Dolls Behaving Badly eBook ☆ Dolls Behaving MOBI

Dolls Behaving Badly eBook ☆ Dolls Behaving MOBI


10 thoughts on “Dolls Behaving Badly

  1. Aditi Aditi says:

    Woody Allen has said The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have instead of what you don't have Carla Richards who is in her late 30s is one such woman who had to learn this fact of happiness from a giant woman who was the guest in Oprah's talk show and by following the giant's advice to maintain a diary Well wonder who Carla is? Carla is the main protagonist in Cinthia Ritchie's novel Dolls Behaving Badly The name is uirky and has a really interesting meaning to it name Cinthia Ritchie has pen down this tale in the form of Carla's diary entry hence the book's pace is uite good This is about Carlita shortly known as Carla is in her mid 30s has a super smart son Jay and is divorced to her ex husband Barry Moreover she lives with Jay in a trailer working as a waitress in a restaurant and loves to paint She secretly wants to be successful as a painter She even has a 'perfect' elder sister Laurel who is married to some rich dude and also Laurel has a career of her own Carla has started writing diary since one day she got inspired by one of Oprah Winfrey's guest in her talk show and also Carla follows her blog religiously She wanted to thrive for happiness in her not so happy content and successful life But from the beginning of the diary entry till the very end we can see Carla's life changing her introspects and views changing towards herself and how in the beginning she lacked confidence in herself but in the end she became one strong woman This book is an epic one It’s thoroughly humorous as well as inspiring at the same time The book has got a loads of treats for us for example Carla's Gramma's secret Polish recipes her Kitchen table top view etc best part being it is set in the wild Alaska and the wilderness was uite evident in every pages of the bookTom Bodett the American author has once said It’s not like Alaska isn't wilderness it mostly is But most Alaskans don't live in the wild They live on the edge of the wild in towns with schools and cable TV and stores and dentists and roller rinks sometimes It's just like anyplace else only with mountains and moose Yeah beware there are a lots of Moose Carla had a dream to become an artist so she left her home at a very tender age to pursue it instead she fell in love got married and finally got pregnant with Jay and thus putting her dream on a reverse gear But her after her divorce her life was falling apart it was getting hard to pay the bills well no doubt she loved spending carelessly hence to keep herself afloat she started making dirty dolls for an adult website You will be shocked to read about her uniue talent I never knew so many things could be done with simple plain old Mattel Barbie Dolls Eventually no doubt her talent got recognized also she learnt to move on from her husband who was a chef and was uite chubbily handsomeno wonder why Carla was still seeing her husband even after her divorce and fell in love completely with a weird anthropologist who used to send bones of dead bodies to Carla on every occasionCinthia Ritchie has a uite natural passion in writing down her tales and the way she has written it will make you fall in love with her style of writing almost immediately The book is very 'raw' and deep with emotions But from the very first page you'll find tears rolling down from your eyes from laughing because of the sarcastic one liners or uotes of Carla and Jay will make you fall in love with him and Stephanie's poems will make you wonder that poems can touch your soul so deeply and Laurel's sophistication might make you hate her in a good and sympathetic way and Barry's wisdom will make you want a man like him in your life These uirky and out of box characters definitely justify the book in a good way The book has got a simple message “Don't worry and just follow your instincts” But this simple message is embedded in the tale so brilliantly Cinthia Ritchie has kept us hooked from the very first pages of the book with Carla's witty words and sarcasmRead this book and watch yourself go ROFL completely Thank you Cinthia Ritchie for providing me with a copy of your book in return for an honest review


  2. Carrie Carrie says:

    Impossible not to get caught up in this single mother's world as she faces mounting debt endless care taking of an eccentric bunch of friends and family and the promise of new love There is so much depth to these characters you'll feel you know them and all of them evolve and adapt as the story goes on Throw in hilarious chapter ending letters from the various businesses Carla owes money to and the mouth watering recipes of a deceased but not absent Polish grandmother and you have a book that'll make your lick you lips laugh and maybe even tear up You won't want to put it down and when you finish reading it you'll feel sad it ended but entirely content with the journey it took you on And the cherry on top? Its setting of Alaska which along with its daring prose gives the book an edgier vibe What a wonderful debut novel


