Monday, 11 August 2014

Review: Owen's Daughter by Jo-Ann Mapson

Skye Elliot is given a choice after her car accident—jail or rehab—and her ex-husband, a bull rider who introduced her to the party scene, gets custody of their four-year-old daughter Gracie. It takes Skye eight months to get clean, but the day she is released, she has one plan: to be a good mother—better, at least, than Skye’s own selfish mother and absent dad.

Owen Garret hasn’t seen his daughter in ten years. He, too, needs to make amends. Newly out of prison, he picks her up from rehab and together they set off to find Gracie, and to forge a relationship that transcends the hurt and anger that have brewed between them for almost a decade. In the meantime, they find Margaret Yearwood, too—Owen’s lost love whom he left when he turned himself in for a long-ago crime.

Owen’s Daughter is a stand-alone novel that brings back characters from Mapson’s treasured novel Blue Rodeo, and introduces them to the beloved cast of Solomon’s Oak and Finding Casey. With its father-daughter story and characters who overcome personal failings against great odds, Owen’s Daughter is a story of love and family that will enchant Mapson fans both old and new.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Bloomsbury USA
Terri's Thoughts

I won a copy of this book in one of the Goodreads firstreads giveaways.  In turn I will offer my honest review.

I will start by saying that I enjoyed this read.  A book about family relationships and overcoming struggles and hardships.  Add to that some interesting characters and good writing it made for an easy read.  The storylines wove together nicely and the plot moved at a decent pace.

While I found the story glossed over in parts, particularly in all aspect relating to the reuniting of multiple characters, it still provided some decent entertainment.  Skye's journey and her addiction struggles were central to the story however I did find I had a hard time liking her.  While I understand that she was battling the demons of addiction I found that she was simply unpleasant.

On the flip side I adored Margaret and wish more of the story was centralized around her.  I wanted to know more about her back-story.  I will say that I could not stand her son and she should have kicked him to the curb regardless of the struggles he was facing.  He was so ungrateful and had a sense of entitlement that enraged me.  Then there is how her storyline ended.  Seriously?  I was left is killing me to know how that would have evolved!  Could there be a sequel???

It is my understanding that there are characters in this story from some of Mapson's other works.  I think that if I had read them that  may have had a clearer understanding of how they fit in to story as some of the characters felt random i.e. Delores, Peter's father....  That being said I could still enjoy this story on its own.

Overall a solid read.  I will be keeping an eye out for other work by Mapson and hopefully there is or will be a story that adresses the loose ends of Margarets story!

About the Author
Jo-Ann Mapson, a third generation Californian, grew up in Fullerton as a middle child with four siblings. She dropped out of college to marry, but later finished a creative writing degree at California State University, Long Beach. Following her son's birth in 1978, Mapson worked an assortment of odd jobs teaching horseback riding, cleaning houses, typing resumes, and working retail. After earning a graduate degree from Vermont College's low residency program, she taught at Orange Coast College for six years before turning to full-time writing in 1996. Mapson is the author of the acclaimed novels Shadow Ranch, Blue Rodeo, Hank Chloe, and Loving Chloe."The land is as much a character as the people," Mapson has said. Whether writing about the stark beauty of a California canyon or the poverty of an Arizona reservation, Mapson's landscapes are imbued with life. Setting her fiction in the Southwest, Mapson writes about a region that she knows well; after growing up in California and living for a time in Arizona and NewMexico, Mapson lives today in Cosa Mesa, California. She attributes her focus on setting to the influence of Wallace Stegner. Like many of her characters, Mapson has ridden horses since she was a child. She owns a 35-year-old Appaloosa and has said that she learned about writing from learning to jump her horse, Tonto. "I realized," she said, "that the same thing that had been wrong with my riding was the same thing that had been wrong with my writing. In riding there is a term called `the moment of suspension,' when you're over the fence, just hanging in the air. I had to give myself up to it, let go, trust the motion. Once I got that right, everything fell into place."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reviewing my book. I live in New Mexico now, with my wonderful husband and 4 Italian greyhounds.