Meet Me Under the Ombu Tree by Santa Montefiore: A review

Meet me under the Ombu tree is the first book I’ve read by Santa Montefiore and given the hopeless romantic that I am, I loved it.

It starts off in Argentina and the author does an amazing job of making us feel like we’re right there, part of the story. Her descriptions are on point without being excessive. Although Sofia is the main character, the author does a great job of making every character very personable.

Sofia is witty, loyal, daring and intelligent as well as stubborn, proud and feisty. She is the centre of attention at Santa Catalina (home to the Solanas family) and loved by all. That is until she falls in love with the wrong man and is sent away to Switzerland by her parents. She then moves to England where she starts her life over and given her propensity for being proud, it isn’t until over 20 years later that she returns home to Argentina.

This book is about forbidden love, sacrifice, loss, starting over, living with our regrets and learning to forgive. While it may appear predictable, the author throws enough twists and turns across the pages to keep us wandering what’s going to happen next. It took a while to get into it (mainly because I just don’t have the time I used to have to read these days) but by the time I was half way through, I couldn’t put the book down.

I’d definitely recommend this book, I was almost sad to finish it this evening.

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The Rosie Project: A review

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was my April book club read. Its narrated by Don Tillman, a lecturer in Genetics at the University of Melbourne. Don is almost 40 when he reads that married men are happier and stronger and so he sets off on “The Wife project” to find himself a partner. Having Asperger’s syndrome, Don is very frank, highly organised, very literal and quite direct. He struggles to read social cues, finds it difficult being flexible and generally has his life planned out by the minute.

In steps Rosie who is everything he isn’t…with a zest for life, chaos and totally “messed up”, she turns Don’s life upside down when he decides to help her with “The father project”. He suddenly finds himself doing and being everything that he is not and he simply can’t help himself.

rosieproject

I really enjoyed the book. While it’s a very easy read and quite funny at times, it also focuses on what so many of us might look at as “weird” in real life. You can’t help but warm to Don as he navigates through his emotions and thoughts to realise that although he may not understand what he is feeling, what he is feeling is love.

This book is an honest, simple and touching tender-hearted love story, I’d definitely recommend it šŸ™‚

The first phone call from Heaven by Mitch Albom: A review

I heard about Mitch Albom’s new book, The first phoneĀ call from Heaven,Ā only a few weeks ago. As I’d loved his previous books Tuesdays with Morrie, The five people you meet in Heaven, For one more day, etc. I was very excited about his new one. I pre-ordered it on Amazon and waited patiently until it’s release yesterday, the 12th of November.

As with his other books, I devoured it and finished reading it in a day. Mitch writes in a way that is very easy to read and the suspense kept me turning each page faster than the last.

The question you ask yourself throughout the book is “What if the end is not the end?” One morning, in a small quiet town in Michigan, people start receiving phone calls from their loved ones…in heaven. Right from the first few paragraphs, the hairs on my arm were standing alert.

As with most Mitch Albom books there was an underlying theme of life after death, regret, compassion and love. He takes us through the story of about 5 people in this town who receive these calls and the following media frenzy that ensues. What I liked about this book is the easy way it’s written, the connection I could instantly feel with the characters and the message he was trying to put across. That what we think of as the end is in fact not the end and that heaven exists in all our hearts and minds.

Despite the title andĀ inclusion of theĀ ChurchĀ in the book, I didn’t find it religious or preachy. In fact I quite resonated with the message he was trying to portray. There wasn’tĀ much that I didn’t like about The first phone call from heaven (I finished it in a day!!). But I don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I’m going to end here with a few of my favourite lines from the book:

“Fear is how you lose your life…a little bit at a time…What we give to fear, we take away from…faith.”

“Knowing Heaven is what heals us on Earth.”

“Sometimes, love brings you together even as life keeps you apart.”

“There are two stories for every life; the one you live, and the one others tell.”

“Heaven…is the same feeling…no fear…no dark. When you know you are love…that’s the light.”

“Desire sets our compass, real life steers our course.”

I’dĀ love some recommendations for any good books you’ve read lately.