I read Bread Alone first and loved it and read Isabel's Daughter simply because it was the same author. I didn't find Avery James to be a compelling character at all. She wasn't overly friendly "didn't play well with peers", yet everyone in her life stuck to her like glue even though she pushed people away. Huh? I also missed the little cooking nuggets Hendricks shared in Bread Alone. I really was hoping for a recipe for that women's tea! :)
i just loved this book!! the characters just came alive for me in this tale. its a great page turner and wonderful rainy day read!!
from the back cover:
After a childhood spent in an institution and a series of foster homes, Avery James has trained herself not to wonder about the mother who gave her up. But her safe, predictable life changes one night when she stumbles upon the portrait of a woman who is the mirror image of herself.
Slowly but inevitably, Avery is compelled to discover all she can about her mother, Isabel. Avery is drawn into complex relationships with the people who knew her mother. As she weaves together the threads of her mother's artistic heritage and her grandmother's skills as a healer, Avery learns that while discovering Isabel provides a certain resolution in her life, it's discovering herself that brings lasting happiness.
A captivating tale of a young woman searching for the mother she never knew and in the process learning more not only about her mother, now deceased, but more about herself. The book starts off great. The opening line will grab you. "The first time I saw my mother was the night she died. The second time was at a party in Santa Fe."
The characters are real, the setting in New Mexico is very vivid. You really get a sense of the area.
Avery, who was raised in foster homes, not surprisingly doesn't allow anyone to really get close to her but two people, a wealthy classmate who gives her pure, unconditional love and an old woman who takes her in when no one else does, manage to pierce through her self-imposed shield. The love story in the middle of the tale is very sweet. This was an interesting book, but the author didn't tie up the loose ends very well. Avery doesn't seem to mature that much. At times, you get so irritated with her. She pushes away people who love her and want only the best for her. I wish her growth had been shown in greater detail. Even as an adult, she still came across as petulant teenager.
This book describes a daughter's search for her mother, but you also see her find out how to love others and herself. Set in the Southwest, the story follows Isabel's daughter as she searches for clues to her own identity. Slowly but surely, she overcomes the limits she has felt as an "abandoned" child and blossoms into a loving adult.
What a wonderful read. Love the writer's sense of humor, the setting of Santa Fe, the love story. Avery searches out the people who knew her mother, whom she never knew, and ends up searching her own soul. Sounds corny but the story isn't. I'm going to read Bread Alone and keep an eye out for any others Hendricks writes in the future:=)