Mothers of Pine Way is the sequel to Corrine Ardoin's highly acclaimed novel, Fathers of Edenville. Grieving over the death of her beloved mother Ev, Candelaria Hart puts all her efforts into shedding light on the plight of migrant workers in America. Feeling proud of her Native and Mexican American heritage, Candelaria starts participating in marches with migrant workers and publishes columns in prominent magazines. Yet, she finds herself getting ever more distant from her son, Jim, a promising young man who gave in to alcohol and currently is having an affair with another man's wife. Meanwhile, her daughter, Rosa, prepares to be married to the love of her life. As Jim gets more lost, Candelaria must find inner peace with the help of her friends and family.
Mothers of Pine Way is an enthralling slice-of-life story that masterfully showcases the struggles, hopes, and dreams of people living in rural America. Author Corrine Ardoin's novel feels like an ode to mothers everywhere and explores universal themes of grief, loss, heartbreak, and hope. The characters are realistic with complex motives and layers of depth that make them captivating to read. Candelaria is an empowering protagonist who keeps pushing against every obstacle life throws at her. Jim's continual struggle to get over his father's death and his conflicted mind make him feel all the more human. This is slow-burn storytelling at its finest, and Mothers of Pine Way is very much a character-driven story. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys slice-of-life stories. -Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Mothers of Pine Way is the fictitious story of a town populated by Americans and Mexican Americans who are all connected either by blood or history, or both. It spotlights the women who draw strength from God, each other and the natural beauty that surrounds them in their poverty. As they come to terms with the joys and pains of their experiences and heritage, they persevere while reaching through changing times to a promising future. A fine story from an author whose unique writing style is apparent and very much enjoyed. For me, this excerpt from page 211 of the ebook sums it all up; "This story never really ends. It's like a beautiful stream in one's imaginings, the story of this place where we live." Kudos, Corrine Ardoin! -JMS Bell, author of “What Happened To...?"
"Mothers Love With Broken Hearts"
By parts memoir, poignant love story, scandal, who-done-it, history lesson, hard relationships and introspection. The flashbacks and jumps in time were often very confusing. The mother had so much love for her wayward son. Many lost people, unable to find their place in life. -Cris, Amazon customer and Goodreads member
This second book in the series goes back in time, with the characters from the first book being children and teens. With so much history and so many characters, the reader may want to create a chart! Like the first book in the series, the plot twists and turns, keeping the reader flipping the pages. A deeper understanding evolves in this novel of why certain conflicts occurred, making it my favorite of the two. A child dreams of a heroic father, an elder woman rises in consciousness when she joins her Native and Mexican people to speak out about the struggle to improve their lives. Yet, their strong religious beliefs help them wrestle with their daily fears and doubts. This book gives you a realistic view into the lives of common people with empathy and understanding. The descriptions of nature help you experience the rural landscape the characters live in. -Patricia Hilliard, Goodreads member
"Corrine Ardoin brings a town and its characters to life with this wonderful story. The characters are rich and multi-layered and I was hooked from the start. I found myself reading until late into the night. Loved this book. Recommended!" -Simonne Lambert, Goodreads
"Will keep you reading and enjoying right to the very last page…” -Michelle Coates, NetGalley Reviewer
“A multi-generational family drama in small-town America with vivid descriptions and a focus on strong female protagonists, love, and courage.”
Mothers of Pine Way continues the saga of a complex family drama in a small-town setting. If focuses on Ev, Candelaria, and Rosa, three generations of women, and the tangled relationships they have with each other and the men in their lives. A large cast of supporting characters helps Candelaria uncover the strength and resilience she inherited from her mother.
This novel chronicles the story of three women who are influenced by their heritage and the tragic events in their lives. The author does a nice job of developing these characters, along with those who cross their paths, giving us a window into their personalities and their emotions. A strength of this book is in the descriptions of the settings, immersing the reader in the small-town atmosphere with the intertwining of relationships and past experiences. Although this is the second in a series, the backstory is well-handled by the author, and it can be read on its own. -Sublime Book Review
Candelaria is one of many women in this story. She discovers her true self, and the power to thrive, after surviving multiple traumas: the loss of her family's home and parents when she was a child and, later, the loss of her husband as well as her feeling of responsibility for a difficult son. Ultimately, she rejoices in her Mexican and Native-American heritage and a rare ability to tell stories. Those epiphanies, as well as positive relationships with her daughter, Rosa, and a determined woman named Esther, Candelaria's good and bad memories of her past, a spiritual counselor, a connection to her mother that transcends death, and other major transitions help Candelaria to develop a life that is liberated from rage and fear, a life that becomes personally empowering.
In this emotionally charged narrative, all of the characters are experiencing or have experienced significant metamorphoses, largely through loss, change, and ultimately, growth. Ardoin wisely includes some of the men in these major life changes to demonstrate some of the ambiguities in these relationships. Intriguingly, the men- who are sometimes the sources of the women's frustrations and limitations -are themselves frustrated by their limitations. The book shows that everyone has difficulties and that some traumas may be worked through with a group's help. As in Fried Green Tomatoes and Like Water for Chocolate, this story illustrates that people both create and respond to their circumstances. As individuals within a community, each can help herself and the others find strength, peace, and fulfillment, but usually after many personal, familial, and societal battles. -Carolyn Davis, US Review of Books
Mothers of Pine Way is a sequel to Fathers of Edenville and flushes out the characters and circumstances of the prior novel, which revolved around the love, legacy, and tragedy that swirled through a small town's families and lives.
A funeral and a tribute that Candelaria Hart has written to her mother opens this story of adversity and change, immediately moving to the spectacle of a home post-fire and the pioneer history of the family that grew up in it.
Young girls with dreams grow up to be mothers who impart valuable lessons to their daughters. Mothers of Pine Way does a fine job of delineating the heritage, multicultural encounters and lifestyles, and purposes of this small town's peoples and the survivors and descendants of those who built their lives there.
As in the previous story, the characters are vividly portrayed. Their special interests, unique influences and heritage, and present-day conundrums coalesce, treating readers to a tale that embraces the foundations of fear, guilt, and transformation alike.
The characters live, breathe, and grow in the course of Mothers of Pine Way. This creates a desire in the reader to thoroughly absorb the circumstances and influences of their lives and interpersonal connections. Through friendships and small town evolution to the kinds of intergenerational encounters that build close connections within and outside of the town's families, Mothers of Pine Way does an outstanding job of cementing the lives and interests of all its characters.
Corrine Ardoin takes time to build atmosphere into these interactions. This, too, contributes a realistic, compelling backdrop for unfolding events: "Walking along Pine Way Junction one evening, the night's mystery full and inward, Candelaria breathed it in, nurturing her wounded heart. The dusk came upon a sighing breath of wind, blowing through the tall grasses, softly rustling their dried stems. The crickets began singing all at once and the lights of each house began to shine. The bark of a dog, a door banging shut, and a woman's voice, yelling to her children, were but dissonant sounds somewhere else, somewhere so far away they could not reach her. It was as if she were in love again, in love with the deep mystery, in love with life."
Candelaria ages and grieves for many lost opportunities and past experiences, allowing readers to follow her into a world of generations that learn how to survive and build new lives of purpose and opportunity in Pine Way.
Mothers of Pine Way is a highly recommended literary inspection of small town life and connections which, like its predecessor, draws its readers into the unfolding drama of mystery, revised purposes, and love. -Diane Donovan, Editor, Donovan's Literary Services, Midwest Book Review, California Bookwatch
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