Speaking of losing yourself in a book — The Land of Mango Sunsets is by Dorothea Benton Frank (Avon, 2009), and a great mini-vacation escape. My mother bought the book because the author’s first name was the same as her own and most people are Dorothy, not Dorothea, so it was something of a novelty rather than a recommended book but she was done with it and visiting me and thought I might like it. Well, I’m glad she did!
It’s the tale of a woman named Miriam who is trying to make sense of her life after her unfaithful ex moves on in life with his new family, leaving her to struggle in New York City. She has a strong but conflicted bond with her mother who lives on Sullivan’s Island in Georgia, and wishes she had a bond with her two grown sons. Miriam thinks her life is wasted, and undergoes an amazing metamorphosis once she is willing to let go of the life that isn’t working for her. Big time transformation, along with lively, insightful, authentic and funny writing make all the twists and turns and details worth the ride. I bet you’re thinking what I’m thinking — just perfect for this blog, huh?
I like her similes and metaphors (I had to say that, since I’m an LA teacher) as well as the personal connections I can make with parts of the story, particularly about children, being a mom and recreating your life. The characters are delightful, including Harry the African grey parrot. It has been sitting on my shelf for many months, and today was the day to read it. (The reason I read it today is because it was the perfect way to procrastinate and not start some other tasks that I really have to get crackin’ on — like cleaning out the chicken coops). A fun and inspiring book — hope you like it too.