Remember Me is a poignant tale of two woman, best friends as girls and young women, and then estranged as adults. After a tragic accident, the two women unexpectedly meet up again and have to face the past before they can continue into the future.
Mia is a teenage African American girl in 1970’s Detroit. She has a difficult relationship with her father, and her parents decide to send her to a private Catholic all-girls school after she gets in trouble for holding hands with a boy on the school bus. As part of a small group of African American girls at her new school, Mia is taunted by her peers as well as a teacher who has a problem accepting black students and treating them as equals. A white loner student, Danielle, stands up for Mia and helps her to prove her case against the teacher. Danielle has recently lost her mother and is having difficulty at home with her racist father and his new wife and children. Mia and Danielle soon become fast friends.
In 2010, Mia is a wealthy cancer survivor living in a plush Detroit suburb. Her daughter, Alex, is her high school valedictorian and has been accepted on a full academic scholarship to the University of Michigan. Life suddenly comes crashing down upon Mia when she discovers her husband’s infidelity and financial misdeeds at his brokerage firm. Mia finds herself starting over as a teacher at fifty.
Danielle is a very successful author living in Florida with her ex-actor husband and her daughter Tiffany. Danielle has no close friends and indeed the closest relationship she has is with her dog. She seems to push away her husband and has difficulties having a relationship with her daughter as she seems focused on her daughter’s weight problems.
A tragic accident soon brings the two ex-friends back together. What caused their estrangement as young women? Will they be able to resolve their differences and move on together as friends?
I loved this novel’s format. It flashed back and forth from the present to the past to tell the story of the two women and their friendship. Mia and Danielle were both interesting characters in their different ways, but I must admit that I enjoyed reading about Mia the most. I loved her vibrant personality and how she was able to take life by the horns and move through difficult situations. As Danielle was more of a loner, it was hard at times to identify with her, but I also enjoyed her growth through the novel to really understand what is important in life. I found myself really caring about these two characters and wondering how the tragedy was going to play out. I couldn’t put the book down and I read it quickly.
I think I identified with the story as I think everyone has friends that vary through life. Some friends are your best friends as children or teens, but then through different circumstances, you grow apart as you get older. Robinson was able to perfectly capture the essence of the changing nature of friendship.
I also really enjoyed the novel’s setting. Truthfully, I am getting tired of most women’s fiction (or at least the novels I read) being set in New York City or London. Detroit was a unique setting and interesting to read about. I grew up in southwestern Michigan and my experiences were far different then two girls growing up in the Detroit area. It is almost like a different state – but probably more different from the urban versus rural setting. Cheryl Robinson vividly brings Detroit alive and makes me want to visit and see if any of the restaurants she describes are real! As my baby sister is moving from Texas to Ann Arbor, I’ll be visiting the area soon.
I also enjoyed how up to date the book is with Facebook and texting featured in the story line. One of my favorite lines in the novel is when Mia tells her mother she should be on Facebook and her mother replies something along the lines of, “Why would I want to be on Spacebook?”
As a book club member, I loved reading about Mia’s book club, “The Sophisticated Readers of Oakland County.” It was a large book club of fifty ladies that were very selective of the books they chose and had authors to visit quite often. I wish my small book clubs could have authors that would like to visit Kewaunee, Wisconsin!
Overall, Remember Me is a wonderful story of friendship throughout the course of a lifetime. It is also a story of racism, betrayal, and other weighty topics. This book has the two women examine their current lives and determine what really matters. I think we could all stand back and do this to our own lives.
I read this book as a part of the TLC Book Tours. The full tour schedule is located here.
Book Source: Advance Review Copy from Penguin Group Inc. Thank-you!
For more information about this book, check out these links:
Remember Me on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Remember-Me-Cheryl-Robinson/dp/0451233387
Cheryl's website: www.cherylrobinson.com
Cheryl on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RememberMebyCherylRobinson
ALSO! A set of 10 copies of Remember Me will be the prize in our TLC Book Club of the Month contest in September. However, the link won't be 'live' until Sept 1st. But you could certainly mention it in your reviews if you like! The winning book club will also win a Skype or phone chat with Cheryl, plus a gorgeous red velvet cake from Daisy Cakes (www.ilovedaisycakes.com), because a red velvet cake plays a role in the story! I'll include a picture of the cake for you to drool over :-)
not a live link until Sept. 1st----> http://tlcbooktours.com/2011/09/book-club-of-the-month-contest-for-september-2011/
Penguin Group, Inc. is going to send one lucky winner a copy of Remember Me by Cheryl Robinson.
If you would like to win a copy of Remember Me by Cheryl Robinson please leave a comment about what intrigues you about the novel.
As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.
For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.
I will be using random.org (or a monte carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.
This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents (Sorry!).
No P.O. Boxes.
The deadline for entry is midnight, Friday August 19th.