Monday, November 22

Outside the Ordinary World by Dori Ostermiller (Review and Giveaway) ENDED

Sylvia Sandon is at a crossroads in her life. A wife and mother of two daughters, she and her city-planner husband are grappling with the escalating renovation of their antique farmhouse—a situation that mirrors the disarray in Sylvia’s life. Facing a failing marriage and a stalled career as an art teacher, Sylvia finds herself suddenly powerless to the allure of Tai Rosen, the father of her most challenging art student. As their passion ignites, Sylvia is forced to examine her past, and the seeds of betrayal that were sown decades earlier by her mother’s secret life.

Eloquently written and deeply thought-provoking, Ostermiller’s OUTSIDE THE ORDINARY WORLD crosses many years and miles—from the California brushfires in the 1970s to New England during the first half of this decade. Raised Seventh Day Adventist, Sylvia must reconcile the conflicting values exhibited by her parents—a mother involved in an extramarital affair and a father who was emotionally distant and abusive—while coming to terms with her own troubling role in her family’s dissolution and father’s tragic death.

While infidelity is a subject often explored in fiction, Ostermiller shines a razor-sharp lens on the gray areas surrounding betrayal, the interplay of religion, and the legacy passed down from one generation to the next. At the same time, she reveals the redemptive power of the human spirit to love, grow, and change despite family history.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dori Ostermiller was born in Los Angeles, a fifth-generation Californian. In her early 20′s, she abandoned her path as a pre-med student to pursue an MFA in writing at the University of Massachusetts. Since then, her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Bellingham Review, Roanoke Review, Alligator Juniper, Chautauqua Literary Journal and the Massachusetts Review. She is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist’s Grant and a Tobias Wolf Fiction award, and is the founder of Writers in Progress, a literary arts center in Western Massachusetts.

Her debut novel, Outside the Ordinary World, was released by MIRA in August, 2010. She lives in Northampton, with her husband and two daughters, and is at work on her second novel.


OTHER BLOG TOUR PARTICIPANTS

Monday, November 1st: Book Club Classics!
Tuesday, November 2nd: Rundpinne
Wednesday, November 3rd: Cozy Little House
Thursday, November 4th: Lit and Life
Monday, November 8th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, November 9th: I’m Booking It
Wednesday, November 10th: The 3 R’s Blog
Thursday, November 11th: Dolce Bellezza
Monday, November 15th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Tuesday, November 16th: Reviews from the Heart
Wednesday, November 17th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Thursday, November 18th: Starting Fresh
Friday, November 19th: Diary of an Eccentric
Wednesday, November 24th: In the Next Room

MY THOUGHTS

Outside the Ordinary World is a sad look at how the actions of one generation is passed onto the next one. Sylvia has memories from her childhood of her mother having an affair, and the kids were often taken along for holidays and secret rendezvous, and sworn to secrecy.  It was a double life that no child should be forced to be involved in.

As Sylvia's own marriage crumbles around her, she follows in her mother's footsteps.  Somehow she thinks that things are different in her own situation, and she justifies her actions to herself.  A transparent look at infidelity and the affect that it has on the entire family, this story is a painful journey to find happiness and fulfillment.

To be perfectly honest, I got so frustrated with Sylvia and the choices she was making.  I wanted to shake her and tell her that she should know better!  I wanted to protect the children involved, and somehow spare them from the hurts, secrets and lies that were inevitable. This is a very thought-provoking novel that would be a good choice for book club discussions.


Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of Outside the Ordinary World through TLC Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review.

THE GIVEAWAY

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, one reader of this blog will win a copy of Outside the Ordinary World.
  • For one entry, leave your email address.
  • For a second entry, be a follower of this blog. Leave a separate comment saying that you follow.
  • Only residents of the U.S. or Canada are eligible to win.
  • Giveaway ends Wednesday, December 15.

24 comments:

  1. I would love to read this book, it sounds really interesting.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a gfc follower.
    debbie
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Please enter my name in the giveaway for the book. Thanks!

    I follow you on Google Reader.

    pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd find this very interesting. Thanks for the chance to win it.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  5. I follow.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  6. This book is on my wish list!! Thanks! schaefer7382 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am a GFC follower! Thanks!
    schefer7382 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Even though you found it sad, I say any book that evokes that kind of emotion (wanting to shake the character!) must be pretty good! Thank you so much for being on the tour.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful cover!

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  10. A GFC follower.

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds great! Would love to win!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

    ReplyDelete
  12. I follow on GFC.

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

    ReplyDelete
  13. Why are all the lovely books with restrictions!!!!

    Dont count me in!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Count me in!

    billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'd love to be entered for this book! Thanks for the giveaway! :D

    ~Briana
    thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Long time GFC follower. :D

    ~Briana
    thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I would love to read Outside the Ordinary World :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!
    http://scr.im/ladybugemail

    ReplyDelete
  18. Publicly following Along the Way with Google Friend Connect [Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}]
    http://scr.im/ladybugemail

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  19. This sounds really good. Please enter me, thanks.

    ruthiekb72ATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  20. I follow you on my yahoo home page.

    ruthiekb72ATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love the sounds of this book and would love to be entered

    sharon54220@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm a GFC follower

    sharon54220@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sounds thought-provoking! Please count me in. Thank you!

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I follow

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete