Official Review: a fresh hell: A Novel by Pauline B Rogers

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fiction books or series that do not fit into one of the other categories. If the fiction book fits into one the other categories, please use that category instead.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3515
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 278
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Flavours of Australia by Jonette George

Official Review: a fresh hell: A Novel by Pauline B Rogers

Post by Cecilia_L » 14 Mar 2019, 16:24

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "a fresh hell: A Novel" by Pauline B Rogers.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


"Her way of looking at life was incurably pessimistic. Confronted by the unknown, she immediately prepared for the worst. Ordinary occurrences--the doorbell or a ringing telephone--made her wonder, 'What fresh hell is this?' " Marion Meade on author Dorothy Parker

In A Fresh Hell: A Novel by Pauline B. Rogers, Rikki Greene is a movie publicist who has surrounded herself with a tight-knit circle of friends. She adores her dog, Moppet, and often shares her favorite indulgence, McDonald's vanilla ice-cream cones, with her pet. Rikki has a penchant for practical jokes and a close friendship with actor Jake Stanley. Their friendship is on the verge of becoming something more when she receives an urgent phone call. Rikki's controlling mother has died, and she must return to her small hometown in New England. She contemplates "what fresh hell" awaits her as she begins to confront her painful past as Rachel Greenberg.

As a result of her mother's lifelong manipulation, Rikki faces a family she barely knows while she struggles to make funeral arrangements. When she learns of her mother's codicil to her will, Rikki is concerned it will prevent her from selling the family home. She plans to move her father to the Jewish nursing home and needs the funds for his care. Rikki tries to sort out the legal nightmare, but even from her grave, her mother is still controlling her life. Rikki fears she will be forever trapped in her hometown hell. Meanwhile, more painful memories are triggered, revealing a dark family secret. Will Rikki finally be able to leave her past behind to pursue her relationship with Jake?

There is a lot to like about this poignant novel. The author seamlessly intertwines Rikki's past and present, revealing just enough pieces of the puzzle to keep the reader engaged and wanting more. The plot continues to build, as more is revealed about Rikki's childhood and her complicated relationship with her overbearing mother. The author paints a realistic picture of the family's dysfunction and reluctance to become involved despite their awareness that something is wrong. When I selected the book, I read that the story was based loosely on the author's life; I sensed this as I read. Writing from personal experience conveys a level of depth and authenticity that rarely originates from creativity alone.

I most liked the well-developed characters the book features. The portrayal of Rikki's painful relationship with her mother is raw, intense, and relatable. Although Rikki's mother is abusive, the book also captures aspects of the mother-daughter relationship that are universal and will translate to both mothers and daughters. Without revealing spoilers, Rikki deals with two other issues that are particularly relevant to women. Once again, the author's portrayal of Rikki’s emotions and responses are spot-on. I also appreciated the dark humor the author used to balance the story and occasionally lighten the mood. Rikki's conversations with her friend Pam, a sassy soap-opera star, are especially amusing.

It was exceptionally edited, and I can't think of a single thing I disliked about the book. I'm pleased to rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to readers who enjoy fiction related to family drama and dark humor. However, I would not recommend it to readers who may be triggered by references to child abuse as it does include some Mommie Dearest moments.

******
a fresh hell: A Novel
View: on Bookshelves

Like Cecilia_L's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
IamShing
Posts: 488
Joined: 15 Mar 2019, 20:50
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 51
Favorite Book: Doctor Sleep
Currently Reading: Misreading Judas
Bookshelf Size: 66
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-iamshing.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: Someone Else's End by Matthew Tysz
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA

Post by IamShing » 20 Mar 2019, 08:17

I like it. The idea of being negative could be a fun part of the reading especially when that turns out to the opposition.
'Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.'

User avatar
Prisallen
Posts: 2041
Joined: 27 Feb 2019, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 104
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 61
Favorite Book: The Unbound Soul
Currently Reading: Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath
Bookshelf Size: 70
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-prisallen.html
Latest Review: Sweet Caroline by Kelda Laing Poynot

Post by Prisallen » 20 Mar 2019, 08:19

I agree with you that the emotions and feelings are usually portrayed better when an author writes about personal experiences. It does give it a deeper depth and authenticity. Great review!

