Book Buzz: How to Stop Time

Maybe because I enjoy reading historical fiction so much, I adore time travel, and Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time is enthralling, page turning time travel at its fantastical best.

Book Buzz: How to Stop Time

Hop, skip and jumping from century to century, protagonist Tom Hazard has what is called anageria, a genetic condition in which humans age very, very slowly. It the opposite of the better-known progeria, a condition in which children age rapidly and become elderly. Tom is over four centuries old and looks like a young man in his 40s.

Tom has lived in Elizabethan England, where he played the lute on stage with William Shakespeare, and has met actress Lillian Gish in Los Angeles in 1929 and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in a bar in Paris in 1928. The historical references are really fun.

But Tom’s life has been fraught with sadness.

For one thing, Tom’s mother was accused of being a witch and met a tragic fate. Tom’s beloved wife Rose died in the 1600s. And because of continuous suspicion about this man who never seems to age, he is obliged to move every eight years or so, leaving him rootless.

He suffers from anxiety and massive headaches and is unable to connect with people because of the fear he will be found out. When he tries to confide in a well educated psychiatrist, he is sent away. Fortunately, he wasn’t locked away, which is also a risk of coming clean.

Others do exist with this hyperlongevity, and he longs to find them. His daughter Marion shares his condition but he lost touch with when she was a young girl. Throughout the story he searches for her, the one person in the world he is related to and loves fiercely.

How to Stop Time is both bittersweet and filled with gentle humor. For example, here he is talking to a fellow teacher at a school in London. He begins by saying:

‘…if you knew about me there would be a very strong chance you would think I was insane.’

‘Philip K. Dick wrote that it is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.’

‘The sci-fi writer?’

‘Yes. I’m a geek. I like science fiction.’

‘That’s good,’ I say.

‘You like it too?’

No. I am it, I think to myself.

And here, he muses:

I don’t like Martin. The great thing about being in your four hundreds is that you can get the measure of someone pretty quickly. And every era is clogged with Martins, and they are all dickheads. I can remember a Martin called Richard who used to stand right near the stage at the Minerva Inn in Plymouth in the 1760s, shaking his head at every tune I played, whispering to the poor prostitute on his knee about my terrible taste in music or shouting out the name of a Broadside ballad better than the one I was playing.

Tom’s travel through time is a romance, a philosophical journey for meaning and truth, a treatise on the human condition, and simply a fantastic experience for us readers to accompany him on. As the website Hello Giggles put it, ‘How to Stop Time is The Time Traveler’s Wife meets The Curious Case of Benjamin Button but manages to be even more unique.”

Funny, poignant, and clever, How to Stop Time was a delight — and a must read if you love time travel.

 

One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of How to Stop Time. Please leave a comment on the Books is Wonderful Facebook page and a winner will be randomly selected. US addresses only, please.

I received a copy of How to Stop Time from Viking for an honest review,
which is the only kind of review I write.

Book Buzz: Back Talk

My rule of thumb is to give every book a chance. Sometimes this requires patience, like a good 50 pages or so.

And then there are times when I know by page one I am hooked and just settle in for a good read.

I love when that happens.

Hello, Back Talk.

Book Buzz: Back Talk

Let me rephrase that. Author Danielle Lazarin had me by the end of the first paragraph.

“In Val’s bedroom before Arthur Binder’s party, I have one of my black boots on my left foot, and one of my dead mother’s shoes–oxblood leather, two-inch heel–on my right. “Which one?” I ask Val.”

That was from “Appetite,” the first of 16 short stories in this stunningly beautiful debut collection mostly about young women on the precipice of adulthood. The stories stand alone, but the themes are similar: self-discovery, sexual tension, surviving love and loss, coming to terms with sibling relationships and figuring out the friends who come in and out of your life.

Back Talk

Everyone will have their favorites, but one I liked a lot was “Back Talk,” the title of the book. Why? Because I knew that high school girl who loses her inhibitions at an alcohol-infused, parent-less party, that girl whose boyfriend wasn’t there, who made choices she will soon regret.

I also liked the first story, “Appetite.” A girl has gone through the trauma of losing her mother to cancer and processes grief differently from the rest of her family, and learns that life will be a mishmash of love and loss.

“Lover’s Lookout” was about a woman whose relationship with her boyfriend had fizzled, and what happened when she bumped into a random stranger during her daily run.

