Sunnyside Up by Rea Nolan Martin is a fictional story that focuses on two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Adelaide is the older sister and Felicity is the younger sister. They live in the rural town of Outskirt, Kentucky. The family business is Sunnyside Up Funeral Home and Chicken Farm. The business has been passed down through generations of their father’s family. They provide funeral services and have a cemetery on the property. Adelaide considers herself to be the stable businesswoman, and she cares for her more eccentric younger sister.Both sisters have trouble remembering incidents from the past. They frequently refer to a ... (read more)
With far too many metaphysical fiction novels seeming to come from the recycling bin these days, Sunnyside Up is cut from new cloth and wholly original. With a Juicily mordant narrative that coils back upon itself and rightly deserving of your full attention as Martin achieves a pitch-perfect balance between narrative and style.With a propensity in popular fiction for stereotypical protagonists, it’s a real pleasure to read a story centered on and held down by two leads like Adelaide and Felicity Somers. Their wacky eccentricities underpinning the grim relentlessness of Martin’s narrative and foreshadowing neatly pitched swerve balls ... (read more)
The spiritual novel Sunnyside Up follows two sisters who confront eternal truths with a helping of heavenly wisdom and earthly charm.In Rea Nolan Martin’s otherworldly novel Sunnyside Up, two sisters who live and work among the dead contemplate their paths to the hereafter.Raised in a Kentucky funeral parlor, Adelaide and Felicity are putting off a particular burial. Stubborn Adelaide, who runs the family business on her own, claims that she can’t find the energy to bury Julian, the son of a miner—but she still finds time to sneak smokes, alcohol, and sugary treats.Felicity, meanwhile, cavorts with spirits and encourages Adelaide ... (read more)
Sunnyside Up by Rea Nolan Martin is highly original storytelling that you don’t read every day. It centers on the lives of two sisters, Adelaide and Felicity Somers, as they try to make sense of their lives after a terrible accident. The book’s title is the name of their funeral home business and chicken farm in Kentucky that Adelaide manages. Neither of them is married. Adelaide was once in a relationship with Julian Buck, but he passed away. Half the time Adelaide can’t even remember that Julian is dead. Felicity is similarly struggling to remember certain events from the past. There are those who blame Julian for his role in a ... (read more)
5.0 out of 5 stars -- A sheer delight! Sunnyside Up was a joy to read on so many levels. At the start of the book, I was pleased enough with the curiously altered state of consciousness of the two main characters, but this quickly evolved to a depth I didn’t expect. Rea Nolan Martin fashioned a remarkable story as seen through the eyes of a fascinating set of characters living in a fictional backwoods of rural Kentucky. The author’s prose is a sheer delight, and the pacing of the story is spot on—it moves along but lingers where it should, allowing the reader to take in the important moments and to savor the sheer beauty of her ... (read more)
5.0 out of 5 stars -- Uniquely Brilliant Sunnyside Up was challenging for me at first. It took me time and thought provoking dialog with myself before it became more that a mere story. The often quirky and sometimes shocking Adelaide and Felicity tugged at me, taking me by the hand into another verse.On the surface, Rea Nolan Martin is a wonderful storyteller. She weaves unique characters into the story as well as unexpected flashes of humor through very serious subjects. Under the surface, Ms. Martin brilliantly brings the reader into another realm of understanding. There are no words for the sublime emotional experience. ... (read more)
5.0 out of 5 stars -- WOW!! Just WOW! Sunnyside Up is a delightful trip into the world of two eccentric sisters and their (mostly dead) family. Nothing is as it seems. The story is a beautifully written mix of comedy and pathos that stayed with me a long time after reading it.Martin’s prose is artful, making me want to linger and relish the writing, but the compelling story keeps me turning pages to see what happens next.Like Martin’s other books, Mystic Tea, The Anesthesia Game, and The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright this story has a mystical component that draws you in and adds dimension. I commend the author on another ... (read more)
