Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review: "Sand in My Eyes" by Christine Lemmon

Anna Hott is in her 50's now, and her children have all flown the nest. Her twin sons and her daughter are all settled in college, and she finally has time to perfect the novel that she has been chipping away at since the kids were little.

In a story-within-a-story, we read the story that Anna has written. Anna's story reflects back on the time when her children were young; little whirlwinds depleting Anna's energy in their tiny Florida home. Anna has discovered that her husband had cheated on her, a one-time deal that Anna is unable to forgive. While he takes off for business trips, staying in nice hotels with room service and clean sheets, Anna is stuck at home caring for the children, bouncing checks for necessary grocery items. Anna is filled with a justifiable resentment towards her husband. One day her neighbor, the elderly Fedelina Aurelio, knocks on her door. Fedelina brings with her the wisdom of having raised seven children of her own, and using flowers as analogies, helps Anna to survive both her crumbling marriage and her busy children. The book that Anna has written is an ode to her.

I loved the character of Fedelina Aurelio. Her advice in Sand in My Eyes was spot- on and relevant, and she was full of words of wisdom for the mothers of young children. Fedelina reminds mothers to take time for themselves in order to be better mothers. She tells us to keep our husbands as a priority in our lives as well, instead of just treating them as afterthoughts once the children come along. She tells us to enjoy our children while they are little, because when they are grown we will miss this time and wish that we could go back. She is a spunky little old lady, and someone who I wish that I could have as a neighbor.

Anna, unfortunately, was a character with whom I was unable to connect with. I found her to be whiny, yet unwilling to do anything to change her situation. Anna struggles throughout the book with wanting to write, yet being unable to find the time to do so with a household in need of cleaning and children in need of raising. I can certainly relate to that, that need to be something beyond a mother, a maid, a cook, a wife, yet Anna seemed to be in a stagnant place. She whined about her circumstances, but resisted making any positive changes in her life. Sometimes, as mothers, we need to make choices in order to capture bits of happiness in our lives. We need to choose to leave the house a little messy so that we can spend the afternoon at the park with the kids. We need to choose to let the kids watch an hour of bad cartoons so that we can get a few moments to ourselves. Sometimes I felt a little like kicking Anna, telling her to either find happiness in her circumstances, or to make changes so that she can.

Because I was unable to relate to Anna, I found that Sand in My Eyes didn't quite gel for me. There were some redeeming portions in the last quarter of the book, sections when I found that I was able to cheer Anna on towards her personal happiness, but overall I found that it just didn't work. I was disappointed with parts of the ending as well. I felt that we, as readers, were led in a certain direction only to find out that it was all false. My opinion is in the minority, though, so please check out A Novel Source or Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews for a different perspective. You can find out more about Christine Lemmon and her books at, and you can find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Mothers and fans of inspirational books
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010

I received a review copy of this book from Book Sparks PR and Penmark Publishing, LLC in exchange for my honest opinion.

1 comment:

  1. It's hard sometimes when you can't connect to the main character. I think she'd annoy me, too.