It’s been a while since I posted a book recommendation on my blog, so I thought it was time for a new one. And do I have a good one for you.
Senseless Acts of Beauty by Lisa Verge Higgins is a beautifully-written story about friendship, loss, love, the passage of time, the emotional upheaval that can go hand-in-hand with adoption, and the secrets that can be unearthed when a child goes looking for his or her birth mother.
Sadie, a fifteen-year-old adoptee and runaway, is looking for her birth mother. Tess, a trucker to whom life hasn’t been kind, is looking for the daughter she gave up fifteen years ago. Their lives intersect in the town of Pine Lake at Camp Kwenbeck, a camp run by Riley Cross. Riley is an old friend of Tess and an adoptee herself. A towel from the camp is the only connection Sadie has to her birth mother and she has come to the camp looking for clues and a connection to her own past.
Sadie, full of anger and slow to trust, sees Tess as a threat.
Tess, full of memories and quick to don armor when faced with tough questions, is hell-bent on protecting Sadie from the runaway life that she led as a young adult.
Riley has her own problems, not the least of which are her overbearing but loving adoptive mother and her fight to keep Camp Kwenbeck afloat financially.
The book held my attention from the very first page. Lisa Verge Higgins has presented a raw and honest picture of what adoption can look like and the struggles that an adoptee can face when looking for a birth parent. The language is real and heartfelt, the pacing is just right, and the ending is exactly the way it has to be. The relationships among the three women in the story are complex and beautiful, but there are also other relationships explored in the book, too: between Riley and her mother, between Riley and her ex-husband, between Tess and her old nemesis in the Pine Lake police department, between Tess and her own mother, and between Sadie and her adoptive family. Each relationship is filled with rich, though not wordy, detail; each is a part of the lives that the women now lead.
If you’re looking for contemporary women’s fiction, either for yourself or as a gift to a woman in your life, consider Senseless Acts of Beauty. It was a bit of a break from the types of fiction I normally read, and I’m so glad I read it! I found Lisa Verge Higgins’s writing style similar to that of Kristin Hannah.
Incidentally, I won the book on a Facebook launch party. For those of you who may not be familiar with a FB launch party, it’s usually a three- or four-hour event that takes place entirely online. The author of the book being released hosts other authors and special guests on a dedicated FB page and fans are invited to ask the authors questions about anything–their books, where they like to go on vacation, what they like to eat, how they do their research, etc. The authors almost always have giveaways of their books or other book-related items to people who leave comments during the party, and I’m happy to say I’ve won several books this way. I highly recommend the FB launch party as a great way to learn about other authors and possibly snag some goodies!
Until next week,