5.0 out of 5 stars -- A Rollicking Ride Sunnyside Up takes the reader on a journey of quantum proportions. Nolan, a talented, creative storyteller, weaves her tale through the push and pull of two sister on opposite trajectories. The book has zany characters, a love triangle, wild fashion and a slew of remarkable guides. The story challenges the reader to confront their own beliefs along with the circuitous journey of the sisters.As the story unfolds, the sisters come to a flexion point. The choice is both simple and complex and each sister must make their own, personal decision. Do they go towards the light or stay firmly planted in ... (read more)
A personal and intimate exploration that encourages us to question the way we live, Walking On Water is the timely and prophetic release from Rea Nolan Martin. With thirty two powerfully poignant reflections, she touches our hearts and minds with prose full of grace and simple truths. It’s one of those rare books with the power to create an epiphany in readers and one that can bring about profound change. There are many people claiming to be teachers, coaches, guides and gurus. Nolan doesn’t claim to be any of these, but as an award winning author she writes with an earthy rhythm which brings a special quality to her words. It’s ... (read more)
Rea Nolan Martin, known for her Visionary Fiction, wrote this engaging collection of nonfiction essays “to illuminate the path from personal victimhood to self-awareness and enablement…” The pieces address such topics as faith, suffering, and awareness.In Essay 2, for example, the author discusses the differences between faith and belief, concluding that “belief is a product of the mind” whereas “faith is a product of the spirit.” Yet the book is not overly abstract. In Essay 18, Martin suggests actions to overcome obstacles where past trauma may have paralyzed present growth (“Seize Authority Over Your Thoughts”; “Lose ... (read more)
In Walking on Water: A Path to Empowerment, by Rea Nolan Martin, you will be moved. I was. This profound little book of inspiration is a gem and a treasure trove of wisdom. And you'll discover that not only does Rea Nolan Martin walk the talk across the slippery water surfaces of life, but she also shows us how to do that. And add to that, she's a superb writer. (See any of her novels.)
Having now read everything that Rea Nolan Martin has written I was intrigued at the thought of getting to know a little more about the mind behind the stories. If you have read Mystic Tea or Anesthesia Games you will know her books encourage a lot of reflection a well as being highly enjoyable to read. Walking on Water: A Path to Empowerment is a very apt title because she reminds us that we wall have a part to play in shaping the future. The essays and reflections are both deep and thought provoking, besides being a glimpse into the mind of a top notch writer.
Over the centuries, the prescription to a happy, problem free existence for the common wo/man has been "Let go, let God." This prescription has been mercilessly exploited by power mongers, both at the political and the religious levels, by leaders, who by virtue of their position claim to have their own hotline to God. As a result, they have steered many hapless men and women to their doom.The aftermath of religious persecution (often for personal and political gain) has led to widespread atheism and the erection of other pedestals, prominent among them being science and rationality. The very idea of a close, intimate, one-to-one ... (read more)
The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright is one of those rare books that you read, and later when you think about it, it makes you smile. Rea Nolan Martin always seems to find the right notes to negotiate the themes of her books and as always, she challenges the way we see the world. From a critical perspective she certainly brings all the elements of successful fiction together, but perhaps more importantly, from a reader’s perspective, she always delivers an uplifting and insightful narrative. The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright isn’t an “inspirational read” in the usual syrupy sense, with Nolan paying particular attention ... (read more)
Vera is Laugh Out Loud funny...Soul searchingly poignant...Beautifully written...every page a treasure and a joy! Vera's Transformation mirrors many of our own adventures, after asking the question..."Why am I here?" Inspired guidance and direction for those of us, on Planet Earth, at this time.
