HFVBT Presents: Unexpected Gifts

02_Unexpected Gifts
Publication Date: April 16, 2013
Mockingbird Lane Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Can we learn from our ancestral past? Do our relatives’ behaviors help mold our own? In "Unexpected Gifts," that is precisely what happens to Sonia, a confused college student, heading for addictions and forever choosing the wrong man. Searching for answers, she begins to read her family’s diaries and journals from America’s past: the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the immigrant experience and the Suffragists. Back and forth the book journeys, linking yesteryear with modern life until finally, by understanding her ancestors' hardships and faults, she gains enough clarity to make some right choices.

My Thoughts

S. R. Mallary uses a lyrical and highly descriptive voice to  bring to life the panoramic tableau that is one young woman's family history.
The  stories here are so rich and inviting that the reader quickly falls headlong into each.  Whether the trials, tribulations, and harsh realizations of the Vietnam War; the brave and determined spirit of the Women's Sufferage Movement, or the bleak days of The Great Depression; Sonia comes to find herself in the voices of those she loves.
This book is a brilliant study of how a family's past, and the experiences, lessons, and mistakes of each of its members directly effect not only things such as a family's financial position and social standing, but their belief systems, morals, and idiosyncrasies as well.
This wonderful story is part history, part drama, part social and anthropological microcosm,  and all great reading!


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Praise for Unexpected Gifts


“S.R. Mallery has caught the defining moments in the lives of one working class, upward striving family, as each one of them benefits from and contributes to the growth and setbacks of America itself…A rich and involving book, the author has written a gem. –Dorothy Salisbury Davis, A Gentle Murderer, Lullaby of Murder, The Pale Betrayer, etc.

“S.R. Mallery, with her strong sense of history and deft narrative skills, shows us one American family’s fascinating journey through flashpoints of American history, as a modern day young woman discovers the spirited narratives of her forbears, and is inspired to take charge of her own life…. an impressive, wonderfully thought out and well-told first novel.” –Carla Davidson, former Senior Editor at American Heritage Magazine

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About the Author



03_S.R. MalleryS.R. Mallery has worn various hats in her life.

First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy. Next came a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.

"Unexpected Gifts", her debut novel, is currently available on Amazon. "Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads", her collection of short stories, Jan. 2014, both books by Mockingbird Lane Press.

For more information please visit S.R. Mallery's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Unexpected Gifts Blog Tour Schedule.


Monday, September 1
Review at Bookish
Review at Unshefish

Wednesday, September 3
Review at Reading Room Book Reviews
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, September 4
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Friday, September 5
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Monday, September 8
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 9
Review at Beth's Book Reviews
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, September 11
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, September 12
Review at A Book Geek
Spotlight at From the TBR Pile
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

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