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 9287
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 77
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 308
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Forever Will End: Gospel of Chaos Book One by Dom Brandt

Post by kandscreeley » 20 Mar 2019, 08:30

Rikki's mother sounds quite... intimidating and overbearing. Someone like would, I imagine, be controlling even after death. It sounds like an interesting tale to be sure!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
IamShing
Posts: 488
Joined: 15 Mar 2019, 20:50
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 51
Favorite Book: Doctor Sleep
Currently Reading: Misreading Judas
Bookshelf Size: 66
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-iamshing.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: Someone Else's End by Matthew Tysz
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA

Post by IamShing » 20 Mar 2019, 09:13

I agree with you 😊
'Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.'

User avatar
spencermack
Posts: 258
Joined: 06 Feb 2019, 16:37
2019 Reading Goal: 24
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 54
Favorite Book: A Loaf Of Bread
Currently Reading: Pretties
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-spencermack.html
Latest Review: The Rhine by R.L. Dean

Post by spencermack » 20 Mar 2019, 09:23

This book sounds extremely interesting. Family drama and dark humor? Might hit too close to home but I'll definitely take a look!
Spencer Mack
Latest Review: The Rhine by R.L. Dean

User avatar
IamShing
Posts: 488
Joined: 15 Mar 2019, 20:50
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 51
Favorite Book: Doctor Sleep
Currently Reading: Misreading Judas
Bookshelf Size: 66
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-iamshing.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: Someone Else's End by Matthew Tysz
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA

Post by IamShing » 20 Mar 2019, 10:10

You might givee it a try..
'Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.'

User avatar
chiefsimplex
Posts: 272
Joined: 05 Mar 2019, 04:45
2019 Reading Goal: 80
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Currently Reading: A Second, Less Capable Head
Bookshelf Size: 34
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-chiefsimplex.html
Latest Review: I Can See Peace by Julie Penshorn

Post by chiefsimplex » 20 Mar 2019, 12:57

I like the fact that the story is unpredictable and suspense is consistently sustained.Puzzling stories are exciting because they make you think while you read and nothing beats an intellectually challenging read.Thanks for the review.
“So many books, so little time.”
― Frank Zappa

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3515
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 278
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Flavours of Australia by Jonette George

Post by Cecilia_L » 20 Mar 2019, 13:19

IamShing wrote:
20 Mar 2019, 08:17
I like it. The idea of being negative could be a fun part of the reading especially when that turns out to the opposition.
Thank you. :tiphat:

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3515
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 278
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Flavours of Australia by Jonette George

Post by Cecilia_L » 20 Mar 2019, 13:20

Prisallen wrote:
20 Mar 2019, 08:19
I agree with you that the emotions and feelings are usually portrayed better when an author writes about personal experiences. It does give it a deeper depth and authenticity. Great review!
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3515
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 278
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Flavours of Australia by Jonette George

Post by Cecilia_L » 20 Mar 2019, 13:21

spencermack wrote:
20 Mar 2019, 09:23
This book sounds extremely interesting. Family drama and dark humor? Might hit too close to home but I'll definitely take a look!
I think part of the appeal is that most readers can relate to family drama on some level!

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3515
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 278
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Flavours of Australia by Jonette George

Post by Cecilia_L » 20 Mar 2019, 13:22

chiefsimplex wrote:
20 Mar 2019, 12:57
I like the fact that the story is unpredictable and suspense is consistently sustained.Puzzling stories are exciting because they make you think while you read and nothing beats an intellectually challenging read.Thanks for the review.
Thanks for your comment.

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3515
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 278
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Flavours of Australia by Jonette George

Post by Cecilia_L » 20 Mar 2019, 13:22

kandscreeley wrote:
20 Mar 2019, 08:30
Rikki's mother sounds quite... intimidating and overbearing. Someone like would, I imagine, be controlling even after death. It sounds like an interesting tale to be sure!
True. Thanks for your comment.

User avatar
Ruba Abu Ali
Posts: 915
Joined: 01 Jul 2018, 09:47
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 96
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ruba-abu-ali.html
Latest Review: Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn't Make Me a Better Person by Nancy Stordahl

Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 20 Mar 2019, 13:55

Family drama and dark humor are a winning combination for me. Definitely intrigued! Thanks for the captivating review, Cecilia!

User avatar
Crazyreader01
Posts: 220
Joined: 01 Feb 2019, 09:20
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 45
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-crazyreader01.html
Latest Review: Sigfried’s Smelly Socks! by Len Foley

Post by Crazyreader01 » 20 Mar 2019, 14:16

I love family drama and mysteries, especially dark family secrets! They make me extremely grateful for my own, very normal and boring one. Thanks for the review. :tiphat:

Post Reply

Return to “Other Fiction Forum”