent all her time hitting the bottle and carousing with good-for-nothings while her daughter was growing up. But now Nona is different, sober, well-adjusted-and with a new baby named Sunny! Shay feels herself changing as well-but somtimes life takes unexpected turns.

My thoughts: An inspiring love story between a mother and her daughter. One which weaves a tale of addiction, abuse, forgiveness and re-birth. While Shay (LaShay) was growing up, her mom would leave her alone at night to go drinking so Shay's story is borne out of loneliness and fear. I think the writer tries to show how these two traits can totally destroy life and she does it in such a way that it grips you and sucks you in right til the end. I empathize with Shay and could not imagine the horror she went through. On the other hand, Nona went through a phase where she could not control herself or dare I say, she fell into a cycle and did not want to get help. What frustrates me throughout the story is Nona's thought that if she apologized to her daughter then it would make things better. The lesson learned here is that when we forgive someone, we in turn allow ourselves to heal. Sometimes that's the only way we can move ahead. I don't want to get into the habit of rating these books but I do think this is a must read for all as this books shows how fragile relationships are and gives us hope for a brighter future.

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