The Queen of New Beginnings

The Queen of New Beginnings

eBook - 2011
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What happens when your best hope for the future is through the past? Voice-over artist Alice avoids telling the truth. It's not lying, exactly, and the freedom of reinvention makes those tough years in the past a little easier to bear. So when she meets writer Clayton Miller, she recognizes the suspicious signs of someone who wants to shrug off his old life. Untangling the web of secrets they've constructed creates an unlikely friendship-until Alice discovers that Clayton has betrayed her in the worst possible way. The author of fifteen international bestsellers, Erica James deftly explores infidelity, bereavement, and the bonds of family with a sparkling voice that will resonate long after the book is finished.
"At first I thought this book would be fluffy chick lit but it is much more than that... This book seemed to be a mix of chick lit, southern fiction and romance all rolled into one." - Palmer's Picks for Reading. Praise for Erica James "Intense, compelling stuff." -OK! magazine "The author writes with a sturdy, feel-good optimism." -Sunday Times. "It is a captivating read: beautifully written." -Daily Telegraph. "You know you have made it as a storyteller writer when readers simply cannot put your book down...Erica James has this page-turning ability in abundance...I wouldn't have thought this writer could get any better, but she has!" -Welsh Country.
Publisher: [Naperville, Illinois] : Sourcebooks, 2011
ISBN: 9781402253171
Characteristics: 1 online resource (512 pages)
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Call Number: eBook


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May 04, 2017

I thought this was an intriguing, interesting story, I liked it enough to stay up half the night to finish it! I don't think the title fits the book- "New Beginnings" might be a bit closer to the substance of the story. Although there are some references to Alice moving frequently and changing jobs as a younger woman, that is not really what the book is about- it is about Alice dealing with the trauma of her childhood for the first time, falling in love with someone who betrays her trust, and Clayton's coming to grips with his career and personal issues. I'd say he has more of a "new beginning" than Alice does. Clayton comes off as a bit of a crank initially and it is hard to believe that he's supposed to be Alice's love interest, but after a while he becomes much more likeable. (Spoiler alert) While it's great that Alice's story breaks his writer's block, it is reprehensible that he writes about it and sells the story before he even tells her what he's doing. At least he finally does tell her... but I feel like his integrity takes another hit when he rips up the letter from Rufus and throws it out of the window, just when he and Alice are starting to talk to each other again. I don't think there is enough of an explanation for why Alice forgave him... I don't know if I would, at least not that quickly. I get it that George's stroke and insistence on watching the program brings them together, and that she feels that he accurately portrayed her father and (I assume) the other characters in her story. Perhaps she feels indebted that due to the tv program, she meets Isabel and her half-sister, and learns more about her father's final years and how much he loved her. I think there should be more apologizing and proof of trustworthiness before she lets him back into her life. I thought George was a great character, and the most interesting character in the book. I'm glad that Clayton and Bazza become friends again, but once again, if your best friend stole your girlfriend and broke up your collaborative writing partnership, I think it would take a lot more than one drunken confession and apology to regain trust in him. What they do to get revenge on Stacey is (I guess) supposed to be funny but I don't think it's morally right and makes me lose respect for the characters involved. They could have just had Bazza tell the public he was lying and it seems like that would have accomplished the same end, in a less dramatic way, especially once they start writing together again. I do like happy endings and to have all the ends tied up at the end of a story, but in this book I felt like it was too much, and too much to be believable! So Clayton gets vindicated publicly after being vilified, Stacy becomes friends with Isabel and feels like she has a family now that she's met Grace and found out more about her father and Isabel's relationship. And unsurprisingly Alice and Clayton are back together and he proposes. That in my opinion would have been fine for the happy ending wrap up, but then they have to add on Bob finding love, Alice inheriting George's house and money, and the re-appearance and defeat of Rufus and Natasha. Although I would say that Rufus not becoming a doctor was probably enough defeat in itself (I would think you still could even if you were paralyzed). Oh, and Isabel and Bazza getting together too; really over the top. I know this sounds cynical but this isn't a Disney movie where even the evil step-sisters are forgiven, so the excess of happy wrap-ups makes it surreal and unbelievable. Especially once you realize that since George left Alice the house and her money, she probably doesn't have to work again... so that puts her in a different category than the average chick lit reader. Nonetheless, I did enjoy this book and will probably read more from this author! : )

Dec 12, 2013

Nice book, I liked the story, a bit different than usual.


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