Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky

Blueprints

by Barbara Delinsky

 

Publisher: Piatkus

Publishing Date: 25th February 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 512

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover

 

 Synopsis:

Home is where the heart is … but what happens when a mother and daughter are forced to question everything they thought they knew about themselves? Don’t miss the next novel from beloved bestselling author Barbara Delinsky, who „combines her understanding of human nature with absorbing, unpredictable storytelling (Publishers Weekly)” in ways that no reader will soon forget.

Jamie MacAfee’s life is almost perfect. She loves her fiancée, even if she hasn’t quite worked out why she won’t set a wedding date and she certainly adores her job, working as an architect on their family home renovation show. Meanwhile, her beloved mother Caroline has built up her confidence after a painful divorce, working closely alongside her daughter as the very successful host of Gut It!. Everything is going to plan, until the lives of both women are changed overnight.

When the TV network plan to replace Caroline with Jamie as the show’s host, Caroline is left feeling horribly betrayed – and old in the eyes of the world. Then tragedy strikes, leaving Jamie guardian to her small orphaned step-brother and fiancée to a man who doesn’t want the child.

Rating: 3/5

 

„Blueprints” is my first read by Barbara Delinsky, I am totally new to this author, though I can see she has a great list of books already, and a great bunch of committed fans. I was really looking forward to reading this book, as I truly liked the sound of it, and you know how much I like discovering new – to me – authors. I will be really happy to read her other works in the future.

I think I guess what the author wanted to achieve here, showing the women all independent and providing for themselves, unfortunately, it didn’t work so much in the story, as they usually achieved their goals with the help, either of their mum or a man. Wherever they went, the men went with, and it started to frustrate me a little, as they were totally capable of achieving everything on their own. Then Jamie, who suddenly landed as a stay – at – home mum, immediately started to appreciate such mums, but the first thing she did was to find a baby – sitter.

I really like a pace in a book, but the situations here seemed to be like an avalanche, when one thing happened, hundred more were coming as well, and it was too much, too quick, as you didn’t have time to process one event, with the next already happening. Sometimes, you know, less is more, especially when the writing style was so soapy – opera-ish. I had a feeling that when I turn the page a new drama is going to happen, and I was a little overwhelmed with this all. Moreover, it was mostly too far – fetched for my liking, and also the dialogues didn’t help – they were so predictable, and so choppy sometimes.

The characters find themselves in many new situations and even though sometimes I didn’t support their decisions, they did deal with them in the way that they thought was best for them. They needed to made up some very important decisions, decisions that were not so obvious and not so easy, and I liked those parts of the book. I couldn’t warm to the male characters in this story – they were the stereotyped bread – winners, they wanted to decide about everything and nothing could happen without them. For me they were like pashas, the alfa – males, and it was so, so, so predictable! But there was also a good thing in the characters, especially Jamie, who at the beginning seemed to have it all, to have everything under control, orderly, and then suddenly, out of the blue, her situation changed totally – I liked to see how she was coming to terms with those changes.

Sadly, somehow I couldn’t get into this book, to connect with the characters as much as I’d like. I was overwhelmed with the flowery writing style, with the descriptions, with the not so realistic dialogues, stereotyped characters, predictability and drama, baby, drama. On the other hand, I enjoyed the book, as I enjoyed the strong bond between the family and the main message in this story that was to show what’s really important in our lives. So yes, I am a little torn, am a little in two minds.

What I liked in the book is that the author has brilliantly captured the strong bond between Jamie and Caroline. They are not only mother and daughter, but they are best friends, and this relationship is so natural and genuine. Also, Ms Delinsky shows cracks and problems in this relationship, which makes it even more honest, because no relationship is flawless, and also shows how to overcome the problems and stay strong for each other.

The story touches upon some important issues, such as loyalty or ageism, but mostly it’s about family and love, and it also explores the challenges the working women must face, no matter if at home or at work. It shows Jamie, trying to find her own feet in a totally new and a very unexpected situation, it shows Caroline coming to terms with superstitions and stereotypes, and their story of friendship and love. It is about changes and , in fact, the saying if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans would really suit this storyline. Altogether, not this what I was expecting but interesting read.

 

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

The Woman Who Upped and Left by Fiona Gibson

Oh, guys! I am so excited to be kicking off Blog Tour for Fiona Gibson’s brand new shiny novel, „The Woman Who Upped and Left„. And what a brilliant Blog Tour it is! There will be cooking, baking, talking about the book… Just sit back comfortably, enjoy and follow the blog tour!

When the lovely Helena asked people if they want to join the Blog Tour, I didn’t hesitate – I love Fiona Gibson and her novels. But this time the lovely Helena also asked if people want to do something different – namely, the main character in the book, Audrey, goes on a cooking course, and not any normal cooking course, but in French cuisine. The course is supposed to change her life – did it? Well, you must read the book and see! Nevertheless, there are some lovely recipes in the story, and the idea was that the bloggers will cook them. I thought, oh hell, why not, lovely Helena, send me my recipe before I change my mind (I thought, mmmm, maybe some delicious lemon tarte? But NO MUSSELS. NO MUSSELS please. Though knowing my luck those were going to be mussels that I should cook). But then my recipe came. Those were NOT MUSSELS. Here is what I cooked.

Soupe à l’oignon

Everyone knows cheese and onion are made for each other . . .

Ingredients

90g unsalted butter

8 onions, finely sliced

2 tbsp plain flour

6 tbsp red wine

150ml white wine

1 tsp sugar

4 slices baguette

2 tbsp olive oil

150g cheese, grated

Method

• Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently sauté the onions until soft and translucent.

• In a heatproof jug, mix the wines and 1.5 litres of boiling water.

• Sprinkle the onions with flour and stir, then pour the liquid over the onions and stir again.

• Simmer gently for 15–20 minutes, skimming any impurities from the surface. Add a little more boiling water if your soup is looking too thick. Add the sugar and season to taste.

• To make the croutons, rub one side of the baguette slices with olive oil and sprinkle with grated cheese. Grill until bubbling.

• Pour the soup into bowls, float the croutons on top and enjoy.

I have never before cooked or ate onion soup, so I was a little sceptical. Nevertheless, I prepared everything and started cooking. And guys, believe me, it was one of the easiest recipes in my life (I love cooking. And baking), and the soup tasted delicious! (PS. Aren’t those images GEORGEOUS??? Aren’t they? And they are made by Fiona Gibson herself! I love them!).

Of course I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t change something, but it is cooking, not baking, where you must follow the recipe exactly, and even with my changes the soup was brilliant. Très bon! And voilà!