And “Dinosaurs,” in which the teenage Claire rebuffs her mother’s assumption that she will lose her virginity to her boyfriend.

“Claire sensed that her mother wanted all the ugliness of her daughter’s growing up over with, as though the pain she was sure to experience was best to happen quickly. Claire wanted these years before adulthood, ugly as they might be, to take their time. She wanted her mother to be wrong.”

Lazarin’s depth of feeling and expression make this collection a delight to read. Her stories are tender, poignant, and powerful all at the same time.

More, please!

 

One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of Back Talk. Please click on the Books is Wonderful Facebook page and leave a comment, and a winner will be randomly selected. US addresses only, please.

I received a copy of Back Talk from Penguin Books for an honest review,
which is the only kind of review I write.

Book Buzz: Still Me

I’ve pretty much been counting the days down until I could get my hands on Jojo Moyes’ latest novel, Still Me. You too?

Jojo fans: it has been worth the wait.

Book Buzz: Still Me

Yes, Still Me is as good as, if not better than, its predecessors.

Still Me

Moyes’ Me Before You became a huge bestseller and a movie as well. It is a tender, compelling story of Louisa Clark, a young woman from London who was unsure of where her life was going. She accepted a job as caretaker for Will Traynor, a young man who had tragically become paralyzed after an accident. I won’t say anymore, because if you haven’t read this book, you need to!

The sequel, After You, found Louisa coping with loss and figuring out next steps. Buoyed by the lessons Will had taught her about living her life to the fullest, she ultimately recovered from grief and found romance with Ambulance Sam, a paramedic.

And now in Still Me, Louisa has moved to New York to live in the opulent Upper East Side apartment building The Lavery, employed by a wealthy businessman as personal assistant to his much younger second wife, Agnes.

Louisa finds that the strikingly beautiful Agnes is plagued with self-doubt and anger. She smarts from the disdain of society matrons she is forced to associate with and can only vent about it to Louisa, and is at war with her husband’s ex-wife and daughter. Louisa does more than manage her calendar; she becomes sounding board and sympathizer, one might say enabler, too.

Louisa’s introduction to New York City is itself a joy to read. Like any destination that any of us has longed to visit, New York City has been a dream of Louisa’s and she becomes almost childlike in her delight with every discovery she makes, whether it’s the quirky secondhand garment shops in the East Village or the glitter of Times Square or the majesty of old neighborhoods in Washington Heights. Each new discovery is a thrill for us readers.

While Louisa finds her way in New York City, Ambulance Sam is still in London. Louisa tries hard to keep their romance going intercontinentally … but of course, things happen to derail their relationship. Will they reconcile, or is the dashing new man Louisa meets in New York going to sweep her off her feet?

Hats off as well to the fantastic minor characters in this novel. They each play a part in Louisa’s adventure, but also represent the diverse fabric of New York City. Ashok the Indian doorman; Dean Martin the self-satisfied pug who belongs to an elderly fashionista in the building; the cranky Polish cook who gets revenge by making things no one will eat … you will fall in love with all of them. Trust me.

I hope this isn’t the last we’ll read of Louisa. She is a funny, plucky, and altogether endearing heroine and I know her fans, myself included, will clamor for more, more, more!

Here is an interview with Jojo Moyes about Still Me.

 

One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of Still Me. Please leave a comment on the Books is Wonderful Facebook page and a winner will be randomly selected. US addresses only, please.

 

I received a copy of Still Me from Viking for an honest review,
which is the only kind of review I write.

Book Buzz: Need to Know

Book Buzz: Need to Know

Yowza! In the new release Need to Know, A CIA analyst discovers a shocking secret in her quest to uncover Russian operatives in the US.

I mean, really shocking!

Book Buzz: Need to Know

The author of Need to Know, Karen Cleveland, was a CIA analyst in real life. Having that information made this story all the more credible … and scary as hell.

As a member of a team looking for Russian sleeper agents, Vivian Miller is also a young mom with four kids, one of whom has serious medical issues, struggling to balance home life with the demands at work.

She is lucky to have a devoted husband and father to her children whose work schedule has more flexibility and can usually pick up the kids if need be. He is supportive when she raises doubts about her ability to balance both work and home, reassuring her that the kids are fine and her career is important. She also has parents who can come for a visit and pitch in to help.

