Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review of Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry

I was asked to participate in the announcement that with the release of the paperback version of the novel the author was also giving readers the very first app developed from a scene in a novel and so I said yes of course I'll blog about it. A few weeks later I received in the mail a box containing a hat planter, seeds and a copy of the novel. So I read the novel and planted the seeds. Here is the result of the seeds, now they must be magic seeds because I only planted them 4 days ago.
Go to Patti's website here for the app.

And this review is the result of the novel

Coming Up For Air
Patti Callahan Henry
St. Martin’s Press
272 pages

Patti Callahan Henry is a new author to me but that won’t last for long because she’s already become a trusted friend. Her novel is a poignant and fragile story of love loss, love gained and what the brokenness of a heart does to a person’s perspective on life, whether they learn from that loss, wallow in it or close their heart to it. It’s one woman’s search for something she didn’t know she was looking for. It was a glimpse of the present and the future by looking to the past. Her narrative is a smooth placid lake with intermittent eddies and crashing waves that brought the sights, smells and scenes straight from her pages onto a view screen in my mind. Her dialogue is the poetry of the south and it resonated in me with every ya’ll and hey she said. Her characters though, those are the stars of her tale, her Ellie and Hutch demanded attention and I breathlessly waited to see what would happen, plus the mystery that was Ellie’s mother hooked me. It is a love story and yet it’s more, it’s a story of life and how the choices made effect it.
If you love the work of Karen White or Dorothea Benton Frank give this author a try and I believe like me you’ll come back for more.

 Little did Ellie Calvin know that her mother’s death would be a catalyst to her finding secrets hid deep. That when her old love Hutch O’Brien contacts her for help with her mother’s part in his exhibit on Atlanta’s Women of the Year in the 60’s she’d learn that the woman she knew her mother to be was once someone very different. That when she opened the Pandora’s box that is her mother’s journal she would find between the pages a spirited and righteous woman who put herself smack dab in the middle of the civil rights movement in Alabama, she’d find a woman who had a secret love, one who wasn’t her father. And this was a mystery because Ellie has followed in her mother’s footsteps with her own methodical life, she used the doubt her mother planted about Hutch’s inappropriateness as a husband to turn in another direction. She didn’t know that working with Hutch would open up ancient wounds that never really closed. She didn’t know that digging around in her mother’s past would somehow dictate her future. But she’s about to discover not only who her mother was, but who she, Ellie, is as well. Ellie will have to make some decisions about what she wants from now on and some of those decisions will have irrevocable effects on those closest to her. She’ll wonder if trying her wings is worth the fall it may bring.
Buy the book here visit the author's website here


  1. "Losing The Moon" and "Where The River Runs" are Very Favorite Books for me By Patti..I should and will Pick up Coming up for Air..Because she really touched me..Need to get Back to some of My Very Favorite Southern Authors. Living in Georgia..I was taken with a Few Amazing Authors..and Patti was one of them.. Thanks Debbie...

    1. Thanks for your comment Susan. This was my first by her and I can't wait to dip my toes in more.

  2. I do Put Patti Right up there with Mary Alice Monroe and Dorothea Benton Frank...I know you will enjoy her earlier Books Deb..