The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames | Viking Books {Book Review}

The Other's Gold by Elizabeth Ames book review

The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames

Book Summary:

“An insightful and sparkling novel that opens on a college campus and follows the friendship of four women across life-defining turning points

Assigned to the same suite during their freshman year at Quincy-Hawthorn College, Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret quickly become inseparable. The leafy green campus they move through together, the idyllic window seat they share in their suite, and the passion and ferocity that school and independence awakens in them ignites an all-encompassing love with one another. But they soon find their bonds–forged in joy, and fused by fear–must weather threats that originate from beyond the dark forests of their childhoods, and come at them from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves.

The Other’s Gold follows the four friends as each makes a terrible mistake, moving from their wild college days to their more feral days as new parents. With one part devoted to each mistake–the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite–this complex yet compulsively readable debut interrogates the way that growing up forces our friendships to evolve as the women discover what they and their loved ones are capable of, and capable of forgiving. A joyful, big-hearted book that perfectly evokes the bittersweet experience of falling in love with friendship, the experiences of Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret are at once achingly familiar and yet shine with a brilliance and depth all their own.”

Publication Date:

August 27th, 2019

Genre:

Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Initial Thoughts…

If there was a perfect summary that would describe my ideal kind of book, this would be it. I love novels that follow relationships over time, and anything that starts with a college setting is right up my alley. Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan and Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson are great examples of this category. When I read this book synopsis last spring there was no question I was adding it to my summer reading list.

The Other’s Gold was definitely the book I had the most anticipation about reading this summer and when it arrived on my doorstep on the release day, I couldn’t wait to dive in. I had read a few initial reviews but hadn’t heard that much buzz yet which as a reader, I prefer. Anything that is super highly praised gives me pause because it can overly hype it up in my own head.

My Review:

Even the cover is perfect (and yes I know you shouldn’t judge them by that, but it is hard not to!)and I had so much I thought I would just love about The Other’s Gold…and then I started it. Ahhh, it is so hard for me to write reviews when I don’t love a book but really really wanted to. Sadly, this was just not the right fit for me.

So we meet these group of four friends at college and supposedly they bond and eventually become lifelong friends. I don’t know, I am a details person and maybe that is the problem, but while I was reading I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly it was that bonded them together. It felt forced and I couldn’t quite tell while they liked each other let alone connect with them myself. Maybe that was the point? But if it was, it definitely went over my head…

Anyway, once we moved on from the whole college scene I did find the book flowed a little more easily but then we start finding out more of these “secrets”. A lot of them came out of left-field, some were quite disturbing(especially the last two) and some just super out of character, at least as much as I felt I “knew” about them…

Maybe part of this was that I never felt like I really “knew” these women as most of the descriptions were flat and predictable so it was hard to match these intense twists with characters that I didn’t feel I understood beyond the surface level descriptions. It was wordy and angsty but lacked dimension for me. I am totally on board with books about dysfunctional relationships and tough topics. With that said, I enjoy those types of sagas when it all makes sense with more back story and I just didn’t find that here.

I think I feel more critical because I just had such high hopes for this one and I found it disappointing. Much I this definitely has to do with how much I was anticipating reading it. This was also a good reminder for me about having realistic expectations and then being pleasantly surprised when I end up really loving a book.

I enjoyed her writing style, this storyline just didn’t quite work for me and some of it felt quite uncomfortable. I did like that the book had some diversity and that Ames took on timely topics in a readable and accessible manner. And as always, I would love to know what you thought of this one if you have read it!

August 2019 Book Recap & Ratings {Monthly Book Wrap-Up)

August 2019 Book Wrap-Up

August Recap:

Who else can believe that it is already almost September?! August is always a funny month because part of it is full-on summer and then the end is getting back into our regular routine of school. I read a lot of great books this past month, my favorite being The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo. I also did some vacation reading and really enjoyed The Forever Summer and The Islanders.

August Book Recaps, Ratings & Links to Reviews:

5 star book review for The Most Fun We Ever Had

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

(This one is currently on sale HERE and if you haven’t grabbed it already you should, it’s one of my favorite books ever and is only $12 right now for the hardcover!

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full (raving!) review HERE. This just might be my favorite book I have ever read!

Book Review of The Islanders

The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*Full review coming soon. A great beach read that is enjoyable but not super fluffy! I loved connecting with these characters and especially loved Lu, her story just got me.

Diane Chamberlain Book Review

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

You can read my full review HERE. This one doesn’t come out until January but this review also lists some of my favorite Diane Chamberlain books you can read before then!

Book Review of Domincana a Book of the Month selection

Domincana by Angie Cruz

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

You can read my full review HERE. Dominicana was my August Book of The Month selection(*referral link) that is being released next week. It is a coming of age book that reminded me a lot of A Woman is No Man and the writing is just beautiful!

book review of On Being Human

On Being Human by Jennifer Pastiloff

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

You can read my full review HERE. I am a huge fan of memoirs and this one was one of those books that I wasn’t quite sure about while reading a lot of it, but then ended up being a very powerful read that I kept thinking about once I was finished.

book review of The Whisper Man, a book of the month selection

The Whisper Man by Alex North

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

You can read my full view HERE. I  am pretty hard on the thriller genre but this one was well-received by me and many of my book reviewing friends.

book review of The Arrangement

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full review HERE. This book was suspenseful and total brain candy but I found it quite enjoyable!

