ISBN: 9780345502094-Paperback/ 9780345513175-eBook
March 24, 2009
Ballantine Books, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group
$14.00 (US) $16.50 (CAN)-Paperback/ $14.00-eBook
Rating: 5 Cups
Carrie Manning has just lost her mother to cancer and does not know what to do or where she should be at in her life. At age thirty-seven, she has been wandering aimlessly through life, canceling her wedding and never finishing any job she has started.
Mifalda Leporello came from Italy to America at a young age to marry someone from the old country. As a child, she had a stain upon her name after being the child of a mother who was unwed and then dropped her off at an orphanage to be raised by the nuns.
Carrie knows she needs closure with her mother’s life and the secrets that were kept. After driving to see her Uncle Paulie, someone she has never even met, she is told a story of what her great-grandmother Mifalda Leporello was like, how her grandmother Lu Lawson was raised, and what exactly happened to her mother Rose Manning to make her become what she was.
Finding out who she is through her family ties, Carrie begins to understand the life her mother must have had. As she journeys from one generation to another through storytelling, she comes face to face with the family secrets, including her father’s death and how it involved her mother and affected her own life.
Beginning in 1936 and ending in 2009, we meet four different women who have made some mark on history and the people who touched their lives as we delve into the novel, Serendipity. We meet Mifalda, who struggles to contain both her and her daughter Lu’s wild bloodlines. Then there is Rose, who is raised by Mifalda until her teen years bring her to Lu, a mother who found the stage more important than her daughter. Finally we see Carrie, struggling to find her purpose in life, someone who as a child was pushed aside by her own mother so homeless children could have Rose’s love. This story begins with a laugh, but it is not long before I understand that Ms. Shaffer has written an unbelievably complex story that spans four generations. You will find yourself riveted to the characters and the lives they led, leaving you with a sense of hope, sadness, laughter, and tears and the realization of how amazing these four women are.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More