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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Embracing the Lemonade Life by Sandra Sookoo

Embracing the Lemonade Life by Sandra Sookoo
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (63 Pages)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Fennel

Clara Tildon, a cancer survivor, has no time for defeatism. She’s opened up the Cute as a Button B & B in Bridgewater, Indiana, and along with her guinea pig, is embracing the lemonade lifestyle. Everything is perfect, except for the nagging sensation that she would still like to fall in love.

Jake Yates has returned to Bridgewater, the town he grew up in, for his friend’s wedding and he’s not happy about it. The people of Bridgewater can keep their small town life, it’s in his past and that’s where he intends it to stay. Even loneliness can’t make him reconsider his decisions.

A chance meeting. A fleeting kiss. Suddenly two polar opposites get a unique chance at love. But can Clara give up living in the moment long enough to see Jake as an opportunity she needs to plan for? Can Jake alter his well-laid plans to fit Clara in his life? Or will they both let love get away?

In this month of Cancer Awareness, Sandra Sookoo’s Embracing the Lemonade Life, encompasses the subject with skill and compassion. Her heroine, Clara, is in remission when Jake comes into her life and kicks the jacks from beneath her ‘live for the moment’ philosophy.

The owner of the small-town bed-and-breakfast, Clara fled from the city to a place where she’d find community support and friendship, and it’s not long before Jake discovers she’s treasured by the locals. The same locals and environment he fled when he left school and found success in the city.

This author uses Jake’s ignorance of Clara’s illness to inform her readers of the profound effects of living with cancer. Information readers may ‘know’ about from general information. By using Jake’s point of view and creating such a powerful empathy for her heroine, Ms Sookoo's skillful presentation of the medical information and its impact on a patient and their loved ones influenced this reader.

Clara and Jake have their faults and their fears. The secondary characters, tiny though their on-stage appearances are, have a definite impact on them both, influencing their actions and assumptions.

Ms. Sookoo’s fluent writing style entices. Her gift to create intense emotions and visual settings drew this reader in to such an extent that returning to reality at the end of the story was mind-jerking. And yet around the serious message the author offers many laugh-aloud moments.

Her depiction of Jake’s journey from disillusionment to sharing Clara’s belief in ‘living for the moment’ is handled with great compassion.

For Clara, Ms Sookoo teaches her to accept help from those who love and care for her instead of assuming they are acting out of sympathy.

In Embracing The Lemonade Life the author takes a hard-hitting subject and weaves a tender tale of love, hope, and joy that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.