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5.01.2018

Becoming the Talbot Sisters ~ Review and Author Q and A

Becoming the Talbot Sisters
By Rachel Linden

Time and life choices have come between twin sisters Waverly Talbot Ross and Charlie Talbot. But when Aunt Mae dies the two are drawn together in a time of sorrow. For seventeen years the closeness they once shared has slowly drifted away. But when Waverly shares her secret sorrow with Charlie a most unique opportunity to reclaim their sisterhood is offered.

Waverly knows she is supposed to be a mother and to her secret pain, she has never carried a child through the first trimester. And her chances of trying again ended with this latest loss. Charlie has never considered herself mother material but she offers to be a surrogate for her sister. With lives that couldn't be more different, Charlie and Waverly are about to embark on a journey they never expected one that will allow them to discover who they truly are and how the pain of their past has shaped them into who they have become.

When an unexpected bump in her seemingly perfect world occurs Waverly heads to Budapest and Charlie's apartment. Waverly's surprise visit is the last thing Charlie expected and though she doesn't know what's wrong she knows something is weighing Waverly down. With a little more than 3 months before the baby is due, Charlie finds her life even more upended as she deals with issues at work and her own daily changes. Waverly's visit allows the two to spend time together that they haven't had for years.

Becoming the Talbot Sisters is a story about the power of family bonds and the holes that are created when that which we hold dearest is taken away. This is a contemporary fiction that deals with some difficult issues that add an additional layer to an already complex story. Book clubs will want to consider this book for an upcoming selection. Those familiar with Corban Addison's work might want to give this book a consideration as there are some similarities that will appeal to those who like the style of his writing. Hard hitting and eye-opening to the hardships and dangers faced in a world set on exploiting those who are disadvantaged while wrapping it up in a fictional story without being a preachy hit you over the head format.

I was provided an advanced review copy of this book by the publisher through TLC Book Tours with no expectations of a positive review ~ All opinions expressed are my own.


About the Book:
Twin sisters Waverly and Charlie Talbot have drifted far apart as they pursue opposite dreams of stardom and service to the poor. On an astonishing journey across Central Europe, they must come together to face their fears, find their courage and fight for what they love.

Celebrity chef Waverly Ross has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly’s heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile, Waverly’s twin sister, Charlie Talbot, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worked in Budapest, Hungary.

When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.

But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on an adventure across Central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven’t had to rely on each other since childhood, an unforeseen dangerous turn in their journey across Europe forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other.

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About Rachel Linden:
Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures living and traveling in fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her stories. She holds an MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, a BA in Literature from Huntington University, and studied creative writing at Oxford University during college. Currently, Rachel splits her time between Seattle, Washington and Budapest, Hungary where she lives with her husband and two children. Rachel enjoys creating stories about hope and courage with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.

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Author Q and A with Rachel Linden

1) Do you have a favorite go-to to help you get into your writing? (ie. favorite
music, place to write, beverage or food to get you into your writing)

Silence! It puts me in the mood to write almost instantly. I’m an introvert, so I try to
limit all distractions which is tough with an exuberant 18 month old and 4 year old
in the house. I’m completely useless at writing in coffee shops or public places.
Honestly, I just need quiet and somewhere comfy and I’m set! Right now I have a big
leather chair in our basement storage room. That’s my writing nook. It faces the
water heater! Very glamorous.

2) Do you have a favorite genre you wish you could call your home-away-
from-home?

I’m a sucker for anything related to food and travel, so if I could live in a culinary
travel memoir in, say, Thailand or Japan I would!

3) If you could spend the afternoon with any 2 writers (1 from the past and 1
from the present) who would you pick?

Louise May Alcott and Marilyn Robinson. Little Women was my favorite book
growing up, so I’d choose to have tea with Louisa and discuss issues related to
women and why she wrote her books. And Marilyn because I find her rare
combination of razor sharp intellect and luminous faith quite remarkable. I just
want to peek inside her brain and learn from her!

4) What is your favorite book that you would recommend others read? 

For fiction, Gilead by Marilyn Robinson. For memoir, The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs.
For inspirational non-fiction, Love Does by Bob Goff.

5) What is the one question that you wish you would be asked and how would
you answer it?

Question: “Why do you write the stories you write?”
My answer: “I love writing stories about hope, courage and relational connection
with a dash of romance and exotic settings thrown in for fun! With my newest story,
Becoming the Talbot Sisters, the message is all about women being every day brave.
I hope it encourages women to have courage in the face of whatever life throws at
them…every single day! That’s a message I love to share!