THE EDGE OF THE EARTH by Christina Schwarz

Book review: The Edge of the Earth

Christina Schwarz
Atria Books, 288 pages

Hardback, $25.00, various e-readers, audio

Blurb from the publisher:  
 Trudy is a polished, college-educated young woman from a respectable upper middle-class family, and it’s only a matter of time before she’ll marry Ernst, the son of her parents’ closest friends. All should be well in her world, and yet Trudy is restless and desperate for more stimulation than 1897 Milwaukee will allow. When she falls in love with enigmatic and ambitious Oskar, she believes she’s found her escape from the banality of her pre-ordained life. Alienated from Trudy’s family and friends, the couple moves across the country to take a job at a lighthouse in the eerily isolated Point Lucia, California. Upon arriving they meet the light station’s only inhabitants—the Crawleys, a family whose plain appearance is no indication of what lies below the surface. It isn’t long before Trudy begins to realize that there is more going on in this seemingly empty place than she could ever have imagined.

Gorgeously detailed, swiftly paced, and anchored in the lush geography of the remote and eternally mesmerizing Big Sur, "The Edge of the Earth" is a magical and moving story of secrets and self-transformation, ruses and rebirths, masterfully told by a celebrated and accomplished author.

Trudy led a well ordered life, her future had been laid out before her, with her life plans as clearly structured as the roads on a map.  Until she decides to marry the "unknown factor" in her life,the cousin of her fiance, Oskar Swann.   They quickly pack up and move to Point Lucia in northern California, just so you know, as a reference, Point Lucia is now known as Big Sur. 

Pay attention to the first chapter, as author Christina Schwarz gives us a few bits from the world of 1977, as elderly Jane, and her grandson Danny, visit a lighthouse because of Danny's interest in marine biology.  It's a great reader "grab" and I think it's a perfectly brilliant first chapter!  All of the elements are there, you are drawn into action, both current and past, and the characters' story provide enough intrigue that you want to keep reading the mystery of how the story of Trudy Swann and Jane, and her family, the Crawleys, are woven into this story from so long ago.

Schwarz's descriptions and details of the area are just gorgeous!  And they are spot on! I love a book that is clearly placed in a spot the author somehow knows. I know the area and the history of the lighthouse and Schwarz did their legacy proud. I know the smells and sounds of the area, and Schwarz brought them all to me.

In a desolate area the personalities, strengths and weaknesses of those who live there, quickly come to the surface.  Schwarz wastes no time showing the reader the truths and the shadowy areas of these people. Her subtle shading of the traits of Oskar, Trudy and the other adults become clear when all are given the option to do the right thing and decisions are made.

I could go on and on about The Edge of the Earth, I think it's a well layered and intriguing story. People aren't always as they appear and there's enough of a mystery to make you keep turning the pages. I really loved it, it's one my favorite reads so far this year. I'll buy it, it's one that I'll give as a gift.

The Edge of the Earth is about people, opportunities and the choices they make. In other words, it's about life. The placement of the story close to 100 years ago doesn't change the moral and human choices, it just brings home the fact that we all must respect people's lives and their choice of how to live in their own world.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.  That's about as high as I can rate a book. Go read it. Now.

**This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

The Great Gatsby - new trailer and featurette

THE GREAT theaters May 10.

Crikey, I sure hope they haven't thrown the 60's song "Happy Together" into the sound track.  You jump right out of the 20's era...spoils the suspension of disbelief...

THE APPLE ORCHARD author Susan Wiggs offers chance to win a getaway for 2 to Sonoma, CA!

Tess Delaney makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners. People like Annelise Winther, who refuses to sell her long-gone mother's beloved necklace—despite Tess's advice. To Annelise, the jewel's value is in its memories.

But Tess's own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter. So Tess is shocked when she discovers the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. And that she has been named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a hundred-acre apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town called Archangel.

The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half sister she's never heard of.

Against the rich landscape of Bella Vista, Tess begins to discover a world filled with the simple pleasures of food and family, of the warm earth beneath her bare feet. A world where family comes first and the roots of history run deep. A place where falling in love is not only possible, but inevitable.

And in a season filled with new experiences, Tess begins to see the truth in something Annelise once told her: if you don't believe memories are worth more than money, then perhaps you've not made the right kind of memories.

From one of America's most beloved writers, The Apple Orchard is a story of family ties—both old and new—and of the moments that connect our hearts.

Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society by Amy Hill Hearth

A Novel Chatter Reading Roundup Book Review, a few well chosen words about books that I don't want you to miss...

Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society

By Amy Hill Hearth

Atria Books,  272 pages
$15.00 (paperback)

Formats: paperback, e-readers and audio

blurb from the publisher:

A brilliant debut novel from a New York Times bestselling author about a transplanted wife from Boston who arrives in Florida in the 1960s, starts a literary salon, and shakes up the status quo.

In 1962, Jackie Hart moved to Naples, Florida, from Boston with her husband and children. Wanting something personally fulfilling to do with her time, she starts a reading club and anonymously hosts a radio show, calling herself Miss Dreamsville.

The racially segregated town falls in love with Miss Dreamsville, but doesn’t know what to make of Jackie, who welcomes everyone into her book club, including a woman who did prison time for allegedly killing her husband, a man of questionable sexual preference, a young divorcee, as well as a black woman.

By the end of this novel, you’ll be wiping away the tears of laugher and sadness, and you just may become a bit more hopeful that even the most hateful people can see the light of humanitarianism, if they just give themselves a chance.

My "Reading Roundup Reviews" are quick and to the point, so that being said, I just loved the tarnation out of Miss Dreamsville ...after I got past the fear of sterotyping chatacters. Pretty fast, I realized that these were strong, solid, but quirky people. And isn't that the types of people who make up our own worlds?  Yeah, that's what I thought too. We open with Dora Witherspoon, who's now 80, looking back on the happenings in Naples in 1962.  I wondered how these five souls would find something or some one to come together for or over, and watching them become something more than "strangers" is the best part of this crazy "ride" that author Amy Hill Hearth is taking us on.

I know this book was released last fall, but it sure screams SUMMER FUN READ to me!  The characters and the situations are great, and I found myself carrying my e-reader with  me everywhere I went.  I really didn't want to see the end of Dora's story. 

Wrapping up this "Reading Roundup Review", I say buy it, borrow it from a library, lend it to a friend when you're done. It's a great ride that Dora takes us on, in a fabulous convertible, up and down the highways of Florida with Miss Dreamsville in 1962!  

**This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Bolivar: American Liberator by Marie Arana


Published by Simon and Schuster
624 pages, $35.00
Formats: Hardcover, various e-readers

Publisher's synopsis: 
It is astonishing that Simón Bolívar, the great Liberator of South America, is not better known in the United States. He freed six countries from Spanish rule, traveled more than 75,000 miles on horseback to do so, and became the greatest figure in Latin American history. His life is epic, heroic, straight out of Hollywood: he fought battle after battle in punishing terrain, forged uncertain coalitions of competing forces and races, lost his beautiful wife soon after they married and never remarried (although he did have a succession of mistresses, including one who held up the revolution and another who saved his life), and he died relatively young, uncertain whether his achievements would endure. Drawing on a wealth of primary documents, novelist and journalist Marie Arana brilliantly captures early nineteenth-century South America and the explosive tensions that helped revolutionize Bolívar. In 1813 he launched a campaign for the independence of Colombia and Venezuela, commencing a dazzling career that would take him across the rugged terrain of South America, from Amazon jungles to the Andes mountains. From his battlefield victories to his ill-fated marriage and legendary love affairs, Bolívar emerges as a man of many facets: fearless general, brilliant strategist, consummate diplomat, passionate abolitionist, gifted writer, and flawed politician. A major work of history, Bolívar colorfully portrays a dramatic life even as it explains the rivalries and complications that bedeviled Bolívar’s tragic last days. It is also a stirring declaration of what it means to be a South American.

In all honesty, I didn't request this amazing looking book, it just appeared in the mail, in a mailer with no contact info, so I can't thank anyone in particular. But this is one gorgeous book, it's a beautiful hard back, deckle-edged book and is getting really nice reviews and comments.

Sadly, it's not something that I have the time to read right now, and it's been out for a couple of weeks. SO, since someone clearly wanted  me to have it, I thought I'd post a little bit to spotlight it while it's still new in the marketplace.  I plan to read it this summer.

Here is author Marie Arana's website, and if you click here it will take you to Marie's interview on

I did an internet search and found some really nice reviews of the book here and here.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending it my way!



Therese Anne Fowler
St. Martin's Press, 284 pages

Formats: hard cover, $25.99, various e-readers and audio 

From the publisher:

I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we’re ruined, Look closer…and you’ll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed.

