Today I am pleased to participate in the Innovative Online Book Tour for Saving Peace, a novel by Mohanalaksimi Rajakumar.
Title: Saving Peace
Author: Mohanalaksimi Rajakumar
Format: eBook, 218 pages
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN #: B006VIOZ1A
Purchase now: Buy Saving Peace Now
Enter to win: Rafflecopter to Win Saving Peace
Book Blurb: Thirty years intervene in the friendships begun at the all female Peace College.
Sib, the local news anchor with dreams of going national.
Mary Beth, the capable, restless mother of three.
Kim, the college president who admits male students.
Saving Peace is the story of promises made and broken, love found then lost, and redemption sought for the past.
Three women. Two choices. One campus.
Everyone grows up. That is the overwhelming lesson that arrived with this book. Set in North Carolina, and centered on the lives of 3 women who have been friends since attending Peace College. Their all woman’s college is changing, admitting men and renaming itself William Peace University, without forewarning to current students or alumni, a transgression made more egregious when you realize that one of the main 3 characters is currently the president of the school.
Siobhan is the anchor of the local state-wide news, and appears to be terminally unhappy with her life, yet is unwilling to make steps to resolve the issue. Mary Beth, the first of the trio to marry right out of college, also appears to be the one most disturbed by the changes. Lastly there is Kim; unmarried and the university president, she is ducking her friends from her college days: if ducking can be explained in the drifting apart they have done in the years since school.
While all three women were from similar backgrounds and chose the same college, it is most evident to me from the story unfolding that their friendships were really created with proximity and chance: Mary Beth and Siobhan were roommates, Kim the single room on their floor. As is common in the college years, there are many things that are of dire importance that bond you – and in this story, most often those seem to center around men. The lack of men, the wanting of men, the marrying of men. And that is where the story rather lost me.
While I will say that the story was beautifully crafted, and the characters are well developed to show their faults and insecurities, there is some general lack of actual “liking” of one another that would carry forward through 30 years of acquaintance. All of the women feel incredibly uncomfortable in each other’s presence – whether from unreasonably long held resentments or just the fact that they realize there is no friendship there underneath it all, I am not sure. Perhaps they all have realized that the ‘idyllic impression’ often given to all-women’s schools, the overwhelming sense of “empowerment and support” is little more than an impression if the people who attend are not supportive and willing to be empowering to the community.
While this wasn’t the instantly engaging story I had hoped for, full of that palpable feeling of 30 years of friendships maintained even when paths have changed, diverged and strayed, there was a set of mysteries to be solved: how did they come to be so disparate and distant from each other? It is answered, in ways that you may not expect or realize until long after the book is finished.
It wasn’t my cup of tea – I expected different with far more evidence of friendship displayed in the connections – but if you are an alumni of a woman’s college – you may find a far different impression.
Other Participants and reviewers on this tour:
Andi’s Book Reviews
Living, Learning, and Loving Life
Crystal’s Book Corner
Better Read Than Dead
The Bunny’s Review
The Self-Taught Cook
Hooks and Book
Kaisy Daisy’s Corner
Excerpt, Author Bio and Contact information: Read More
About the Author: Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to a full time passion. She has since published five e-books including a mom-ior for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me, a guide for aspiring writers, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, a short story collection, Coloured and Other Stories, and a novel about women’s friendships, Saving Peace. Most recently, From Dunes to Dior, is a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf. After she joined the e-book revolution, she dreams in plotlines. Learn more about her work on her website at www.mohanalakshmi.com or follow her latest on Twitter: @moha_doha