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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bittersweet story of love and loss
Sometimes in life, there are no good choices. In Souvenir, Meg Powell chooses to help her parents rather make herself happy and endures the consequences for 16 years, thinking she has made the right choice. But several events converge to make her question her choice. Other reviewers have already revealed what these events are: her mother's death, her daughter's struggle...
Published on 16 Aug. 2007 by Shauna S. Roberts

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice tale about wrong choices.
Lots of us make choices early in our lives that affect the outcome of our lives for the good or bad , Meg's choice to abandon her "soul-mate" in favour of the man who can help her family seems to be a very noble self-sacrifice on her part and I wonder how many of us make similar choices that , with the benefit of hindsight , we regret. The medical inaccuracies in the...
Published 22 months ago by David H J Ashdown


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bittersweet story of love and loss, 16 Aug. 2007
By 
Shauna S. Roberts (Riverside, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Souvenir (Paperback)
Sometimes in life, there are no good choices. In Souvenir, Meg Powell chooses to help her parents rather make herself happy and endures the consequences for 16 years, thinking she has made the right choice. But several events converge to make her question her choice. Other reviewers have already revealed what these events are: her mother's death, her daughter's struggle for acknowledgment and independence, discovery of her mother's journal, and her diagnosis with a fatal illness. In the end, she gets a chance to remake her decision of 16 years earlier.

A good book makes one think, and this one does, by raising many moral questions. I'm still puzzling over whether Meg's original choice was the right one and even more so over whether her final choices were right.

Fowler's characters feel very real. Meg's daughter reminded me strongly of myself at that age. Having lost my own mother, having had to give up a job for health reasons, and having at one time been suspected of having a fatal illness, I found Meg's feelings of loss and desire to leave something of herself behind extremely true to life.

Despite what sounds like a depressing story line, the book is uplifting and a joy to read. It celebrates love and taking care of one's family and friends. It also affirms the importance of women taking care of themselves as well as of others and of living life on one's own terms.

Read this book--you won't regret it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful thought-provoking book!, 15 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Souvenir (Paperback)
This book is so much more than I expected! Wow, what a good read!

There's Meg, who grew up being a third parent to her sibs because her own parents were struggling so much: in the opening, she does something she knows isn't exactly "right" (though who's to say really) because she loves Carson even though she can't in good conscience choose him. Marrying another man is what will save her parents from foreclosure on their farm.

Another reviewer said she couldn't care about such a person--well, that view doesn't take into account that Meg does pay for her choices. Also, it's right in the first chapter that Meg feels guilty. Opening line: "What she was doing was wrong." All of us do things that aren't clear cut right or wrong. To err is human.

This isn't a romance novel. It's a story about love and how the choices we make when we are young influence everything that happens afterward.

Then there's Savannah, Meg's daughter. My heart went out to her. She's smart but, like I know I did at her age, she thinks she has life all figured out at 16. She meets a man and thinks she loves him but things are not as straightforward as it seems. Meg wants to connect with Savannah but Savannah wants to pull away. I can't help thinking of how I hope to handle my own girl when she's a teen. There is a cautionary story here.

And Carson is not perfect either, but he's so human. They all are. His pride gets in the way of pursuing Meg when he has the chance, so he puts his regret and pain into songs and becomes famous for them. But really he's still so much the boy who grew up on the citrus farm. He's engaged to a great woman. You do sort of want things to work out for him, and Meg wants that for him too.

I'm only scratching the surface here because I don't want to give anything away. Like other reviewers are saying, this story is so well written and definitely a page-turner. It's also completely unpredictable and so satisfying. This book made me cry and that doesn't happen often!

This is one to keep and read again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice tale about wrong choices., 2 Oct. 2013
By 
David H J Ashdown (Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Souvenir (Kindle Edition)
Lots of us make choices early in our lives that affect the outcome of our lives for the good or bad , Meg's choice to abandon her "soul-mate" in favour of the man who can help her family seems to be a very noble self-sacrifice on her part and I wonder how many of us make similar choices that , with the benefit of hindsight , we regret. The medical inaccuracies in the book are irrelevant as this is fiction not a medical textbook and they are accurate enough to make the necessary point. The writing flows nicely and the points raised about regret and love are dealt with well. Meg's 15 year old daughter , Savannah , is well portrayed as a naïve and immature teenager and her foray into adulthood is a well written lesson for all girls (and boys) who think they know it all. All in all a pleasing and enjoyable, if undemanding , read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 18 July 2007
By 
Maureen Sherbondy "poetry lover" (Raleigh, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Souvenir (Paperback)
Hard to believe this is Therese Fowler's first published novel. The book is well-written by a novelist who knows how to create empathetic characters, an interesting plot and lovely settings. Souvenir is a page turner that you won't be able to put down once you read the first page. A love story about the choices a person makes and the long term consequences. Made me think about how the choices made can set a life into a different direction than it might have gone. Love, loss,sex, strength, family, money, choices. This book has it all. I look forward to reading future books by this amazing new author.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Souvenir Will Stay With You Long After You Finish Reading, 28 July 2007
By 
Lisa Kenney (Centennial, CO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Souvenir (Paperback)
A painful choice at a very young age sets into motion the futures of Meg Powell and all of those closest to her. Meg's decision poses a question we must then ask ourselves. What are we willing to do for love, out of a sense of obligation and responsibility? Can we really follow our heads instead of our hearts and still be happy?

