Thursday, May 3, 2012

On Tour and a Giveaway: Make It Stay by Joan Frank

In the tree-nestled Northern California town of Mira Flores, writer Rachel ("an aging typist with an unprofitable hobby") and her Scottish husband Neil prepare dinner for a familiar "crew" of guests - among them Neil's best friend, the burly, handsome Mike Spender, an irrepressible heodnist - and Mike's wife Tilda Krall, a hard-bitten figure who carries her dark unknowability like an accusation.

Mike and Tilda have produced an enchanting daughter, Addie - who will also appear, unexpectedly, that night. As they ready the meal, Rae begs Neil to retell her the strange, twisted story of the Spenders - to include Mike's secret life, and what happened once Tilda learned of it. Neil and Rae cannot guess how the shock waves from that story will threaten to destroy their own marriage - after a mysterious catastrophe propels all five individuals into uncharted realities.

Recounting three love stories, Make It Stay explores the vision of an era - and how perception expands, as mortal limits draw near. ~~ summary from Amazon 

My thoughts on Make it Stay ~~

And then check out the giveaway ~ it's international!!

Hmmmm, how do I feel about this book? I will say that it was not what I expected after reading the summary of the book. I can't really say that this was recounting of three love stories. It was more about friendships, life long friendships, that weathered the good times and the bad times.

Mike and Neil have been friends for years and at the beginning of the story, Neil is relating to his wife, Rae, the story of Mike and his wife, Tilda and their daughter, Addie. So, in essence, by way of flashbacks, we come to understand what Mike and Neil mean to each other and how Tilda entered their lives, all before Rae was in the picture.

When one think of love stories, we usually think of men/women love stories. I sort of felt like the author could have been talking about the love between Mike and Neil, friends there for each other all those years, the love between Mike and Tilda, as volatile and strange as it was and then the love between Neil and Rae, a sort of comfortable love.

Joan Frank wrote an amazing story with beautiful descriptions that I had to stop and read over, just to fully enjoy them.

'It was one of those afternoons the townspeople cherish about autumns here: sky a deep, aching blue, motes of gold in the sir - so lovely, Cass allowed to Neil, she had considered taking the day off. Leaves had begun to flush crimson, wine, umber; days filled with a warm-sugar smell. Around and through lazed scents of cola, hot pretzels, smoke from leaf fires (still legal), cut-grass, geraniums. Tips of trees barely stirred. In the hills the vines had given up their precious roe and turned to ridge upon brimming ridge of tarnished gold. Gardens hung heavy with their last great loads, tomatoes, eggplant, green peppers. Light felt spun, the color of whipped honey, hovering over the stillness. The whole town, the county, the whole world seemed briefly suspended inside one of those globe spheres - except instead of crystal, the sphere might be one big, fire opal. A glorious, sad, fire opal time.' 

Isn't that beautiful .... and so descriptive ....

And this is Neil talking about his friendship with Mike - this is such a great line ~~ 

'"When you've known someone that long," he says to the linoleum, "after a point it can't matter anymore how crazy they are." Grandfathered in, he used to say.'

About Joan Frank

Joan Frank was born to New Yorkers in Phoenix, Arizona, and grew up in Sacramento, Hawaii, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of four books of fiction—a fifth, her new novel Make It Stay, will be published by The Permanent Press in April. A book of collected essays, Because You Have To: A Writing Life, will be published by the University of Notre Dame Press in Fall of 2012.

Her recent story collection, In Envy Country, won the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year award and the Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction; it was also named a finalist for the California Book Award.

Joan is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, winner of the Dana Literary Award, Michigan Literary Fiction Award, Emrys Fiction Award and Iowa Writing Award; a Pushcart Prize nominee, two-time nominee for the Northern California Book Award in Fiction, San Francisco Library Literary Laureate, and recipient of grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and Sonoma Arts Council. She has taught creative writing at San Francisco State University and continues to teach and edit in private consultation. (If you have interest in working with Joan, please contact her through her website.) She lives in Northern California with her husband, playwright and English teacher Bob Duxbury. 

The rest of the stops on the tour are here

If you don't see the Rafflecopter, click

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Well, the description certainly hooks me.
    I'll have to add it to my TBR list, which is quite enormous right now.

  2. Sounds very of those gripping books that once you get into it you can't set it down until you have devoured every word!

  3. Sounds like a good read. thanks so much for the giveaway!

  4. Love comes in so many forms - sounds like this book tackles quite a few of them in a very moving way.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  5. Would love to win! Thank you for your giveaway!

  6. Thank you for your thoughts on this- it sounds beautiful and moving.

  7. I love the simplicity of the cover - thanks for the giveaway :)


  8. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the international giveaway!

  9. I love books so thanks for the opportunity!

  10. thanks for the chance to win what sounds to be an interesting book
    ceis8009 at yahoo dot com


Thanks SO much for leaving me a comment! Every single one means a whole lot to me!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...