Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Mind of Her Own
Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
Tyndale House Publishers
2015
✯✯✯✯✯

Official Backpage Synopsis

Who knew making dinner could change your life? Louisa Copeland certainly didn’t. But when the George Foreman grill falls out of the pantry onto her head, resulting in a bump and a mighty case of amnesia, Louisa’s life takes a turn for the unexpected. Who is this Collin fellow, claiming she is his wife? And whose kids are those? Her name can’t be Louisa. Why, she is the renowned romance writer Jazz Sweet, not a Midwestern mom of three. Struggling to put the pieces together of the life she’s told she had, Louisa/Jazz may realize that some memories are better left alone.

My Take in 3 Parts

The Theme
What you have here is the story of a woman who's not entirely happy with her life. There are parts of herself, important parts, that she's kept hidden from her family and that have kept her from blossoming into a fully-formed and healthy human being. Fear plays a large role in Louisa's life, and Jazz is almost completely free from that fear.

It's a tantalizing idea. Imagine going to sleep as one person and waking up as someone else, and not in the play-acting sense, but in the I-really-am-this-person sense. Louisa's mind simply can't fight off her desires anymore, her yearning to be this person she keeps trapped inside, that it finally stepped aside and simply let Jazz out.

Really, the theme is about the power of healing, the power of confessing about bad things that have happened to you and being able to move on from them. It's an incredibly moving theme and one that also brought a fracturing family back into alignment, from Collin falling back in love with his wife and her with him, to building relationships with their children. Life is more than just work and the almighty dollar. It's about family and friends and faith.

The Characters
Jazz/Louisa is simply amazing. I liked her as Louisa, loved her as Jazz, and deeply appreciated the melding of the two personalities into one. Jazz is spunky and fun-loving and doesn't care about the little things and all the little rules that make a house so cold and impersonal. Since the book spends most of its time with Jazz, I really felt like I knew her, and even that she and I could be friends. Louisa grieved my heart because of the trauma in her past. She's such a conflicted character and she needed the strength of a Jazz Sweet to help her comes to terms with the bad memories.

As for the hubby, even when I didn't always agree with him, I did always like him, if that makes sense. He has a tender, compassionate heart that just gets overwhelmed by work because he thinks his family needs the big house, the fancy car, and a ton of money to be happy. Really, all they need as each other, and once Louisa has her accident and Collin starts spending more time with the family, he realizes the true importance and value of family. He's a terrific male lead and always endearing. His support of Jazz/Louisa's dream is truly beautiful.

The Writing
Diana Lesire Brandmeyer is gifted. No doubt about it. Her writing is deliciously active. I hardly wanted to put Mind of Her Own down, I enjoyed it so thoroughly. Her characters and setting have a profound ring of truth in that life isn't always perfect and marriage will have its bumps. Yet the sense of humor she uses in her writing makes even the serious plot points easier to handle than a dark, broody novel.

Final Thoughts

I find Ms. Brandmeyer's style to be absolutely genuine and I truly hope she publishes more books in the same vein of Mind of Her Own. I suspect this book will touch many lives, as well it should. It's not every day that you find a book that so deftly handles abuse and memory blockage in such a way that it isn't overly traumatic. I genuinely cared about Jazz/Louisa and Collin and wanted their marriage to work. I wanted to see the family grow close again. I'm not really one for contemporary fiction, but if I could find more like Mind of Her Own than I would read far more of it. This one really is a winner and one of my favorite reads of 2015!

NOTE - I received this book as a complementary copy from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.

2 comments:

  1. I have a weakness for stories involving amnesia. My library doesn't have it yet, but I'm putting it on my to-read list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't read a lot of amensia fiction, but I loved this one. I hope you enjoy it when your library purchases a copy!

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