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Debut Novel, The Isolation Door by Anish Majumdar | TLC Book Tours

Cover of The IsolationAdvance Praise:

“Believable and inspires contemplation.”

Bookish Ardour Blog

“Anish’s language brims with the confidence and emotional gravitas of a seasoned author -there is that distinct cadence in the way he frames his words: always pleasing, calming, as he reels you deeper into his tale.”

New York Book Pundit

Synopsis: 

Neil Kapoor, 23, is desperate to create a life beyond the shadow of his mother’s schizophrenia. Years of successive relapses and rehabilitations have forced his father into the role of caretaker and Neil into that of silent witness. But there is no light within this joyless ritual, and any hope for the future rests on finding an exit. 

Amidst her latest breakdown, Neil attends drama school in pursuit of a role that might better express the truth of who he is. What started as a desperate gambit becomes the fragile threads of a new life. A relationship blooms with Emily, and each finds strength – and demons – in the other. New friendships with Quincy and Tim grow close and complex. But the emotional remove needed to keep these two lives separate destabilizes the family. Neil’s father, the one constant in the chaos, buckles under the pressure. Enlisting the aid of an Aunt with means and questionable motives, Neil plies ever-greater deceptions to keep the darkness at bay. But this time there will be no going back. As his mother falls to terrifying depths a decision must be made: family or freedom?

In this powerful fiction debut, acclaimed journalist Anish Majumdar shines a much-needed light into the journey of those coping with serious mental disorders and the loved ones who walk alongside them. Incisive and filled with moments of strange beauty, it marks the arrival of a unique voice in American letters.

[Synopsis and image via Goodreads]

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My Thoughts:

Anish Majumdar in his debut novel, The Isolation Door, stole my reader’s heart the moment I began to read his words. Majumdar has a writing style that is both lyrical and atmospheric from the perspective of great storytelling. 

Within the pages of this book, Majumdar tells a fictional story of a young man dealing with immense problems at home, problems which are not of his doing nor his solving, and yet Neil feels compelled to try to fix everything that has gone wrong. As I read along, Majumdar wrote so realistically as to cause me to forget these were not real people living next door nor was this a story about real circumstances. That is great writing!

Do not despair for Neil, however, he finds love and is able to float for a time between the two lives he creates for himself. On the one hand, his parents struggle with his mother’s mental health issues and on the other hand, Emily, someone willing to accept him for who is. And yet a time comes for decisions. A beautiful love story is centered in Neil’s struggle with his family’s life journey filled with disappointments and cruelties and his desire, like so many of us, to be set free from that life.

My Recommendation:  

If you are fond of reading a book which presents characters so real you believe the struggles in the book’s pages to also be real, coupled with a beautiful love story which gives hope to those who struggle in similar ways on life’s journey, then The Isolation Door is for your shelf! Pick it up soon and enjoy Majumdar’s beautiful writing.

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Listen to Anish Majumdar talk about the circumstances in his own family and life which led him to write The Isolation Door:

Meet the Author:

Anish MajumdarAs a child growing up in Montreal, Canada, Anish Majumdar’s first creative writing lessons came courtesy of his mother, a former English teacher. Witnessing her struggle with schizophrenia had a profound impact and inspired The Isolation Door, his first novel. His non-fiction work, appearing in many publications, has garnered Independent Press Association Awards for Feature Writing and Investigative Journalism. His short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives with his wife, son, and a growing menagerie of pets in Rochester, NY.You can connect with Anish via the following:

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Book Details:

  • TLC Book Tours Tour HostFile Size: 577 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Ravana Press; 1 edition (January 25, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I29CL8A

Dates for the TLC Book Tour for The Isolation Door may be viewed here.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of The Isolation Door from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

The In-Between Hour by Barbara Claypole White

The In-Between Hours Cover“Tree frogs croaked a concerto, and snuffling came from the compost pile. The raccoons were out in force. Above, an expanse of night sky shimmered with stars. Man, he’d forgotten the glory of Southern nights–how he was drawn to the stillness, the raw energy. As a kid, he’d loved reading or writing in the middle of the night. Unless there was a storm to whip up her craziness, terror tended to come with the light, when his mom was awake.”

~ Barbara Claypole White,
The In-Between Hour

Synopsis: 

Bestselling author Will Shepard is caught in the twilight of grief, after his young son dies in a car accident. But when his father’s aging mind erases the memory, Will rewrites the truth. The story he spins brings unexpected relief…until he’s forced to return to rural North Carolina, trapping himself in a lie.

Holistic veterinarian Hannah Linden is a healer who opens her heart to strays but can only watch, powerless, as her grown son struggles with inner demons. When she rents her guest cottage to Will and his dad, she finds solace in trying to mend their broken world, even while her own shatters.

As their lives connect and collide, Will and Hannah become each other’s only hope—if they can find their way into a new story, one that begins with love.

 (Image and synopsis via TLC Book Tours)

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My Thoughts:

The In-Between Hour is an emotional and intense story of surviving tragedy, grief and loss. Each of Barbara Claypole White’s characters is facing a struggle: Will the loss of his five-year old son, Will’s father Jacob the loss of his mental faculties due to Alzheimer’s, Hannah the potential loss of her son Galen to his drug and alcohol additions.

White’s first paragraphs caught my attention, and she didn’t let go until the last page:

Will imagined silence. The silence of snowfall in the forest. The silence at the top of a crag. But eighty floors below his roof garden, another siren screeched along Central Park West.

