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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long

So, I just finished my fall '11 semester at UConn where I am a senior and the first thing I wanted to do after my last final exam last night was to sit down with a novel of my chosing. I had read the interviews and guest blogs regarding "In Leah's Wake" and truly hoped that the novel would be the perfect way to begin my winter vacation. Let me just say, Giuliano's literary novel did not dissapoint.

* * * * *
"In Leah's Wake" brings us into the small personal world of one little family that has struggled behind the scenes with their oldest daughter Leah's radical change in behavior. Going from a straight A student and star soccer player with her choice of colleges trying to recruit her to drinking, drug use, and reckless behavior - Leah struggles to create her own identity that is separate from that of the one her parents have always driven her to obtain.
The roller coaster of family drama taxes Will and Zoe's marriage which has never been a relationship of ease. One of the most haunting aspects is the unnoticed pain and suffering experienced by their youngest daughter, Justine. The reader becomes so engrossed in this family that their heart aches for this child - for all of them really - but especially Justine. Even when her beloved pet Dog dies, her grief and isolation pour off the pages.

Writing from five points of view, the author has created a distinct suspension of disbelief that makes you feel caught up in their world, buying into the tragedy that so many families in this country can identify with. Her ability to create characters who are so perfectly flawed that you can't help but love them is a true gift. She has fully dimenional characters with layers that do not feel flat in any way. The reader wants resolution, wants to see this family reunite, wants the family to recognize how very much they love each other - because the reader feels they know these people as well as themselves. A true writing talent I think.

Of course, I cannot write a review without commenting on the author's beautiful use of prose.  I love her attention to detail, creating setting so vivid, one feels like they are there. Whether in a cold Maine hotel or a smoke filled room, the author brings her surroundings to life with the use of all senses.

Overall, if I could, I would give this novel 6 out of 5 stars. If you love Jodi Picoult or Alice Sebold - I highly recommend this novel. It is easily the best read that I have enjoyed in 2011.

Announcing the In Leah’s Wake Social Media Whirlwind Tour! As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the In Leah’s Wake eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including Amazon gift cards of up to $500 in amount and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 16th, so you don’t miss out.  

To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of In Leah’s Wake for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.  

The Featured Events include:

Monday, Radio Interview with Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We interviewed Terri on our radio show Sunday night and have embedded the full podcast and blogged about its highlights. Give it a listen and then leave a comment on the blog post. This is a great chance to get to know more about this inspiring and friendly author. One commenter will win an autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there! Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: In Leah's Wake has taken the publishing world by storm. Get the book for just 99 cents #whirlwind Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the In Leah’s Wake book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. Three chances to win! How about that? Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the In Leah’s Wake book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Win a $500 Amazon gift card, simply by leaving a comment on Terri’s most recent blog post. Yup, you read that correctly—$500! How easy is that? An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs.

Remember, it’s all about the books!

Terri Giuliano LongAbout In Leah’ Wake: The Tyler family had the perfect life – until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn’t want to be perfect anymore. While her parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah’s younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake. What happens when love just isn’t enough? Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. About the Author: Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and a writing teacher at Boston College. She was grateful and thrilled beyond words when her award-winning debut literary novel, In Leah’s Wake, hit the Barnes and Noble and Amazon bestseller lists in August. She owes a lot of wonderful people – big time! – for any success she’s enjoyed! Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.


Emlyn Chand said...

Hi Bonnie,

What a wonderful review! I'm thrilled that you were able to connect with In Leah's Wake so nicely, and let me tell you, the author herself is even more wonderful than the book (if you can believe that). I'm gonna overlook that this is your fave book of 2011 when I know you just read mine. Heehee. No, In Leah's Wake totally deserves your adoration. Thank you for cross-posting to GoodReads and Amazon!


Terri Giuliano Long said...

Hi Bonnie,
Thank you so very, very much for your amazing review!! That In Leah’s Wake was your favorite read in 2011 – Wow!! Thank you SO much!! I am tremendously honored and touched!!
This is such a gorgeously written review, touching on so many important points. I especially appreciate your thoughtful comments about the characters and also that you relate the issues in the book to cultural problems and the difficulties faced by so many families today.
Warmest wishes,




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