Jo Janoski Tea & Chocolates Reviews

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“Title: Tea and Chocolates ”


written by Molly Martin on 08/07/2006

Title: Tea and Chocolates
Interesting read Recommended 4 stars

The Review:
The year was 1914. Two houses stood near one another on a Pittsburgh street. In one was a girl living in luxury. In the other was a girl living in poverty. The lives of Emily McNamara and Gracie Rooney were to be intertwined despite Gracie's dogged attempts to see that they were not. The girls met first as children entering school for the first time. Emily's wealthy mother did not appear to see her child's loneliness. Mrs Rooney only looked in envy at the big house where Emily lived as she imagined what Mrs Mc Namara might think and do. Each child was shaped in part by her mother's words and feelings for the life of the other. Gracie's near overwhelming jealously for the life she believed Emily to live grew until she was nearly overcome with it. As the years passed and the girls became women Emily quietly went about doing what she thought was good for those around her while Gracie allowed herself to be used by a man bent upon artifice. Gracie was unaware that Emily was the one who provided the refuge Gracie needed when she was the most desperate. Gracie's marriage to a kindly doctor provided some of the style and money Gracie had long sought. However, her resentfulness toward Emily continued unabated. The Great Depression, widowhood and loss of much of what life has to offer are all part of this tale of two women who live lives close in proximity, distant in substance.

Jo Janoski has woven a powerful tale centered around the lives of two very different women. Writer Janoski is a talented poet, photographer and now an author of compelling novels. "Tea and Chocolates" is an absorbing tale featuring both a well written and an interesting premise. Reader attention is caught from the opening lines as we meet Emily who is preparing for school. Energy moves the narrative along at a fast pace. Conversation is used effectively to introduce the reader to the traits of each of the major players. Under the pen of this talented writer backgrounds are filled with enough detail to draw the reader into the setting.

The characters of Emily and Gracie are well fleshed, plausible and forceful. Janoski has deftly snared the basic nature of variance inherent to us all and presents a full picture of human nature with wit and style in this easily read fast paced work. Gracie, who is depicted in the full ignominy of a woman consumed with wanting what she believes someone else has, is a melancholy, calamitous figure. Gracie sets out to better herself only to find that she has worsened her state even more. Emily too knows suffering before the tale runs its course.

Dialogue is masterfully directed as the various players interact with one another. Writer Janoski presents an excellent and highly entertaining work in "Tea and Chocolates".

"Tea and Chocolates" is a book to be enjoyed by high school age young women and by adults alike. This book is a good addition to the personal reading shelf, the high school library, and the home school reading list for high school age girls. Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.

Reviewed by: molly martin

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