Book Review and Giveaway: Remember Me


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Synopsis:

Nia and Danielle met and became friends in 1976 when Mia’s parents forced her to transfer from the public school she loved to a private all-girls’ Catholic high school. Mia was one of a minority of African-American students and did not have friends there. Danielle came from a middle class family. She had lost her mother recently, but within three short months her father remarried, bringing a stepmother and step-siblings into the household. While Danielle spent time at Mia’s house regularly, Danielle’s bigoted family prohibited Danielle from bringing Mia home. Despite their differences, the two girls forged a bond that lasted until they had graduated from college and were in their late twenties. It was then that something went terribly wrong between them.

Mia is preparing to send her only child, Alexa, off to college at the University of Michigan, as her husband, Frank, is the subject of an SEC and FBI probe into his investment firm’s activities. Married twenty years, Mia and Frank’s union is anything but blissful, despite their opulent lifestyle. Since surviving breast cancer five years ago, they have rarely been intimate. Worse, Mia suspects that Frank is having an affair, although he vehemently denies that he has been unfaithful. Eight years ago, Mia gave up the teaching career she loved, but in light of the investigation’s impact upon the family’s financial stability, there is a real possibility that she will need to return to work in order to obtain health insurance. And Mia’s old boyfriend, Lamont, has been sending her messages on Facebook pressing her to meet him for coffee.

Danielle fulfilled her dream of becoming a writer. Her very first novel became a New York Times bestseller and she has continued drafting popular novels, giving her a large and devoted fan base, as well as enormous wealth. Her husband, Allen, was a successful actor, but in the last few years his career waned so he became a househusband and father to their daughter, Tiffany. Despite all of her accomplishments, Danielle has no friends and now she has a massive case of unrelenting writer’s block. The deadline for her next book is looming, and Tiffany is preparing to leave their Florida home to attend the University of Michigan. Danielle is upset about the fact that Tiffany’s departure date coincides with her upcoming book tour, preventing her from accompanying Tiffany and helping her settle into her dorm.

Mia and Danielle have neither seen nor spoken to each other for twenty years. Neither of them is acquainted with the other’s husband or child. But a bizarre twist of fate is about to bring them back together just as each of them is facing enormous personal challenges. Will the strength of the friendship they once shared allow them to reconcile and renew their relationship?

Review:

Author Cheryl Robinson

The best friendships allow for honesty, disagreement from time to time, and forgiveness. But some transgressions are too shockingly callous and inflict too much pain for a friendship to continue. Something happened between Mia and Danielle more than twenty years ago that drove them apart. Precisely what transpired is not revealed until very late in their story. Author expertly sets the stage with a modern-day prologue. She then weaves the story of how the two women came together as high school freshman and remained as close as sisters for many years through a series of chapters set in alternating time periods. Beginning with December 1976, she relates their adventures as young girls growing up in Detroit with the events of 2010, leading up to the penultimate moment when, each facing the worst crisis of her life, Mia and Danielle unexpectedly come face to face in a hospital corridor.

The result is a gripping coming-of-age story set in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Robinson recounts how the two girls connected and experienced many of life’s firsts together. Juxtaposed against the saga of their modern-day troubles, Robinson reveals each characters’ strengths, weaknesses, and the choices that have led them to the crisis that both must deal with at the outset of the book.

Both women are extremely intelligent, well-educated, and independent, although they have chosen to use their talents in very different ways. Mia established herself as a teacher, earning her master’s degree while enjoying a successful career at a school she loved. But breast cancer caused her to leave the job she loved in order to focus on her recovery and young daughter. By that point, Mia had attained the financial security she yearned for as a child. Her husband, Frank, a partner in an investment firm, was able to provide her with a luxurious home, cars, and jewels, not to mention a coveted American Express card with no spending limit. Although they enjoyed happy times, Mia is no longer sure that she loves Frank. Having passed the five year survival milestone, Mia knows that something has died between them. She is no longer physically attracted to Frank and quite certain that he is cheating on her, despite his denials. News of his possible criminal involvement in an investment fraud scheme infuriates Mia, and strengthens her resolve to regain her independence and life her live on her own terms.

Meanwhile, Danielle has never learned how to create or maintain friendships. She is only close to her immediate family and precious dog, Pulitzer. In one heartbreaking scene, Danielle learns from her agent that her first novel has made the New York Times bestseller list and netted her a movie deal. Having lost Mia’s friendship by that time, she has absolutely no one to telephone and share her good news with. For all of Danielle’s success, she is living an isolated life. Her marriage is also threatened — she is deeply disappointed by Allen’s abandonment of his acting career, even though they mutually decided, after his last few movies were box office bombs, that he would focus on running their household so that she could fully devote herself to writing. Their marriage is now being put to the greatest test — either its true strength will be revealed or it will splinter and die. As for Danielle, she must muster courage she did not know she possessed.

