In the past, I’ve started my reviews with “in one word” and offered one word that sums up my feelings on a book, but over time, that has gotten stale. Instead, I’m going to give myself ten words or less to try to sum up a book, because why not. (My reviews, my rules).
In Ten Words or Less: Complex female characters uncover their potential and discover family destiny.
This little book charmed me and was exactly the kind of light read I needed at the front end of a dark and dour Midwestern winter. Set in the Midwest, two sisters are estranged because of a family inheritance. But is this book about Edith’s humble life as a pie maker, and her struggles to make ends meet? Or Helen’s determination to succeed as a woman in the beer-making business? The answer is yes, and no. This novel is the slow unveiling of motivations and connections. It’s all about the journey of life, which is meandering and full of unexpected opportunities, great successes, and deep losses. Watching this rich cast of female characters evolve was a true joy.
At my library book club meeting, I gave this book a 6 out of 5, to the gasps of many (what can I say, I’m a rebel). Therefore, it was surprising to me how lukewarm the rest of my library book club was on this book. Their main criticisms were that the details of beer making got a little in the weeds and that they thought this book was predictable. I’m able to gloss past details that don’t interest me when I read, so the beer talk didn’t stall me. I do agree, you might have suspected that a reconciliation for the sisters was coming, but there were so many little surprising moments along the way!
The best endorsement I can give to this book is that I was so sad to close it and realize I couldn’t visit the brewery and hang out with all of these people. Who doesn’t wanna chill with a bunch of beer-making grannies?! Though it’s rare that I seek out a film adaptation of a book I read, I think this as a movie or short series would be a lot of fun to see. Hey, Reese Witherspoon, I knoooow it’s written by a man, but this would be a fun story to see on the screen. (Ya know, cuz Reese reads my reviews and all).