  3. Carl R. Carl R. says:

    They don't write too many novels about the class of characters in Dolls Behaving Badly blue collar paycheck to paycheck up to here in credit card debt lives either out of control or on the brink thereof I don't know why Maybe people who write novels don't come from that milieu There's Updike's Rabbit but that's a northeast brahmin blue collar pretender thing and to my mind counts not at all Janet Evanovich comes to mind maybe Sara Paretsky All that aside meet Carla RichardsShe has a middle school boy an ex husband with whom she still gets together regularly a waitress job and a nearly vanished dream to be an artist The only thing going well in her life is son Jay Jay In her struggle to get out of debt she begins buying old broken dolls and spends her night recreating them to market on an erotic website Dolls that are anatomically correct right down to vaginas anuses and pubic hair Never before I think has this plot line appeared on the page or on big screen or smallThe dolls all have cute names like the policeman pull me over and pull it out MeanwhileHer real estate sales sister has an affair gets pregnant leaves her husband and moves in with Carla The 17 year old baby sitter from the druggie parents three trailers down gets thrown out and moves in as well Her colleague at work develops a strange romance with no kisses and Carla gets involved with an anthropologist who makes her gifts of bones In between Carla maintains a communion with her dead Polish gramma and gives us her recipes touch of magical realism there you see as well as a taste bud connection And that's just the setupObviously there is room for complications galore and we get a flood of them The best part of Dolls to my mind is Carla's voice It's the voice of a woman whose dreams seem broken whose life seems out of control but who maintains a basic optimism throughout She takes on burdens that don't really belong to her helps solve problems that aren't hers but she never loses her sense of humor and never gets bitter about those who exploit her In the end that pays off big time but you'll have to read the book to find out how I'm not going to spoil your fun by revealing it hereAnd then there's Alaska almost a character in itself with the weather the moose et al It's a great setting You ought to go to for Ritchie's trenchant comments on what it's like to live and write there A terrific pieceWhat drags the book down for me is that it is sometimes as out of control as Carla's life There's so much going on it loses focus We get deep into someone's moods at times when the action is what matters For example in the matter of the sister's aborted abortion when she then disappears from the scene for uite a while just when she's in the worst spot and in literary terms needs our sympathy and attentionAll in all though Dolls is an absorbing and joyous read with some deep exploration of moral issues such as abortion not from a government legalistic point of view but from the personal female angle of the conflicts and conseuences It's a life and art affirming read and believe me memorable


  4. Marie Marie says:

    Ritchie has written a uniuely structured novel that uses a diary format employing first person narration letters and recipes The structure adds considerable depth to what would otherwise be an ordinary story of a single mom trying desperately to support herself and her young son in an economically depressed small Alaskan town Much of the novel reminded me of the TV show Northern Exposure except there is no outsider to pass judgment on the uirky eccentric characters Instead the reader immediately feels the normality of the community the bill collectors demanding payment often do so with dry humor; the crisscrossing of romantic relationships raises few eyebrows; and seeing and talking to ghosts seems a natural result of stress and loneliness Ritchie draws an Alaskan territory that is otherworldly beautiful and yet cruel at the edges The cold darkness of winter seeped into my bones as I read yet I wished I could be there as Carla comes across a moose while running And I wished I could be there for the community as well You definitely feel the draw of Alaska as a place where a person could be her or himself where everyone has a uirk or two and where no one ultimately is normal than anyone elseA lot happens in this novel as Carla tries to straighten out her finances as her life threatens to spin off into a melodramatic disaster of soap opera proportions Her older sister with whom she had always had an uneasy relationship suddenly moves into Carla’s trailer seemingly ignorant of Carla’s need for stability and money An anthropologist pursues her romantically her closest friend sets off on her own roller coaster of romance and fear and a street smart teenager becomes her son’s babysitter and by extension the daughter that Carla often imagined having Her son Jay Jay is gifted and has a preternatural wisdom that both his parents depend on He’s their proof that they did at least one right thing together How Carla manages to earn some extra cash get noticed as an artist and weather the resulting publicity moves her story along at a steady pace It was a good thing I read this book while on vacation because it was hard to put down I always wanted to read “one chapter” before turning off the lights This is a rich novel I could write so much but I don’t want to give it all away Read it for yourself


