Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe – Jennie Shortridge
From the back cover -
Mira Serafino can see the headlines: Girl Scout-Leading, Homeless-Feeding, Science Teacher of the Year Goes on Wild Rampage of Sex, Drinking, and Drugs. Well, let her small town of Pacifica, Oregon, think what it will. Forty-five-year-old Mira – the obedient daughter, the supermom, the loyal wife – has left the building since learning that her college-sweetheart husband has been seeing another woman.
Mira’s perfect world is shattered, and she wants no one, least of all her big Italian family, to know. She heads north – with no destination and little money – stopping only when her car breaks down in Seattle. She takes a job at the offbeat Coffee Shop at the Center of the Universe, where she’ll experience a scary but invigorating freedom, and meet someone she’ll come to love: the new Mira…
My thoughts -
This is one of those books that I would plan to read at some point, but probably wouldn’t make a priority, and consequently I would lose it on my TBR shelves. Which is such a shame, and which is why I’m SO glad that I had the opportunity to be a tour host for TLC Book tours so that I could make this book a priority… because I loved it!
From the moment I picked up the book, Ms. Shortridge’s fabulous story telling pulled me into the book immediately and I had no interest in doing anything besides finish the novel. I loved the character of Mira, and I found myself really pulling for her throughout the book. I wanted so badly for her to “find herself” and figure out what would make her happy, and what would make her realize that just being yourself and following your passion is the best thing you can do for yourself and for those around you. And mostly, I just wanted her to finally be honest with herself and stop feeling like she had to be so perfect all of the time. Interestingly enough, I saw bits of myself in Mira, as I’m sure many women do, especially those of us who are people-pleasers by nature.
I also found myself caring deeply for Mira’s daughter Thea. Speaking of Thea, does anyone know how to pronounce her name? Is it exactly as it looks, like Theee-uhhh, or is it more exotic, like Tay-uhhh? I’d love to know, really, as I hate when I can’t say the words or names in books accurately in my head. Anyway. Thea was a great character, and I really felt her frustration at both of her parents and the I could feel isolation that she felt. She just wanted both of her parents to love and accept one another, and more importantly, she wanted them to love and accept her as she was, and it hurt her when her mother left and didn’t explain why. I did feel like Thea was a little too hard on Mira without even trying to understand her point of view, but I did see why she was so frustrated with her mother and not at all patient with her. Overall, both Mira and Thea were great characters that I could really relate to.
I think the plot of the novel was also sketched out perfectly. The way Mira did just the right amount of rebelling while she was in Seattle, the way her family and friends were upset with her but also understanding and gave her the space she needed, and the way that the ending played out, all of it was just wonderful. I really loved this book and I can’t recommend it enough. Such a fun, but also deep and heartwarming book that will really keep you turning its pages.
I cannot say thank you enough to the lovely ladies at TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book! Check out the rest of the tour stops for Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe:
Saturday, November 1st: Estella’s Revenge e-zine (author interview)
Monday, November 3rd: Booking Mama (review)
Tuesday, November 4th: Booking Mama- (author guest post)
Wednesday, November 5th: She is Too Fond of Books
Friday, November 7th: Curly Wurly Gurly (contest for a $15 Starbucks or other coffeshop gift card!)
Friday, November 7th: Curly Wurly Gurly (review)
Monday, November 10th: Fizzy Thoughts
Wednesday, November 12th: Tripping Toward Lucidity
Friday, November 14th: Literarily
Monday, November 17th: Shelf Life
Wednesday, November 19th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Friday, November 21st: Bookshipper
Monday, November 24th: Minds Alive on the Shelves
Sunday, November 30th: B & b ex libris