Therese Fowler brings to us into the world of the Florida citrus growers and of the haves and the have-nots through her beautifully rendered imagery, and we understand the impact that a single choice can make. Life doesn't ever go as planned and when Meg is confronted with a situation where there is no good choice to be made, she's forced to re-examine all of her decisions.

While Meg struggles to come to terms with the hardest reality any human being can face, Savannah, her only child is courting danger. Savannah is a personable, intelligent teenager who believes she's capable of handling far more than her limited experience will really allow. Meg must come to terms with her own problems, and we watch helplessly as Savannah naively slips into a situation she's unequipped to handle.

The book is masterfully plotted, the characters are genuine and the story moves quickly. The author has managed to subtly weave literary imagery and the larger questions about parents and children, marriage, love, responsibility, regret, life and death into this fast moving story, without slowing down a thing.

Souvenir is heartbreaking and as we follow the characters, each with his or her story, we're never sure what will happen next. As each question is answered, each challenge resolved we recognize that the stories end in the only way they ever could.

This is a wonderful book, the writing is superb and the story will have you thinking, long after you read the final page.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down!, 15 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Souvenir (Paperback)
It took a while to get going, however I gradually found myself drawn into the story, so that by the time I was half-way through I could barely put it down. There were one or two moments when I even found a tear in my eye. Central character Meg wasn't well developed, but the storyline was very powerful. What would she do, knowing she had only a few months (if that) to live? Was her daughter Savannah going to be dumped, or physically hurt, or become pregnant? What would her ex Carson do when he heard about Meg's illness?

The book was well-written, too. The author writes confidently about medics and rock singers, in a way that feels like personal experience rather than extensive research. The incurable illness is treated sympathetically but without too much emotion, and it feels believable. It's also rather frightening, from my vantage point as a mother, to see how easily Savannah managed to deceive her parents to spend time with her boyfriend.

As I read, I found myself asking more than once what I would do in Meg's circumstances. It's a question that's going to be with me for some days to come.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful debut!, 10 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Souvenir (Paperback)
Therese Fowler's debut novel, Souvenir, is a touching story of love, choices, and the consequences each bring. The characters she has created come to life on the page. They are flawed, they make mistakes, and they love. Their story, told so poignantly by Ms. Fowler, evoked tears and smiles - often. I couldn't put it down.

As someone who typically rushes through books, I found myself slowing down to enjoy the fluency of the prose. Ms. Fowler has a grasp of the language that is truly breathtaking.

I highly recommend Souvenir, and look forward to future novels by this promising author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even if things don't work out as I'd like them to, 2 July 2015
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This review is from: Souvenir (Kindle Edition)
I'm about halfway through this book an am enjoying it so much! Even if things don't work out as I'd like them to, I wouldn't give it less than 5 stars, as it is so enjoyable.
The characters are real to me and I can see them in my mind's eye and feel their feelings.
I'm anxious to know how everything works out but don't want the book to end!
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT., 12 Aug. 2013
By 
Heather Negahdar ""Haze"" (Bridgetown, Barbados) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Souvenir (Paperback)
I have just finished reading this wonderful page-turner from Therese Fowler. Great characterization, well worth every penny, and good to the last drop. A must-read.
Heather Negahdar "Haze" 12/2013
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Souvenir, 11 July 2007
This review is from: Souvenir (Paperback)
Souvenir made me cry and smile, often at the same time.

I was captured at the start...."What she was doing was wrong. But then, everything was wrong, wasn't it?" and released at the end in a way I hadn't considered.

If you're looking for a touching story about love & life, and how your decisions affect both, read this book. It's powerfully written; beautifully written; poignantly written.
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