Love and the Goddess by Mary Elizabeth Coen
When cookery teacher Kate Canavan's perfect life falls apart she moves to Galway City. Kate's friend James urges her to love and nurture herself, but mischievous Ella persuades her to dust off her unused dating skills. So Kate explores the world of on-line dating using the name of a Greek Goddess. In the midst of a mad dating frenzy, Kate has a traumatic health scare which convinces her to drop everything and go in search of a guru.
Kate is a fun character. She's just your normal girl next-door. She's been married for 20-something years, and has a daughter in college. She works as a culinary teacher at a college and enjoys her life. Then everything changes. This book is about how she deals with that change and what she does to pick up the pieces and move on in her life. I like Kate. At first I thought I was kind of like her, but then when I got further into the book I realized that I'm not anything like her. But that's ok. Kate needs time to heal, and she finds herself traveling in order to do that. She finds a healer and a shaman to help her, and even though I don't really believe in those things as she does, it was interesting to read about. She also tries out online dating; some of her experiences were hilarious while others were scary. To me, this book is part Eat Pray Love (which I didn't love), and part online dating frenzy. It's different from Eat Pray Love because her reasons for finding the healer and shaman are very different, but some of her experiences are similar. I thought this book was well written. It has some fun characters in it, it has some light moments and some very serious ones as well, and it has some good messages in it. I felt bad for Kate because she hadn't envisioned going through any of it, but it was interesting to see how she coped. I didn't agree with all the decisions she made, or even where she ended up, but I, of course, wished her the best. There are some good messages about taking care of yourself and finding peace and solace in your life. It also talks about being brave and trying new things, which is good. I didn't like the messages of giving up too soon on important things, or of the unmarried "intimacy." She almost went from one extreme to the other, instead of finding a good in between balance.
There are a lot of English (as in Great Britain) words and phrases in this book. Most of them I could figure out the meaning using the context, but there were a few that stumped me. There is some language in this book, and a lot of "intimacy." There are a few scenes and lots of discussions about it. There's even an almost-rape scene, which I did not like, and didn't think it fit well in the book. The man has an addiction to "intimacy." There are also a couple of people who are gay in the story.
I do have a copy of this book to give away! If you are interested, you may either:
1. Comment below about which goddess you think best fits you or any funny online dating experiences you've had
2. Comment below about why you should win.
Pretty much, just comment and then I'll take all the comments and draw a name. You need to comment by tomorrow, November 5th. I'll do the drawing at the end of tomorrow. Good luck!!!
Rating: R (Language, a couple of gay characters, and lots of "intimacy.")
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.