Book Review and #Giveaway - Island Girl

Sometimes fate draws you towards a book for more reasons than you understand.  That is what happened with my and the book Island Girl by Lynda Simmons.  When I first thought of the name, Island Girl, I immediately thought about tropical islands and faraway beaches, so I was incredibly surprised to find out that Island Girl was actually about a place near and dear to my heart - a secluded and mysterious part of my youth - Wards Island, part of a group of barrier islands in Toronto's harbour in Lake Ontario and a place where I spent time in my youth.

I am very pleased to be able to introduce you to author, Lynda Simmons and her book, Island Girl, and she has generously offered two of my readers the opportunity to win their own copies of Island Girl!  This review and giveaway is a stop on her TLC Book Tour

About Island Girl

Do you have to forgive someone a lifetime of sins, just because they have Alzheimer’s?

Island Girl by Lynda Simmons is the emotionally riveting story of a 55 year old mother, Ruby Donaldson, fighting to reunite her family as she struggles with the diagnosis of early on-set Alzheimer’s. Facing the terrible reality of her illness, Ruby refuses to let the disease control her future.

But before she can take any final action, she must find a way to convince her older daughter Liz to grow up and come home; to take her place as head of the family in order to secure the future of their home on the island, and ensure that Liz’s younger sister, Grace, will be cared for in the only place that is safe for her.

But Liz and Ruby are estranged for good reasons, and now Liz wonders why she should forgive her mother just because she’s sick. Does Alzheimer’s somehow grant Ruby instant immunity, a moral get-out-of-jail-free card? Ruby always thought she’d have a lifetime to make things right, but suddenly time is running out.

My Review:

I was originally drawn to this book because of Ruby's illness.  I worked for the Alzheimer's Association of Kitchener-Waterloo several years back and Alzheimer's Disease is robbing me of my grandfather, so I often feel drawn to books where a central character has this horrible and debilitating disease.  When I began to read this story I found so much more!

The book is told in the voices of three women, each taking a chapter in turn, and advancing the story.  Sometimes this method of storytelling can make the book seem disjointed and difficult, but not so with Island Girl.   The chapters transition and it reminds me a little of the carousel on Centre Island, turning through the story and showing different sides of each person and the story.

Even if you don't have the connection that I have to Toronto and the Islands, I think  you will find this book thought provoking, poignant and funny.  It would be a great book club read, or even something to wrap your own mind around.

About Lynda Simmons:

Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her – like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

To learn more about Lynda and her work, visit her website,, or check her out on Facebook

Win your copy of Island Girl

Giveaway is open to US/Canada only

Mandatory Entry must be completed before other entries count.

Each entry must be made as a SEPARATE COMMENT
Giveaway will end on June 2nd, 2011 at 11:59 PM and 
the winner will be chosen by, announced on Acting Balanced 
and contacted by email.
The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Mandatory Entry:
What intrigues you about this book?

Bonus Entries:
+2 Bonus Entry - Follow Lynda Simmons on Facebook
+1 Bonus Entry - Follow Acting Balanced/Chascouponmom on Twitter (leave name)
+1 Bonus Entry - Follow Acting Balanced on Google Friend Connect
+1 Bonus Entry - Like Acting Balanced on Facebook 
+1 Bonus Entry - Subscribe to Acting Balanced by email (must be completed)
+1 Bonus Entry - Add this giveaway to any giveaway linky and leave me the blog post's URL (3 maximum)
+3 Bonus Entry - Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to your post
on your blog
+1 Bonus Entry - Leave a NEW comment on any non-contest post (maximum 2 per day)
+1 tweet this phrase (up to 3x per day, at least 2 hours apart)
#WIN the book ISLAND GIRL by Lynda Simmons from Acting Balanced @Chascouponmom  #giveaway ends 6/2