Life-changing alert! Rea Nolan Martin walks a fine line between laugh-out-loud humor and the deepest of profound philosophical ruminations in this book. And it's a line that she treads with skill and grace, especially in her characterization of the novel's hero, Vera Wright, a down-to-earth, middle class woman "of a certain age." While the subject matter may appear weighty, Rea's nimble writing keeps the story moving and the twists and turns in her characters' lives compelling. Deeply spiritual without being preachy, Vera Wright has its own transformational ability to open our eyes to new ways of thinking about ... (read more)
I absolutely loved this book! After reading the back cover I wasn't sure it would be a good fit for me based on my age and spiritual beliefs. I worried for no reason! Ms. Martin explored the traditions of Catholicism and faith in general, offering an alternate perspective on long established interpretations. The possibilities presented lit me up, granting a freedom and camaraderie to my already present thoughts about religion. Her story telling technique made the inquiry into such tradition unfettered, heart-warming, contemplative, eye-opening and comforting. I recommend this read to women and men of any faith. Enjoy the ride it's ... (read more)
I rarely come across a book that I literally can't put down and this was one of them. The unfolding of Vera's journey and spiritual awakening is awesome, profound and powerful. I found myself completely engaged with Vera, her character and the entire story. She became a dear friend; one that I shared happiness, absolute laughter, tragedy, introspection and mystical moments. This is a book that will definitely cause you to open you eyes and ponder your soul, while feeling a lightheartness at the same time. The prophetic translations at the conclusion of the story are inspired, thought provoking and utterly amazing. I can't stop ... (read more)
The only reason this reviewer tags Vera Wright with a four-star rating is because she hopes it will act as a carrot to the author, encouraging her to bring us a sequel to this page-turning novel. Vera Wright is a bundle of contradictions so human that it is impossible not to recognize ourselves in her. She is at once irreverent and pious, funny and deadly serious, confused about many things but clear in one - her love for her family. But, she is also daydreaming through much of life, going through the routines and rituals that make up her days. Four pages into this story, the daydreams come to a screeching halt and Vera begins a journey ... (read more)
After just a few pages, I felt that I'd known Vera Wright forever, and her journey became my journey. She is a fully dimensioned character that is an ideal "everywoman". Vera is the unwitting star of a drama/comedy/mystery that plays out in most unusual and entertaining ways. I loved the mystical component of this story, and its compelling description of the hereafter. This story covers some pretty controversial ground as it relates to the Catholic Church, but does it in an inclusionary and sensitive way. And just when the story line becomes very intense, sad, or disturbing, a laugh-out-loud humorous episode will surprise and ... (read more)
I rarely read anything more than once but this one I will, for fear that I may have missed some little tidbit. This book was a feast! Every word, every phrase, every situation is supremely and intentionally orchestrated by the author. If you read it too quickly, you'll miss something for sure. I found myself caught up in the story and having to go back a page or two while asking myself, "did that really just happen?" or "did she really just say that?" and then laughing out-loud at the hilarity of what on the surface had originally seemed serious. There is a lot that is serious and thought-provoking that is brilliantly ... (read more)
In Nolan Martin's (The Sublime Transformation of Vera Wright, 2012) latest novel, a group of eccentric nuns struggle to find themselves and each other in a convent.Gemma stands on a hill, talking to the Hudson River. Arielle, fresh from rehab, wakes up in a jail cell to a vision of an angel. Prioress Michael Agnes reads through correspondence from the Vatican. Although each character is very different, they all soon find themselves at the same convent on a farm near Albany, N.Y. Gemma so wants to be saintly that she conducts secret acts of penance, putting rock salt in her too-small shoes and wearing full winter habits in the heat of summer. ... (read more)
Rea Nolan Martin crafted the most ingenious characters ever and threw them all together in one book. I don't typically get into stories or even movies, for that matter, where there are so many different characters, each with a different tale that has to be told...because it makes me feel as if there is just too much going on in one place. Martin gave life to Gemma, Arielle, Mike, Maya, Grace and Augusta to name a few, and she did it with such ingenuity, I was blown away! As soon as I started reading page 8, which begins Gemma's story, I knew that this was going to be an impeccable readâ€¦ AND, it was, all the way through. I love "clean ... (read more)
Mystic Tea (2013), by Rea Nolan Martin, is the tale of a community of mismatched young women who struggle to keep themselves and their convent going on a farm near Albany in upstate New York. Abandoned by a changing world and in search of God in ways as unique as each of the nuns, their way of life has already changed, and they are clinging to the shreds of meaning and purpose. From Gemma. who self-inflicts bodily harm in the name of penance and hears the voice of her non-existent twin, to Sister Mike, the caretaker of the group, and Arielle, a recently released criminal fresh out of rehab who is not even a Catholic, each of the main ... (read more)
A community of quirky, mismatched, and endearing women struggle to find meaning and purpose on a ramshackle monastery in upstate New York. Having spent their lives in service to a church that seems to no longer serve them, they are confused about their own futures and the future of the entire monastery. Led by Mike, the practical no-nonsense prioress, and Augusta, the grand ancient mystic hermit, they are joined by Gemma, a self-punishing novice, and Arielle, a firebrand jailhouse conversion who was sent there out of rehab by a “sort of angel.” The personalities, commitments, philosophies and beliefs of these and all the characters ... (read more)
How can God be fun? “Easy”, says Arielle, throwing her arms around the world, leaving a trace of her DNA on everyone she meets. “With difficulty”, says Gemma, choosing a negative way of diminished possibilities. “When I am ready”, says Mike, endlessly preparing the way of the Lord. And then, there is Augusta who sees a future in Mystic Tea, and who lets it happen anyway. Where is their God? Filling the spaces inside atoms and the galactic voids. Visible in fleeting shadows and in the goodness of the ladies. His future for them is bigger and more spell-binding than they could ever imagine. Where is the author? Crafting ... (read more)
I was captivated by this story, couldn't put it down! The author's writing connects you with each character in a way that you feel you know and understand them. It was hysterical, thought provoking, spiritual and absolutely wonderful to read. I loved it!!!
