Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo

Reviewed by Stephanie Nordkap

glitter1Kathy Cano-Murillo is the author of seven crafting book and is the founder of CraftyChica.com, a website that inspires women to discover the spirit of the true crafter comes from within. With her first foray into the fiction genre, she has created a beautiful story of friendship, love, and hope, all skilfully blended around the crafting phenomenon that has grown to such monumental dimensions.

Waking Up In The Land of Glitter is a story of female relationships that grow through time, are tested through stress and diversity, but survive through sheer determination. They are the foundation stones through which women build their entire lives and families. In this novel, we meet three very different women, all with very different problems in their lives, who through chance come together to create centerpieces for a big gala that will have a huge impact on each of their lives. First of all, there’s Star, a spoiled woman who refuses to accept responsibility for her actions. Her crazy behaviour and her inability to follow through on projects has distanced her from her love and her family.. She’s done something terrible and needs to prove to herself that she can be the person she’s always wanted to be. Ofelia is a craftoholic who overspends and indulges in her craft, but doesn’t have any real talent. She has neglected her family and her house in order to pursue the craft she loves until events make her take a good, long hard look at herself and those around her. Crafty Chloe, a local TV reporter, has had to make a few poor choices in order to get where she is and she is not proud of those decisions. She too has a few terrible secrets, one of those being the fact that she has no talent for crafts and actually hates them.

These three unlikely characters come together, along with Benecio, to form a crafting club dedicated to creating the necessary centerpieces and become great friends. However, all relationships get tested at some point and secrets that are meant to stay secret come out of the closet, putting a great strain on the friendship. Each woman is forced to face their greatest fear and big changes are in store for each of them. Is their friendship strong enough to stand the test that all of these changes will bring?

Waking Up In The Land Of Glitter has so many fantastic elements in it. The language flowed so easily that the change in viewpoint from character to character was seamless and it was a treat to know what each character was personally thinking. There were so many amazing scenes in this novel, (the knitting competition in the parking lot and the police officer tasting glitter are a few that come to mind), that just made it so enjoyable to read. If you enjoy the cultural aspects, you will certainly enjoy the Spanish influence in this novel, with all of the Spanish words thrown in as well as some of the explanations of the Spanish cultural traditions. The author also includes a small glossary at the back of the novel to help those who have no background in Spanish, something I found helpful. The real treat was the interactions between the characters. The character development was phenomenal and you really came to care about each of the characters and rooted for them.

I enjoyed this novel tremendously and look forward to reading any further works of fiction from Kathy Cano-Murillo. It was funny, and inspiring!

For those interested in using this novel for a reading group, there is a Reading Group Guide, in Spanish and English, included.

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