Monday, February 9, 2009

Review & Giveaway: The Laws of Harmony

Summary: Sunny Cooper has been running since she was eighteen—from the New Mexican commune where she grew up . . . and from the haunting memory of the freak accident that took the life of her younger sister. Now, at thirty-two, Sunny voices radio spots in Albuquerque while struggling to hold on to a floundering relationship. But when a second tragic accident—and the devastating truths that come to light in its aftermath—turns her world upside down, Sunny runs again.

In the town of Harmony on San Miguel Island, she takes a new job, learns to ride a motorcycle, and makes some surprising new friends. But the past is never far behind. A startling discovery—along with an emotional and revelatory reunion with her estranged mother—is forcing Sunny to step out from the shadows of yesterday to embrace an uncertain future. -- Harper

THE LAWS OF HARMONY by Judith Ryan Hendricks was a fantastic book. I think it was exactly what I needed to read at this point in my life. I always am drawn to books about mother-daughter relationships and this one definitely fit that bill! From the first few pages, I was drawn into Sunny's life and couldn't put this book down.

THE LAWS OF HARMONY was very fast-paced, and I really liked how the story unraveled. Sunny was a fascinating character to me, probably in part because we couldn't have been more different. As I read, I was very anxious to learn about the commune she grew up on as well as her family and their secrets. Even though I didn't always agree with Sonny and her decisions, I found myself rooting for her throughout the story. I enjoyed watching her character mature -- the book was almost a coming-of-age novel to me; and I liked the woman she eventually became.

One thing I found special about this novel was that it also had quite a few surprises thrown in. The story begins with Sunny's fiance getting killed in an automobile accident. After the accident, she learns that their relationship wasn't what it seemed and neither was her fiance. Throughout the story, she learns more and more about his life and his secrets and really begins to doubt their relationship. Towards the end of the novel, she finally discovers the truth and gets many of her questions answered. I found these twists and turns to be extremely entertaining.

THE LAWS OF HARMONY is the first novel that I've read by Judith Ryan Hendricks; however, I wouldn't hesitate to read more of her books. I loved her writing style and her character development, especially as they pertained to the mother-daughter dynamics. I also appreciated how the author used food in different ways throughout this novel. Food was very important and it often times conveyed the mood of the story. Other times, it provided comfort to the characters and it even triggered memories. The only regret I have is that the ARC of the book didn't include some of the delicious recipes. If you are interested in learning more about Ms. Hendricks and THE LAWS OF HARMONY, you can read an interview with her that will give you some extra information about the novel.

THE LAWS OF HARMONY would make an excellent book to discuss at a future book club meeting. There are so many wonderful themes to explore such as loss of loved ones, mother-daughter relationships, friendships, secrets, and discovering one's self. There is a reader's guide available to jump-start your discussion, but I think everyone will have plenty to talk about beyond these questions. You can also get a sneak preview of 20% of the book's content here.

Check out the book trailer for the book. I think it does a wonderful job of giving you "the feel" of the novel!



I also found this interview clip with the author, Judith Ryan Hendricks. She is so interesting, and I can't wait to hear more from her on Book Club Girl's BlogTalk Radio show on March 10th at 6:00 p.m. I found the book very easy to read; however, it is a little on the long side (+ 450 pages) so you might want to get started so you're finished by the date of the show. I happen to love participating in these shows because I always learn something new about the book or see things a little differently. Without a doubt, my reading experience is enhanced because of these conversations with the authors.



THE LAWS OF HARMONY is available tomorrow, February 10th. Does this sound like a book that you'd like to read? I have up to five copies to share with some lucky readers. I will giveaway one copy for every 15 entries. Here are the specifics: for one entry, leave a comment with your e-mail address. For a second entry, blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post. If you would like another entry, mention this giveaway (with a link) on Twitter. The contest will be open until Friday, February 20th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will announce the winners the following day. This contest is only open to those of you with U.S. mailing addresses. Good Luck!

A special thanks goes out to Nicole from Harper Collins for providing the books for this giveaway.

61 comments:

Margay said...

I twittered about the contest here:
http://twitter.com/Margay

Margay

Margay1122 (at) aol (dot) com

bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me - I just wanted to say I'm glad to see the book's so good. Your review was great, as always.

Linda said...

Please enter me in the giveaway. The book certainly sounds interesing. Thanks
lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

S. Krishna said...

This book is sitting on my shelf so no need to enter me, but great review! I'm glad you told me about the Blog Talk Radio show too, I need to get this book read by March 10!

bridget3420 said...

I would really like to read this!

bridget3420(at)yahoo(dot)com

~Rebecca Anne~ said...

Sounds interesting and compelling. I hadn't heard of this author before, but her storyline sounds right up my alley.
Rebecca

Oh

Andrebeccawrites(at)gmail(dot) com

Mom of 5 Boys said...

This sounds like a great book! Please enter me in the giveaway. momof5boys at gmail dot com

Jo-Jo said...

