Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: Life Studies
Author: Nancy Gotter Gates
Publisher: Five Star (Gage)
Release Date: September 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: General Fiction
Year/Setting: Present day/Greensboro, North Carolina
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: None/Negligible
Nancy's Website/Blog: None found
Liz Raynor lives a quiet life in North Carolina. She has spent the past few months recovering from her husband’s untimely death, and searching for something she can do to change her existence and find a way to make her life worth living again. Her husband died at a young age; Peter was a Financial Advisor who also spent a great deal of time helping special needs children. Unfortunately, Peter has passed away from leukemia, and Liz has no idea how to survive without him.
One day, a knock comes at her door and a young, slightly odd woman with an attitude is standing out on her porch. The woman is named Samantha and she needs to talk to Peter Raynor as soon as possible. Liz explains that Peter has passed away, and Samantha looks as if she can’t figure out what to do next. She refuses to tell Liz what her business with Peter is all about, and Samantha soon disappears out of town
What Liz does like to do is paint, so she rents her own "room" at the artists center close by. In the room next to her is a young woman by the name of Rachel who is a short story writer, and is still struggling with the fact that her beloved husband left her for another woman. Soon, Rachel and Liz become friends, and Liz also finds herself forming an attraction to her art teacher, Jay.
Things begin to go haywire when Jay’s son, Brian, gets in trouble with the law, and Samantha reappears in town at a rescue shelter where Liz is feeding the homeless. Soon, Samantha has to fess-up to who she really is, and although Liz has trouble with the ‘truth,’ she is also a woman of sheer and utter mercy who wants to help Samantha as best she can.
From love, friendship, kindness, to secrets being revealed, and a second chance at love, this author has certainly covered all the bases. The book is a lovely story that will make readers of inspirational fiction happy, although it is a bit ‘thin’ where the characters are concerned.
Until next time,
Question or comment regarding the review or the book? Click here and let Amy know.