The story was spiritual and yet at times just made you laugh out loud with some of the ridiculous antics. Clearly the author has a sense of humor. As each character developed you wanted to know more about them and truly cared about them. A page turner
This story brought back memories of the nuns I had in school, but they certainly did not have as much fun as the nuns in the story. Ms. Martin gave such vivid descriptions of the events in the story that you felt like you were there. The characters were hilarious even though they all had serious issues. I wanted to be a friend to all of them. Ms. Martin keeps you involved so you want to find out what happens to each character. Loved the ending. Write another book soon!
" As diverse a collection of women as I've ever encountered, and nuns, to boot! The richly drawn characters in this book range from an ex-junkie novitiate to an aged prioress who seems part religious and part wizard. Holding them together as the once tranquil world around them frays and crumbles is a nun/psychotherapist, who is facing her own questions about a much-tried faith. Martin delivers a wild ride--at times hilarious and often poignant--that keeps you riveted to your seat until the last page. A compelling read, and one that demands a sequel!"
When I first started reading Mystic Tea by Rea Nolan Martin I was not sure what to expect. I was not even really sure what the book was about. When I finished Mystic Tea I not only sure of where the name came from but had fallen in love a little with each and every one of the characters in the book. This is a book about Mystic tea as the title implies but it is also a story about love, faith and the human condition that requires not just God's love and forgiveness but also humananities love & forgiveness, and most importantly the love & forgiveness we need the most,to & for ourselves. Thank you Rea Nolan Martin for giving the ... (read more)
This is a wonderful story that is filled with laughter, love and friendship. It makes you see life in the way it is intended, touching on human emotions, love, forgiveness, the spirit. It's hilarious at times but very thought provoking as well. The writing is so well done that you didn't want it to end. Thanks to the author for filling my heart with a beautiful story!
I bought this book because. I wanted to read how nuns lived. This book was nothing like I expected. So much better than I expected. It is lively to read. Expect the unexpected. A real page turner.
I got this as a free title through Amazon. First thing off the bat, I clicked to "Look Inside." And then I downloaded it and kept reading, until I was done. Not what I'd call a standard novel about nuns and the religious orders. Instead it is an alternative story, quite expressive, well written, humorous, and provocative. The character development was a bit irregular in places, but they all worked out in the end. I was wondering how in the world Ms. Martin was going to splice the backgrounds of some characters into an order of nuns.....but the story was uplifting and charming. Read it to see where the title comes ... (read more)
A wonderfully unique and entertaining story. For me being a person that is not religious, this book is all about religion, but done in a very unusual way which I loved. The story main focus is a run down monastery in upstate New York, and its eclectic group of inhabitants, from Augusta, the mother superior who is an ancient mystic hermit, who can concoct magical teas. Mike the monasteries prioress and a handful of very free spirited nuns, Gemma who has come to the monastery to become a nun, but has a problem hearing voices and is a self punishing novice, and Arielle a young drug addict who after rehab comes to them after having seen and ... (read more)
What an enjoyable read Rea Nolan Martin has cooked up this time. The distinct voices she uses to illuminate the internal & external fears, joys, traumas, and growths of these endearing and occasionally kooky women is done masterfully. Everything I read was so vividly depicted in my head, I occasionally felt like I was living on the farm right alongside these women! I don't want to give too much away, so instead I'll just recommend that everyone reads this book! Great job, Rea--I hope you're already cooking up your next big adventure!
