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From Publishers Weekly  MOTHER

In the latest from Rentschler, a grief-afflicted woman finally puts five years of mourning to use, starting a tender journey of self-discovery with a similarly afflicted soul. Mary Sullivan is a woman who has lost herself in the process of caring for her husband and two sons, while grief over her own dead mother quietly consumes her. A chance encounter at a luncheonette introduces Mary to Cathy, a chatty, free-spirited college student. When Cathy's mother dies suddenly, the two women forge a bond based on mutual grief. As Cathy attempts to contact her deceased mother via a psychic, Mary embarks on her own, divergent path to recovery; along the way, they help each other find peace and understanding. Though unsurprising, Rentschler's book is a quick and effortless indulgence, the lit-fic equivalent of a coffee break: while it might lack the resonance of more layered fiction, this novel will provide comfort and encouragement for anyone who has struggled with grief.
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Library Journal Review  MOTHER

Still grieving the death of her mother five years on, Mary Sullivan has been living on autopilot. Immersing herself in the daily details of taking care of her two teenage sons and husband, she gets by with occasional lapses of overwhelming grief. During a quick stop at a luncheonette, she breaks down again only to be helped by Cathy, the young woman manning the counter. Cathy's compassion is quickly reciprocated as Cathy finds herself motherless following a tragic accident. As Mary guides Cathy through the technical and emotional aspects of a loved one's death, Mary's family grows resentful of this interruption to their domestic routine. Author and playwright Rentschler (Jitters) has beautifully blended convincing characters, perceptive portraits of family relationships and friendships, and insight into the human capacity for healing and renewal. Recommended for all popular fiction collections. -- Library Journal ReviewFrom Publishers Weekly   JITTERS


From Publishers Weekly  JITTERS

Rita Domino is engaged to the successful, handsome, ever-so-devoted Dr. Evan Moore-everyone's idea of the perfect spouse. "We're all lucky to have Evan," chirps her mother. "It's the nicest thing you ever did for our family." So what's the problem? Struggling with everything from feminist sensibilities to a fear of monogamy, the sharp-witted, outspoken Rita resists the wedding plans every step of the way, much to the dismay of her traditional Italian family, and her employers at Lady of Leisure magazine, who are documenting-and orchestrating-the nuptials. To Rita's horror, her "impending doom" becomes a media event, and the couple's innermost thoughts, public information. What ensues is a spate of family quarrels and second thoughts, as well as some surprising plot turns. With a delightfully offbeat cast of characters and punchy dialogue, Rentschler has written a wry commentary on the institution of marriage and its effect on the betrothed. However, as the big day approaches and Rita's nervousness rises to an irritating near-hysteria, readers may wish she paid more attention to her own earlier insight: "the promise was only love, not eternal happiness, and it provides no guarantees."
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