So, one day, in the course of her normal routine at work, she gets access to a Russian handler’s computer and makes a discovery that rocks her world (and I’m not going to tell you what that is — I don’t want to be a spoiler!). Instantly, all her assumptions are thrown into the wind, and a quest for the truth sets her on a path to save herself and her family.

This is fast paced, page turning thriller named an Amazon Best Book of January 2018, a novel that has already been widely acclaimed as one that simply can not be put down until finished (and has been compared to the TV show, The Americans).The tension builds throughout the story and there are unexpected twists and turns that jumped out and surprised me.

Author John Grisham wrote of Need to Know, “Perhaps there will be two or three readers out there who manage to finish the first chapter of this terrific debut and put it down for more than an hour. But they’ll be back. And they’ll devour it like the rest of us, skipping lunch, losing sleep, turning pages until the end, where we’re all left waiting for more.”

Yes, I did finish the book during the Eagles/Vikings game last night. No, I could not put it down despite the fact that my husband sitting next to me was yelling throughout the game.

Given the Russian interference in our recent election, the story really hit home and is a chilling reminder that those whom we think we know best — our friends, neighbors, co-workers and even family members — may not be exactly who we think they are.

And the ending … well, it was pretty damn amazing. If there isn’t a sequel to Need to Know there will be a lot of disappointed readers out there.

 

One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of Need to Know. Please leave a comment on my Books is Wonderful Facebook page and a winner will be randomly selected. USA addresses only, please.

 

I received a copy of Need to Know from Penguin Random House for an honest review,
which is the only kind of review I write.

Book Buzz: Everything Here is Beautiful

Book Buzz: Everything Here is Beautiful

A beautiful read, is how I would describe  Everything Here is Beautiful, the achingly touching story of two sisters and their complicated love for each other.Book Buzz: Everything Here is BeautifulWritten by Mira T. Lee, Everything Here is Beautiful delivers a powerful punch with its foray into the mind of a woman with mental illness, and the toll her disability takes on the ones who love her most.

Everything Here is Beautiful

Miranda and Lucia are Chinese-American sisters whose relationship is tested when they become young adults. After their single mother dies, Lucia, the younger sister, begins to hear voices and is ultimately diagnosed with mental illness. Miranda, the older, more conventional sister, feels a responsibility to monitor her sister’s activity even though they are separated by many miles.

Miranda knows that Lucia’s life is on a precipice because of her illness, and she despairs when she sees Lucia making what she things are the wrong choices: leaving her much older but stable boyfriend, going off her meds, getting pregnant. Miranda knows she must walk on eggshells around her brilliant but erratic sister. If she crosses the line and is perceived as being too pushy, Lucia will rebel, and ultimately withdraw.

As children, Lucia saw Miranda as her role model and protector. Now, she both loves her and resents her for interfering in her life. But Miranda perseveres, convinced that without her sisterly protection Lucia’s life will spiral out of control.

The characters are so unique and compelling, characters I am still thinking about, from impulsive Lucia whom you just want to hug and steadfast Miranda, the big sister everyone wants to have, to Yonah, the Russian Jewish amputee who owns a health food store and comes in and out of Lucia’s life, and Manny, the young Latino who is swept away by Lucia’s charms and only becomes aware of her illness after their baby daughter is born.

The minor characters, as well, are fascinating: Manny’s mother and extended family in Ecuador, the patients and staff at the mental hospital where Lucia is kept for several weeks, even the pediatrician whose name is Vera Wang.

With the narrative switching from one character to the next, we see the struggles through their individual lenses which adds depth to the story and gives us a clearer picture of the impact of Lucia’s illness. Lucia’s description of what she calls the serpents, or voices, taking over her life is particularly heartbreaking. Her narrative succeeds in explaining why she acted strangely, why her actions were perceived as crazy but made perfect sense to her.

As with other books I’ve loved, I had to slow down at the end because I didn’t want it to end. That’s how much I adored it. And the ending … well, it was perfection. Total perfection.

 

One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of Everything Here is Beautiful. Please click on the Books is Wonderful Facebook page and leave a comment there. A winner will be randomly selected. US addresses only, please.

 

I received a copy of Everything Here is Beautiful from Pamela Dorman Books/Viking for an honest review, which is the only kind of review I write.