Nausea nibbled–a hungry goldfish gumming him to death. Maybe this week’s diet of Zantac and PBR beer was to blame. Or maybe grief was a degenerative disease, destroying him from the inside out. Dissolving his organs. One. By. One.

With these words, White introduces us to a story filled with grit, emotion, pain of loss, and love. Each chapter pulls the reader along through the story with a sense of hope for these people who are hurting.

We all want such stories to end with a positive conclusion, and White doesn’t disappoint, but I am not charged with telling you what that ending is. You, the reader, must discover this when you read The In-Between Hour.

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My Recommendation: 

The In-Between Hour has a little something for everyone: tension, mystery, struggling characters, and a bit of romance. Included in the cast of characters are the curious yet interesting personalities of people like your next door neighbor. And the author shares some vivid scenes from the North Carolina State Natural Area which includes Occoneechee Mountain, an incredibly beautiful place. Please don’t miss this wonderfully crafted story by a gifted writer.

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Meet the Author:

Author Barbara Claypole WhiteI grew up in rural England, studied history at York University, and worked in the London fashion industry before falling in love with an American professor I met at JFK Airport. Twenty-five years later, we live in the North Carolina forest with our award-winning poet / musician / lyricist son.

I love all things gardening and all things OCD. My debut novel, THE UNFINISHED GARDEN, is a love story about grief, OCD, and dirt. TUG was Simply Books # 1 Romantic Book of 2012, and a finalist in the 2013 Golden Quill, Write Touch Readers’ Award, and New England Readers’ Choice Beanpot Award contests. THE IN-BETWEEN HOUR follows in January 2014.

I blog about the writing life at bookpregnant.blogspot.com and girlfriendbooks.blogspot.com, and parenting an OCD teen at easytolove.com

For more information, please visit my website, barbaraclaypolewhite.com.

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DETAILS ABOUT THE BOOK | DISCLAIMER:

Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Literature, Adult Fiction
Kindle: 554 KB | Printed: 834 pages
Source: NetGalley

I received a copy of The In-Between Hour from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Phone Calls from Heaven? | Review of Mitch Albom’s The First Phone Call from Heaven | TLC Book Tours

Image via TLC Book Tours

Image via TLC Book Tours

“The news of life is carried via telephone. A baby’s birth, a couple engaged, a tragic car accident on a late night highway – most milestones of the human journey, good or bad, are foreshadowed by the sound of a ringing.” 

Mitch Albom,
The First Phone Call from Heaven
(Quote via Goodreads)

Source|Disclaimer: I received an ARC from publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Synopsis: 

One autumn day, in a small town on Lake Michigan, the phones begin ringing. The people calling are all deceased. They talk about heaven. They say they are safe and happy. Each call is greeted differently—some with relief, some with love, some with religious zeal, some with fear.

On that same day, Sully Harding is released from jail for a crime he may not have committed. During his time behind bars, his wife, Giselle, passed away, leaving him a single father filled with heartbreak and regret. He returns to his hometown hoping to rebuild his life. Instead, he finds a community increasingly gripped by miracle fever. As the mysterious phone calls become more frequent, outsiders begin flocking from all over the world to be part of the blessing, changing the small town indelibly, and turning local citizens into worshipped heroes.

[Continues on TLC Book Tours . . .]

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My Thoughts:

When I turn the last page and close the cover of a Mitch Albom book, I experience good feelings. I’ve spent time in the company of a good writer, met interesting people through his characters, traveled a journey to its end and discovered answers along the way.

Such is the stuff of Albom’s newest work, The First Phone Call from Heaven. I closed the cover on yet another Albom, and I felt overcome with feelings of joy, hope, love and belief. And I had been in the company of a consummate writer, who had developed real characters living on the pages. Some of these people could live next door to me, be officials in my community, the children playing in the schoolyard around the corner. I traveled an amazing journey with the people of a small town, and I experienced their highs and lows and most of all their loss and grief and an immense amount of hope.

What happened in Coldwater, MI, could happen anywhere. Just a small town near Lake Michigan, Coldwater residents are good, hardworking, honest people. Living fairly simple lives. Some richer than others. Some more secure in life than others. But when folks from all classes begin to receive phone calls from the same place, they become as one.

And what happens next and how their communal mystery unfolds could happen anywhere too. Some are amazed and thrilled, others frightened to say it happened to them, and others highly suspicious. Read the book and see if you don’t agree!

My Recommendation: 

You can’t lose reading a Mitch Albom book. I have loved them all. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a fictional story based in the ordinariness of life. This book is a page-turner and moves quickly thanks to Albom’s writing style. If you have time, it would make your favorite reader a great Christmas gift!

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Meet the Author:

Photo credit: Jenny Risher

Photo credit: Jenny Risher

Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold more than 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-eight territories and in forty-four languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

Find out more about Mitch at his website, connect with him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and sign up for his newsletter.

(Bio and image via TLC Book Tours)

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Book Details:

Publisher: Harper
Published: November 2012
Hardcover: 336 pages
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780062294371

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You’ve read my review. Now, why don’t you follow the link to see what other book bloggers are saying about The First Phone Call from Heaven?

UP NEXT: My review of Paulette Harper’s Living Separate Lives sponsored by Write Now Literary Book Tours. Right here tomorrow!

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