FTC FYI: I bought my own copy. I love this series!
Paige is the third book in The Newport Ladies Book Club series.Let me remind you what makes this series so unique.
About the Series:
I knew a lot about Paige from reading the first two books, Olivia and Daisy. I knew the facts, but had to prepare myself for the emotions that would come from reading this book. You see, Paige is the story of a single, LDS, working Mom. That also describes my life right now. Author Annette Lyon captures all of the ups and downs of being a single Mom. I have to admit that I cried a lot as I read this book. The most gut-wrenching scene in the book takes place at Christmas time. Paige has to send her two young sons,(by court order) back to Colorado, with their father and his snooty wife for two weeks.As her boys drive off for two weeks, she breaks down in. That feeling of utter helplessness is so heartrendingly portrayed in Annette's writing...
"Letting them drive away was the single hardest thing I'd ever done in my life. I stood there next to my car, watching. I couldn't leave with Doug's truck still in the parking lot; I waited until he pulled out,Carol in the passenger seat, the boys crying. Nate's eyes had a look of pure terror in them; he reached his arms out to me, tears streaking his face. Shawn cried too, only softer. His lower lip quivered, a few tears plopped onto his cheeks, and through the window he mouthed, "Don't go." If a judge hadn't ordered me to do it, I never could have. I tried hard to smile and wave, but there was no way I could keep the tears back anymore. I sobbed, but I smiled through my tears, worried the boys would see them. Doug tossed a wave my way direction while Carol fiddled with the stereo-likely to drown out the sounds of the boys crying. Heartless woman. You'd better not hurt my boys."
There are so many scenes where the heartache of divorce is portrayed. For those of us that have lived through this, it hurts to read. But at the same time, I like to read books that truly show how it is to be a single Mom trying to raise their kids. Bravo Annette for writing this so well! I know that she did good research to get this so right.
Every Newport Ladies Book Club book I read, I love these fictional women even more. Every book has given us new insight into their personalities and reasons for their actions.There is a lot more talk about Latter Day Saint Values, since Paige is the only member of her church in the book club. But, you will see that this is a beacon of light in her life as she has to make important choices for her and her sons. Paige is another great addition to this series!
I was so happy when Author Annette Lyon said that she would answer some questions for my readers. Here is the interview I did with her.
1. Did you ever think that you would be involved in a writing project like The Newport ladies Book Club?
Never. Maybe because I’d never seen anything quite like it done before. I’d collaborated on smaller things, but with just one person, not with a group of four. For that matter, I don’t think any of us understood the complexity of what we were trying to do until it was done. We were just trying to do our best work with a cool idea, and happened to have fun in the process. In hindsight, I’m amazed it worked out so well. So many things could have gone wrong but didn't.
2. What process did you go through to write the character Paige?
In what ways did you relate to her?
Paige ended up being the token Latter-day Saint in the group. When I knew I’d be writing about her, I wanted her to have a conflict that related strongly to her faith. The Church is extremely family focused—with good reason—but I’ve seen women struggling after a divorce and years into single motherhood. I thought that would be a powerful conflict to delve into.
The biggest way I relate to Paige is probably the way many of her readers do—as a mother. Her children are her greatest joys, the reason she works as hard as she does, and even her greatest source of guilt. They’re the sun of her solar system; everything revolves around them—at least, until it doesn't. I love that Paige finds her real self again, and how that, in turn, makes her a better mom. It’s a great paradox I can relate to.
3. How did you grow as a writer working on this novel?
The novel I wrote just before Paige was Band of Sisters, my first attempt at a story that had no romantic element and was strictly women’s fiction. Paige is women’s fiction too, although very different in many ways from Band of Sisters. I wasn't exactly confident that I could do the genre well yet.
The great thing is that I had three of my best friends around me, cheering me on, giving me ideas, and keeping me motivated—even handing me entire scenes to rework. The process taught me to see plot structure and character development in a new way—I had to, because four stories relied on it. As a writer, that became huge, because big-picture structure is still one of the things I consciously work on.
4. What did you "learn" from Paige? What did you hope the reader learned or went away with after reading Paige?
That we can never truly know what someone else is thinking or going through. We don’t know how our words can help or hurt or inspire. I knew that judging others is impossible—at least, I did on an intellectual level—but the Newport Ladies Book Club hammered the concept home. We really don’t know. Really. More, we don’t know how our actions or words can influence other women we come in contact with, and that’s often for the good. Livvy, Daisy, and Athena each did and said things that helped Paige in one way or another, but they may never have fully understood how much of an impact they had.
5. What character will you be writing next in the series?
My next character is Ilana. I had an inkling of an idea about who she was and what she struggled with before, so I planted a clue or two in the first set of books. Writing Ilana has been another powerful experience for me.
6. You once again did such a great job writing a novel. How many have you written now? What do you hope to accomplish next as a writer?
Thank you so much! How many have I written, or how many have I published? (I’ll save us all by not counting the manuscripts that will never see the light of day.) Paige is my 8th novel and 9th book with Covenant (the other being my cookbook, Chocolate Never Faileth). I self-published a grammar guide and a middle-grade fantasy. In January, Band of Sisters: Coming Home (the sequel!) will round the number to a dozen books published, with other fun stuff in between like a Romance short story anthology released this month.
As for what’s next: after nearly 20 years of writing seriously, I feel like I have finally landed in my niche with women’s fiction. I joke that maybe I had to mature and have more life experience as a woman before I could write women’s fiction, and maybe that’s true. I have a few women’s fiction projects in the works.
You can purchase Paige here.