Stray Affections by Charlene Ann Baumbich

stray affectionsStray Affections by Charlene Ann Baumbich (WaterBrook Press, September 15, 2009), 320 pages

A small Minnesota town. A mother of four young boys who runs an in-home daycare, who is plagued by guilt. Her best friend, who has been trying, unsuccessfully, to have a baby for years and years. Everything starts when Margret, the friend, cancels on Cassie. They were supposed to attend the annual Collectors’ Convention, like they do every year. Cassie goes alone, and is smitten by a snowglobe containing three dogs and a girl with hair the same red as her own.

Stray Affections deals with unfulfilled dreams, infertility, attempting to bridge that gap with friendship, broken relationships, healing.

I accepted this book because of the Midwestern setting and the dogs. (I’ve been kind of on the lookout for the right dog, at the right time, for almost a year now.) It hit kind of close to home.

It’s amusing but heart-warming at the same time, light but addressing deep issues.

Just as there were several characteristics that drew me to the book, there are several aspects of the book’s characters that didn’t strike a chord with me. Cassie is convinced she’s stupid. Pollack jokes and all that. (Did I forget to mention that Stray Affections is set in a Polish town?) Her love of collectibles — not to mention the use of the word critters — is pretty foreign to me, too. These things didn’t make the characters seem less real, although they did make it harder for me personally to relate to them.

Whether it was because of where this book found me, my weaknesses for the Midwest and the love of a dog, or neither of these, I found this a charming, fun, sweet read.

I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more by Baumbich; I’m particularly interested in reading the first in the Dearest Dorothy series.

Watch the author read from the book:
[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWwya52SkjU]

Charlene Ann Baumbich is the author of the Dearest Dorothy series and six nonfiction books. She and her husband, along with rescue dog Kornflake, live in Illinois. On Twitter she’s @TwinkleChar.

Are you a pushover for certain themes or characteristics in a book? What factors can make you pick up a book?

Other reviews:
This That and the Other Thing

Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I received this book from the publisher. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

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7 responses to “Stray Affections by Charlene Ann Baumbich

  1. I am about 3/4 of the way through this read. I am a Minnesota gal and love to read books about Minnesota. I am not a collector either (other than books LOL).

    When you talk of certain themes – I am drawn to books on strong women friendships. No idea why… I just enjoy books like Wednesday Sisters, Same Sweet Girls, The Summerhouse….

  2. “It’s amusing but heart-warming at the same time, light but addressing deep issues.” Thank you for this wonderful review and especially this line. Yes, the book does deal with deep issues, but there is so much laughter and lightness in it too. I appreciate you pointed that out. YAY!

    BTW, I visited your Flickr pics and … I belong to a crochet club! Love the colorful hats you recently posted. Nice job.

    Again, thank you for your thoughtful review. I am grateful and encouraged.

  3. I just started this and will be posting my review later this week. Great comment from the author!!

  4. I put Mr. Linky up on my post and I’m hoping to link a bunch of reviews. http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2009/09/stray-affections.html

  5. I enjoyed your review of Stray Affections. I never did get a chance to read this one.

  6. Pingback: Divine Appointments by Charlene Ann Baumbich | Word Lily

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