March 15, 2008

Things I Want My Daughters to Know

Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble
Contemporary Fiction
2008 HarperCollins Publishers
Finished on 3/7/08
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
ARC - Due out on April 8th

Publisher's Blurb:

Barbara had always been the backbone of her family. Warm, funny, and loving, her four daughters adored her and relied on her. Faced with the reality of leaving them before any of them are ready, Barbara writes letters to each of them, and a journal about the things she wants them to know.

Facing their first year without her, drawing on the wisdom in the legacy she has left behind, her girls might just find a way to cope with their loss. And in coming to terms with their bereavement, can they also set themselves free to enjoy their lives with all the passion and love each deserves?

As she did in The Reading Group, The Friendship Test, and Alphabet Weekends, Elizabeth Noble pairs humor and poignancy in a tale about love, loss, and family.

Book Description:

How do you cope in a world without your mother?

When Barbara realizes time is running out, she writes letters to her four daughters, aware that they'll be facing the trials and triumphs of life without her at their side. But how can she leave them when they still have so much growing up to do?

Take Lisa, in her midthirties but incapable of making a commitment; or Jennifer, trapped in a stale marriage and buttoned up so tight she could burst. Twentysomething Amanda, the traveler, has always distanced herself from the rest of the family; and then there's Hannah, a teenage girl on the verge of womanhood about to be parted from the mother she adores.

But by drawing on the wisdom in Barbara's letters, the girls might just find a way to cope with their loss. And in coming to terms with their bereavement, can they also set themselves free to enjoy their lives with all the passion and love each deserves?

This heartfelt novel by bestselling author Elizabeth Noble celebrates family, friends . . . and the glorious, endless possibilities of life.

It's been over two years since I read Elizabeth Noble's The Reading Group and I wound up giving this new release the same rating. Now I'm wondering why I never got around to reading her other books (Alphabet Weekends: Love on the Road from A to Z and The Friendship Test). While her books aren't great works of literature, and the characters are easily forgotten after a few days, they're likable people cast in believable situations. Things I Want My Daughters to Know is an enjoyable story (not too terribly sad or maudlin, given the subject matter) that I looked forward to settling back into after a busy day at work. I enjoyed the contemporary British setting and would almost compare Noble's writing to that of Robin or Rosamunde Pilcher's, although it lacks their lyrical descriptions of the landscape and home life. Nonetheless, this is an entertaining comfy, fluffy read. Fans of Patricia Gaffney, Kristen Hannah, Joanna Trollope, Debbie Macomber, and Marcia Willet won't be disappointed!


  1. Anonymous8:26 PM

    I have an arc of this. I'll try to push it up the pile (which is falling, falling, falling over....).

  2. Kay - I know the feeling. My piles are multiplying like rabbits!

    This is a good one for when you're in the mood for something a bit fluffy. There were a couple of characters I'd like to see again. I wonder if she takes requests for sequels? :)

  3. Anonymous12:35 PM

    WOW, how did you guys get an ARC of this one? I have Noble's The Reading Group on my bookshelf, but haven't yet picked it up. Maybe I should soon! Thanks for the review.

  4. Stephanie - It's been a great month for ARCs at work. I've snagged several and this was one. It's just one of the many nice perks of working at B&N. :)

  5. I like some of those other authors you listed, so I should give Noble a try.

  6. Anonymous5:32 PM

    Oh my, I really need to get a job at B&N! Do you buy them at a discount or get ARC's for free at work? Just wondering!

  7. Booklogged - I've enjoyed the two books of hers I've read. Not sure how the other two are, but I'll give them a try someday.

    Stephanie - They're free. The publishers send them with hopes that a bookseller will read them and hand sell/recommend the published book when it comes out.

  8. I have one of her books on my shelf and I loved The Reading Group. I'll have to dig that one up. Thanks for the reminder. I'm so envious of your job. Our Barnes & Noble just moved farther away from us. Ack!

  9. I completely agree with your assessment. I'd love to have access to all those ARCs. I've often thought I should get a part time job at B&N. May I ask if you get a good discount?

  10. Anonymous8:16 PM

    Interesting comments on this book. I have "The Reading Group" on my TBR files so if I end up liking it, I will look into "Things I Want My Daughter to Know."


  11. Nancy - We're pretty lucky. We have two B&Ns in town! I'll be curious to hear how you like this book (as well as the other one by Noble in your TBR stacks).

    Tara - I think it's pretty good. Employees get a 30% discount on books. I should know how much the music/dvd discount is, but since I never buy any of those products, I can't be positive. I think it's 20%. We also get 50% off the food items in the cafe. :)

    Gayla - I'd be surprised if you didn't like The Reading Group. It's quite good!

  12. I liked The Reading Group and am looking forward to Things I Want My Daughters To Know. However, I've had trouble sticking with Alphabet Weekends...I keep picking it up, reading a few pages, and setting it aside for something else.

  13. Marcia - Thanks for letting me know about Alphabet Weekends. Who knows if and when I'll get to it. It'll probably wind up being a library read.


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