The Love Ceiling

“There is a glass ceiling for women, Jack,” I stared at my painting in the dim light next to the washer and dryer. “And it’s made out of the people we love.” (p. 161)
Sixty-four year old Anne Koroda Duppstadt is the narrator for most of this novel, which tells of her life as an angry artist’s daughter, a retiring husband’s wife, and a bereft daughter’s mother. While wanting to be the best she can in each of these roles, she struggles against a bitter animosity toward her famous father for the way he so cruelly treated her as a child. She also seeks to develop her own skills as an artist, which her father consistently undermined.

As a daughter, wife and mother myself, I have often examined these roles in my own life. Where can the line be drawn between serving others and oneself? We don’t want to be selfish, nor do we want to be trodden upon…

Author Jean Davies Okimoto does a masterful job of showing us the heart of a woman who cares deeply for her family, while at the same time wanting to develop her own skills and courage. Confidence is difficult for her to attain, especially when her father and first husband belittled her efforts, or sought domination through their own anger conveniently labeled as an “artistic temperament”.

Yet her journey shows us how necessary it is to not be intimidated, but to confront our feelings and those who have helped form them, in order to avoid resentment. In order to forgive. In order to heal.

Jean Davies Okimoto is the recipient of the American Library Association “Best Books for Young Adults” Award, the International Reading Association’s Reader’s Choice Award, the IRA/CBC Young Adults’ Choice Award, the Parents’ Choice Award, the Washington Governor’s Award, the 1993 Maxwell Medallion for Best Children’s Book of the Year, and two of her books have been recognized as Smithsonian Notable Books. In 2007 she received the Green Earth Book Award from the Newton Marasco Foundation and in 2008 the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature honor book, a national award given by the Santa Monica Public Library.

In connection with her non-fiction title, Boomerang Kids: How to Live with Adult Children who Return Home, she has appeared on the Today Show, the CBS Morning Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and CNN. Her publishers include Atlantic Monthly Press, Putnam, Little, Brown & Co., Dell, Scholastic, HarperCollins, and the Simul Press in Japan which has published Japanese editions of her novels My Mother Is Not Married To My Father and It’s Just Too Much. Her short stories have also appeared in four Delacourte anthologies, Short Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults. Shelley Duvall produced an animated version of Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat for the series “Bedtime Stories” which was narrated by John Candy and appeared on HBO and Showtime. 

Read an excerpt of The Love Ceiling here.
Check out an interview with author Jeanie Okimoto
here

Jean Davies Okimoto’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, June 1st: Book Club Classics
Wednesday, June 2nd:  Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, June 7th: Lit and Life
Wednesday, June 9th: Rundpinne
Thursday, June 10th: Reading, ‘Riting, and Retirement
Monday, June 14th: Joyfully Retired
Wednesday, June 16th: Crazy for Books
Thursday, June 17th: Luxury Reading
Monday, June 21st: Erasing the Bored
Wednesday, June 23rd: Mooncat Farms Meanderings
Thursday, June 24th:  carp(e) libris reviews
Monday, June 28th: Feminist Review

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11 thoughts on “The Love Ceiling”

  1. I didn't know what to expect by just the title of this book. Terrific presentation, Bellezza. I will read an excerpt of this book.

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  2. <> That is the million dollar question, isn't it? It's very difficult, esp. for those of us in the sandwich generation, caught between young kids and aging parents. Very tough.Thank you so much for being on this tour. I'm just thrilled that you enjoyed the book.

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  3. I wanted to post this very sweet email from the author of this book; how lovely it is when an author and a blogger communicate well together, so thank you Jeannie!Dear Bellezza,Thank you so much for your wonderful review of The Love Ceiling! It's been just great to be introduced to you and Dolce Bellezza and I'm also grateful to Lisa for thinking of you for my book tour.Your site is beautiful and I loved learning about the Japanese Literature Challenge and the quote at the top about book love!Again, thank you for helping The Love Ceiling find readers who might enjoy it. I appreciate it so very much.Ciao!All good wishes,Jeanie

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  4. Nice job! and good words and review for a very good book. I too enjoyed it very much and also the author's email to me. I liked that this book was not about blaming and wild noisy confrontations, but rather the way I think most women work things out, by thinking deeply and testing out the situations.Thank you for your kind words on my blog too! It is a delightful book, and good to get the word out to others.

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  5. Hi Bellezza and Patricia,I don't know if the other stops on my tour will be as positive as it's been to be on your blogs, but I think Lisa really has done such a beautiful job of finding bloggers where my novel might find a warm welcome. It's in contrast to one of the marketing things we did, which was to offer books to book groups through a site called bookmovement.com. Then they randomly choose book groups who enter a drawing to win the book for all the members. I've gotten only gotten one review on their website and the person said The Love Ceiling was "dry and boring" and gave it 2.5 stars out of 5. It made me think about something another author said (I can't remember his name, but he wrote 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull") he said "you will find your family of readers." And so when I get such a positive response as I did from you, I think, "well, I'm finding my family of readers."Again, thanks and all good wishes,Jeanie

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  6. Thanks for this review, Bellezza! I have been seeing this book around and I love the cover. I'm such a cover junkie! I have it on my Kindle and look forward to reading it soon. I think it will be the perfect book at just the right time. 🙂

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  7. It makes sense when you think of the term "glass ceiling" for women…only this invisible ceiling is made of love (perhaps turned obligation, for some, which then wouldn't really be love, would it?). Lots of stuff to ponder here, for sure.

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  8. Jeanie, I'm so glad to have your comments here and in my inbox. It's great to converse with the author, and especially when you appreciate her work. Your book has really been on my mind since I read it and am mulling over appropriate boundaries, or the age old question of helping children gain confidence when their parents haven't instilled it. (Did you know that I teach elementary school? I always assume part of my job is to not only teach Reading and Math but social skills and self-esteem as well.)

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  9. Kay, I know that you have been heavily involved with caring for your mother. In many ways this book will speak to you; hopefully you don't have to recover from an abusive father such as Annie (the heroine) did. I'm thinking of you!

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  10. It is always such a delicate dance for women who are wives and mothers and want to pursue their own things but have to balance that with taking care of their families. This book sounds like it would be provoke a lively discussion with my book club group.

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