With this post, I’m halfway through my 18-book list on the BookSparks 2015 Summer Reading Challenge. I’m back in California with this title, Jane Porter’s It’s You. (The last California destination on my travels was Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave.)
About It’s You by Jane Porter
Dr. Alison McAdams has just suffered a tragedy that has rocked her life to the core. Lost, she returns home to Northern California to help her sick father; although, in her state, Ali does not know how much help she can provide anyone. Ali unexpectedly makes friends with her father’s community, hearing stories about life during WWII. Through these stories take Ali on a journey of lost love that will lead her across oceans and deep into the past. Through it all, Ali slowly begins to piece herself back together and rediscover that there is hope in life.
Read It’s You by Jane Porter
My Book Review
First thoughts? Oh, gosh, this poor woman! Talk about establishing a sympathetic character and then stacking the odds against her. Dr. Alison McAdams (Dr. Ali for short) is a dentist, a year into mourning the loss of her fiancé to suicide. The novel opens with a nasty note left on her windshield about her parking job, then off to work she goes where an emergency phone call comes through with news that her ailing father has taken a fall.
As I read, I kept thinking, Oh, no . . .
I’d read a few more pages. Oh, no, again.
Read more pages. Oh, gosh, this poor woman!
Thank goodness she catches a flight to Napa. Of course, I think she’s going there to have a much needed glass of wine but instead, she meets her dad and a pleasant surprise happens in the novel: The addition of another point-of-view character, a woman named Edie who lives with Ali’s dad at the Napa Estates retirement home. Such a great surprise because the way she was introduced made me think of her as a minor character so it was really surprising to turn the page and find she owns part of the story.
After Edie’s point-of-view chapter, Ali finally gets that glass of wine . . . and then BAM! the plot really thickens and the novel takes an interesting turn toward WWII and Nazi Germany. There’s even a switch in the narrative – to diary passages that tell a backstory. All sorts of things I can’t tell you about because I don’t want to spoil it.
Jane Porter, the bestselling author of 30 novels, including six for Grand Central Publishing, has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award from Romance Writers of America in 2002, 2003, 2008, and 2010. Jane’s July ’06 release, Flirting With Forty, picked by Redbook as its Red Hot Summer Read, went back for seven printings in six weeks before being made into a December ’08 Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear. A busy mother of three sons, Jane holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and makes her home in Bellevue, Washington where she’s working on her next novel.
Find out how it all began: READ 5th Annual BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge and My Travels Have Begun!
1. The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen
2. The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek
3. Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff
4. The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall
5 . Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
6. Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde
7. Pieces by Maria Kostaki
8. Summer Secrets by Jane Green
9. It’s You by Jane Porter
10. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
11. Beautiful Girl by Fleur Philips
12. The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop
13. The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri
14. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
15. Anchored by Brigitte Quinn
16. Satisfaction by Andee Reilly
17. A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
18. Star Craving Mad by Elise Miller
Thank you, BookSparks!