Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bookworm Week Giveaway #3: Gift of An Ordinary Day CLOSED




It seems like it was just yesterday that we were bringing our newborn baby home. And yet its been 15 months. With each passing day, it becomes harder to remember my toddler as a 7 lb., teensy weensy baby. The time flies by at lightening speed. It makes me weepy to think of Nate growing up, moving out to live on campus at college and one day having a family of his own. But I know it is inevitable. It is what I hope for him yet as his mom, I long to snuggle him close to my heart always.

So, when I discovered an opportunity on the PR Place to review Katrina Kenison's memoir, The Gift of an Ordinary Day, I thought it would be the perfect glimpse 16+ years into the future.
The Gift of an Ordinary Day is an intimate memoir of a family in transition-boys becoming teenagers, careers ending and new ones opening up, an attempt to find a deeper sense of place, and a slower pace, in a small New England town. It is a story of mid-life longings and discoveries, of lessons learned in the search for home and a new sense of purpose, and the bittersweet intensity of life with teenagers--holding on, letting go.

Poised on the threshold between family life as she's always known it and her older son's departure for college, Kenison is surprised to find that the times she treasures most are the ordinary, unremarkable moments of everyday life, the very moments that she once took for granted, or rushed right through without noticing at all.

The relationships, hopes, and dreams that Kenison illuminates will touch women's hearts, and her words will inspire mothers everywhere as they try to make peace with the inevitable changes in store.
Kenison begins her memoir with an epiphany: her sons are no longer little boys. They've suddenly grown into young men with hair above their lips, filling out college applications. They have become independent creatures, needing her less and less. The chaos of past appointments, playdates and full days has settled and the author is confronted with the reality of her nest's impending emptiness. She now has time to consider her own desires, which have been put on the backburner for years. You follow Kenison through her journey of self-discovery - her risks, sacrifices, gains and losses - as she reflects on her decisions and prepares to let go of her children.

As a young mom in my mid-to-late twenties with a toddler, I am in a very different stage of life than Kenison. I thought I would struggle relating to a woman in her near fifties with two teenage boys. And in some ways I did. I did not understand the suffocation of the house they had made a home and the need to uproot their family to the country, on what seemed like a whim. Or the foolish decision to forgo an inspection on an aging home that had noticeable problems. I did not understand the author's utmost importance on private or Ivy League schooling. After all, I went to public school and I think I turned out okay. The author's upper-middle-class upbringing was also sometimes hard to relate to. Despite living on one income after the loss of her job, she never really discusses any economic challenges or hardships that many middle-class citizens would experience as a result.

But I did understand her longing for freedom. As a stay-at-home mom, I sometimes feel as if I forget who *I* am as a person, aside from playing the role of mother. She stresses the need to examine your own identity and not lose sight of who you are and what you need to be fulfilled as a person. I also admired her acceptance of her sons for who they were rather than who she wanted them to be. I felt Kenison and her spouse were compassionate parents that I could identify with.

Kenison's writing was beautiful and lyrical, but I often felt it was repetitive. I found myself saying, "okay, I got the point the first three times...". It was not what I would describe as an "easy" read, since I had the urge to skim/skip pages at times. And honestly, the book could have been condensed into half of its 320 pages. But the message behind the book is what ultimately made me hang in there, and I'm glad I did. The author encourages you to embrace each moment that you have with your children, so when you reach the crossroads that she was faced with, you will look back on that time with pride rather than regret. She teaches you to appreciate the little moments that are easy to take for granted. That is a reminder that mothers of all stages of life can use.

Bottom line: Gift of an Ordinary Day is a thoughtful, heartwarming story of loving, learning and letting go. If you can tolerate the sometimes verbose writing, it is a great book for moms of adolescents faced with children leaving home, or for moms of young children who want to walk in the author's shoes or see what is in store. It's a tearjerker that may require some tissues on your nightstand but in the end, you and the author will emerge victorious.

BUY IT: You can purchase Gift of an Ordinary Day or Kenison's first book, Mitten Strings for God, from Amazon.com or from most major book retailers (ARV $23.99).

WIN IT: Hachette Book Group is giving away 5 copies of this book to 5 lucky readers!

MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Check out the Hachette Book Group website and tell me another book that you'd like to read. Remember to leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile or if you are not a blogger!

SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count!

1.) Follow my blog or subscribe via reader or email. Comment telling me which method you chose. If you already follow or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry)

2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest. Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry)

3.) Become a fan of Gift of an Ordinary Day on Facebook. (1 entry)

4.) Add my button to your blog and comment with a link to where I can find it. (1 entry)

5.) Enter any of my other current giveaways and leave a comment telling me which one(s) you entered. (1 entry each)

Giveaway will end on November 12, 2009 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses only. Winners will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I was offered this review and giveaway opportunity due to my membership at the Product Review Place. I was sent a hardcover copy of this book from Anna at Hachette Book Group to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other manner for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are purely mine. You may have a different experience upon reading this book.

77 comments:

Kim said...

love to read: Spooner

* By Pete Dexter

Kim said...

subscriber

Kim said...

follower

lisa said...

I could use a good laugh i would pick Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang. msmith572@yahoo.com

lisa said...

email subscriber. msmith572@yahoo.com

lisa said...

Entered Cytex giveaway. msmith572@yahoo.com

lisa said...

Entered Earth Baby Organics giveaway. msmith572@yahoo.com

Gerrie said...

I would like to read A Treasury of Christmas Miracles by Karen Kingsbury
gerrie.shaeffer@yahoo.com

Gerrie said...

email subscriber
gerrie.shaeffer@yahoo.com

Gerrie said...