When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the “ungettable” Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner’s, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take the rest as it comes.
What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel—and his witty, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, adopts daring new fashions, and revels in this wild new world. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera—where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.
Everything seems new and possible.

My thoughts:   I read this book without having too much background information or prior knowledge about Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and I kept it that way on purpose. I mean, there are things that we all know, but I didn't seek information out. This novel is fiction wrapped around historical figures and happenings. It's not a biography and I didn't want to start comparing it to what really happened.  If I was looking for an accurate, first hand telling, I'd read Zelda's own writings. And actually, now that I've finished "Z", I think I will read what she had to say.  Not to compare, but to flesh out a very interesting, compelling and mysterious woman.

Having confessed that, I think I can go on and share some thought about Therese Anne Fowler's novel.  I felt that Fowler crafted a believable Zelda. I had nothing to compare the fictional Zelda to the real Zelda and I think that's one reason why I enjoyed this book so much. No preconceived ideas. Just like I enjoyed the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, when it came out a couple of years ago, I was so taken with the people and the "literati" of Paris in the 1920s, so I was ready to suspend my "disbelief."  I really appreciated Fowler telling her story from Zelda's point of view, I thought it added to the layers of the character, from the minute she meets Fitzgerald, you know what she's thinking and that helped this reader understand her frustrations and motivations.  You see her almost being beaten down by Scott.  You see the life escaping from her body. In all honesty, it made me sad as I knew, somewhere in the back of my mind that a lot of this was true. Her stay at the Swiss clinic for her mental illness. So sad, the things they didn't know back then.

But, back to the review, Fowler's story telling was, for me, even and smooth. The introduction of "real" people into the story was seamless and always written in a way that didn't seem out of place. Fowler allows the writer in Zelda to seep through, and as with so many artistic, and talented people, there's a vulnerability and mental instability that peeks through into her ballet, her painting, even the way she treats or interacts with little Scotty...all ring true.  There in these pages, you see the lives of the people  who lived and created during that Parisian jazz age.  Fowler's brought them all to life and given Zelda a voice.

I liked it, I had some teeny issues with dialogue at times, but I ignored it, because, at the end, I just loved the spirit that the younger Zelda had, she loved life and lived it. Thank you!

I say buy it, it's a great read, tough in parts, but always readable... and then pass it on to a friend!  Give them a bottle of champagne with it.  Why not?  

I give this 4 out of 5 stars!!  

Just don't compare it to the Fitzgerald's real life, that's not what this one is about. It is fiction, after all!

**This e-galley was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Going through DOWNTON ABBEY withdrawl?

Has the lack of DOWNTON ABBEY made you cranky?  

Missing Matthew?  

Wondering about Bates and Anna?


Here are some books that might, just might help you get your mind on something else...


2013 Pulitzer Prize winning books announced!

Yippee skippy!  This year we have winners in all categories!  Here are the books -

From the Pulitzer people themselves:

FICTION - "The Orphan Master's Son" by Adam Johnson

HISTORY - "Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam" by Fredrik Logevall (Random House),

BIOGRAPHY - "The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo" by Tom Reiss (Crown)

GENERAL NONFICTION - "Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America" by Gilbert King (Harper)

Information source:

Bella Fortuna

A Novel Chatter Reading Roundup Book Review, a few well chosen words about books that I don't want you to miss...

Bella Fortuna

by Rosanna Chiofalo

Kensington Press, 304 pages

Blurb from the publisher: In this warm, enchanting debut novel, Rosanna Chiofalo evokes the extraordinary beauty of Venice, the charm of a close-knit New York neighborhood, and the joys of friendship, family, and surprising second chances. . .

Valentina DeLuca has made hundreds of brides' dreams come true. At Sposa Rosa, the Astoria, New York, boutique where she, her sisters, and their mother design and sew couture knock-off gowns, she can find the perfect style for even the most demanding customer. Now, it's her turn. Valentina has loved Michael Carello ever since he rescued her from a cranky shopkeeper when she was ten years old. He's handsome, chivalrous, and loyal. And in a few weeks, she's going to marry him--in Venice.

But just when she thinks everything is falling into place, Valentina is forced to re-examine her life to see what truly makes her happy. And as she soon learns, in a place as magical as Venice, what seems like misfortune can turn out to be anything but, although who knows what may be waiting around the next corner? The chance to enjoy a moonlit gondola ride, to sip Prosecco in St. Mark's Square, to eat mouthwatering gelato, to put aside "sensible" for once and see where the warm Italian breezes guide her as she visits all the sights she's dreamed of: The Doge's Palace, Il Rialto, the little islands of Murano and Burano. And maybe, along the way, to discover that bella fortuna--good luck--isn't what you're given, but what you make.