Remember Me is a smart, fast-moving, and gripping story of two women with a shared history who are both at a crossroads in their lives. Each has to decide what matters most to them and make critical decisions about the direction the second half of her life will take. When they are suddenly reunited, Mia and Danielle must examine their long-buried resentments, hurts, and sorrow about the loss of their friendship in order to determine whether they can overcome the past, forgive each other and themselves, and regain the closeness they let slip away more than twenty years earlier. Do they have enough shared history for that to be possible? Do they each have the capacity to love a dear friend enough to move past their friendship’s painful demise? Robinson’s keen understanding of female friendships and masterful story-telling will make readers want to learn the answers to those questions. Remember Me is a perfect book to curl up with on a lazy afternoon and will make female readers appreciate their long-time good friends even more than they did before reading Robinson’s sprawling, insightful tale about strong women and the even stronger ties that bind women together over many decades.

I read Remember Me in conjunction with the 2011 Read ‘n’ Review and Outdo Yourself Reading Challenges.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of Remember Me free of charge from the author in conjunction with the review and virtual book tour program. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own. This disclosure complies with 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Enter to Win a Copy of Remember Me

One lucky reader, selected at random, will receive a copy of Remember Me, generously provided by the author.

To enter, simply post a comment! Be sure to include your email address (for notification and delivery purposes). The book can only be shipped to a United States or Canadian address (no P.O. box).


The comment posted by Donna at The Happy Booker was selected at random, so a copy of Remember Me is en route to Donna!

Thanks to all who participated!


Comments

  1. says

    There are so many things about this book that I can relate to. From the setting, 70’s and 80’s which is when I was in my teens, to the issues of race which I grew up with and still deal with today as the mother of biracial children, and also the issue of female friendship, this book sounds like one that could become a favorite. I would love to win a copy of Remember Me, and I have to say, you’ve written a beautiful review.

    Donna @ The Happy Booker
    ahappybooker at gmail dot com
    Donna/Happy Booker recently posted..Shade by Jeri Smith-ReadyMy Profile

  2. Tiffany Drew says

    This sounds like my kind of book, I can’t believe this is the first time I am hearing about it. I am really looking forward to this one.

    jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

  3. Shannon J says

    This book sounds fantastic!! I can’t wait to read it!! Thank you for sharing your review and the giveaway!!!
    shannonjean14(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. says

    This looks like a very interesting book with twists to keep the reader immersed in the story. I’d love to read it. Please enter me for a chance to win.

    riverboat38(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Shirley recently posted..Winner!!My Profile

  5. says

    I enjoy books about women’s friendship and am curious as to what happened between Mia and Danielle and how they enter each other’s lives again. The time frame of this book, the 1970s & ‘80s is intriguing, too, since a lot of perspectives on life and what really matters changed during these years. Growing up and experiencing life teaches you so much about what really matters in life. I hope Mia and Danielle realize that and are able to patch up past hurts. Sometimes pride can prevent even the most intelligent of individuals from doing wht’s best for themselves and their family. I hope that doesn’t happen here.

    Thankyou for hosting a giveaway of this wonderful book! Please include me!
    Aimala127(at)gmail(dot)com
    Amy recently posted..~ First Chapter Paragraph(s) Tuesday Intros ~My Profile

  6. Na says

    I really like the time period this story takes place in. It’ll be interesting to see how their friendship will endure the times and circumstances.

  7. Denise Z says

    True friendship has falling outs — it is a testament to the real lasting friendships that we can come back together and face the things that have gone wrong and still love each other. This book sounds like a wonderful journey and I would love to read it. Thank you for the lovely giveaway opportunity.

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

  8. Missy (Laverne) says

    I have a few copies of the book, so please there is no need to enter my name in the drawing I only stopped by to show my support of one of my favorite authors and to read your review, which by the way was excellent. Thanks a bunch for showcasing CR.

  9. says

    The whole time I am reading the review, I am thinking — Wow this sounds like such a great book, I really want to read this book. Then I get to the bottom and see that you are having a giveaway! LOL My lucky day! At least I hope it is!

    forevereading at gmail dot com

    I will list this on my sidebar.
    wall-to-wall books-wendy recently posted..WINNER!!!!!My Profile

  10. Carol Wong says

    I love books about friendships between women. It is so heartbreaking when they fall apart. Please enter me in this goveaway.

  11. says

    This is quite interesting book! I can relate to the story. In any time, do we find friends as we go along our lives. It is in them we find courage to stand firm on tough times, we find comfort in every painful experiences. Real friends are hard to find, especially these times. We must value our friends well over something not so important in our lives. I do hope to grab a copy someday. =)
    Zara recently posted..UGG Boots – The Everyday Winter Boot For Comfort and FashionMy Profile

  12. Randi Carter says

    It’s amazing that it is 2011. We have a Black president. And still a book like this rings true in the hearts of many. I remember growing up in the 70s and still dealing with subtle forms of racism. Not being able to invite certain friends over to my neighborhood for fear of some form of backlash from my neighbors. I look around today and see that relations have gotten better, but in some aspects it has gotten worse. As long as there are parents that continue to promote “elitism” and “separatism” to their children, we will never be a kinder gentler nation with amazing possibilities. randicrtr@yahoo.com

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