Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review: The Milestone Tapes by Ashley Mackler-Paternostro

Published: March 13, 2012
Publisher: self published
Pages: 338
Received: as part of blog tour via Bewitching Book Tours
Buy Now: Amazon

Jenna Chamberland never wanted anything more than to be a wife and mother. That is, until she realized that her life was ending after a three-year battle against breast cancer. Now, all she really wants is more time.

With 4,320 hours left to live, Jenna worries for her loved ones and what she knows awaits them on the other side: Gabe will have to make the slip from husband to widower, left alone to raise their seven-year-old daughter; Mia will be forced to cope with life without her mother. In a moment of reflection, Jenna decides to record a set of audiocassettes — The Milestone Tapes – leaving her voice behind as a legacy for her daughter.

Nine years later, Mia is a precocious sixteen-year-old and her life is changing all around, all she wants is her mother. Through the tapes, Jenna’s voice returns to teach Mia the magic of life, her words showing her daughter how to spread her wings and embrace the coming challenges with humor, grace and hope.

THE MILESTONE TAPES is the journey of love between a parent and child, and of the bond that holds them when life no longer can.

I really loved the title and cover of this book and after reading the synopsis, I knew I had to read this book.  Just the idea of The Milestone Tapes made me need to read this and see how it kept the mother/child bond alive. 

Jenna's story, the first book,  is a very emotional ride. You go into it knowing the outcome already, but are brought through the last month's of Jenna's life in detail, from the hard choices she makes regarding treatment and how she chooses to spend her last months, to the devastating truth glaring you in the eyes that you still can't help but be shocked at how detailed the scenes are in the end. It's brutally honest in these descriptions and I think that is what works so well and how it makes you invested emotionally in the Chamberland family. You are drawn in and must finish the book to see how it all pans out after the inevitable happens.

The second book aka part two of the story is told from Mia's point of view. It is also where the infamous milestone tapes really make their appearance. I think Mia ended up a very well rounded young lady. Someone I would be proud to have as a daughter. The loss of a parent is a hard thing to deal with and Mia seems to struggle with it a great deal throughout her life, but the best gift her mother could have left behind for her were the tapes. The only thing that I wonder about this book is what the rest of the tapes say. During the story we only read about Mia listening to certain ones, about half of them, and they are very powerful thoughts from her mother for so many points in her life. I wish we had the opportunity to see what Jenna says to Mia for all of these milestones.

This novel brings so much emotion to the forefront and honestly had me in tears quite often. I'm a very emotional person to begin with so the floodgates opened during some the harder scenes and my heart ached for the Chamberlands - each and every one of them. 

About the author:
Ashley Mackler-Paternostro was born in Naperville, Illinois, where she still lives with her husband Mark and their three dogs.  A hairstylist by trade, Ashley will often say that some of the best stories she has ever heard were told to her while working behind the chair. A life long reader with an insatiable appetite for good books, she decided to merge her love of great stories — both told and written — into her own brand of story telling. 

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  1. I enjoyed this book.


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