Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"The Making of Nebraska Brown" by Louise Caiola

The Making of Nebraska Brown
by Louise Caiola

The Making of Nebraska Brown is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

The last thing eighteen-year-old Ann Leigh remembers is running from her boyfriend in a thick Nebraska cornfield. This morning she’s staring down a cool Italian sunrise, an entire continent from the life she once knew. The events of the eighteen months in between have inexplicably gone missing from her memory.
All at once she’s living with Tommy, an attractive, young foreigner asking for her continued love. Though he’s vaguely familiar, she recalls a boy named Shane in America who she reluctantly agreed to marry. Juggling a new world while her old one is still M.I.A is difficult enough without the terrifying movie scenes spinning a dizzy loop in her mind: glimpses of a devastating house fire, a romance gone wrong, an unplanned pregnancy, and a fractured family – each claiming to be part of who she once was – a girl and a past somehow discarded.
Ann Leigh must collect the pieces of herself to become whole again, but she doesn’t know who to trust especially when Tommy’s lies become too obvious to ignore. And above all, her heart aches to discover what became of the child she may or may not have given birth to.
The Making of Nebraska Brown tells the story of one girl’s coming apart from the inside and the great lengths she’ll go to reclaim herself and find her way home.

Book Trailer

Tommy sat down beside me. His musky cologne smelled familiar. His espresso-colored brown hair parted over on the left side of his head, draped over his ears in dogged springiness. I’d told him I liked it shorter. I knew that, too.
“Of course. We were supposed to meet there for lunch, like we always do on Tuesdays. What’s going on? Why are you playing games?”
I let my head fall into the cushion. Tears tempted me to cry them. They’d been behaving for hours now. I clamped my lids shut, breathed through my mouth. “I’m not playing. I don’t know what happened. I can’t remember why I’m here or who I am. Who you are.”
His hand fell on my knee like winter’s first snow, easy and without a sound. When he spoke, he used that same tone - sweet and calm as dawn. “Ana, it’s me. Tommy. And you’re you. We’re us. Have been for over a year.”
I wound my fingers with his, searched his face for the other half of this “us” he referred to. He pulled me close. Caramel wafted at me from inside that bag, slapping me around, calling me silly. Tommy held the small of my back in his palm. His hands were large, strong and sure, the kind of hands that had never had a frightened moment in their whole life.

The last thing Ann Leigh remembers is climbing the water tower to get away from Shane Kirkland, the man she is reluctantly supposed to marry. Somehow she wakes up in Campania, Italy, able to understand and speak Italian. She finds out that her name is Ana Lisa Carcossi (as evidenced by her passport) and that she lives with her boyfriend Tommy, who is also her boss. She has dreams of her past as Ann Leigh. But are they dreams or memories? With the help of Tommy and her friend Renata, Ana sets out on a quest to find out who she really is and how she came to be who she is now. What happened that was so terrible that she made herself forget? Will she be able to find her way back to herself? When Ana recovers her memories, will she wish she never did? And what part does Tommy play in all of this?
There are a few minor editing errors (e.g. course instead of coarse, stationary instead of stationery), lack of capitalization (e.g. states instead of States), and misuse of apostrophes (e.g. Kirkland's instead of Kirklands). However, these mistakes are more than compensated for by the author's wonderful turns of phrase. She has a beautiful way with words, and I highlighted more passages than I can recount here. I loved everything about this book; I loved Ana's voice, her sarcastic humor, her confused feelings over Shane. I could relate to the love/hate emotions he elicited in her. I found the story so compelling, I didn't want to put the book down.
I love it when my "job" brings me in touch with books like this which I might not otherwise have picked up to read. Do yourself a favor and read this one. It's a true gem of a book.

About the Author
As a young girl who spent her allowance on Nancy Drew mysteries, Louise realized that one day, she might have a story of her own to tell. Maybe even more than one story. After years focused on raising her children she eventually reconnected with her passion for creative writing. She soon began to craft a large collection of short stories which were published in the inspirational online magazine. Shortly thereafter, she authored her first novel, Wishless, a contemporary YA, released in 2011.
Louise devotes a portion of each day to honing her skills. She has several other novels currently in various stages of development. A confirmed bibliophile, Louise enjoys reading outdoors on a warm spring day and watching her pup chase leaves on a breeze. She looks forward to meeting others who share her love of the written word and invites you to visit her blog, her website, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 gift card.