The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner

The Forever Summer by  Jamie Brenner

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*Full review coming soon. This was my first Jamie Brenner book and it was the perfect summer read! I loved the characters, the storyline and just found it super engaging with a satisfying ending.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*Full review coming soon. I decided I needed to read this before Cilka’s Journey is released this fall! I listened ot it on audiobook and it was heartbreaking and powerful.

Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett

Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

You can read my full review HERE.

book review of Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner

Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full review HERE. This was my second Jamie Brenner book and I just had a hard time connecting with any of these characters.

parenting book book review

Being at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst

by Kim John Payne

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

You can read my full review HERE.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you! 

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Audiobooks at Work, Wireless Headphones, Barre Necessity & Fun at the Fair!

currently loving...

Checking-in:

Hello! How is your weekend going? I am sitting down with a big mug of coffee to write this and then I need to finish editing a wedding because we are leaving for MAINE tomorrow!!

Currently Loving…Audiobooks at Work!

During my heavy editing season audiobooks get me through the long hours of sitting at the computer. My work is heavily creative so I am able to listen while I work which is amazing! Speaking of audiobooks, I finished The Most Fun We Ever Had this past week which I alternated reading and listening too. I shared more over on Instagram but I think it might be my favorite book ever!

Audible book

 

I also decided to go the Audible route to help finish Red, White & Royal Blue and it is amazing on audio. I am hoping to finish it today. Have you read this yet? It has had some raving reviews and I can see why.

Wireless Headphones for the Win!

I had a lot of DMs about which headphones I have after I posted about them HERE.

I have the Tao Tronic wireless headphones. I got them last year after reading a lot of reviews and not being sure if I wanted to make a huge financial commitment. These are currently on sale for $39 and are awesome! I strongly dislike earbuds(and I can’t get them to stay in my ears) and I don’t care about whether I look cool or not, so they are great!

They have many uses which include listening to audiobooks and tuning out your noisy family. I also wear them at work when I am listening to a true-crime podcast because Kristy is afraid of them, ha! I also love wearing them around the house when I am vacuuming or putting away laundry…it makes the time fly by! I also love that I can listen to something without having my phone right next to me because I get less distracted by it that way.

Busy Season:

This last week has been a lot of tying up loose ends and finished all our work projects before we took a few days off. Summer in Vermont is short but intense and that means photography work here is similar. During the summer we are in a constant cycle of editing, lots of backend communication and sending out galleries and prints, etc. This does not even include all the work Kristy does to take the photos!

I am lucky to work with someone who is so organized because it is a lot to manage. Kristy recently set up whiteboards that look similar to the patient boards they have at hospital nursing stations, and it is fabulous!

Childcare in August…

The last couple of weeks before school usually mean that summer activities have ended and beloved babysitters have headed back to college! This means we did a lot of working with kids this week which is always a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

They were at home with me, at work with Lucas, spent some time with grandparents and also came to work with us at Kristy’s. Flynn’s mismatched shoes are a good representation of this past week inside my head, ha!

Summertime Self-care:

While I haven’t been going as regularly, barre is essential to my mental well being so I have been prioritizing that as much as possible. During the school year I go on my way to work but these days I go whenever I can get there, early morning, midday or afternoon classes.

This is probably good for me as I am a very routined person and it has pushed me out of my comfort zone a bit. I have met some new barre buddies which is always the best! I still freak out if I can’t go in my specific spot in the room though…baby steps!

Fitting in Reading:

I bring my kindle along with me during the day and read when I can but most of my reading during the summer happens in the evening. During the school year, I have a lot more chunks of alone time in between meetings, appointments and dropping off and picking up the kids. This time of the year, I AM NEVER ALONE, ha.

Kids Books We Love…

kids books

Julia Rothman Collection

Speaking of kids and reading, I get a lot of questions about how we get our kids to love reading. I am not an expert by any means but my love of reading came from being read to as a child and always having access to books.

I vividly remember riding my bike to the library and picking out whatever books I wanted to read…and then trying to figure out how to ride home while carrying them out without the foresight to bring a bag, ha!

(Ninjago | Dog Man | Pokemon Essential Guidebook | Frog & Toad Storybook Favorites | The Julia Rothman Collection )

So we have always read with our kids and had a lot of books around. We also try to be open-minded about what they want to read, even when the are into super annoying books like Pokemon, Lego and graphic novels like Dog Man and Hi-Lo. I know people have strong feelings about this but I a big believer in the idea that reading is reading even if some of it might not be “ideal”.

We try to enforce at least 20 minutes of reading time a day whether it is on their own or with us.  This has been a bit lax during the last couple of months but during the school year, it is a before bedtime requirement.

I had big plans to do a whole post about book suggestions that our kids love last spring and I never got around to it. I have big plans for September and I plan on sharing a more detailed post then!

Vermont Summer Living…

We have been embracing all the wonderful parts of this time of year while also looking forward to school starting again so we can get some of our regular structure back. Summer is great and school is too!

Addison County Fair & Field Days!

Speaking of embracing the wonderful parts of this year, I never posted about our trip to the fair! We visited the Addison County Fair last week which has been one of my summer traditions since I was a toddler myself. I love reminiscing about all my memories there while also seeing how much our kids love it. Lucas grew up in the big city of Burlington so he is still unsure about it all but I think it is growing on him. 😉

We planned accordingly so we could attend the Demotion Derby. We also had lots of fair food including fried Oreos. It was a pretty rainy week but this night ended up being just beautiful.

End of Summer Reading:

We have been soaking in all in and I have big reading planning to finish off our summer vacation. I am a last-minute packer but I have been thinking about what books I want to bring to Maine for weeks!! I think I have narrowed it down and I will keep you updated over at @genthebookworm.


I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend! <3