 

 

What Ever Happened to Your Novel?

What Ever Happened to Your Novel?“How’s the novel coming along?”

“When will your novel be published?”

“Do you have an agent?”

My Novel Still Lives, Contrary to What You May Think

When you announce that you are writing a novel (which I did three years ago), these questions are typical of what you can expect. Friends and family members figure after all this time you must certainly be finished writing it. What would take so long?

The truth of the matter is … my truth, anyway … writing a novel is wayyyy harder than you think, and takes wayyyy longer than you could have imagined. I can’t emphasize wayyy strongly enough.

My WIP (work in progress) has had its fits and starts over the years. I successfully wrote the first draft for NaNoWriMo in 2014. I blogged about writing my second draft. I blogged about rewrites. I blogged about losing my momentum. Too much blogging and not enough writing, probably.

And then it was 2017.

2017 was a bad year for almost everything, including my novel, because I was consumed with outrage about the presidential election and chose to channel that anger through writing a newsletter for activists as well as dark humor pieces that I seldom shared but made me feel better.

It was cathartic for me, and I’m in a different place now. Still angry, still resisting, but giving myself permission to include some pre-Trump normalcy in my life.

2018 will be the Year of My Novel.

Here’s why. I am working with an amazing editor/mentor who really gets me, gets my story, and is motivating me with her questions and advice. We talk regularly on the phone. She is my sounding board and my cheerleader, and her collaboration has made a world of difference.

Also, I needed the time to take a fresh look at what I had written. Some of it was good and salvageable, but there were big changes that needed to be made, and the novel is so much better for making them. I’m excited about it again.

Now. About agents and publishers. When you write fiction, your piece must be in its final and complete form before said agent or publisher will even look at it. I’ve spoken with agents about my novel — the elevator pitch — who encouraged me to send them the manuscript when it’s done, and I will do so.

That said, here’s the truth. This is an awesomely competitive field. Very, very talented writers have works that have not been published. Fate may smile, or not. Rejection is a given in this line of work.

For context, did you realize these popular authors received multiple rejections for their novels? Talk about dispiriting! But also motivating for us writers to keep on trying.

HERMAN MELVILLE

Melville’s masterpiece, Moby-Dick, was turned down by multiple publishers, some of whom had creative suggestions for the author. Peter J. Bentley of Bentley & Son Publishing House wrote: “First, we must ask, does it have to be a whale? While this is a rather delightful, if somewhat esoteric, plot device, we recommend an antagonist with a more popular visage among the younger readers. For instance, could not the Captain be struggling with a depravity towards young, perhaps voluptuous, maidens?

 

 F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

“You’d have a decent book if you’d get rid of that Gatsby character.”

 Lord of the Flies by William Golding was rejected 20 times before it was published.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was rejected 38 times before it was published.

Carrie by Stephen King was rejected 30 times before it was published.

One rejection letter read: “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig was rejected 121 times before it was published.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rejected 12 times and J. K. Rowling was told “not to quit her day job.”

There is no shame in rejection. There is shame in not trying.

Check back with me in December. If my novel isn’t done, I owe you a dollar.

Five Debut Women Authors Discuss Their Books

Five Debut Women Authors Discuss Their BooksI love, love, love listening to authors talk about their babies books, and debut authors perhaps have just an extra smidgen of excitement that I find simply contagious.

How did they do it, what was their inspiration, what drew them to their subject? As a fiction writer myself, I’m drawn to hearing about their journey.

Debut Authors on Podcast

I’m also become a big fan of podcasts and listen to them at home and in the car. I’ve written before about Penguin Random House’s The Life of a Book on their podcast series, Beaks and Geeks, and I’m delighted that Beaks and Geeks is ending the year with fascinating interviews with a variety of debut authors, who share insights into their work and give us a look into their lives, both inside and outside of writing.

I’ve listened to all of these, and my interest has certainly been piqued. Definitely adding all of these to my To Be Read list, and I am happy to share them with you today.

Enjoy listening, and Happy Holidays!

Francesca Hornak, Seven Days of Us

Hornak discusses her witty and charming novel about a deadly disease, complicated family, and a forced Christmastime quarantine. The interview covers such things as creaky family estates, awkward moments, and gruesome diseases. 

