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Marian Van Eyk McCain
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Jun 2009
A writer, weaving fantasies about the daughter she once relinquished for adoption, faces a starkly different reality when the young woman re-enters her life and takes them both, and others, on an unexpected journey of emotional risk-taking, healing and love.

Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc. (10 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601458665
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601458667
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 15 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,442,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in England in 1936, Marian spent many years of her life living in other places. She brought up her children in Australia and later went to California to pursue graduate studies.In 1996, she retired from her professional career as a psychotherapist and workshop leader in order to concentrate on her writing. And in 1998 she returned to her native England. As a free-lance writer, Marian has publishing credits in many subjects, from mind/body/spirit and women's issues to environmental politics, organic growing and alternative technology.

Marian's first non-fiction book was "Transformation through Menopause" (Bergin & Garvey,1991). This was the first self-help guide to the psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of menopause and is still claimed by many to be the best book on menopause ever written. Her second book "ELDERWOMAN: reap the wisdom, feel the power, embrace the joy" (Findhorn Press, 2002) follows on from that. It is a comprehensive guide to the crowning/croning phase of women's lives, the years from menopause onwards.

With a passionate interest--and considerable personal experience--in simplicity and sustainable living, Marian published "The Lilypad List: Seven steps to the simple life" (also through Findhorn Press) in 2004. In 2009 she published (through Booklocker) her first novel "The Bird Menders," which is now also available in a Kindle edition as well as in paperback. In 2010 she edited the definitive book on green spirituality "GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness"(O Books). Following that, she authored two books in the 'Made Easy' series for John Hunt Publishing. The first of these was another book on the theme of living simply entitled "Downshifting Made Easy: how to plan for your planet-friendly future." The second, which drew on the experience and expertise of Marian's years as a psychotherapist, is a self-help book called "Self-Therapy Made Easy" (Psyche Books, 2012)

Marian is currently co-ordinating the production of a new ebook series for the GreenSpirit organization. The first title in this series - "What is Green Spirituality" -is now available on Kindle and there will be others following soon.

Marian has also contributed to several anthologies, including both the Chicken Soup and Cup of Comfort series.

One of her short stories ("Waiting a While for Greeneyes") was published as a Leaf mini-book and she self-published a short story collection through Lulu.com in 2006 under the title "Apricot Harvest."

She is also a book reviewer and for several years wrote the "Books in Brief" section of Resurgence magazine. She is co-editor of the "GreenSpirit Journal" and a columnist for Crone magazine, in the USA. She edits the quarterly "Elderwoman Newsletter" e-zine and has created (and maintains) several websites, an online social network for 'elderwomen' and also a blog.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the woman's psyche 3 Jan 2011
By Don
As a male reader of women's writing, I was immensely impressed by the instinctive understanding by Marian Van Eyk McCain of the female psyche at different ages and under different conditions, expressed in novel format. Her characters are intelligently and sensitively drawn in a modern European setting, with English and Italian backgrounds. I loved the pace and style of the writing, moving effortlessly between past and present, with a wonderfully lucid use of dialogue, which brings the different characters to life in an empathetic fashion. Marian raises many current moral issues provocatively, whilst never labouring the points. This is particularly the case with hunting of birds, whch still goes on, albeit illegally in Italy, but in this powerful tale is subsidiary to the human condition.

For lovers of southern Italian culture and countryside, a treat lies here in waiting. For a first novel, this is nothing less than a triumph.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mending hearts as well as birds 3 Jan 2011
I cannot understand how someone can write the review above that they did and then only give it two stars. This book is brilliantly written, with great sensitivity and insightful clarity. She has such an excellent understanding of how women, in particular, function at different stages in their lives. The powerful undercurrents of a difficult early life are beautifully and tenderly drawn out, without undermining the seriousness of the situation. The first four chapters capture the reader's attention and then the author very adroitly carries you through the unfolding web of threads, at a pace that allows the reader space to reflect and enjoy the process of the tale unfolding, without being hurried but maintaining the anticipation. I want to say that whilst I wanted to reach the resolution at the end of the book, at the same time I didn't want the book to end. I truly look forward to seeing more from this talented writer.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Bird Menders 8 Nov 2009
This book is a good read. It is wise and heart-warming . I found the
relationships sensitively portrayed especially that between two older
women. It also brings awareness of the slaughter of small birds by Italian
hunters . The proceeds from the sale of this book will support the
campaign to diminish this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mother's Love 21 Feb 2011
By Bill Furlow - Published on Amazon.com
More than "chick lit," this first-time novel by a retired psychotherapist is the story of a woman who gave up her newborn daughter for adoption, then is reunited with her three decades later.

Along with all the attendant joy and awkwardness - though perhaps not the anger - you would imagine, both the mother and her late-20s daughter have secrets they don't want to share with the other. Marsha is a successful mystery writer who, on a working vacation to Italy, begins writing scenes involving her idealized adult daughter. In truth, she knows nothing about her, but she's reached that time in her life when she would give anything to meet the girl who was the product of a brief fling with a charming Italian lover.

Benny, the daughter, has had a seemingly happy childhood scarred by events nearly no one else knows about. Although she initiates the reunion, her standoffishness with her biological mother cannot help but hurt Marsha, who nonetheless tries to be content merely with Benny's presence.

The novel's setting in an Italian village (interspersed with trips to Marsha's London home and flashbacks to Benny's childhood in Australia) is well drawn and makes the reader envy the characters who spend their summers attending a language school there. The book's title is a literal representation of one of Benny's activities and a metaphorical description of what's going on with the women and their supportive friends.

Although this is Marian Van Eyk McCain's first novel, she has written several non-fiction books, which undoubtedly enabled her to develop the tools of an author. The book's structure is not simple, with the voice alternating among the women and their male friend Frank and the time and location following the speaker. But McCain pulls it off to create an interesting character study and a compelling story of a different kind of love.

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