Book Review: The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

My most lasting impression about The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway was, interestingly enough, not anything to do with the crux of the plot.

While I found the descriptions of the rose industry interesting, and I was mildly interested in Gal’s interaction with her niece, her friends, and her love interests, the part the really stayed with me was her experience with kidney failure. I never knew that much about dialysis before, and I think I always had this mental image that it affected your life in that you had to go to the doctor more frequently than other people.

I had never thought about how it would control what you ate and how much water you were allowed to drink. As someone who drinks about a gallon of water every day, it made me thirsty just thinking about Gal’s condition.

But I think there’s something about Gal herself that leaves the reader wanting. She seems so determined to not be dependent and to stamp down any feelings of neediness that she ends up stamping down just about every emotion. I didn’t feel her interest in maintaining any relationships. I barely felt her love for her niece in the writing. And while she even addresses this lack of concern for others (so consumed in her own problems as she is), it seemed like an afterthought. “Oh, yeah, maybe I should ask my friends what’s going on in their lives now and then.”

An afterthought that didn’t have much follow-through.

If you read this book, were your dissatisfied with Gal’s emotions? What was your most lasting impression of the book?

Join us in the BlogHer Book Club for even more discussion topics.

4 Steps for Getting Through Wedding Withdrawal

So. It’s been three days since you got back from your honeymoon. And, I mean, it was great and all. Really great. You loved it.

But something is amiss.

What is this weird sensation you have to search Pinterest for bouquet ideas? Why haven’t you cancelled your membership to the various online wedding planning sites you joined a few months ago? We all know you totally baited your coworker into bringing up that wedding she’s going to next week just so you could talk about it.

What you’re experiencing is wedding withdrawal, and there is a cure.

1. You don’t have to let go completely…yet.

There are still a few wedding-related tasks to accomplish after you say “I do.” Get your wedding dress cleaned and preserved (or donate it!), mail out those thank-you notes, and get on the arduous process of changing your name.

That’s bound to keep you preoccupied for at least a month, right?

2. Indulge your desire to plan by offering to host any baby or bridal showers that pop up.

Your husband’s cousin just found out she’s pregnant? You can totally plan her gender reveal party. Your sister’s friend just got engaged? DIBS ON THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY.

I mean, you needed to do something with that binder of centerpiece ideas.

3. Break up with your message boards.

I know, I know. You may have spent the last year chatting with those girls about your evil sister-in-law and whether or not your should alter your dress’s neckline, but hanging on (and getting inundated with wedding-themed newsletters) is only going to make the break-up harder.

Say your good-byes and delete your account—after you’ve become Facebook friends with the ones you would actually hang out with.

4. Remember that the wedding is supposed to end sometime.

You might have loved planning, but now it’s time to enjoy what really matters: your marriage! But don’t worry, it’s still okay to thumb through your wedding album (or even pop in the wedding video) whenever you get a craving.