Friday, August 15, 2008

Surprise Packages by Nancy Anderson, Lael Littke, and Carroll Hofeling Morris

"Fifteen years after meeting at Education Week at Brigham Young University, Juneau, Deenie, and Erin face new challenges. Deenie, now living in Gainesville, Florida, begins to question everything she has believed about herself as she sees her actions through others' eyes. Juneau's feelings of guilt come to a head when a secret from her childhood and the mystery of her great-grandmother, Letitia, combine to force her to confront her past. And Erin, whose painful divorce has made her cynical about love and marriage, must decide if she can take a risk when she has a second chance for love.

"Staying in touch through phone calls, e-mails, and periodic vacations together, the friends offer one another support, sometimes in the form of blunt feedback. But as they anticipate reaching their goal to become Crusty Old Broads, life takes a turn that puts their twenty-five-year pact in doubt."

Surprise Packages is the third book and final book in The Company of Good Women series. I was at a disadvantage as I started this book, since I hadn't read the first two books, Almost Sisters and Three Tickets to Peoria. Despite this handicap, I quickly became involved in the character's lives. The book is written in short vignettes and a series of emails sent between the three women.

I did find it difficult to keep the numerous characters straight as the story jumped from Erin to Juneau to Deenie. Despite that, the variety of problems and triumphs the characters encountered were interesting and made the story more real. Each of the 'Crusty Old Broads' grows through the course of the story, relying on their friendship for strength and support. It made me want a group of 'Broads' to call my own.

The authors took an interesting approach in writing this book, each author writing from a different character's point of view. They say: "The Company of Good Women is the story of three women in three different parts of the country and their quest to become Crusty Old Broads—written by three women from three different parts of the country who are self-professed Crusty Old Broads!" In the end I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to others, but only after suggesting they start with book one.

You can purchase this book here or visit the authors here.


Carroll said...

Stephanie, thanks for recommending Surprise Packages. I think you'd enjoy starting at the beginning of the series with Almost Sisters and Three Tickets to Peoria. Reading them would be like going to a family reunion and hearing stories about Deenie, Erin and Juneau's pasts.

Re: starting a "Broads" group: I started a group called The Gathering of Good Women (a takeoff from series title The Company of Good Women). We have potluck and then a program that varies according to what members are interested in. What fun we have!

Nancy said...

Starting with reading Surprise Packages before reading the first two books in the series must be like coming in in the middle of a movie. It's tough to catch up on the plot. I'm glad you were able to enjoy our COBs regardless. Thanks for participating in our virtural tour.
Nancy Anderson

C.E. Salima said...

Hey there. I've launched a blog called "Mormon Bloggers Speak Out" ( The purpose of this blog is to share with the world what Mormons are like in our many facets. What we believe, what we do, how we play, our thoughts on family, Church, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, life, standing for truth and righteousness, missionary work, doctrine, our countries, etc.

Each day, I, or a guest blogger, will post a blog here so that there will be something new and wonderful on a regular basis. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, please drop me an email and let me know who you are. I will also have a Hot Topics category to the right, something interesting bloggers can write about if they are stumped for the day.

I just wanted you to know that I have linked your blog to this one. Just FYI. If you'd rather not be linked, please let me know and I'll remove it. Have a wonderful evening.