Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Claudia Riess - Love and Other Hazards - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Glenda Fieldston is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her seven-year-old daughter, Astrid, when Eugene Lerman comes walking by with his eight-year-old daughter, Meredith, a schoolmate of Astrid’s. The families spot each other, Glenda and Eugene engage in long-range cursory assessments, and then they go their separate ways. But not for long. Glenda and Eugene cross paths professionally soon after, and circumstances at work bring them into close association. So begins a friendship fraught with complications. Glenda’s independence is self-imposed and fierce. Eugene’s was foisted on him by a wife who left him. Although Glenda’s and Eugene’s personal demons are incompatible, their longings are, confoundedly, in harmony. Their cautious friendship is further inhibited by past and present relationships, and it remains to be seen if they can break out of their set ways to make a break for uncharted love.


Do we ever really grow up?

That's the loaded question that often arises among families. Who is the parent and who is the child? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

Glenda is a single mom of seven-year-old, Astrid, a child who was artificially conceived. As a mother, Glenda is open and honest with her daughter about how she came into the world, courtesy of the sperm of a nuclear physicist. She chooses not to withhold the truth, even when Astrid begs, "I want a father. All the other kids have fathers." It has to be painful for Glenda to hear that, but she doesn't evade the subject. She addresses it head-on with Astrid, at an early age.

However, Glenda can be a little too forthcoming when she talks to her little girl about the men in her life. One guy even remarks, "She knows about you and me? She's seven." That's when the line between parent/child and parent/friend gets a little blurred. Should a mother treat her grade schooler like an adult?

The moments of when to use her better judgement weigh on Glenda's conscience. Outwardly, she wants to appear as a confident, modern parent, while inwardly she questions the decisions she's making and how they're affecting her daughter. These feelings build up inside Glenda until "suddenly feeling like she often had as a child - powerless to express her emotions, uncertain whether they would be accepted or whether they were acceptable. How close was she to any adult? With a rush of neediness, she wanted desperately to hug her daughter, to be charged again with the only unrestricted love she had ever known."

Things take a turn when Glenda meets single dad, Eugene and his daughter, Meredith. When Eugene starts to spend time with Astrid, playing soccer with her - providing her with a fatherly influence she's never known - Glenda starts to rethink how she's been living her life. She's a mother, but she's never been a wife, "because [she] wanted a baby very much, but [she] didn't want to be tied to a relationship that might be difficult to get out of if it didn't work out."

But now Eugene is offering her something she thought she'd never want, never mind find. What Glenda thought was impossible for her, is now right there, ready for the taking. Yet she remains hesitant, unsure if she should trust what her heart is telling her, refusing to let go of her independence. But what if going after what she wants actually coincides with what's best for her daughter? It all comes down to whether or not she can convince herself to believe it.


Love and Other Hazards can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $2.99 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Genre: Family Life, Romance
Pages: 256
Release: May 10, 2017
Publisher: River Grove
ISBN: 9781632991225
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Claudia Riess is a Vassar graduate who has worked in the editorial departments of The New Yorker magazine and Holt, Rinehart and Winston books and has edited several art history monographs. Her first novel, “Reclining Nude,” was published by Stein and Day. Oliver Sacks, author of “Awakenings,” had said her first book was “exquisite—and delicate… a most courageous book, full of daring—a daring only possible to a passionate and pure heart.”

The author divides her time between the Hamptons and Manhattan with her husband, Bob.

Links to connect with Claudia:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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