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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Julia Berkwith’s daughter has moved to Alaska, her beloved mother-in-law is in a nursing home, and her ex-husband is in Hawaii—with a younger woman. In her late forties, Julia is now used to being invisible. But even if she has to do it alone, she’s determined to celebrate her victory over breast cancer by hiking Italy’s Cinque Terre. And while she’s there, she can scout out treasures for her interior design business back in Kentucky. Invigorated by the beauty of the Italian countryside, Julia seems unstoppable, until she’s injured by a rock—one that happens to belong to thirty-something stone mason Vitale DeLuca. Reluctantly, Julia accepts Vitale’s insistent offer of lodging while she recovers. But in his home, amid his exquisite sculptures, Julia sees beyond his charm and looks to something special: a talent she must bring to the world’s attention. And once she does, she plans to step aside to leave him in the spotlight. But Vitale has seen something in Julia too, something she i…

Gaining Visibility

by Pamela Hearon

Overall Book Review:

If I were to judge this book by its cover, I would assume it to be a nice inspirational story, perhaps a book published by a religious publisher. But, as the saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. As an avid reader, I learned this time and time again. Reading this book reminded me just how different a book can be from what we assume by looking at the cover. 

Gaining Visibility does have some inspirational sides to it, although a lot of the book did center on a woman and her fling with a man. I know how comforting it can be to read a book that you can relate to, and though I couldn’t personally relate, I know there are many women who will find a little bit of themselves within the main character, Julia Berkwith’s story. 

Julia’s character made it very clear within the first chapter of this book that she is a strong and courageous woman. After all, she has been abandoned by many and has survived cancer. And now she is on an adventure which has taken her across the globe. This part of her story was interesting to me, because I love a good story about an empowered woman! Then things started to become a bit less interesting when the story went on more of a romantic tangent. I can only handle so many swoons and kisses before I start finding it a little old. 

If you think a romance with a fierce female being wooed by a handsome Italian sounds like your cup of tea, then you should definitely pick up this book. But if you’re like me and you prefer your stories a little less sappy, then you might want to choose a different book to read!

Review of an Advance Reader’s Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  2 mild obscenities; 7 religious profanities; 1 anatomical term; 1 F-Word derivative. 

Violence/Gore:  A character is reported to have suffered a stroke, not fatal.

Sex/Nudity:  Topless women are mentioned; adults kiss several times; adults have sex in a descriptive, several page scene that involves touching and kissing; conversations about sex are had several times; breast augmentation is mentioned multiple times, as a woman who has had breast cancer has undergone surgery; women are catcalled; a woman is mentioned to undress in a prelude to a sexual scene; a couple dares each other to have sex on the beach (the beach also happens to be a nude beach, other nude people are mentioned); this same couple is briefly mentioned to have sex on the beach.

Mature Subject Matter:

Cancer, divorce, personal crises.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink wine multiple times.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.