A Merry Reading Holiday to You!

The Longest Nine Months by Carol Balawyder

Longest Nine Months

When I read about the release of this latest installment of “A Getting to Mr. Right” series by Carol Balawyder, I hurried to order my copy. When I received it, I put aside the book I was reading to start right in and I was glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this novelette. In fact, there are so many good things to recommend about this story that I decided to give it the 12 Days of Reading treatment.

Day One of Reading – In “The Longest Nine Months,” Campbell and Chand agreed not to have children. But a surprise pregnancy reveals Campbell’s change of heart; she wants the child, and thus I was reminded that “it is acceptable to change one’s mind as long as the change is an authentic one.”

Day Two of Reading – Early in the story, Campbell quits her job and spends much time thinking about her next career move. She doesn’t bow to her husband’s pressure to “find a job, already.” Courage and self-love lead her to the career opportunity that makes her heart sizzle, reminding me that discontent is a symptom; investigate the root cause.

Day Three of Reading – The other series characters, Felicity, Missi and Suzy, make guest appearances in this story. What a treat to read about the updates in their lives; what a treasure to be reunited with them even for a short time.

Day Four of Reading – Like real people, even fictional characters live with regrets and bad decisions. Campbell does but she engages in an annual ritual whereby she acknowledges the mistake while honoring the person she has evolved into. I thought this a healthy, freeing ritual; one to adopt in real life.

Day Five of Reading – I am a fan of culture and diversity and in this story, part of the focus is on India – their food, traditions, family dynamics and fashion; aspects neatly layered into the story, giving the tale freshness and interest.

Day Six of Reading – This is a love story at its core. The story of a man and woman in love, who struggle to overcome major obstacles. Every love story is a human story, and “The Longest Nine Months” hits both notes – love and human.

Day Seven of Reading – I once heard someone say that “authenticity is as necessary as air.” In this story, Campbell makes some pretty bold moves, but she is equipped to do so because she knows herself and makes moves based on her inner needs. For siding with authenticity, she is rewarded.

Day Eight of Reading – One of my favorite scenes in this story is when the friends gather to share conversation and truth. How blessed we are when we have friends who speak truth and share wisdom.

Day Nine of Reading – There’s a reason the story is titled “The Longest Nine Months.” It takes about that much time for Campbell to decide on motherhood and the next phase of her career. She didn’t rush her decision-making. She didn’t fall into desperation. She took her time and in the end, created the right life for her.

Day Ten of Reading – Campbell certainly had her share of difficulties but she looked for the positives in her situations and found them. A reminder that a frown can be turned to a smile with the right attitude.

Day Eleven of Reading – Through Campbell’s long nine month journey, I was reminded that endings and beginnings are connected. In Campbell’s case she experienced several endings that opened the door to beautiful beginnings. Just like in real life.

Day Twelve of Reading – A satisfying ending. That’s what Carol, the author left me with. Carol is an expert at writing engrossing stories that are full of believable characters and challenging story situations. I am so happy to have discovered her line of books and I encourage you to buy “The Longest Nine Months” or any of the stories in her series.

Carol Balawyder

Carol Balawyder

Until next time, have yourself a merry reading holiday!

19 thoughts on “A Merry Reading Holiday to You!

  1. Wow, what a fabulous way to write a review Ann. I love and have read all of Carol’s books. This one awaits me on my KIndle, and I too can’t believe I’ve had it for over a month and haven’t yet started it. But it’s coming real soon. ❤

    • Mihran, thanks for stopping by. I’ve been neglectful of reading your (and others’) blog to catch up with writing and posting reviews. But this weekend, all that changes. I can’t wait to read what I’ve been missing. Bless you!

  2. Oh, Ann, thank you so much for this original review of my book. I am so happy that you captured the essence of it. It is always heart warming and satisfying when a reader enjoys my words. That is the highest praise and coming from you especially meaningful. Thank you again for reading my book and for taking the time to write such an uplifting review. 🙂
    Happy, Happy Holidays to you and all your loved ones. ❤

  3. Pingback: How To Write A Great Synopsis | Carol Balawyder

  4. Ann, this is a wonderful review…the format is highly original and gives the potential reader a real feel for each section of the book which is brilliantly summarised and with your insight and feeling in each section this is a superlative review. I read The Longest Nine Months a while back (loved it!) and reading this brought it all back to me and I enjoyed seeing your thoughts.

    • Thanks, Annika, I’m glad you enjoyed my review of “The Longest Nine Months.” Carol is an awesome storyteller, isn’t she? I always look forward to reading her works. May you continue to have many pleasant hours of reading…and writing.

  5. I was thrilled with this beautiful review of Carol Balawyder’s book. I was happy this summer to review the First of this series! Now, she is all finished with the series. Ann, how festive this review was!
    I left a note on your last post about my book review of, “Voices from the Block, Vol II.” I live in Ohio so it will post at 5:00 am. It was a truly beautiful collaboration, Ann!
    I have had serious reasons for not getting this completed until tonight. Thanks to this meaningful book, I was able to read and relax during two of my artistic brother Randy’s brain surgeries. Take care, Robin 💐

    • Hi Robin, it’s always good to hear from you. My sister went through brain surgery some years ago but I’ll never forget the anxiety, fear and long hours of recovery. My prayers go out to you and your family. I hope you take comfort in the hope and good tidings this time of year brings to one and all. Thank you for reviewing Voices from the Block, Volume II. It warms my heart to know the collections is being enjoyed. We certainly had fun culling the entries and sharing it with the reading world. Happy holidays!

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