Arts and Entertainment, Books, Fiction

Pemberton Manor: The Waiting Woman by Becky Doughty

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Pemberton Manor: The Waiting Woman: A Serial Novel – Episode 04 by Becky Doughty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Stella has essentially been waiting in isolation for too long, as if she’s put her life on hold during her later years. But when she witnesses an incident outside of her apartment that, unfortunately, is all too familiar, a crime will lead to her chance to move forward again in Pemberton Manor: The Waiting Woman by author Becky Doughty.

Okay, so for a while there, I almost suspected that Stella might turn out to be a minor character in her own story, serving mostly as a supporting backdrop for the ongoing activity of other Pemberton people. Not that I’m not interested in the other Pemberton people, since I’m happily invested in all of these folks, but I was still pleased to see Stella’s story take a more definite place on center stage, after a bit.

This installment manages to be a little complex, a little more heartbreaking, and also redemptive and fun—not all at the same time, but at the right times. I could empathize with Stella on a couple of different levels, and a part of her past all but sent my stomach plummeting to the floor. *Gasp.* Ouch.

I had some trouble getting a handle on the episode’s flow in places, and a few of the scenes felt a tad long to me. (Ironic, I know, since it’s only about sixty pages of reading.) I also wasn’t that excited to see a returning character in a victim role, since that Pemberton person has already gotten a good amount of that in an earlier episode or two.

Nevertheless, after the inspiring “What are you waiting for?” message in this episode, I’m quite content to be a waiting woman, patiently awaiting the continuation of this serial novel. (That might be kind of ironic too, but, oh well.)

__________________

If you’re new to the Manor, you’ll want to check out the first episode, The Goodbye Girl.

  

 

Arts and Entertainment, Books, Fiction

Pemberton Manor: The Faithful Father by Becky Doughty

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Pemberton Manor: The Faithful Father: A Serial Novel Episode 03 by Becky Doughty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Harvey can never undo his rash and grave mistake for which he, and his son, have been paying a costly price. Harvey’s penance is part of the bargain he made with God to deal with all this, but penance may not be what’s needed now. It may just be the time for some Grace in Pemberton Manor: The Faithful Father by author Becky Doughty.

Good gracious, I’m sure it’d be impossible to encounter the misfits in this manor and not have them grow on you, one by one. This third episode of the Pemberton Manor serial novel manages to strike a variety of critical chords in a short period of time. Yes, much of that is due to the way the first two episodes set the stage for this one, but Harvey’s story delivers—especially with its message on bargaining with God.

And, Grace! More Grace Winters. All the Grace Winters. I love her!

Now, speaking of setting the stage, I do feel this installment takes care of foundational stuff to set up something big that will happen, but we don’t really get to experience the fullness of it here. It’s one of the drawbacks of a serial, and the reason why I usually wait until a serial novel is complete before I dive in.

But I got started on this journey and can’t stop, won’t stop, now. That is, yes, I’m stopping to wait on the next episode, but I’m not unhappy about it, since these characters and their intertwining stories are so on point.

_______________

You’ll want to start Pemberton Manor from the beginning! Here’s my review of The Goodbye Girl.

 

 

Arts and Entertainment, Authors, Books, Fiction

Pemberton Manor: The Moon Mother by Becky Doughty

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Pemberton Manor: The Moon Mother: A Serial Novel by Becky Doughty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Lucy Farnsworth is in rather dire straits, but she’s determined to protect and provide for herself, her young daughter, and her unborn baby. However, when a fellow resident of Pemberton Manor reports a disturbing incident at Lucy’s apartment, it could put her desperate situation on blast in Pemberton Manor: The Moon Mother by author Becky Doughty.

And here I am, a reader who doesn’t “do” serial novels until she has all the episodes, going along on this Pemberton Manor journey strictly because she trusts this author. The first episode, The Goodbye Girl, certainly whet my appetite for this, and I wasn’t disappointed.

There’s something endearing about this manor, this apartment building full of misfits, even though I haven’t met all the misfits yet. Even in Lucy’s weakness, her courage is evident. And, seriously, the way she conducts herself in the midst of the mess she’s in had me calling her Wonder Woman—as I’m sure motherhood has a way of revealing the Wonder in many a Woman.

I’ve found such a richness and realness in much of this author’s writing, and this installment of Pemberton Manor is no exception. It’s with all virtue of patience (and anticipation!) that I’m looking forward to the next episode.

________________

And now here’s my review of the next episode, Pemberton Manor: The Faithful Father.

  

 

Arts and Entertainment, Authors, Books, Fiction

Pemberton Manor: The Goodbye Girl by Becky Doughty

womens-fiction-books

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book, for which I’ve given an honest review, from the author.

Five Gold Stars

Pemberton Manor: The Goodbye Girl: A Serial Novel – Episode 01 by Becky Doughty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Grace Winters is by no means petite. And perhaps when her fairly big foot accidentally steps on the toes of an apparently pompous August Jones in an antique elevator, he deserves it. But it just may be Grace’s luck (or something else?) when she, August, and a couple of Pemberton Manor residents get stuck in this elevator on Christmas Eve in Pemberton Manor: The Goodbye Girl by author Becky Doughty.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that, as a rule, I don’t do serialized novels. That is, I don’t do them until all the serials are published and I can just read the complete book. Reading a good story in pieces makes me feel teased and impatient.

But I’ll also be the first to admit, as I have before, that I’m up for reading any fiction with this author’s name on it, and The Goodbye Girl was here and waiting. So I broke my own rule to read it and may have to return to the rule later, as I enjoyed this prequel so much that I’m already ready for the next Pemberton Manor installment.

I found this novella funny and distinctly touching, with such an understanding of human nature. And I love this Grace heroine, how compassionate, flawed, and grown she is. Yes, at a pivotal point in the story, I said to myself, “See, that’s what a heroine does when she’s not a self-centered little girl at heart. When she’s grown.” And the story closes–it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger or anything, but it certainly whet my appetite to meet more of the Manor’s misfits.

The fact that it’s also a wonderful Christmas story is a bonus. So although I could see myself reading it at any time of the year, I’m glad I read it this week.

_________________

Here’s my review of the second Pemberton Manor episode, The Moon Mother.