June 19, 2009

Standing Still by Kelly Simmons

Awhile back, Ronnica notified me that it was my turn for a review book, and told me about the one that had come up. I was excited that it was my turn, but the book that was up for review didn't really interest me, so I asked if I could hold out. I continued to hold out for about four more books, then this one came up, and I'm so glad I waited.

Standing Still is the story of a married woman with three children who suffers from a panic disorder (check, check). One night she finds an intruder in her daughter's room about to take the child away, and makes the surprising request that he take her instead. And he does.

That is the premise on the surface. Beneath that is a wife's adventurous past, a husband's secrets, and a bereaved man's act of desperation. As a woman, I admired this duality of plot. When a woman marries and becomes a mother, she is basically forgotten as far as society is concerned. The fairy tales end when the princesses get married, after that who cares? But as we all know, life does continue, and continues to hold surprises and mystery and growth. Simmons gets that.

The book is also very well written. Before I read it I found a quote comparing it to Bel Canto. I thought those were some big shoes to fill and was prepared for disappointment, but Simmons definitely filled the shoes. Standing Still doesn't have quite the scope, but makes the attempt, and Simmons' graceful style effortlessly envelopes the reader into her characters' lives. My only complaint is that there were a couple strings left dangling at the end, strings I was really hoping to see nicely tied up. She may have done this for the sake of reality, or maybe even a sequel. I'm hoping for the latter.


  1. Shhh about the holding out for books! If everyone does it, it makes my job harder! ;)

    I'm glad you liked this one! I don't know that I'll read it yet, but Bel Canto is high up on my list, so maybe after that.

  2. My friend just told me about Marie's review -- I am so glad you liked it and thanks for such careful, thoughtful consideration. And I love the look and the concept of this blog.

    If anyone has questions or would like info about me attending a book club, please feel free to reach out.


  3. This book most certainly sounds like something I'd be interested in.

    So NOW I know why I got stuck with the book I previously reviewed....Marie so graciously passed on it. Haha...


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