Official Review: Mother Love, Willow Lane, Book Two

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unamilagra
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Official Review: Mother Love, Willow Lane, Book Two

Post by unamilagra » 08 Jul 2019, 12:26

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Mother Love, Willow Lane, Book Two" by Ann McCauley.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Barbara Malone, after spending decades in an unhappy marriage, has just become a widow. Now that her kids are grown and don’t need her as much anymore, she longs to help others and give her life meaning. After careful contemplation, she decides to join the Peace Corps and put her nursing skills to use in the mountains of Honduras. Her parents, mother-in-law, and four children are at first horrified by her choice, but they soon realize that they won’t be able to change her mind and begrudgingly see her off on the biggest adventure of her life.

Mother Love by Ann McCauley is the second book in the Willow Lane series. However, it can easily be read as a standalone, as the first book is about an entirely different family on the same street. The book begins with a tape-recorded message Barbara has sent to all of her children, explaining her decision to join the Peace Corps. From there, the point of view alternates between Barbara and each of her four kids, as Barbara takes off to the jungle and her kids go on living their own lives in the United States. Much of the book is comprised of phone conversations between the siblings and their grandparents.

My favorite part of this book was that it exposed me to a view of what life is like in the rural mountains of Honduras. The villagers live in poverty but seem to be more content than the affluent people Barbara knows back home. Most of the people are friendly, caring, and generous with what little they have. Barbara also witnesses firsthand the conflict between the “banditos” and the corrupt Honduran government, and she sees how their battles negatively impact the lives of the innocent citizens.

Barbara experiences her share of joy and heartache as she serves her patients and makes friends in Honduras. She eventually begins to question where she truly belongs. Her character has depth and her emotions are real and relatable, and I found myself chuckling as well as holding back tears as I turned the pages of the book. Her adult children also have their own distinct personalities as they make their way through life. Their relationship and career challenges, as well as their nagging fear for their mother’s safety, are also very believable.

The only aspect I didn’t like about the book was that as information traveled through the phone chain from sibling to sibling to grandparent, reading became extremely repetitive at times. While in real life it’s true someone will often have to repeat news several times within a large family, in a novel it can really slow down the momentum of the story and make for very tedious reading.

Overall, this book was well edited. I only noticed a handful of errors, none of which really detracted from the plot. Taking into consideration the wonderful cultural component of the novel, as well as the great character development, I award this book 3 out of 4 stars. If there had been less repetitive content, I would have been happy to give it a perfect rating. This book definitely qualifies as chick lit, and I think it would be a great choice for any woman who likes to read about relatable life challenges and the emotions that come with them. Although there is no graphic violence, sexual content, or profanity, I would still recommend this to adult audiences who have “been there” and can relate to the characters and their lives.

******
Mother Love, Willow Lane, Book Two
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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Jul 2019, 09:53

Wow! I love the fact that the protagonist does something drastic at an older age, like joining the peace corps. That would be wonderful to read about. It's good that it's a stand alone, as I haven't read the first in the series. Thanks for the information.
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Post by Michelle Fred » 10 Jul 2019, 10:24

This sounds so interesting. The desire to have a sense of purpose in her life is something I can relate to. Barbara showed tremendous courage in leaving her safe abode to work with the Peace Corps in Honduras. I admire her strength.

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Post by sarahmarlowe » 10 Jul 2019, 10:27

What a cool plot! I love that the main character is so strong and adventurous. I also like that, while this book is part of a series, the author has written it with a focus on another family. This sounds like a good read, and I would love to know more about Honduras. Thanks for the review!
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Post by Charlie19 » 11 Jul 2019, 04:06

Great review..however the book does not seem to fit for me.

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Post by Ekta Kumari » 11 Jul 2019, 07:23

I like that this book has a strong and brave woman as the lead character. I'm sure there is great character development. I hope Barbara found her purpose by the end of the book. Thank you so much for this thorough review.
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Post by unamilagra » 11 Jul 2019, 09:08

kandscreeley wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 09:53
Wow! I love the fact that the protagonist does something drastic at an older age, like joining the peace corps. That would be wonderful to read about. It's good that it's a stand alone, as I haven't read the first in the series. Thanks for the information.
Yeah, I really enjoyed that the perspective was from an older person. Thanks for commenting!


Michelle Fred wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 10:24
This sounds so interesting. The desire to have a sense of purpose in her life is something I can relate to. Barbara showed tremendous courage in leaving her safe abode to work with the Peace Corps in Honduras. I admire her strength.
I definitely think that all women can find a piece of themselves in Barbara. Thanks for stopping by!


sarahmarlowe wrote:
10 Jul 2019, 10:27
What a cool plot! I love that the main character is so strong and adventurous. I also like that, while this book is part of a series, the author has written it with a focus on another family. This sounds like a good read, and I would love to know more about Honduras. Thanks for the review!
I also like the idea of each of her stories in her series focusing on a different family. Thanks for your comment!


Charlie19 wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 04:06
Great review..however the book does not seem to fit for me.
Thanks for stopping by anyway!


Ekta Kumari wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 07:23
I like that this book has a strong and brave woman as the lead character. I'm sure there is great character development. I hope Barbara found her purpose by the end of the book. Thank you so much for this thorough review.
I always love strong female protagonists too. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by Wambui-nj » 11 Jul 2019, 13:36

Thanks for pointing out the repetitive nature of the book, I may pass it because it would definetely drive me to the edge :x . Great review.

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Post by kdstrack » 11 Jul 2019, 14:32

What an inspirational life! This puts a whole new spin on 'retirement'! Thanks for the amazing recommendation!

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Post by inaramid » 11 Jul 2019, 19:29

The premise sounds nice, and I like that it's a standalone. I'm with you on the repetitive content though (that does sound a bit tedious). Thanks for this review!

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Post by gen_g » 11 Jul 2019, 20:21

This sounds really inspiring, and it's all the better that it's a standalone. Being long-winded also seems tedious, like you mentioned. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Magnify3 » 12 Jul 2019, 04:27

Thanks for the interesting review. I was touched that the Mum in this story took such an adventurous step.

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Post by juliusotieno02 » 12 Jul 2019, 08:11

This looks like a nice read about humanity and helping others. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.
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Post by Nisha Ward » 12 Jul 2019, 12:25

[bn=][/bn]Most of the chick lit I see nowadays tends to fall into the romance category so this is a rare find indeed. As for the pacing, I do wonder if it would help if it showed one conversation then mentioned that the information passed down the line rather than showing each one.
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Post by Miriam Molina » 12 Jul 2019, 17:33

This story seems like something I would enjoy reading. However, I cannot join the Peace Corps yet as that will make my present home a war zone. I'm both commanding general and grunt here for now.

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