Twelve Houses –by Olga Soaje
262 Pages / 942 KB
Disclaimer: I received an email from the author asking if she was to give me a Kindle copy of her book, would I read it and give it an honest review, whether or not I liked it? I agreed.
The first thing I noticed about this book was the protagonist, Amelia, was 59, not 19 or even an old woman of 29. Solid points in Ms. Soaje's favor right from the start—contemporary fiction for the silver haired!
Amelia married the love of her life 30 some years ago who had the extreme bad manners of dying suddenly and abandoning her. Even after he promised on their honeymoon to never do that. They had two children, a girl with whom Amelia is somewhat estranged, and a son. Both children are grown, gone, and in the process of starting their own families far from Amelia. Now Amelia is picking up the pieces of her shattered life and it is not an easy process.
She is an artist, a sculptor who is herself, a shard of broken green ware on the floor of her studio. Her agent of 30 years badgers her into anger and creativity. Her daughter is married and pregnant in San Francisco, her son about to be married in Boston.
Yes, there are a lot of tears in the beginning, and a lot of soul searching, and a lot of running from James, who enters her life. It's a novel for heaven's sake! A "cozy" if you will, though not in the mystery sense. There will be no huge surprises as Amelia copes with her grief and moves on to her life. If you read this book in bed as I intended to, there will be no nightmares. (I ended up reading it in "two-sits." It would have been a "one-sit" book, but I started it too late in the evening.)
This is a "coming of age" book, or a "coming to terms with life" book, if you prefer. I found the characters quite believable (well, James was a tad over the top, but remember, this is a novel;-). I appreciated that not only did Amelia grieve, she was angry with Nathan for dying and leaving her; I understood the mother-daughter dynamics, from both perspectives. I understood the wanting of love, and the guilt for wanting it.
If you want a novel with a lot of tension, adrenaline gushes, and reality, find another book. If you want a novel to read curled in front of the fireplace, or in bed, if you want to live in another life for a while, and know that everything will turn out fine because it is a novel, not a memoir, this may be the book for you. It was for me.