Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Review: Athena

I apologize for having a late blog today.  I went to see Les Miserables with my husband and I was completely blown away.  Hugh Jackman was amazing.  I don't think I've been pulled through a movie with that sort of emotion in a very long time.  I truly loved it.  

Then I ran to the store to grab a few more things for our New Year's Eve party and it was a madhouse!  The lines were long, the people were cranky (especially the lady barreling toward me with a phone to her ear and a cart in her hands that could have run me down!).  

But now I'm home and I finally have a moment to sit. I wanted to tell you about the last book I read in 2012.  Athena by Heather Moore is the final book in the series of four that tells us about the Newport Ladies Book Club.  This one gives us an in-depth look at the life of Athena who has seemed to be the most distant of the group so far, but this novel shows us how complicated her life truly is.  She owns an online magazine, she has a mom who wants her to get married and when she breaks up with her longtime boyfriend, her mom sets her up on blind dates hoping Athena will find a nice Greek boy.  She finds some solace in joining a book club and doing a few spontaneous things until an accident turns her life upside down and everything she ever thought about herself comes into question as she's pushed to her limits and beyond.

I loved the character growth in Athena and how real she felt.  I loved her insecurity and confusion and how she allowed herself to finally rely on someone besides herself.  I think the best part of this book, however, and one that sets it apart from the other three, was the romance.  It was so well done and truly showcases Heather Moore's talent in writing complex relationships.  From the first meeting to the slow build it is toe-curlingly good.  I loved our hero, I loved how he was with our heroine, and I loved the ending.  I think this one will go on my keeper shelf for sure, to be pulled out on rainy days when I want to re-read my favorite parts.

Here's the back copy:

Self-proclaimed bachelorette Athena Di Jasper is at the top of her game. Her online magazine is thriving, and she’s in a comfortably static relationship, free of the kind of commitment that could lead to marriage she’s seen her parents rocky union, and it’s not for her. When her on-again, off-again boyfriend Karl wants to move their relationship to the next commitment level, Athena’s obvious dismay leads him to challenge her workaholic tendencies. His accusation is true: she hasn’t even paused to read a novel in years. Determined to prove Karl wrong, Athena takes a break from her hectic schedule to peruse a used bookstore, where she meets Grey, the intriguing and single proprietor. Her quest for change and her desire to see more of Grey leads Athena to stray from her to-do list and join the Newport Ladies Book Club. 

When Athena’s world is turned upside down by a family tragedy, she’s left to care for her terminally ill father. Juggling the demands of attending to an ailing parent and running her business, Athena comes to value the friendships of the book-club members, and she finds herself relying more and more on Grey’s support. When she stumbles across an old shoebox in her mother’s closet, she’s stunned by its contents, which hold unexpected truths about her parents relationship. As Athena delves into a past that defies her judgment about her parents’ marriage, she is forced to reevaluate her views on life and love.


Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks for the kind review, Julie! So glad you enjoyed the book!

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

You did such a great job, Heather! :)