Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Laura McNeil: Center of Gravity

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy:

The truth could cost her everything.
Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful.
Or is it?
When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It's temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.
If only Ava could believe her own excuses.
Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.
Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town —Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game?
My Review:

Center of Gravity is Laura McNeil’s debut novel. It is categorized as a contemporary women’s fiction piece. The story reminded me a lot of The Sound and Fury by William Faulkner. For those who haven’t read Faulkner’s masterpiece, what I meant is by how the novel is structured. Faulkner and McNeil divided their book up into sections with headings of whom the person speaking. So everyone character has a voice and, as the reader, I can understand the struggles and pains the individual characters go through.

McNeil’s novel has a number of different character’s point of view, such as Ava, the wife, Mitchell, the husband, Jack, the eight-year-old son, and Graham, Ava’s lawyer. I really enjoyed how McNeil told the story because I empathized with Ava, but then I watched the struggle inside Jack and Mitchell as they roam the pages of the story. I was never lost or confused during the changing of the characters.

As for the conflict, it was riveting. I kept flipping the pages, wanting to return to the story because I needed to know what would happen to Mitchell and Ava’s marriage. What would happen to Jack and Sam, their children? The story gripped me from the first chapter and kept my attention the whole time. The plot has been seen on late night news, but I never imagined being this close to the individuals and watching their personal struggles.

I really can’t wait to see what comes next from Laura McNeil. This book was a great introduction to her writing.

I received a complimentary copy of Center of Gravity from Thomas Nelson through Netgalley and the opinions stated are all my own.

Laura McNeil’s Writing Bio:

After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family. 

Laura's debut novel with HarperCollins (Thomas Nelson), Center of Gravity, set in Mobile, Ala., will be published in July of 2015. Her writing awards include those from William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, Writer's Digest, RWA, and the Eric Hoffer competition. Her accolades in broadcasting include awards from the Associated Press, including Best News Anchor and Best Specialized Reporter.

She holds a master's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing from New England College.

Laura McNeill
From Amazon's Author Page
Where to connect with Laura McNeil:
Laura McNeil’s Personal Website

Where to purchase Center of Gravity:

Your local Favorite bookstore

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