Please enter me...this sounds like a great book!
joannelong74@gmail.com

Jayme said...

twittering you here!:
http://twitter.com/Jayme_Lyn

Erika Lynn said...

this book sounds amazing, thanks for the giveaway
sports[dot]erikalynn[at]gmail[dot]com

Erika Lynn said...

i blogged about the contest
http://kissmybook.blogspot.com/2009/02/contest-roundup.html

traveler said...

Thanks for this great giveaway. This book is unique and I would enjoy it greatly. I have read other books by this author and recommend them highly.
saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Karin said...

Enter me please...thank you!

karin56381 (at) gmail.com

Michele said...

Sounds like a great book! Please enter me. I think that I would enjoy reading it.

Michele said...

I've twittered about the giveaway here:
http://twitter.com/Micha1230

Thanks!

LazyDaisy0413 said...

This book looks good. I'd love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks.

lazydaisy0413[at]yahoo[dot]com

Stacie said...

Please sign me up!
Staciele(at)netins(dot)net

Sheri S. said...

The book sounds great - I'd love to be entered. Thanks!!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, lady. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you. Thanks for the e-mail; it makes my life way easier!

The Giveaway Diva said...

sounds like an awesome book! i would love to be entered!!

nicolemarielum(at)gmail.com

The Giveaway Diva said...

sounds like an awesome book! i would love to be entered!!

nicolemarielum(at)gmail.com

Janel said...

Another great giveaway! Please enter me.

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

Janel said...

I have also blogged about this in my right sidebar at:

http://janelsjumble.blogspot.com

anne said...

Thanks for featuring this wonderful novel. It sounds compelling.
bencanada1(at)yahoo(dot)com

AmandaSue said...

I'd love a chance to read this book, Thanks for entering me.
unforgetable_dreamer_always AT hotmail DOT com

sharon54220 said...

Great review!!! Please enter me in the contest.

sharon54220{at}gmail{dot}com

Alyce said...

I would love to be entered! Thanks for the opportunity!
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Alyce said...

I tweeted:
http://twitter.com/AtHomeWithBooks/status/1194090171

softdrink said...

I'd love to be entered, too, please.

Carolyn G said...

I would love to read this book.

carogonza1 (At) yahoo (dot) com

Carolyn G said...

I tweeted:
http://twitter.com/carogonza/status/1194327032

Renee G said...

Oh I would love to read a copy of this.

rsgrandinetti@yahoo.com

Valorie said...

I would love to be entered.

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Valorie said...

Blogged:
http://morbid-romantic.net/2009/02/10/book-giveaways-0209-0215

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Valorie said...

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/morbidromantic/status/1194521941

:D

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Wrighty - said...

This sounds very interesting. Your review sold me on it! Please include me in your contest.

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

Wrighty - said...

I've added this to my blog.

www.wrightysreads.blogspot.com

(I would twitter but I don't know how!)

Wendy aka Misswendiki said...

Sounds quite interesting...

Gwendolyn B. said...

This is one of those books that I feel a little desperate to get my hands on. Thanks for the great post and the chance to win a copy.
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

carolsnotebook said...

Your review was great. I would love to be entered.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Anna said...

This one sounds good. Please sign me up!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric
diaryofaneccentric at hotmail dot com

Kristen said...

Oh, pick me! Pick me!

whitreidsmama at yahoo dot com

Hi There! said...

OH Please pick me ;)

tbbycatt (@) gmail (dot) com

http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com

Estela said...

Please enter me to win!

Bcteagirl said...

OOoo this sounds very interesting! I would love a chance to win this book, thank you for running this contest!

Lisa said...

Please enter me in your giveaway! I'd love to read this one! Thanks!

lisamos64@gmail.com

Jersey Shore Deb said...

This book sounds interesting--a bit different from what I usually read, but it's good to expand one's horizons, right?
Your review definitely piqued my interest. Please enter me!

FireMom said...

Oh, awesome! It sounds like a great read!

firemom at stopdropandblog dot com

Pam said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity to win this book. pamelashockley(at)netscape(dot)net

ddurance said...

It's always good to read about someone re-inventing themselves.

Deidre

Jo-Jo said...

I'm back to let you know that I blogged about your contest here.
joannelong74@gmail.com

Meg89 said...

Please enter me, thanks for the great giveaway!

Amy said...

Hi Julie,
Sounds like a good one, please enter me into your contest. :)
mypalamyATgmailDOTcom

olympianlady said...

Hey! Please enter me. This is another book that looks really good and worth reading.
tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

bison61 said...

I would love to read this

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Lynda said...

If you're happy to send to the UK - even by surface mail - I'd love to read this ;0)

http://lyndasbookblog.blogspot.com/

lyndasbooks(at)uk2(dot)net

The Tome Traveller said...

Please enter me, your review caught my interest! And I grew up in Albuquerque, so I would like to see how the author describes it in this book...

Carey
thetometraveller at yahoo dot com

The Tome Traveller said...

I tweeted!

http://twitter.com/tometraveller

Lisa said...

Please enter me in the giveaway. I had seen the book but your review made me want to pick it up!

Sara said...

Please enter me. Looks like a good book. Thanks! Sararush (at) hotmail (dot) com

Steph said...

Please enter me! Looks like a good book!

smilkovits AT gmail DOT com