As a young girl who spent her allowance on Nancy Drew mysteries, Louise realized that one day, she might have a story of her own to tell. Maybe even more than one story. After years focused on raising her children she eventually reconnected with her passion for creative writing. She soon began to craft a large collection of short stories which were published in the inspirational online magazine, Faithhopeandfiction.com. Shortly thereafter, she authored her first novel, Wishless, a contemporary YA, released in 2011.
The Making of Nebraska Brownby Louise Caiola
All at once she's living with Tommy, an attractive,
The last thing eighteen-year-old Ann Leigh remembers is running from her boyfriend in a thick Nebraska cornfield. This morning she's staring down a cool Italian sunrise, an entire continent from the life she once knew. The events of the eighteen months in between have inexplicably gone missing from her memory.
All at once she's living with Tommy, an attractive, young foreigner asking for her continued love. Though he's vaguely familiar, she recalls a boy named Shane in America who she reluctantly agreed to marry. Juggling a new world while her old one is still M.I.A is difficult enough without the terrifying movie scenes spinning a dizzy loop in her mind: glimpses of a devastating house fire, a romance gone wrong, an unplanned pregnancy, and a fractured family - each claiming to be part of who she once was - a girl and a past somehow discarded.
Ann Leigh must collect the pieces of herself to become whole again, but she doesn't know who to trust especially when Tommy's lies become too obvious to ignore. And above all, her heart aches to discover what became of the child she may or may not have given birth to.
The Making of Nebraska Brown tells the story of one girl's coming apart from the inside and the great lengths she'll go to reclaim herself and find her way home.
- Immortal Ink Publishing LLC
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.71(d)
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From the very first sentence of The Making of Nebraska Brown by Louise Caiola, I knew I had stumbled across one of those rare-finds in fiction: Beautifully Written, Sharply Honest, Poignant. And as I continued to read, this book proved to be every bit as brilliant as the opening lines. The delivery? Intelligently executed. The characters? Utterly engrossing. With each turn of the page I was getting hungrier to learn the truth. And the truth came, blow by devastating blow. The story centers on a small-town Nebraskan girl—Ann Leigh— dreaming of escaping to big screens of Hollywood but destined to marry a boy with a missing nub for a finger instead. Their relationship is everything young love is: uncomfortable, uncertain and, at times, disgusting. Convenient, passionate, confusing, and foolish. But something awful has happened, and Ann Leigh isn’t Anne Leigh anymore. She’s Ana Lisa of Italy. A woman with no past. No memories. Perhaps she’d been Ana Lisa all along. As the story continues, you want to know the truth of her past. Who she really is, where she really comes from, and why she really left. But by time you learn those answers, there are new questions that have arisen. Questions that are painful to ask and even more painful to have answered. Many times when a book starts off so remarkable, it is bound to lose momentum. But not so with The Making of Nebraska Brown. Louise Caiola’s story is a steam roller of emotion, and the tension builds ever further with each turn of the page. Suspenseful, engaging, the story pulls its cloak around you and wraps you in Ann Leigh’s plight. You are so immersed in this story that you are drowning in it. This story is an ocean, and you are underwater and everything outside of this place is muted. The world around you ceases to exist as this story’s resolution comes ever more to the forefront. You can’t put it down. You can’t even stop to sleep. People may be standing there telling you ought to at least eat something, but you can’t hear them. You are lost in this story. By time you have reached the big reveal, it’s like a punch to the gut. The bomb has been ticking away for too long, and it’s counting by the seconds now. An explosion is imminent. Caiola’s offering here is buttery and razors. It’s feathers and stone. It’s boiling and hail storm. The emotion is so real that these characters stories are so genuine and authentic, that you can hear it, taste it, smell it. You can know it intimately and you will never forget it. The writing style alone is to be commended. I was talking the other day to a friend about what makes good literary fiction. I said, it’s not pretty writing around the plot, it’s woven into the plot. It’s the fabric that makes the story. It’s painting with words—each stroke should be a part of the picture. And that is what Caiola does. I’m wrapped up in it, and it’s cozy, and the story itself becomes a state of being. Never once did her beautiful writing overtake the plot, the story, or the characters—instead, these things were all one. It’s truly inspiring to read a story like this. The only downfall? Reading books like these make other books pale by comparison. Astoundingly reticent, strikingly honest, and refreshingly moving, The Making of Nebraska Brown will take its place in your heart with its sharp observations and ingeniously layered plot populated by characters that are all at once charming and deceitful, even to the reader. There were times I did not know what to expect or even how to feel, for the emotions were so blended and complex (as real life emotions are) that I could only feel everything all at once. Many of my emotions centered also around Tommy. Manically intelligent Tommy; Broken by love Tommy. How I loved and hated him at all once. How unforgiveable he was, and yet how I longed to forgive him. How far will someone go to both control you and give you wings? There’s definitely a poignant, honest irony in the way the story wraps up, as Ann/Ana fights to return to what she fought to escape. Is she returning to who she was, or is she continuing who she has become? Or both? What a wild thing to live through, and it really challenges the reader to ask: How do we identify? What makes us who we are? Is it worse to keep terrible secrets, or to lose the lessons that came with knowing them? This novel is exceptionally composed and undeviatingly engaging. You will be left punctured and breathless, broken and healed. As soon as I finished reading, I read it again immediately straight through, astounded by everything that had been there all along that I just hadn’t seen—a sign of clever writing, especially in the literary mystery genre. This book will leave an imprint on your heart. You will never forget it. Ann/Ana has been dreamed into existence, sure to be a favorite among readers for years to come. If I learned anything from this book, it’s that Louise Caiola is a star. And now the world can see.
