Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reading Lips: A Memoir of Kisses

Reading Lips (A Memoir of Kisses)Author: Claudia Sternback
ISBN: 978-1-60953-307-2
Publisher: Unbridled Books
Source: Publisher for review
Link for purchase: Reading Lips

About the book:
Kisses, even the ones that don t happen, can be the trace of what s constant when life changes. In childhood, when what seems to define everything is competition for style, for knowing, for experience a kiss is the first first. When a girl s father moves out and chooses a new family, a kiss on the head from him may be the trace of constancy that she wants most. Later, such things take on a different flavor. Sometimes the kiss she wants doesn t come. Sometimes the one she wouldn t have is forced upon her. From time to time, the one she has kissed before is lost to her. Some kisses are final. When things are most hectic a kiss can be a celebration. And when circumstances grow threatening to a woman, her family, her sister a kiss becomes the reassertion of the most vital connections. The rich story in these essays rings with good humor and with moving wistfulness. Throughout, Sternbach maintains a perfect balance between them as her story moves from the bittersweet desires of childhood on through loss and love. Reading Lips is the tale of one woman who is just trying to get life right.

When I first received this book for review, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It is obviously a “memoir of kisses” but what was I going to reading within the pages? It turns out this title is far more than entry after entry of the authors kissing history. The title, which pays homage to the authors memorable kisses, also ties together experiences, lessons and the story of her life. With each new entry Claudia gives you a glimpse of her life and her personality. It’s a memoir written in a unique way as the author delves into her past, making the story bittersweet.

Claudia’s writing style is very easy to follow. As the reader I felt at ease with the story, as if I were a good friend sitting for coffee and re-living the moments with Claudia. There are all types of kisses and emotions in this memoir that give the reader a touching view of kisses. Claudia’s family is included in the book as she links each memory with the memories tied into her story, weaving them as one and making it whole.

I enjoyed this title. I especially enjoyed the chapter titles as I found them creative. Memoirs are not every readers cup of tea, but this memoir is one that can be related to by all because who hasn’t had a first kiss? A practiced kiss or bad kiss? How about an amazing, life changing kiss or even a goodbye kiss? It is a novel that is short, sweet and sure to have you thinking back on all your kisses!


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