Brit Bennett, The Mothers

Bennett’s 2016 debut novel, now out in paperback, is about motherhood, friendship, and life choices. In this interview, she talks about the power of gossip, politics of her novel, what her readers have told her about her book. AND … her book is being adapted into a movie, and she is writing the screenplay and executive producing. Congrats, Brit!

 

Diksha Basu, The Windfall

Author and actor Basu shares her insights about class, culture, wealth, and love in modern India—topics central to her debut novel.

Chiara Barzini, Things That Happened Before the Earthquake

Barzini moved from Italy to California as a teenager, and shares how this influenced her debut novel, a coming of age story set in Los Angeles in the nineties during the race riot and earthquake.

Camille Bordas, How to Behave in a Crowd

Bordas’ debut English novel is told through the eyes of an eleven-year-old boy, the youngest of six siblings, who struggles to fit in with his quirky family of academics. Bordas talks about the loneliness of academia, her characters, and her writing process.

Vikki Claflin Makes Me Laugh

Vikki Claflin Makes Me LaughHumor writer Vikki Claflin consistently makes me laugh and here are a couple of reasons why:

“I grew up with a slender mother and a little sister who wore a size zero if you hosed her down first and weighed her in her soaking wet clothes. My father used to refer to her as the “little one,” and I was always the “wholesome one.” Yeah, that was what a 15 year-old wants to hear. For years I viewed myself as a Swedish butter churner. Big bones and strong arms, yodeling my way through my domestic chores.”

and

“When Baby Boy was born, I didn’t get him circumcised. It seemed a tad barbaric. (‘Welcome to the world, son. Now we’re going to chop off part of your joy stick’) … After an emotional, post-partum promise to my 8-pound miracle that I would never let anybody hurt him, I wasn’t going to start with whacking his wienie.”

These nuggets come from past essays she has written and I still crack up when I read them.

Vikki Claflin is our generation’s Erma Bombeck.

Body image, parenting, menopause, marriage, makeup, pop culture, and those nasty chin hairs — Vikki’s observations about the foibles of modern life are consistently razor sharp and wickedly funny.

I first got to know Vikki’s writing through her blog, Laugh Lines: Humorous Thoughts and Advice on How to Live Young When You’re…well…Not, and found it to be a safe place where I could feel better about my double chin.

It amazes me that Vikki is as prolific as she is, but I guess middle age is rife with material.

Two years ago I giggled my way through Claflin’s Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? and was keeping my fingers crossed that there would be another collection of her essays someday.

And here it is!

Vikki’s fourth book, I Think My Guardian Angel Drinks … Irreverent Advice on Living Well After 60 Because Wine is Always Age-Appropriate — will be available soon and I have had the privilege of getting an advance read.

So let me give you a sneak peak.

From Happily Married, Sleeping Separately:

“He likes the dogs sleeping in the big bed. I wouldn’t mind if they could be trained to sleep vertically, instead of horizontally. The same goes for the grandkids. Two Chihuahuas can push an adult human onto the floor, and little people like to sleep sideways on your head until you give up and relocate. By the third time I get shoved out of the bed, I’m up and hauling two tiny humans, each holding a Chihuahua, down the hall to the guest room.

His favorite sleeping position is a wide X, with arms up overhead and legs spread wide. He looks like he’s making a 2000 pound snow angel. This leaves me trying to curl into the tiny, pie-shaped area under his right armpit and above his right knee, which is roughly enough space for an anorexic gerbil.”

“I like a warm room. He prefers to sleep in an igloo, where you can see your breath when you talk. Hubs will open the window and turn on a fan next to his side of the bed. In December. We’ve had snow in our bed on more than one winter morning. Oh hell no.”

Misery loves company in the name of Vikki Claflin.

Nothing quite prepares us women for the annoying changes that happen post-50. It’s enough to make you want to tear your (thinning) hair out. So we could cry … or we could laugh, because laughing about varicose veins and cellulite is the better alternative. Vikki’s writing has made her an international best-selling author and has secured her a place in the hearts of menopausal women everywhere.

All of Vikki’s books are available on Amazon. Needless to say, I would recommend each one of them.

My fantasy is that someday Vikki Claflin and I will meet for a glass of wine and whine. And lots of laughs.

Ten Tips for Organizing a Successful Book Group

Do you belong to a book group? I do, and this is one of my observations: a fabulous book does not necessarily guarantee a fabulous discussion.