Fan of of Gift of an Ordinary Day on Facebook
gerrie.shaeffer@yahoo.com

Gerrie said...

twitter follower @shaeffermom
tweeted http://twitter.com/shaeffermom/status/5286475163
gerrie.shaeffer@yahoo.com

Jennifer said...

I would like to read Slip of the Knife by Denise Mina! Sounds interesting!

Jennifer said...

I subscribe!

Nancy said...

I would like to read the latest book by David Baldacci called True Blue. Actually there is a long list of books there I would like to read:)

Nancy said...

I entered the Stop Praying giveaway.

Nancy said...

I entered the PUR Flavor Options Pitcher giveaway.

Nancy said...

I entered the Permission Slips giveaway.

Thena said...

I would like to read The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. I have read all his books but this one and he is a wonderful writer. I'm currently reading Gift of an Ordinary Day. It is AWESOME, so I would love to win her other book Mitten Strings For God

Thena said...

I now subscribe to your blog.

abfantom said...

I'd like to read Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly


abfantom at yahoo dot com

5webs said...

I'd like to read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Alicia Webster
5webs@comcast.net

5webs said...

I subscribe via E-mail
Alicia Webster
5webs@comcast.net

5webs said...

I follow you on Twitter and I Tweeted this giveaway
http://twitter.com/5webs/status/5426510620
Alicia Webster
5webs@comcast.net

5webs said...

I am a fan of Gift Of An Ordinary Day on Facebook
Alicia Webster
5webs@comcast.net

5webs said...

I entered the Peeing In Peace giveaway
Alicia Webster
5webs@comcast.net

Mary said...

I've been wanting to read The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks.

mamie316(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

409cope said...

I would love to read Evening's Empire. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

409cope said...

I am an email subscriber. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

Whitney said...

I'd want to read The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks!

Whitney said...

follow your blog

Whitney said...

follow on twitter and tweet- http://twitter.com/whitlump/status/5499712353

Whitney said...

entered softlips

Whitney said...

entered permission slips

Whitney said...

entered peeing in peace

Some Lucky Dog said...

I'd like to read The Heretic's Daughter By Kathleen Kent.

Some Lucky Dog said...

e-mail subscriber

Some Lucky Dog said...

Gift of an Ordinary Day Facebook fan (Cindy Brooks)

Some Lucky Dog said...

blog button on right sidebar at www.someluckydog.blogspot.com

Some Lucky Dog said...

follow you on twitter(someluckydog) and tweeted
http://twitter.com/someluckydog/status/5582783191

Some Lucky Dog said...

entered Softlips giveaway

Jen said...

Another Hachette book I would like to read is The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks.
ssovrnej (at) gmail.com

Jen said...

blog follower (Jen V)
ssovrnej (at) gmail.com

Jen said...

I follow you on twitter and tweeted about this giveaway.
http://twitter.com/Greatgiveaways/status/5600168737
ssovrnej (at) gmail.com

Jen said...

facebook fan of Gift of an Ordinary Day. (Jen Voss)
ssovrnej (at) gmail.com

Jen said...

I have your button on my left sidebar.
http://greatbloggiveaways.blogspot.com/
ssovrnej (at) gmail.com

Nancy said...

I entered the Unilever giveaway.

mindy said...

true blue sounds wonderful

Carol EL said...

I would like to read A Treasury of Christmas Miracles by Karen Kingsbury jelly15301@gmail.com

Carol EL said...

E-mail subscriber. jelly15301@gmail.com

Gerrie said...

I entered the your picture book giveaway
gerrie.shaeffer@yahoo.com

erma said...

I like the book Cliquetionary.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

Nickolay said...

Spooner By Pete Dexter also looks good

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

ellie said...

I've been looking forward to reading The Heretic's Daughter. Thanks for the giveaway.
eswright18 at gmail dot com

Andria said...

I's like to read The Impostor's Daughter

Andria said...

email subscriber

saturdaynightfever said...

"Evening's Empire" by Zachary Lazar!

edgenemmers@gmail.com

Karrie said...

Cross Country
By James Patterson

Rhonda said...

Cheerful Money by Tad Friend

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Rhonda said...

I subscribe

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Rhonda said...

I follow

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dreamcleavers said...

i would like to read A Treasury of Christmas Miracles
dreamcleavers@yahoo.com

dreamcleavers said...

email subscriber
dreamcleavers@yahoo.com

dreamcleavers said...

i'm a fan on facebook
dreamcleavers@yahoo.com
lance pearson

Hotsnotty2 said...

I'd also love to read The Host, By Stephenie Meyer, thanks!

Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

susan1215 said...

The Last Song Nicholas Sparks

demmi said...

In cheap we trust
con5459(at)gmail(dot)com

Mishia said...

Spooner by Pete Dexter
mishiareads(at)gmail(dot)com

Tiffany819 said...

CONNECTED
by Nicholas A. Christakis MD, PhD

thank you!
Tiffanys819 at gmail dot com

kngmckellar said...

The Year 1000 is something I'd love to read.

kngmckellar@hotmail.com

kngmckellar said...

email subscriber
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kngmckellar said...

http://twitter.com/kngmckellar/status/5668207631

follow on twitter and tweeted
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kngmckellar said...

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have button
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Nancy S. said...

I'd like The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks.
ncschools at yahoo dot com

Nancy S. said...

I follow your blog with google friend.
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Jinxy and Me said...

I would like to read Eating Animals

Gianna said...

Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly :)

CanAmBlond said...

I'd like to read 'Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind'. Thanks for the chance to win!


sasquatch1bmf[at]gmail[dot]com

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