Please do give this one a chance. Give Ann Leigh a chance. I am really confused on how should I start this review, I have already erased and rewritten the first line almost ten times. I mean I don't know what to say, I can't find proper words, adjectives that could define the awesomeness of this book. I am blown away by the writing, twists n turns, THE plot and life of the book the protagonist Ann Leigh. I read this book on a train ride while returning from my holidays, when I was bored to death since I was traveling alone but then when I started reading this book I didn't needed anyone it was me and Ann Leigh. Yep I was drawn into Ann's world the moment I read first few paragraphs at first guessing what is happening and then hoping for Ann to find her missing self. Let's talk about the two main characters Ann Leigh and Tommy. My favorite was the protagonist Ann Leigh, she is a fighter, a strong and determined girl with big dreams. Tommy is a son of a big businessman, charming but a double faced person (and I hate such people). With Tommy it was love-hate relationship throughout the story, I became a fan when he helped Ann initially but then his other persona came up where he is not so caring and dominant. Like in Ann's words: "There was a reason I'd fallen for Thomas Borelli. He was Charming" But once the truth came out his charm was nothing and I hated him. As for Ann Leigh, I loved her, connected with her and prayed for her. I can only imagine what she had to go through when her mind was just popping up some random memories of her's which she couldn't recognize. This misery and mystery of her's didn't let me sleep the entire night until Ann and I knew what is the Truth. The writing is fabulous, Louise Caiola did a fantastic job, she weaved such an amazing mystery that I felt so much connected to Ann like I was her friend and a part of the plot. It was a roller-coaster ride of emotions, guessing, hoping, cursing and praying. This one is by far the best story I have read this year. This is the easiest 5 I have ever given to any book. I am eagerly looking forward for the other works by the author. Originally Posted at Blog: Gateway To Different World
Ana wakes up in the Botanical Gardens of the Palace of Portici in Campania, Italy, with no memory of who she is and what she is doing there. In spite of this, she manages to find her way back to her apartment and her boyfriend, Tommy. While she sleeps, she experiences disturbing dreams where a young woman named Ann Leigh is about to marry Shane, her childhood friend, in Nebraska. Who is this girl? Does this dream come from Ana’s imagination, or is this a memory? Little by little, Ana pieces her life back together, and, on the way, discovers that some things can’t be fixed. The Making of Nebraska Brown is Louise Caiola’s second book after Wishless. This new adult mystery deals with questions of identity and trust. The story is entertaining and fast-paced, and the author knows how to keep the suspense alive throughout the book. However, the dreams (memories?) that Ana experiences would likely not come in a chronological order in real life. By choosing to write the book this way, the author probably didn’t want to confuse the reader, but it resulted in distancing him/her from the story. In addition, some aspects of Tommy’s behavior were odd. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but let’s just say that the way Ana and Tommy started their relationship was very unlikely. Finally, I found that Ann Leigh was not a likable character, and that she was very selfish. It kept me from identifying with her, or feeling any compassion for her plight. The Making of Nebraska Brown was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review. Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.
The last thing Ann Leigh remembers is climbing the water tower to get away from Shane Kirkland, the man she is reluctantly supposed to marry. Somehow she wakes up in Campania, Italy, able to understand and speak Italian. She finds out that her name is Ana Lisa Carcossi (as evidenced by her passport) and that she lives with her boyfriend Tommy, who is also her boss. She has dreams of her past as Ann Leigh. But are they dreams or memories? With the help of Tommy and her friend Renata, Ana sets out on a quest to find out who she really is and how she came to be who she is now. What happened that was so terrible that she made herself forget? Will she be able to find her way back to herself? When Ana recovers her memories, will she wish she never had? And what part does Tommy play in all of this? There are a few minor editing errors (e.g. course instead of coarse, stationary instead of stationery), lack of capitalization (e.g. states instead of States), and misuse of apostrophes (e.g. Kirkland's instead of Kirklands). However, these mistakes are more than compensated for by the author's wonderful turns of phrase. She has a beautiful way with words, and I highlighted more passages than I can recount here. I loved everything about this book; I loved Ana's voice, her sarcastic humor, her confused feelings over Shane. I could relate to the love/hate emotions he elicited in her. I found the story so compelling, I didn't want to put the book down. I love it when my "job" brings me in touch with books like this which I might not otherwise have picked up to read. Do yourself a favor and read this one. It's a true gem of a book. I received this book in return for an honest review.
I wanted to like it. Did I enjoy this book: A little. I like the idea for the story. It’s kind of like a classic Cinderella; except the prince falls in love with the ugly stepsister. Disappointing. The characters destroy this story. They range from unbelievable to unlikeable. Anna Leigh aka Anna Lisa aka Nebraska Brown is brash, selfish, and bratty. She is incompatible with the two men who fall hopelessly in love with her. Both men are too good to be true; and certainly too good for her. I really want to like this story. It captures my imagination. But I dislike the main character so much that I can’t cheer for her so by the end I stopped caring about her conflict. Did I mention disappointing? Also note: The copy I received for my e-reader has just enough typos and formatting issues to be annoying. Would I recommend it: Not yet. Will I read it again: I’d love to see this story revised to make the men more believable or at least the main character more likeable. As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)