Thank you so much inviting me to guest blog today. I am the author of The Whole Package, a novel about friendship and family that I hope your readers will just love.
The Whole Package tells the story of three best friends who lose everything. Jackie loses her fortune, Cheryl loses her job and Doris loses her husband. In an effort to bounce back, they open a restaurant staffed by scantily clad men, aptly called The Whole Package. This saucy business venture helps them to learn about themselves and each other along the way.
One character who changes the most during the book is Doris. At the beginning of the novel, she is an accidental wife and mother, about to turn forty and miserable with the woman she has become. By the end, she is… oh, wait! I can’t give it away.
I think one of the primary challenges Doris has to overcome is finding the balance between being a lover and a mother, as demonstrated in this excerpt from The Whole Package:
“Somehow, Doris started thinking about when Mandy was born. That had been the first time she had felt Doug care for someone more than her and, Doris hated to admit it, but she didn’t like it. Doug had stared at their little baby so long and kissed her little face so lovingly that Doris finally had to remind him she was still lying there, bleeding. Doug had kissed her then and congratulated her for the miracle of childbirth or something but he hadn’t taken his eyes off Mandy. Doug’s priorities had shifted. From that moment on, Mandy was the center of his universe and Doris’ role had changed, too. She was no longer just a lover. She was a mother.
Part of the reason the relationship between Doris and Doug falls apart is because the two do not know how to navigate that transitional moment of becoming a family instead of just a couple. Instead of setting aside time to continue to get to know one another on an individual level, they allow their relationship to get swallowed up in parenthood. Secretly, they both become resentful of this situation but do not take the necessary steps necessary to better their relationship until it falls apart.
When the relationship crumbles, Doris is forced to take a look at herself and the life she was living. At that point, Doris stops hiding behind her role as a mother and begins to discover who she has become as a woman. This makes a major difference in her relationship with her husband, her daughter and ultimately, herself.
I am excited for you to read The Whole Package and learn more about Doris and the other women in the book. Let us know whether you have faced similar struggles in your relationship and let us know how you overcame them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day!
Review by Linda Rhoten (my mom): The Whole Package, by Cynthia Ellingsen, published by Berkley Trade Paperback Original, release date: August 2,2011.
I have to say this book is a great read, one that I truly did not want to put down!!
If you have ever had a best friend you will be able to relate to so much of this book. The highs and lows, as well as the love that comes from a true friend. This book will make you smile, make you sigh, and probably make you think back to a time when something similar has happened to you.
The novel starts with the three friends all going in separate directions. Life’s situations lead them back to each other, and they bond together to figure out how to handle their individual problems.
All of them are rapidly approaching forty and realizing life has not turned out exactly as they had planned it. They soon find themselves on a road trip and shortly after end up in a male strip club. Now I have to say I did wonder where things were going at this point, but I hung in there. I am so glad I did, because it is a good book with a very good ending! I love when a book has a great ending.
It is a rocky road, but friendship and love prevails! Cute, cute, book and well worth the read.
I will have to give it an “R” rating for language. However, it is not like some books that just have it in every sentence and paragraph. It just shows up occasionally.
Trust me on this one and get yourself a copy. You will enjoy “The Whole Package”! A good read with a wonderful surprise ending that wraps the book up perfectly.