My "Reading Roundup Reviews" are quick and to the point, so that being said, I enjoyed Bella Fortuna. I could identify with the characters and loved the interactions and close bonds that author Rosanna Chiofalo drew from the neighborhood "regulars."  We all know the type, the people who have lived on your block, or around the corner for ever. I swear, I grew up next door to the DeLuca family, so I wanted to like this family and this story.  Valentina is pretty well crafted, you understand where she's coming from and what's going though her mind, so much so, that you want to slap her upside the head at times, and make her see what the reader knows will happen. And that's where I have some issues.   sigh.... I don't want to second guess why, but the plot was so telegraphed to the readers so far in advance that I wanted to slap the author (no, maybe her editor) upside the head.

I enjoyed the bridal design salon setting and hoped it would/might become a series. I loved it when Valentina  takes her "honeymoon" by herself and has a blast in Venice on her own. The great parts of this book reminded me of classic Katharine Hepburn films, or classic 1960's "career" girls travel to Italy for romance kinds of films, and that's not a bad thing.  Chiofalo has the chops to write, she can construct an interesting story and fun characters that live and exist in modern time, with a nod to the classic heroine!  Ready to live life on her own, BUT, to be open to any opportunity for love and family.

Where it went wrong?  I think...poor editing!!!   I sometimes thought the dialogue was awkward. When you read a line out loud and it sounds "weird" ?  It needs a re-write, I also think it took us too long to get to the adventure part of Valentina's story.  I was interesting in the character and wanted to experience her trip, but I got a bit frustrated along the way, as I think too much time and word count went to back stories of characters that didn't move the story arc along. This is the second or third book I've read lately where the ending just wound up too dang fast.

My final "roundup" thoughts, buy the book, read it, enjoy it, have a glass of Montepulciano and some pasta and ignore the small glitches. Valentina's fun, and I'd like to see where she ends up next!

3 1/2 out of 5 stars! I took off for the poor editing and too many non-essential secondary characters.

**This e-galley was provided to be by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

BEAUTIFUL RUINS gets director!

Todd Field signed to direct movie adaption of Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

According to Deadline Hollywood:

"Los Angeles, CA (April 8, 2013) – Filmmaker Todd Field, Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson, co-founders of Cross Creek Pictures, and Patrick Milling Smith and Brian Carmody, co-founders of Smuggler Films, announced today that their companies will team up to produce the film adaptation of Jess Walter’s New York Times Best Seller, “Beautiful Ruins.” Todd Field and Jess Walter are confirmed to write the screenplay, with Field set to direct. Field will produce the film through Standard Film Company with Cross Creek’s Oliver, Thompson, Smuggler Films’ Milling Smith and Carmody, Adam Kassan will oversee production for Cross Creek.

The epic story begins in the spring of 1962 off the Ligurian Sea and centers on three young characters whose orbit around one another is set in motion by an incident involving the international jet-set center, Rome, in the throws of “La Dolce Vita” madness during the shooting of Cleopatra, and continues for decades."

For more info

Reading Round Up here on Novel Chatter

SO many books, so little time!  

While I had to step away over the holidays, I read several books that I want you all to know about, so over the next couple of weeks here on Novel Chatter, I'll be posting some "cut to the chase" reviews because, bottom line?  They are too good to miss!!

Look for these awesome books to get my "cut to the chase" reviews this week!

REMAINS OF THE DAY screen writer dies

The screen writer for some of my very favorite movies has died.  Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, author and screenwriter was 85.  Her daughter reports of her death in NY, after a long illness.

Sky News reports her death and lists these, of many accomplishments.

"Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was a longtime member of Merchant Ivory Productions, writing 22 films over four decades.
 She won two Academy Awards for her adaptations of the EM Forster novels Howards End and A Room With A View.
She was also nominated for the screenplay for 1993's The Remains Of The Day.
 Jhabvala was also recognised for her fiction, receiving Britain's highest literary accolade for her 1975 novel, Heat And Dust."

ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline

Christina Baker Kline

288 pages, $14.99 paperback,  also e-reader and audio 
William Morrow Paperbacks

Blurb from the publisher:    
 The author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be delivers her most ambitious and powerful novel to date: a captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask.
 Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from "aging out" of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.
Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
  The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life - answers that will ultimately free them both.
Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

My thoughts about Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train:    Let me start by saying, that I really enjoyed this book. You can certainly tell that Kline did a ton of research and background into the orphan trains that moved children across the country so long ago, and I appreciate that.  I read a lot of historical novels and you get so that you can tell that the author did their homework, and Christina Baker Kline did just that!  Her story telling is stellar and Vivian's quest moved quickly forward. 

Like some of you, I think, I loved Vivian's  story the most, and some of the time, I really wished that the Molly thread of the story just wasn't there. We were introduced to Molly first, and I found myself anticipating when we'd get to Vivian's part of the story. Which is a great plot trick, and it worked!   It wasn't that Molly's story wasn't well told, but I wanted Vivian's story, I think I get why the author included Molly and the people that Molly brought into the story, but I wish there had been more Vivian!  For me, it was Vivian's story that meant something. Vivian's journey was the heart of the book.

 Through the journey, we learn that Irish born Vivian was named Niamh, then her too-ethnic sounding name was changed to Dorothy and then to Vivian.  The children that Niamh  made friends with on the orphan train were great snap-shot characters, baby Carmine, ever wanting to know that things were called,  and of course, the young and tough "Dutchy" aka Hans,  (who'd been alone on the streets way too long) stay with you as you turn page after page, wondering when or IF you'll encounter these orphans again.

I have a middle school aged friend, Rachel, who is an avid reader who loves finding new things to read. Rachel is always fun to hang with as she loves to talk about books. So, she asked me what I was reading, and I told her Orphan Train!  She said, "oh yeah, we learned about those trains in school, will I like the book?"  I told her Mom about the one scene, with a somewhat detailed account of an attempted rape and some of the more "salty" language from Molly and her friends, and left it up to her Mom to decide what's best for her daughter.

My only other minor whine that I have is that Vivian's story ended too quickly, it was almost like there was a dead line or a word limit that the author couldn't breech.  As readers, we bought in to the tale, only to  have it wrap up too quickly!  BUT all that aside, it's a well told story and one that I will tell others about. My whine aside, I loved it!

* This e-galley was provided to me by the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

UNSINKABLE by Debbie Reynolds


Releasing tomorrow, April 02.

Publisher: William Morrow                                             
Pages: 320 
Formats: Hardcover, e-books, audio

a blurb from the publisher:

The definitive memoir by legendary actress and performer Debbie Reynolds—an entertaining and moving story of enduring friendships and unbreakable family bonds, of hitting bottom and rising to the top again—that offers a unique and deeply personal perspective on Hollywood and its elite, from the glory days of MGM to the present.

In the closing pages of her 1988 autobiography Debbie: My Life, Debbie Reynolds wrote about finding her "brave, loyal, and loving" new husband. After two broken marriages, this third, she believed, was her lucky charm. But within a few years, Debbie discovered that he had betrayed her emotionally and financially, nearly destroying her life.

Today, she writes, "When I read the optimistic ending of my last memoir now, I can't believe how naive I was when I wrote it. In Unsinkable, I look back at the many years since then, and share my memories of a film career that took me from the Miss Burbank Contest of 1948 to the work I did in 2012. . . . To paraphrase Bette Davis: Fasten your seatbelts, I've had a bumpy ride."

Unsinkable shines a spotlight on the resilient woman whose talent and passion for her work have endured for more than six decades. In her engaging, down-to-earth voice, Debbie shares private details about her man and money troubles, including building and losing her Las Vegas dream hotel and her treasured Hollywood memorabilia collection. Yet no matter how difficult the problems, the show always goes on.

Debbie also invites us into the close circle of her family, speaking with deep affection and honesty about her relationships with her children, Carrie and Todd Fisher. She looks back at her life as an actress during Hollywood's Golden Age—"the most magical time you could imagine"—including her lifelong friendship with (and years-long estrangement from) the legendary Elizabeth Taylor. Here, too, are stories that never reached the tabloids about numerous celebrities, such as Ava Gardner, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Mick Jagger, Gene Kelly, and many more. She takes us on a guided tour through her movies with delightful, often hilarious behind-the-scenes anecdotes about every film in which she was involved, from 1948 to the present.

Frank and forthright, and featuring dozens of previously unseen photos from Debbie's personal collection, Unsinkable is a poignant reminder that there is light in the darkest times. It is a revealing portrait of a woman whose determination is an inspiration.

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