Reading Lips by Claudia Sternbach is the story of a woman's life through kisses. Sternbach who told the story of her battle with cancer in Now Breathe is a remarkable author who tugs readers' heartstrings while also tickling their funnybone. She opens with her first almost kiss to Teddy K, and the emotional angst and confusion of a fifth grade girl. Sternbach's writing as young Claudia is earnest and innocent, perfectly capturing all of the drama of girls that age. She wants to finally beat best friend, Babs, at something, and kissing Teddy would do that nicely. The essays flow from childhood to college to adulthood, somehow skipping over her first husband entirely (apparently his kisses aren't worth relating!), always with humor and charm. As the author ages, the writing matures, acquiring the tone of your best friend who always has the best stories. Two stand-out chapters are her rant at then-boyfriend Michael when he requests the opportunity to spend a week with his ex-girlfriend in order to break up with her (emotional, frustrated without ever being bitter or cruel, with a hilarious bent) and the story of giving birth to daughter Kira and kissing her for the first time. By the end of the book, readers will have fallen in love with this humble, intelligent, and funny woman who so craftily and wittily manages to take the stories of her life in kisses and make them feel like they belong to us all.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Christy Lockstein (ChristysBookBlog1)
I'm a happily married mother of three. I review books daily on my blog Christy's Book Blog. I love to read, and I love the Lord. Those four things really define my life.
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Kisses, even the ones that don t happen, can be the trace of what s constant when life changes. In childhood, when what seems to define everything is competition for style, for knowing, for experience a kiss is the first first. When a girl s father moves out and chooses a new family, a kiss on the head from him may be the trace of constancy that she wants most. Later, such things take on a different flavor. Sometimes the kiss she wants doesn t come. Sometimes the one she wouldn t have is forced upon her. From time to time, the one she has kissed before is lost to her. Some kisses are final. When things are most hectic a kiss can be a celebration. And when circumstances grow threatening to a woman, her family, her sister a kiss becomes the reassertion of the most vital connections. The rich story in these essays rings with good humor and with moving wistfulness. Throughout, Sternbach maintains a perfect balance between them as her story moves from the bittersweet desires of childhood on through loss and love. Reading Lips is the tale of one woman who is just trying to get life right.