Monday, June 18, 2012

I Couldn't Love You More - Jillian Medoff - Review AND Giveaway

 I Couldn't Love You More is author Jillian Medoff's latest novel, but the first for this reader.

I had no idea what to expect, but a cover blurb from Jodi Picoult hinted at a thoughtful, thought-provoking novel. And it was.

Thirty eight year old Eliot Gordon  lives with her partner Grant and their three children. One daughter, Hilary, is Eliot and Grant's child. The other two daughters, Gail and Charlotte, are from Grant's marriage. Yes, a blended family with all it's ups  - and downs.

I was drawn to Eliot from the first page. She's a warm, caring, loving mother to all three girls, treating them all equally. Charlotte at fourteen makes it very difficult to love her, but Eliot perseveres. The girls' biological mother is a bit of a flake and Eliot is a calming, steady rock in their lives. Grant too is a rock -  a man steadfastly devoted to his partner and family.

Eliot is one of three girls herself and is also from a broken home. She's had no contact with her own father for many, many years. This has only strengthened her resolve to provide a stable home for the girls. Eliot's sisters are both quite the characters. I was a bit turned off by Sylvia at first. She's loud, brash and over the top. As the novel progressed, I have to admit that she became my favourite character, ahead of Eliot.

For midway in the novel comes a turning point. Although she is happy, there are ups and downs in Eliot's life. When Finn, an old flame from university appears,  Eliot reconnects with him. This reconnection has an unforeseeable, unforgettable, unimaginable impact on Eliot, Grant and their daughters. The second half of the novel deals with the fallout from this pivotal point onwards.

Medoff touches on  many subjects in I Couldn't Love You More. Sibling rivalry, step parenting, parenting, familial relationships of all types, love, loss, regrets and remorse, grief and guilt.  And Medoff does it all with a keen, knowing eye and probing prose.

The second half of the book had me torn. Without giving too much of the plot away - I became very angry with Eliot - her choices, her decisions and the aftermath. But, this is the hallmark of a good storyteller. Medoff definitely arouses emotion with this poignant tale. This would be an excellent choice for a book club.....and engender lots  of discussion.

You can find Jillian Medoff on Twitter and on Facebook. Like the sound of this book? Get a sneak peek - read an excerpt of I Couldn't Love You More.

OR....

simply leave a comment to be entered in my giveaway! Three copies up for grabs - open to US/Canada, no PO boxes. Ends July 14. Thanks to Five Spot Publishing.

32 comments:

Jillian Medoff said...

Thank you so much for your thoughtful review. Your comments are very generous! I too loved Sylvia by the end of the book! I'm happy to send signed, personalized bookplates to anyone who wins/buys a copy of I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE. Thanks again for your support. Yours,
Jillian

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I have heard such wonderful things about this book, and your great review reinforces that. Please enter me to win your contest.

petite said...

Your wonderful review captivated me. Many thanks for this great giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

Thanks for this interesting and intriguing book. I enjoyed the review which captured my interest. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Jenna said...

I've heard so much praise for this book- it is on my TBR. Thanks for the chance to win!

papajm25 AT gmail DOT com

bermudaonion said...

Only well written books make you angry. This sounds really good! No need to enter me.

Jo said...

Great review! Would love to read this book :)

AmandaSue said...

I'd love a chance to read this!

pinkflipflops said...

i've heard a lot of good things about this one!

Carl said...

It sounds wonderfully well-written and with a recommendation from Jodi Picoult how could you go wrong. Thanks.

carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

Kauaigal said...

Finally subscribed and look forward to reading your reviews. Love reading!

Maureen said...

It looks like an intriguing story.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Karen B said...

Great review - and now on my wish list! Thank you!
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Martha Lawson said...

I've never read her before! The book sounds truly wonderful. I'd love to be entered to win.
Thanks for the giveaway.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Kristen said...

I have heard such wonderful things about this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

kly(dot)327@gmail.com

holdenj said...

It sounds like a thought provoking read in the end. Thanks for the info and chance to win.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Shonda said...

This is on my wishlist. Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
mybookandcouch@gmail.com

Bethie said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to win this one!

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Erica said...

Hope I win! Sounds like a great book.

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Erica said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

wordywon at gmail dot com

Jennifer D said...

Thanks for the chance to win what sounds like a really great book.

jmndowning@gmail.com

Margie said...

This sounds like a thought-provoking book. Thanks for the mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Unknown said...

Your review got my attention. It gave a reinforcement to the wonderful buzz about "I Couldn't Love You More"! I thank you for the giveaway!
Cyndee Thomas
Cyndee dot thomas0 at gmail dot com

Tanya Quilts in CO said...

Thanks for not giving too much about the story away in your review. Please enter me!

jefftanyaheather(at)bresnan(dot)net

jennD said...

Fingers crossed!

jmndowning@gmail.com

Sharn3960 said...

Sounds heart-breaking but I'd love to read it! THanks

sharn3960 AT comcast DOT net

Heather said...

Thanks for the great giveaway.

Goweezie AT aol DOT com

Heather said...

Thanks for the great giveaway.

Goweezie AT aol DOT com

Jencey Gortney said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I am sorry I missed her when she was in Decatur GA. Still looks like an awesome book.

jenceyg at g mail dot com

I tweeted your giveaway.

Cynthia said...

Would love a chance to win this book! Your review makes it sound like a great book, and sounds like an author I would really enjoy reading!

Unknown said...

The review was awesome. I have heard I need to read this. Thanks for my entry to win a copy.
Cyndee Thomas
cyndee.thomas0@gmail.com