Jena Henry: I am a writer, blogger, book reviewer, and bon vivant and encourager. I have lived my entire life in Tropical Ohio. My goal is to make friends with everyone in the world. I wrote a fiction series, The Golden Age of Charli, that presents the problems and praises, and the love and laughter of family life and retirement. My passions are blogging, reading and reviewing, and writing. My life is a WIP.
I met Jena through social media several years ago. All along, she was a friendly and supportive friend to all authors. I’ve watched her blog grow, and I always look forward to reading her blog, where she is never out of ideas or books to review. (Authors: Jena loves to blog book reviews and feature authors, so don’t be shy in contacting her.)
The newest idea to come to fruition is to team up with Jessie Cahalin, another supporter of indie authors. She has a wonderful blog called Books in my Handbag.
In Jena’s words:
Welcome to the world of Jena’s Golden Chapters with Jessie Cahalin at Books in my Handbag. Each month, Jena explores Jessie’s Handbag Gallery, selects a novel that piques her interest and then peeks at the opening chapter and reviews it. You are invited to look inside Jena’s glamorous, golden handbag. Let’s see if she can tempt you with some golden reads.
Read more about the creation of the Golden Chapters here.
Jena also blogs about new releases. Jena doesn’t skimp on detail; I think that’s why she’s just shy of 15,000 subscribers to her blog. (It’s at 14,994…let’s get her over the top, RAC Readers!) [Editor’s Note: Jena’s blog is now over 15k!]
Here is one of her latest reviews, and you’ll see that she is fair, honest, and detailed. What reader wouldn’t want to follow Jena?
When I read Author Jenni Keer’s first book, The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker, here’s how I described it. “…a story that evokes a certain adorable mood. This debut novel is part fairy tale, part Wizard of Oz, and completely loveable and engaging.” Once again, the same magic spins its joy in Ms. Keer’s second book, a humorous fiction novel.
When we meet Maisie, she has a boyfriend and a job. By the second chapter in the book, she has no boyfriend, and no job. But, she does have Nigel, who is a…oh I’ll let you find that out for yourself.
It’s delightful getting to know young-adult Maisie. In addition to the no job and no boyfriend situation, she has a fragmented family. But, she’s not one to say “Why me?”
She fixes her job situation by taking a marketing position at Gildersleeves Antiques. What a wonderful part of the story- Gildersleeves has plenty of quirky characters, along with an equally exotic assortment of cast-offs, collectibles and treasures.
And that’s how Maisie discovers a teapot from her past, which belonged to the Mayhew sisters. Is the teapot magical? Will it help her solve her other problems?
The charm and strength of Ms. Keer’s books are the characters. And in this book, she has given us so many quirky, yet redeemable people to get to know and love. From the employees at Gildersleeves, to the six Mayhew sisters, and Maisie’s mother, father and four siblings, we have an abundance of treats to savor. My favorites (in addition to Maisie) were Arthur, an older, lonely man and Maisie’s emotional mother, Beverly. Although I really shouldn’t pick favorites as I am leaving out two very wonderful and important gentlemen. And then there’s that one guy at the care home.
Throughout the story, Maisie continues to put one tidy and well-organized foot in front of the other, and she ends up being a “restorative tonic” for all. With themes of family, friendships, aging, and antiques, which are really all tied together, we find what’s important to cherish in Maisie’s unlikely life.
Is Maisie a bit slow to catch on to things? Yes. But, by the end of this charming and totally satisfying book, Maisie works it out. And when she does, I felt as happy as Nigel. Everything comes together and even the garden gnomes find a place to belong.
In the author notes, Ms. Keer mentioned that she was relieved to have completed the notoriously tricky second book. Not to worry- the story of Maisie surpasses the loveliness of the first book. There are so many more characters, feelings and thoughts, and so many perfect phrases and word pictures. I did feel confused by the first chapter of the book- but it was like unpacking a mixed-lot bin of collectibles- once I sorted it out, the pleasures were revealed. Enjoy this gentle, endearing book!
Thanks to Netgalley, Avon Books UK and Rachels Random Resources for a review copy. This is my honest review.
Take a look at Jena’s website for more delightful surprises, and then subscribe. The Reader World is lucky to have you, Jena… and that’s my honest opinion!