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March 6, 2016

THE HOUSE ON PRIMROSE POND by Yona Zeldis McDonough


THE HOUSE ON PRIMROSE POND
by
Yona Zeldis McDonough

 


BOOK DETAILS
(from NightOwl Reviews)

  • Number: 9780451475381
  • Release: February 2, 2016
  • Author: Yona Zeldis McDonough
  • Availability: Print-Book
  • Genre: Mainstream
  • Tags: Women's Fiction
  • Publisher: NAL

A compelling novel about one woman’s search for the truth from the author of You Were Meant For Me. After suffering a sudden, traumatic loss, historical novelist Susannah Gilmore decides to uproot her life—and the lives of her two children—and leave their beloved Brooklyn for the little town of Eastwood, New Hampshire. While the trio adjusts to their new surroundings, Susannah is captivated by an unexpected find in her late parents’ home: an unsigned love note addressed to her mother, in handwriting that is most definitely not her father’s. Reeling from the thought that she never really knew her mother, Susannah finds mysteries everywhere she looks: in her daughter’s friendship with an older neighbor, in a charismatic local man to whom she’s powerfully drawn, and in an eighteenth century crime she’s researching for her next book. Compelled to dig into her mother’s past, Susannah discovers even more secrets, ones that surpass any fiction she could ever put to paper...

 
AUTHOR
Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of seven novels for adults: THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS, IN DAHLIA'S WAKE, BREAKING THE BANK (which has been optioned for a film), A WEDDING IN GREAT NECK, TWO OF A KIND, YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME, and THE HOUSE ON PRIMROSE POND, which came out on February 2, 2016. And for all those New Hampshire natives who happen upon the book, please know that she is fully aware that the state flower is purple lilac, and not lavender, as it states on page 8! How this mistake found its way into the novel is still a mystery, and she apologizes profusely for it!

She is also an award-winning children's book author with 26 children's books to her credit. THE DOLL SHOP DOWNSTAIRS received a starred review from Jewish Book World saying that it "will become a classic." In another starred review Kirkus called the sequel, THE CATS IN THE DOLL SHOP, "a quiet treasure." THE DOLL WITH THE YELLOW STAR won the 2006 Once Upon a World Award presented by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Yona has also written several books in the popular WHO WAS series, including WHO WAS HARRIET TUBMAN? which has sold over 400,000 copies and is the most popular title in the series. Her newest book for children, THE BICYCLE SPY, will be out from Scholastic in September 2016. Set in war-torn France, it tells the story of a brave boy who helps save a Jewish friend by riding his bicycle and delivering messages to Resistance members.

For over a dozen years, Yona has been the Fiction Editor at Lilith Magazine. She works independently to help aspiring writers polish their manuscripts. To arrange a book club visit, inquire about editorial services or just to say hi, please contact Yona via her website: www.yonazeldismcdonough.com or on the Facebook fan pages for her novels, which she hopes you'll "like."

FROM YONA:

When I was young, I didn't think about becoming a writer. In fact, I was determined to become a ballerina, because I studied ballet for many years, and by the time I was in high school, I was taking seven ballet classes a week. But I was always a big reader. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and I used to frequent all the different libraries in my neighborhood on a regular basis. I would look for books by authors I loved. I read my favorite books--ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, A LITTLE PRINCESS, A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN--over and over again. I probably read each of those books twenty times in all. I read lots of other things too: I loved comic books and magazines, like Mad and Seventeen. But when you are reader, you just need to read. Sometimes you read books that change your life, like OF MICE AND MEN, which I read--and adored-- when I was in sixth grade. Other times, you read the latest adventures of Betty and Veronica. You'll read a three-day old newspaper some days or the back of the cereal box if that's all that there is available, because readers just need to read. So I kept reading, and I kept dancing too, though by the time I was a senior in high school, it was pretty clear to me that I was neither talented nor driven enough to become a professional ballet dancer and I stopped taking lessons and went off to college instead.


As a student at Vassar College, I never once took a writing course. I was not accepted into the poetry workshop I applied to, so I avoided all other writing classes, and instead focused on literature, language and art history, which was my declared major. I was so taken with the field that I decided to pursue my studies on a graduate level. I enrolled in a PhD program at Columbia University where I have to confess that I was miserable. I didn't like the teachers, the students or the classes. I found graduate school the antithesis of undergraduate education; while the latter encouraged experimentation, growth, expansion, the former seemed to demand a kind of narrowing of focus and a rigidity that was simply at odds with my soul. It was like business school without the reward of a well-paying job at the end. Everyone carried a briefcase. I too bought a briefcase, but since I mostly used it to tote my lunch and the NYT crossword puzzle, it didn't do much for my success as a grad student. But I have to thank the program at Columbia for being so very inhospitable, because it helped nudge me out of academia, where I so patently did not belong, and into a different kind of life. I was allowed to take classes in other departments, and by now I was recovered from my earlier rejection so I decided to take a fiction writing class--also, the class was open to anyone; I didn't have to submit work to be accepted. This class was my 'aha!' moment. The light bulb went off for me when I took that class. Suddenly, I understood what I wanted to do with my life. Now I just had to find a way to make a living while I did it.


I finished out the year at Columbia, got a job in which I had no interest whatsoever, and began to look for any kind of freelance writing that I could find. In the beginning, I wrote for very little money or even for free: I wrote for neighborhood newspapers, the alumni magazine of my college. I wrote brochures, book reviews, newsletters--anything and everything that anyone would ask me to write. I did this for a long time and eventually, it worked. I was able to be a little choosier about what I wrote, and for whom I wrote it. And I was able to use my clips to persuade editors to actually assign me articles and stories, instead of my having to write them and hope I could get then published.
But all the while I was also writing the kind of fiction--short stories, a novel--that had interested me when I was still a student at Columbia. And eventually I began to publish this work too.

I presently live in Brooklyn, NY with my husband and our two children and two small, yappy dogs. I have been setting my recent novels in my own backyard so to speak; Brooklyn has been fertile ground in all sorts of ways.


REVIEW
This is one of those books that as you turn each page you think you know what's next.  Well you don't.   The author catches you by surprise at the turn of every page with something new and different.  As you read, the characters past come to light. Susannah's life as she now knows it is going to totally change. She is all of a sudden grief stricken when the love of her life, her husband, is killed. She then decides to move to the town she grew up in, Brooklyn and move to Eastwood, New Hampshire. She is by herself with her two children. One of the children blames her for their father's death. Susannah is on a roller coaster and is trying hard to start that new life. The minute you open the book and start reading you'll be taking that journey with Susannah to places you never knew existed. Family, is full of strange creatures. There are secrets, some dark and deep, there are lies mysteries, love and dreams.  The people you think you know, do you really know them?  No one truly does.  You don't want to lay down the book.  You want to continue the journey with Susannah. She becomes like your new best friend. So grab yourself a copy and journey with Susannah from Brooklyn to Eastwood.  This book is a keeper for your shelf or for your Kindle, to read and re-read. Hoping this author has more for us in the future.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, Yona Zeldis McDonough and NightOwl Reviews in exchange for my unbiased view.   No other compensation took place.

I would give this book 4. 5 STARS.
 



LINKS
 

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