I can’t say it loud enough, you should read this book! It tugs at your heart-strings heavily as you live through the possibility of this child’s demise; you watch a marriage fall apart; you flinch as a woman throws herself at a man who clearly isn’t interested in her any more, and you feel a mother’s pain at the loss of her child she couldn’t save. Well written? Captivating? Great Read? You bet it is…it’s a Rea Nolan Martin and I can guarantee absolute, pure satisfaction after reading this book and any others which bears her name on the cover.Ms. Nolan, you have a fan for life! For those avid readers who constantly email me ... (read more)
The Anesthesia Game is Rea Nolan Martin’s third novel, and she is indeed a gifted writer. While at its core it’s the story of family relationships, it’s enveloped in an intriguing mystery and mysticism. The central character is 15 year old Sydney who is dying from a disease her mother and aunt do not want to name. The sicker she gets, the more her mother, Mitsy falls deeper into depression and more dependent on her mystic advisor Pandora, who has problems of her own. Her aunt Hannah, who suffers from own addictions and denials, tries to come to Sydney’s rescue. Yet there is a strange and mysterious past that binds them all, and if ... (read more)
I so enjoyed this book. Author Rea Nolan Martin is a truly creative and visionary author, and I have to say, this storyline is unlike any other that I have found before. Coming from a person that does a lot of reading, this is truly a great find! Author Martin's character development, scene setting abilities and just plain excellent storytelling abilities make her work second to none! Any reader who enjoys creative fiction, stories with strong and interesting female characters, or just a great read would love The Anesthesia Game. I highly recommend this book, and I am very much looking forward to seeing what author Rea Nolan Martin has in ... (read more)
Moving, powerful and heart-warming, The Anesthesia Game is the latest release from Rea Nolan Martin and it proves an unforgettable celebration of friendship and fortitude. Blooming with authenticity, Martin’s keen emotional intelligence shines through from the start as she takes her readers on a captivating journey with multiple plot threads that are well-conceived and intriguing. With an emotive narrative, her prose is delivered with refreshing candour, creating wholly endearing characters that exude strength of personality and purpose. Each one memorable for the lives they have led, the unspoken truths they have harboured and the trials ... (read more)
An engaging young girl had a disease, unnamed by mutual agreement of her family, but her condition was dire. Her mother had checked out some time before, unable to handle the stress and grief of her only child’s imminent death. Her father was mostly absent, unable to deal with either of them. Enter Aunt Hannah, who doesn’t exactly have her own life in order, but has a scheme to extricate herself from catastrophic debt through an arrangement to care for Mitsy and Sydney for an extended period. Leaving her own family farm in the hands of her ex-husband, she traipses off to Connecticut to care for her sister and niece. She and Sydney are ... (read more)
2015 acknowledgement by Ellis Nelson of the Visionary Fiction AllianceAs 2015 draws to a close, I suspect most of us get reflective. What happened that surprised us, delighted us, disappointed us? Like most years, 2015 was a mixed batch of experiences. We decide which tag to give each one. I have a container filled with little slips of paper that mark what I label good experiences and soon it will be time to review those in the spirit of gratitude. Always there is the tug of those events that never materialized. But linear time demands we move on, but not before a shout out to some of the new friends I welcomed in 2015. Rea Nolan Martin is ... (read more)
CLARION REVIEWSupernatural forces define this story of illness, addiction, and redemption.LITERARYSydney, a teen dying of cancer, receives the support of three women across several lifetimes in The Anesthesia Game, Rea Nolan Martin’s inspirational Visionary story.Mitsy won’t even say the name of her daughter Sydney’s illness. Holed up in her room, constantly calling the hotline psychic Pandora, she’s barely able to take care of herself, much less Sydney. Enter Mitsy’s wayward sister, Hannah, whose shopping and drinking habits have run her into a financial hole. Hannah has no time for psychics or Mitsy’s self-pity. But when ... (read more)
This is a book that exemplifies a genre called “visionary fiction”, a genre that has been pioneered by the author in her earlier books. Such books explore a reality that is not just based on that which takes place on the material plane alone, it is also affected by that which happens on other planes simultaneously. Choices and decisions, even those made in earlier lives, inasmuch as they exist as patterns in our subconscious and unconscious minds, affect events or situations in our present lives. It is almost as if the beta waves that engage our conscious minds, “anesthetize” us to the above patterns, hence the title. The good news ... (read more)
The Anesthesia Game is elusively spectacular. Let me just say the title of the book is exclusively marvelous. Superb! Everything about it entices you as an explorer. The start of the novel is also superb. It was an excellent make for a tragic relationship with family members. It continued to strike me hard whenever the Doctors got involved. Emotional and fast pacing. The writing style pulls you in for the numerous things it excelled at; (i) it expresses so much yet so little and paces the plot effectively, (ii) brilliant character developments; Sydney did enough being there and revealing the horrors and wonders of being alone, ... (read more)
Reader Reviews on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Anesthesia-Game-Nolan-Martin/dp/0991032225
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