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review 2017-03-20 17:31
Great Follow up to Wait for the Rain
Bridges: A Daphne White Novel - Maria Murnane

Please note that I received this book from the author via NetGalley in return for a honest review. 


I previously read the first book in this series, Wait for the Rain, and really enjoyed it, you can see my review here: Wait for the Rain review at Goodreads. So I was happy to see that Maria Murnane had a follow up with Daphne, Skylar, and KC. The only reason why I gave this four stars and not five was that I wish that Murnane had explored going with another POV with this one like Skylar. I would have really enjoyed that. And I thought the ending with things working out for Daphne would have been better if Murnane had actually kept up with the theme of how hard it is to break into being a published writer. 


In "Bridges" it's been about a year since our 3 Musketeers got together and had a vacation in the Caribbean. After the three women have a video conference call and Skylar lets them know that she is engaged and she wants to fly them to NYC in order to celebrate with her. Daphne is happy to celebrate Skylar's good news, but hoped that she would have good news of her own to share. She took a year and started to write her own novel, based on her adventures with her friends in the Caribbean as well as the relationship she found after her divorce. Unfortunately, Daphne is getting a lot of rejection letters and is worried that maybe her dream of being a published author will never be realized. And she doesn't know if she is going to be able to fake being happy surrounded by her two friends who are the moon about different things in their lives at this point.


I have to say that once again Maria Murnane nails female friendships. I really enjoyed how she showcased them in this book and her Waverly Bryson series. A lot of the conversations and ability to read your friend when something is off reminds me of my togethers with my two best friends. I also felt for Daphne while reading this book. Feeling stuck after a divorce, and in a so-so relationship with a guy with her daughter about to go to college leaves Daphne at a crossroads. With  her best friend seeming to hit pay dirt and finding the one and living the high life in New York would be a lot to take in and be happy for at the same time. What I liked most about Daphne in this one, is that she comes to a couple of different realizations about herself and also about letting go of things with regards to her daughter.


I have to say that I love Skylar the most in this group. Maybe because I am dancing towards 40 and at this point I have not met one guy who has made me even think about forever. I loved that hard nosed Skylar who had a dating rotation fell hard and fast for what appears to be a really great guy. And I got serious house envy reading about how her home was set-up. I can get why Daphne was jealous. 


KC is still the uber cheerleader who loses her shine a bit in this one. No spoilers, but there's a reason.


We also get introduced to a best friend (in NYC) of Skylar's that I would love to read more about. Her dating adventures had me laughing out loud. Maybe because I have a few stories as well and I think that this fictional character has gone out with real life guys i have went out with too.


We also get some reappearances of secondary characters in this one that Daphne knows. Once again no spoilers. I will say that I was happy with how things resolved though.


The writing was really good. I have to say that it was just nice to read about a group of women being themselves with each other. You can see why these three women have been friends since college. And I am very excited to see if there will be another story starring them in the near future.


The flow was really good. This was a pretty short book for me, so I was able to finish it in under about 3 hours all together. 

The setting of New York really comes alive. We have Hamilton references, discussion of the High Line in New York (it's really fun to do if you have a chance) Shake Shack which had me hungry, and just a dozen or so more references that shows that the author has been in the city and has explored these places. It really makes the book come alive. Due to this, i emailed one of my friends and now we are trying to set up a trip sometime this year to go to NYC and catch a show. Not Hamilton, I do not have Hamilton money, unlike Skylar.


The ending was great, though as I said above, I think it would have been better without the neatly wrapped ending. Not every book has to be wrapped up in a bow at the end. Or at least I prefer it when they are not. 

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text 2017-03-20 13:15
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Bridges: A Daphne White Novel - Maria Murnane

Really enjoyed this follow up. I know it's weird, but it's nice to just read a book about women discussing everything under the sun without some ridiculous plot thrown in. Having Daphne, Skylar, and KC get together for a surprise event I never thought would happen was fun. And I felt for Daphne, I have been in her position as well when your friends are doing a great. This also had me longing for New York.

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text 2017-03-19 21:31
Reading progress update: I've read 45%.
Bridges: A Daphne White Novel - Maria Murnane

Really enjoying this book and hate to set it aside, but have an appointment.

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text 2017-03-19 20:05
Reading progress update: I've read 9%.
Bridges: A Daphne White Novel - Maria Murnane

Feeling bad for Daphne due to her being turned down by some literary agents. I enjoyed book #1 so am interested in seeing how this sequel goes.


The author sent a request for me to review so I accepted though in usually leery about things like that. I got this via Netgalley 

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review 2015-03-24 00:00
Wait for the Rain
Wait for the Rain - Maria Murnane So when I first read the description of this book, my first thought was, okay it's How Stella Got Her Groove Back with just Caucasian characters. Heck I loved that book by Terry McMillian and for the most part have loved/liked most of Ms. Murnane's other books so thought I give this a whirl. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

The main character, Daphne, is about to turn forty and with that she is feeling like a lot of her life has been wasted. Married for more than half of her life, she is now a divorced woman dealing with a teenage daughter she no longer feels like she can talk to. Going off on vacation with her two best friend's from college, Skylar and KC, she has doubts about whether she can keep it together without them feeling sorry for her.

Based on the book description, I thought I had this book pegged. Daphne would meet some hot younger man. She would have sex with him. She would declare herself in love with him. They would go back to Ohio and have a happily ever after.

Instead we have the character of Daphne actually getting closer to her friends who she has drifted away from the past couple of years and figures out her next steps all while realizing that her life is not over at forty and yes she can and still does attract younger men. Daphne at times does get a bit aggravating since she does this thing when she is trying to not cry in front of her friends and all I wanted to say was "cry damn it!" Once we get over her pretense that things are great and she actually starts talking to her friends we see Daphne start to subtly heal which was great.

The setting of St. Mirika is fictional (or at least I can't find it via the handy dandle Google search) but feels real. Ms. Murnane manages to imbue something magical in the setting and you wish that this island in the Caribbean really did exist out there somewhere.

The island bars sound familiar to me and should to anyone that has traveled in the Caribbean (full of 20 somethings running around trying to hook up) along with quieter places you can hear yourself think in.

The secondary characters Skylar and KC are very well written. Both confident women, whose own lives have taken them off on completely different directions. I have to say that I absolutely loved the character of KC. Probably because I have two friends just like her (totally health nuts, and has the exact same fun personality that they did in college) and she was written with such depth. Skylar was too. I saw parts of myself in Skylar and it actually made me smile (works hard, even on vacation, the number of times I find myself checking work emails while out of the office is sad) and once again I hope that Ms. Murnane has follow up books about Skylar and/or KC. I really would like to know what else the future brings them and Daphne.

I also liked that this book opened up the dynamic between men and women when you are in your 20s and in your late 30s. Heck when I was in my 20s I was clueless about standing up for myself when it came to men and also not doing that please notice me thing while out with friends. There were a few moments in this book when I cringed in sympathy for Daphne and the younger woman that she meets while out at a club with her friends.

The romance between Daphne and Clay in my eyes was not really the focus of the book. Honestly, Clay seemed absent even while present except for a few key scenes. Also Ms. Murnane did not include any sex scenes between Daphne and Clay. Instead everything happens off screen for the most part.

The pace of the book I thought was good and the writing was as well.

I would recommend this as a fun beach read actually, but would caution readers that this is not really a red hot romance read. I found it to really be about Daphne and her two friends. What they were dealing with in their present, and what they hope their futures would bring.
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