Jenna Chamberland has breast cancer, and she is dying. She is trying to make the most of her time left with her husband, Gabe, and their 6-year-old daughter, Mia. She also decides to reach out to her estranged sister, Sophia, before it’s too late. In order to be part of her daughter’s life, Jenna records 10 tapes about the future big events in her girl’s existence. And while she talks about first love or graduation, she wants to make sure Mia understands how special she is.
The Milestone Tapes is a sad but beautiful story about the bond between a mother and a daughter. I was first drawn by the gorgeous cover, but the narrative won me over. The novel has two parts: Book One tells the story of Jenna, and Book Two takes place 9 years later when Mia is 16. The idea for the novel came to Ashley Mackler-Paternostro when she went on a trip to the Olympic Peninsula with her husband. When she came back home in Chicago, she started writing, and let the tale unfold. The title came before she even put pen to paper.
I really enjoyed this book ; however, I thought it was a shame that the author didn’t use all 10 tapes within the story. She added the last 5 tapes at the end of the novel in the second edition because of the comments she received from her early readers. The author decided not to incorporate the tapes because she let the characters tell the story, and the milestones never came up. However, it would have been great if the novel was a bit longer, and the last 5 tapes were included in the narrative. In addition, the book was well written but there were a lot of spelling mistakes and missing words, and it distracted the reader from the story.
While I found The Milestone Tapes interesting and inspiring, there were some flaws that could have been prevented. But since this was Ashley Mackler-Paternostro’s first book, I think she did very well. I would be curious to read her second book, In the After.
The Milestone Tapes was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
Fun facts about the author:
- Ashley Mackler-Paternostro used to be an hairstylist.
- She wrote while listening to music. She even put together a Milestone Tapes soundtrack.
- The author is a fan of Wally Lamb.
- She talks when she writes to see if the dialogues work, or if the text flows.
About the author and her work: Ashley Mackler-Paternostro’s Website.
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