2016 Book #96 – The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper

51lfjgkxu-l-_sx329_bo1204203200_Title: The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin
Author: Stephanie Knipper
Date finished: 10/9/16
Genre: Fiction, magical realism
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Pages in book: 325
Stand alone or series: Stand-alone
Where I got the book from: Library Thing NOTE: I received this book for free from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Sisters Rose and Lily Martin were inseparable when growing up on their family’s Kentucky flower farm yet became distant as adults when Lily found herself unable to deal with the demands of Rose’s unusual daughter. But when Rose becomes ill, Lily is forced to return to the farm and to confront the fears that had driven her away.
Rose’s daughter, ten-year-old Antoinette, has a form of autism that requires constant care and attention. She has never spoken a word, but she has a powerful gift that others would give anything to harness–she can heal with her touch. She brings wilted flowers back to life, makes a neighbor’s tremors disappear, and even changes the course of nature on the flower farm.
Antoinette’s gift, though, comes at a price, since each healing puts her own life in jeopardy. As Rose–the center of her daughter’s life–struggles with her own failing health and Lily confronts her anguished past, the sisters, and the men who love them, come to realize the sacrifices that must be made to keep this very special child safe.
Written with great heart and a deep understanding of what it feels like to be different, The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin is a novel about what it means to be family and about the lengths to which people will go to protect the ones they love.

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Rose and Lily Martin and Rose’s daughter Antoinette. Rose and Lily have always had a special bond, even for sisters. And when Rose has Antoinette, Lily loves the little girl more than anything. But Lily sees a lot of herself in Antoinette and she is afraid of trying to help her sister care for a girl with special needs. So Lily leaves home and starts a life on her own. When Rose calls six years later though, its to ask once again for Lily to come home. Rose needs help more desperately than before, she’s dying and she’s not sure how much time she has left. But can Lily really come home that easily? And can she be responsible for such an extraordinary girl like Antoinette?
Overall I liked this book ok, though I will admit it wasn’t one of my favorites. I liked Antoinette’s character and I loved being able to hear her thoughts and her perspective even though she couldn’t speak, I thought that was an interesting part of the story. The story line of this book reminded me a lot of The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott, so if you’ve read that one and enjoyed it then I would definitely recommend reading this one. And if you like magical realism this is a great one to read.

The bottom line: I liked this book but I don’t think it thrilled me or anything. It was a good book though. If you liked The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott then I would definitely read this one!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #48 – The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

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Title: The Wonder of All Things
Author: Jason Mott
Date finished: 5/23/15
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Pages in book: 303
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

On the heels of his critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling debut novel, The Returned, Jason Mott delivers a spellbinding tale of love and sacrifice.
On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators. After the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds disappear.
Ava has an unusual gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. Now the whole world knows, and suddenly people from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Child. But Ava’s unique ability comes at a great cost, and as she grows weaker with each healing, she soon finds herself having to decide just how much she’s willing to give up in order to save the ones she loves most.
Elegantly written, deeply intimate and emotionally astute, The Wonder of All Things is an unforgettable story and a poignant reminder of life’s extraordinary gifts.

My rating: 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Roof Beam Reader TBR Pile Reading Challenge, #10 on the list I set for myself at the beginning of this year. I had seen this book featured in a lot of different places last year towards the end of the year and after reading the description of the book, I really wanted to give it a try. There were a lot of things going on in this book, and so many feels. Word gets out to the world that Ava can heal people almost as if by magic. People start flocking to the small town of Stone Temple, almost all of them wanting something from the girl who can perform these miracles. Ava can’t just heal people with no consequences though, and the more times she has to use her “powers” the worse her health deteriorates.
What amazes me is that even as people realize that helping people in this way makes Ava sick, they still expect her to use her gift to heal people. This astounded me. It was very thought-provoking, realizing that people in desperate situations expect a little girl to give up her health in order to save people she doesn’t know. It is overwhelmingly depressing at the same time thinking that there is so many things in the world that are unfair, like the little boy that the Reverend wanted Ava to heal in the book who was dying of brain cancer. To think of this little boy’s parents, if I were them yes I would demand that Ava do everything that she could to help my boy. But would I want her to hurt herself to help my family? I can’t honestly say what I would do in that situation. Its easy to claim that I would do the right thing but at the same time I would do anything possible to save my son.
I loved Ava’s character, and Wash’s too. Their friendship was pure and innocent and would’ve grown into something more at some point I’m sure. This story’s ending was a bit tragic to be honest but I found it both touching and moving. It was overwhelmingly emotional, I ended up crying for pretty much the whole last chapter. There were a lot of characters in this story, and I wouldn’t necessarily say they were good or bad people but most of them had their own agendas and they were just acting within that scope. Overall I thought this was a great story and was interesting and very moving.

The bottom line: I would recommend this book, I would have a box of tissues handy though.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page