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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Westchester's Own ChickLit Author-- Susie Orman Schnall

   Book Launch Party

On Grace 
Book Launch Party 
on 7.17.13  

Susie Orman Schnall
best pal, who owns Nest Inspired Home in Rye   

If nothing else, you will want to check out Nest Inspired Home in Rye.   Fabulous home furnishings.   But that is a blog for another day.   Hard to stay focused in that store!

A little background:
Susie Orman Schall and her friend from college both made some "pre-turning 40" goals for themselves and each one succeeded.  One wanted to open a shop and one wanted to write a novel.  
Both women successfully met their goal of finding something new and different to accomplish.
So fitting for the signing/book launch to be held here.    Friends supporting friends. 
Surrounded by college friends of theirs, some friends of friends and others who knew neither one but came out to support the pair.  Such a fun gathering to support Susie's first novel.

For more photos:

So.....what is the book about??

Well....I can't give away the plot of the book, of course.   I will never forget when my husband was 9/10 of the way through "Sell" by Stephen King.   He was reading it slowly and carefully; making sure not to rush through it and miss any of the details.    One Sunday morning, he was sitting in the car, reading the NY Times Book Review and the review gave away the ending!  (Isn't that no-no numero uno??)  Naturally, I felt sooo guilty as he was sitting in the car as I food shopped, occupying himself w the newspaper and in the meantime, spoiled the last section of the book, that he was looking so forward to.  

So instead of summarizing the story and in turn, ruining the ending I will list some bullet points/themes:

- a perfect read for moms approaching 40, who have dedicated their lives, often putting off careers and/or advancement of careers to find the "balance" between being a mom and a career woman.    Every woman finds a different way to achieve balance and finds satisfaction in their own way.    This allows for reflection for most readers and we can personally connect to Grace's feelings.

- deals with (yes!) social media......"facebook flirting" which totally happens, infidelity whether physical or not.....and the importance of being your partners equal.  

- deals with finding a "sense of self" which is one that many moms go through.    Stay at home moms end their careers and strive to find a "purpose" for lack of a better word.   An old boss once told me, "You will never get an award for being the best stay at home mom."    We make this sacrifice for our kids and sometimes it deems unfulfilling.   Getting back into the workplace, reinventing oneself, failures and basically doing this all over again is a challenge.   

- differences between how women view things and how men view things.   Values, parenting styles, expectations to name a few.  Also how differently our parents, based on their experiences view marriage and family.

- the importance of friendships between women; always having a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear.   Despite all that went on in Grace's life, she was always true to her best female friend, which I loved.  

I think this book is one that most women can relate to.   The main character is named Grace.   (Title, On Grace)    I loved at the signing when Susie said, "Either you are Grace or you know Grace."  Very true.   I found myself thinking about the Graces in my extended circles of friends.   Marriage takes work and partners need to stay in communication and keep their marriage strong, regardless of who is at home, who is working, etc.    Not everyone really puts forth the effort that it requires and some assume that once they are married, they do not have to work at it, support each other emotionally.     

"It really hits home to this demographic," Susie said (meaning women in Westchester that are in the almost-40 category).   Most of us can relate to Grace which keeps us turning the pages in her book.    

As I read, I thought about it and realized, that certainly this plot might be a filled with problems of women living in suburban/city mom life and wondered if this same "juggling/balancing" existed in other parts of the country, with some varieties.   I am eager to see how people feel about it after reading it.   It is a great summer, a page turner and really something we can relate to and take some small "marriage advice" away from.    

And best of all:  no British girls with glamorous but low-paying publishing jobs in the big city, bed-hopping, partying, shopping until they max out their credit cards.   A giant phew to that!

On Grace is available on or at Arcade Books on Purchase Street in Rye.   Enjoy!!   

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