Sigrid's Reviews

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Originally from New Jersey, I'm the owner of Book Magic, a company that provides manuscript evaluations and copyediting. I'm also the author of three books. Contact me at sigridmac13 at hotmail dot com or visit http://www.bookmagic.ca/

Saturday, September 08, 2007

New review of D'Amour Road by the author of Equal Partners

What I liked about D’amour Road

I finally managed to find the time to read D’amour Road. The book is well written and carefully edited. But of course I would expect nothing less from Sigrid Macdonald. What I want to include here is the outstanding features. They are not listed in order of importance.

1. The story unfolds in Ottawa and surrounding areas. As an Ottawan, I found myself in a familiar environment. If you’re not from Ottawa, the book may tempt you to come and pay us a visit.

2. Without apologies, the author serves us a “slice of life.” It’s all there: addiction; unrequited love; greed; entrapment in an unsatisfactory job, marriage, etc.; confronting middle age and of course our own mortality; our obsession with looks and youth; and many other human flaws.

3. The book kept my attention from the first sentence to the last. I was tempted to peek at the last pages; good thing I didn’t. I would have missed out on a really surprising resolution.

4. Dialogues are never easy for a novelist. But Sigrid makes it look easy. The dialogues are vivid; the characters seem to be talking in my presence, like in a play.

5. The epilogue is unusual. It includes the “About This Book” as part of the book. It reminds us that reality and fiction are not clearly delineated. A clever device; I am sure the author won’t mind if she is imitated.

6. The novel opens a small window into the female mind through which males can peer! Other female writers have done that; but it was done quite effectively in this case.

7. The book does not mention it, but Evolutionary Psychology (E.P.) figures prominently here . E.P. deals with old instincts that we still carry from our primitive days. The woman who starts a relationship with a former prison inmate, or an abuser, is responding to an instinct as old as the world. In primitive times a woman chose the toughest male she could get. She had a better chance of surviving if her mate was as vicious as possible. Hers was a world inhabited by frightening beasts and even more dangerous humans. While not needed anymore, such an instinct is acted upon by some modern women. E.P. applies to men as well but in different ways.

Roland Ezri, author of Equal Partners
http://www.equalpartners.ca

Monday, April 10, 2006

Carleton University's newspaper, the Charlatan, reviews D'Amour Road

Lisa Xing, a reporter for Carleton University's newspaper, the Charlatan, wrote this wonderful review of D'Amour Road.

"Sigrid Macdonald makes an astonishing entrance with her sophomore publication, D'amour Road. I've recently found it quite difficult to get through all of my existential philosophy reads and explanations into relativity, so it was refreshing, to say the least, when I picked up the book and clichédly couldn't put it down.

Macdonald does an amazing job of setting the background for the action, especially in portraying Tara, a 40 year-old woman going through a mid-life crisis. With no sexual desire for her husband, she channels her frustration to the virile young man working at the local Loeb, Alain.

She feels disconnected from her teenage son and has some serious reservations on her "older woman/motherly" image. Her life is thrown into turmoil when her best friend, Lisa, disappears suddenly.

Tara's internal monologue and first person narration is entirely believable and realistic. Her bleak worries on her age and desire for Alain is hilarious, infused with sarcastic and almost cynical stream of consciousness that helps the reader identify with her. This makes her the perfect 21st century crisis-wreaked heroine.

The story brings us back to the age-old concept of conflict - man vs. nature, man vs. man and man vs. himself. Well, in this case, woman.

With D'amour Road, Macdonald covers all these bases extensively as Tara falls apart following Lisa's disappearance, fighting waning feelings of self-worth, contempt for others and fear of losing someone she loves.

Throughout the ordeal and daily searches for Lisa, Tara fights to stay together, but her situation at home with Mark, her husband of 15 years doesn't help. Tara describes him in an unattractive, contemptuous way.

In turn, she gets increasingly obsessive with Alain that she makes a point to apply makeup and choose attractive outfits when grocery-shopping.Alain joins the search for Lisa. When this happens, I didn't know whether to think that something between them would happen or not.

Although Tara is emotionally unstable throughout the novel, her narration is oddly reliable and gives a solid foundation for the rest of the plot. I was surprised to see what a compelling character she was and after finishing, I actually felt disappointed to know that she was a fictional character.

After reading this book, centered on Lisa's mysterious disappearance and backed up by some sub-plots, I immediately though of the recent Jennifer Teague case. The Barrhaven teenager was leaving work on Jan. 8 when she disappeared. Another similar case also comes to mind - Ardeth Wood, an Ottawa woman who was murdered two years ago. There seem to be eerie similarities in the cases, and the Wood case is even mentioned in the novel.

Macdonald addresses these issues sensitively but also candidly, raising public awareness while creating fiction that is accessible and entertaining."

Monday, October 31, 2005

Touching narrative with poignant life lessons

The Love of Friends, October 30, 2005
Reviewer: Gigi Miner "Author, Tarot Consultant" (Upstate NY USA)

D'Amour Road is the story of two women in Ontario who are turning 40. One of them goes missing, and the other joins a massive search to find her best friend in conjunction with the police, her colorful women's collective, and a younger man whom she finds especially captivating. Loosely based on the Louise Ellis true story, D'Amour Road, by Sigrid Macdonald, takes us into the life of a woman struggling with middle age. This rite of passage is dotted with travails that take the main character, Tara, into a new phase in her life. After the disappearance of her best friend, she begins a search. Her desperation to find her friend plays out in the myriad of personal experiences in this more mature coming-of-age story.

Ms. Macdonald weaves a first-person portrayal of this touching narrative into an emotional and poignant lesson of life and love as only true friends understand it. Women will relate to the many twists and turns our protagonist must endure. Men will gain insight into the psyche of a woman as few are allowed to see it. All will be touched and moved by the endearing depth of emotion and risks a person is willing to endure in order to find a lost friend. D'Amour Road lives up to its title as it takes you on a Road of Love.

Gigi Miner Author of "Card Shark" Writer & Motivational Speaker

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Five Stars from She Unlimited Magazine!

She Unlimited Magazine "D'Amour Road by Sigrid Macdonald", October 7, 2005

Reviewer: She Unlimited Magazin www.sheunlimited.com "A Magazine For Women" (World Wide) - See all my reviews

The Review Diaries D'Amour Road by Sigrid Macdonald

She Unlimited Magazine Review by Veronica Marie Kettler

A Powerful book Based on a true story, taking place in Ottawa Canada. Sigrid Macdonald vividly makes us aware of this growing and ignored epidemic. Missing Persons is an epidemic ignored by many, and as this story unfolds, it is amazing how our eyes are open wide shut. The title of the book is a masterful description which clearly depicts the pages ahead.

Based on a true story, it is an astounding book on women's passage in society based in modern Ottawa. One woman's life, but many are still missing. I closed the last flap of the book feeling empathy, and compassion for those unfound and the painful footprints left in those still looking. The characters are real and the story is profound. It is original with a roller coaster ride that explores the reality of a social problem everywhere. Macdonald establishes D'Amour Road, the road of love, also a road to tragedy and unsaid mystery as the search begins for Lisa.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Fetching and full of humor and melodrama

“Ravishing is one of the words that came to my mind when I finished D’Amour Road by Sigrid Macdonald. The commentary of Ottawa and its surroundings is fetching. The novel is full of humor although the story line is serious and melodramatic. The author is preeminently clever when it comes to defining human nature. Plaudit to Sigrid Macdonald."

Magnús Harðarson, Manager of Human Resources, Mannval, Iceland

Saturday, July 16, 2005

An auspicious debut novel

In an auspicious debut novel, D'Amour Road, Sigrid Macdonald draws the reader into the free-flowing associative thinking of Tara Roberts, whose mid-life crisis is punctuated by a desperate search for her best friend, Lisa, her life sponsor, the one to whom she turns when she trips over life. Lisa's disappearance drives Tara headlong into the complex psychological and social dilemmas that define her mid-life crisis.

With stunning originality, Macdonald thrusts readers into a non-stop ride that explores both the mundane and the soul-stirring themes that color the human landscape. In a well-conceived metaphor, Macdonald establishes D'Amour Road, the road of love, where Lisa's car is abandoned as the focal point for the search for Lisa as well as the psychological search for Tara. Beginning with doubts about everything, Tara's search ends in certainties that are rooted in love and trust in herself­: certainties that transform the old age of her youth into the youth of her old age.

Review by Dannye Williamsen
Co-author of YOU CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE

Friday, June 24, 2005

She Unlimited magazine says that GETTING HIP is detailed and reader friendly

The Review Diaries

Getting Hip: Recovery from a Total Hip Replacement by Sigrid Macdonald

She Unlimited Magazine Review by Veronica Marie Kettler

Getting Hip by Sigrid Macdonald is a delicate story of one woman, Sigrid Macdonald ,and her beginning to end on a road to preparations and recovery from a total hip replacement. This book is a source of beneficial information for anyone who is searching for the facts about hip surgery. The information in this book can help to answer questions about total hip replacement, revisions, hip resurfacing, and preparations. It is an astounding book on hip replacements and how it transformed one women’s life.

If you are in need to have hip surgery you can view this book in the and see as the author's life was transformed by a hip replacement, you will read a disconcerting biographical story with hints of uncompromised choices, empathy, and compassions with an underlying candor to dowse the phobia. Unbelievably there is a diversity of women out there suffering from arthritic deterioration that are in need of a total hip replacement before the age of 50, not something most of us as women expect.

With a user, reader friendly book and a full detailed outline and journey to recovery her story proffers comic like candor and understanding for those facing a possible hip replacement. It offers such useful tips that deal with more than the physical aspects but also psychologically tips for coping through hip surgery. The book is so detailed from consulting with the first surgeon to waiting for surgery. The books touches on such diversity with each interview Ms. MacDonald conducted and each individual has a unique situation that brought them to the final decisions of having to have a hip replacement.

The book is written so well that it leaves you with a sense of relief and somehow the phobia subsides. Ms. Macdonald gives it that personal touch that many need when awaiting such decision making when we are dealing with our own bodies. The book is a must read for those in similar situations, the writing is done with compassion, significance, and humor.