Ten Tips for Organizing a Successful Book Group

When everyone is in agreement, there isn’t much to talk about. But if there are diverse opinions, it makes for a much more satisfying conversation.

My book group has been around for 20 years or more. None of us can remember exactly when it began. It is primarily a women’s group, but once a year we invite our husbands/significant others to join us for the book and a potluck dinner.

Now having read hundreds of books, I can say that success is often hit or miss and there is never a guarantee that  well-recommended book will spark a great discussion. Sometimes we are surprised which way it goes.

Anyway, here are some tips that have worked well for my book group and may work for yours.

Ten Tips for Organizing a Successful Book Group

  1. An August get together is when we share suggestions. This is how we come up with selections for the coming year.
  2. If we need ideas, we can use online resources like Goodreads and Oprah’s Book Club.
  3. We make sure that at least one person in the group has already read the book.
  4. Historical fiction is a consistent winner, especially little known history.
  5. We try to choose a book with content that relates to social issues or contains controversial subject matter.
  6. We like to read authors representing the spectrum of nationality and ethnicity.
  7. Usually we opt for contemporary novels, but memoir, classics and the occasional non-fiction mix it up.
  8. We are conscious of the length of the book. We want everyone to be able to finish it in time.
  9. At each meeting one person is responsible for researching the book and the author, to add background and context to the discussion.
  10. It is OK to agree to disagree. No opinion is wrong.

Last month my book group read Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout. It is the story of ordinary, intertwined lives in the midwest small town of Amgash, Illinois. If you’ve read Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton you will recognize many of the characters in this novel.

I loved, loved, loved this novel. But I expected to. I am a huge fan of Strout’s writing.  I thought her Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge was pure magic.

About half of the group agreed with me on Anything is Possible. The rest had mixed feelings.

“I couldn’t follow it,” said one. “Too many characters and too many connections to figure out.”

I disagreed.

“Don’t you like when you reach a part where it starts coming together, and you say OMG, so that’s what’s going on?” I asked. “The ‘aha’ moment!”

“No, because I don’t like to have to go back and reread,” she responded.

“It was relentlessly sad,” said another.

I couldn’t deny that. “But there is beauty in the sadness,” I said.

Viva la difference!

This is exactly what makes book group discussions so much fun.

 

Thanksgiving Cranberry Jello Ring

Thanksgiving Cranberry Jello Ring

 

Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours! May your holiday be filled with the warmth of family and friends, and may your tummies be blissfully full with whatever your dinner plate holds.

For my family, Thanksgiving would be just another dinner if it were not for our traditional Cranberry Jello Ring. I am sharing it today, two days before Turkey Day, because if you are looking for an additional side dish, this quick and easy recipe might become a favorite of yours as well.

What makes the cranberry so Thanksgiving-ish?

The lowly cranberry generally gets little attention throughout the rest of the year, but Thanksgiving is its day to shine.

Why? Well, it is thought that cranberries appeared in the earliest Thanksgiving celebrations since they were readily available, being one of just three fruits native to North America. They grow in the wild in sandy bogs or marshes and are primarily found in the Northeast.

Early settlers from England also found healing properties in cranberries, using them to treat poor appetite, stomach complaints, blood disorders, and scurvy.

Low in calories and high in antioxidants, the cranberry is thought to ward against several diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

On Thanksgiving we don’t think so much about the cranberry as a healing agent, but more as a pleasing accompaniment to the dinner plate, with its bright red color accenting the muted colors of turkey and stuffing.

My mother began making this dish when I was a child and the recipe was handed down to me and now to my adult children.

With just the right balance of sweet, tart, and crunchy, it is a perfect accompaniment to the meal. I usually double the recipe to serve 12-14.

Thanksgiving Cranberry Jello Ring

2 c. cranberries
1 1/4 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 pkg. cherry jello
1 c. diced celery
1/2 c. diced apple
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1/4 t. salt

Cook cranberries in water. When tender, add sugar and cook 5 minutes. Pour boiling mixture over jello and stir until dissolved. Chill. When partially set, add remaining ingredients. Pour into ring mold and chill.

Thanksgiving Cranberry Jello Ring

 

You might be thinking, jello, ugh. But take my word for it, this is really yummy.

And it looks great on your Thanksgiving table.

Happy Thanksgiving, and bon appetit!

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