Friday, May 9, 2014

Read Review: Leaving Eden

Leaving Eden by Anne D. LeClaire
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 27th 2002 by Ballantine Books

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb: “The promise of beauty—the kind of real, personal beauty that can transform a person’s life—arrived in Eden, Virginia, on the fourth Thursday in June.” That’s the day Tallie Brock sees the sign at the Klip-N-Kurl, the beauty parlor where she works part-time, sweeping the floor and refilling shampoo bottles, among other chores. (What she really enjoys is listening to the women chat, gossip, and buzz like a beehive.) The sign in the front window announces GLAMOUR DAY. For twenty dollars, a woman can receive a complete professional makeover—and a glossy nine-by-twelve-inch picture of the result.

For Tallie, the glam shot just may be her ticket out of Lovettsville. She dreams of someday going to Hollywood and becoming a Star. Her mother, who was the spitting image of Natalie Wood, used to say “the sky’s the limit.” In fact, her mother once left home to make a movie in Los Angeles. But she returned six months later without whispering a word about it—and tried to pick up her life right where she left off. Tallie noticed something different, though. And her mother’s best friend, Martha Lee, the plainest woman within miles, knew the secret that soon the whole town would discover. At the time, Tallie was just afraid her mother would get antsy and disappear again. She was only half right.

But that was four years ago, and now Glamour Day is fast approaching. While jotting down observations in her Rulebook for Living (such as “Women with fat faces shouldn’t wear bangs” and “Beetles signify change”), Tallie finds herself changing in unexpected ways—as she tests the limits of trust, explores her growing attraction to a boy from a family as rich as her imagination, and reaches for the sky like she has never done before.

By turns funny and tender, joyous and poignant, bestselling author Anne LeClaire has written a winning, stylish novel of small-town Southern life— and what it means to be a mother, daughter, best friend, wife, and lover.

My Review:
The cover of the book depicts a quiet town, sweet and simple. I picked up this book at a bookstore. I was appealed by the cover and the blurb. And I was not disappointed at all. It was a welcome break from the intense books I was reading. Also the protagonist and I share our names!

The story is narrated by Tallie (Natasha) Brock, the protagonist. She leaves in a sleepy little town called Eden (imaginary) in Virginia, USA. She narrates her life through her teenage years and her relationship with her mother, who passed away when she was just twelve. She maintains a rule-book where she jots down do's and don'ts, things she learned from her mother and ladies who come to the beauty parlour where she worked, and also the lessons she learnt she learned from her own experiences. After her mother's death, she becomes very lonely and her father became indifferent to things around him. She also starts discovering new things about her mother's life and feels that she was a mystery. Like her mother, she aspires to become a Hollywood star and decides that leaving Eden is her ticket to happiness.

"Leaving Eden" is a very sweet, realistic and believable story. It is a story of self discovery of a confused teenage girl. I felt as if I was reading a Hollywood movie. But I must add that it is a girly story and I doubt if guys would like it. But the women would really enjoy reading it. I recommend it to all the ladies.

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  1. This sounds a lovely sweet read, thanks for reviewing it.

  2. What a lovely sounding read, for those times when a bit of comfort is needed.


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