I posted this first in December 2017 on my old blog:
Yes, I know, we are just after Christmas and all have a ton of books to read but well, there are books that you just need to know about and this is one of them:
by Jacqueline Cioffa
It is the second book in Cioffa’s “Vast Landscape” series and even though I needed a bit to get into the whole story it has captivated me entirely. And not only because the main character is a redhead. But the particulars first:
Editions: Kindle, Paperback
Published: February 1st, 2015 & January 31st, 2015
Genre: Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Source: Review Copy
In summer I had one of my reading waves and thought I could review a book a week. So I contacted both Social Kate formerly known as Book Tour Tips and Butterfly-O-Meter and offered my “services” again. This is one book I signed up for with Kate, however, it needed a while until I got the review copy and until I got myself to read it too. By the time it arrived in my inbox my reading wave was over. Darn…. sorry.
I wish I had read Georgia Pine earlier and I wish I’d known the first book too. It certainly is on my reading list for 2018.
The reasons I had trouble to get into the book are two-fold. Firstly “Georgia Pine” is somehow a story in a story in a story. You meet Frankie the special needs fictional author of “The Vast Landscape” the first book in the series. She has serious attitude issues which is the second reason why I could not get into the book. She had lost both her legs as a five-year-old and her mother just recently. She is in a deep depression and just can’t get herself out of it.
Then she meets Opal via a fan letter. Opal would like to know how the family in “The Vast Landscape” got on because it gave her hope that her life could get better. That gets Frankie out of her funk and she starts writing again about Georgia, her late grandmother Harrison and the rest of the family.
Jacqueline Cioffa’s writing style is fast and I just could not keep up at the beginning. And I just could not get what Frankie (who was called X in the beginning) and Opal had to do with “Georgia Pine”. But I am a stubborn reader and there are not many books that I did not read to the end no matter how many problems I had with them. So I kept on and when I met Georgia I was hooked.
Somehow, the story quietens at that point. I liked her character from the beginning not only because she is a redhead but because she is stubborn, caring and she had a close relationship with her grandmother. Her grandmother was a strong and eccentric person and even though my grandmother was no actress Harrison fully reminded me of her. We were close too and so Georgia’s story reflected something of my own experience.
In the end, all three Frankie, Opal and Georgia have grown close to my heart and I just so wished all their stories would have been a book each. It felt to me like there was just not enough space for their pain, their ways of surviving and their ways of making a life for themselves. Three strong female characters who deserve to be fully explored and not “just” passed along in one story. I want to know much more about all three of them.
Looking back now “Georgia Pine” is a story about loss. Loss in general but mostly the loss of very close people. I believe that is one of the most scarring experiences in a person’s life. It is a little like losing a piece of yourself and I suspect the way you deal with that determines what sort of person you become. However, Jacqueline Cioffa deals with this issue in an enormously compassionate way. Her characters experience pain fully but they do not give up. They find a way to make something out of that pain in sometimes rather peculiar ways. But that is the charm of the book.
Cioffa allowed Georgia and her family to have the refuge of The Cove where life has its own rhythms and in a way is its own universe. The Cove is a magical place. You wish you could go there too. However, the Cove doesn’t allow you to hide forever. It gives Georgia and her family the chance to heal and then go back out to a new life in the knowledge they can come back any time to find peace and healing. And that is exactly what all of them do. They go and live and make a difference for others. And that is another reason why this book is so captivating. But I believe it is also the reason why Frankie and Opal go and make a new life for themselves too.
All in all, this was an exciting reading experience especially because it was not easy for me to get into the story. It was a little like searching for pearls in a ton of oysters. I persisted and found not only one perl but three.
Please do not miss “Georgia Pine” but start with “The Vast Landscape” to get the full joy of the story.
Jacqueline Cioffa. Feminist. Mental Health Advocate. Poet. Activist. Dog Lover. Model. Celebrity Make Up Artist. Stone Crab Enthusiast. Humanitarian. Author of the poignant soul stirring saga, “The Vast Landscape” and “Georgia Pine,” Jacqueline’s work has also been widely featured in numerous literary magazines, and anthologies. She’s a storyteller, observer, truth teller, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world. She believes passionately in using her voice to advocate to help and inspire others. Look for her column, “Bleeding Ink” with Feminine Collective, or visit jacquelinecioffa.com.
AUTHOR SITE: http://jacquelinecioffa.com
BLEEDING INK WITH FEMININE COLLECTIVE: http://www.femininecollective.com/jacqueline-cioffa/
AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00H4EZKVE