  5. Ruth B Ruth B says:

    Being a divorcée mom is not easy trying to be an artist is not easy lets be honest being a woman is not easy but it can be extremely fun Dolls Behaving Badly is the perfect tale for women of all ages A story that proves the way to happiness is not a straight line In fact it is a journey full of twists and turns and usually is uite turbulentCarla is a thirtyish woman waitress and artist by night mother of an incredible boy living in Alaska A free spirit when she was younger she is now settled down and trying to pay her overdue bills A funny and real woman with real and believable problems Her mind itself is a complete world full with ideas insecurities doubts dreams Carla is very funny and it’s hard not to love her No matter how old you are something in her will remind you one or women in your life The book has great characters each one with a different personality and very well built Jay Jay is the most amazing kid Intelligent and down to earth a realistic child that wins your heart with every word that comes out of his mouth Stephanie the teenager babysitter an extroverted and secure girl with a hard life whose dialogues and attitudes made the book extreme funny Laurel the sister a woman who I didn’t like at first but ended up being a good companion with an amazing story The story is amazing for the veracity of the situations the hilarious dialogues and the emotions it transmits The author made a good job capturing the stress anguish despair anxiety and also the happy feelings that make life what it is The diary style made it dynamic and easy to read The letters and recipes are a great part of the story and displays Carla’s evolution The paintings and the adorable erotic dolls are other witnesses of the storyOverall a woman’s fiction with excellent uality with engaging characters a constant rhythm and wonderful recipes I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review


  6. Kristin Richey gaskill Kristin Richey gaskill says:

    This story was instantly close to my heart I didn't want to like it because of it's name but as soon as I started reading it my desire to distance myself from it immediately melted and gave way to endearmentI felt like I had a direct bloodline to the characters in the book right from the get go; when Carla's grandmother my favorite character in the story offers her intermittent advice I felt like I was getting to know my own grandmother I loved how the remedy for most of life's unsolvable problems was to cook a specific dish and thought the recipes being included was clever Although set in Alaska the story is relatable to all women anywhere That it takes place in Alaska only makes it interesting I was endeared by the relationship Carla develops with a man who gives her bones as tokens of his affection and enjoyed watching how that relationship played out with regard to Carla's son and his relationships Carla's son is adorable and the way he considers the feelings of others and takes a hit for the team made me cry affectionately Although I didn't care much for the main character's sister I did enjoy following her sub story The same was true for me regarding Carla's best friendco worker not people I'd pick to keep close in my life but interesting sub stories regardless Sometimes we get what we get and Carla clearly makes the best of the situations and relationships in her world I could easily identify with the connection that Carla and her son's babysitter shared the family we pick as opposed to that which we're given at birth A great heartwarming tale of the triumphs and successes of a single mom in Alaska These truly believable characters will stay in your heart long after you finish turning pages


  7. Stacy Natal Stacy Natal says:

    I can't decide on a three or four star rating for this book about a woman finding herself through journal writing but this book made me laugh cry and think so I opted for the four Parts of it are a bit unrealistic but the characters are rich One of my favorite uotes from the book is Happiness is like trying to catch the fog You can walk and walk and never realize you've reached it until you look back


  8. Julie Valerie Julie Valerie says:

    5 Reasons I Gave this Book a 5 Star ReviewOne Best CoverOf the 57 books I read in 2013 this was my #1 most favorite book cover If it wasn’t my most favorite it was definitely in the top threeLoved the consistent use of the doll’s flesh tones as a background color loved the control of light and soft edges Loved the lowercase letters and rounded font used for the title Loved the choice of pink and blue against the flesh tones to “pop” the text and make reference through color to the feminine and masculine – and I loved that the pink and blue were not your typical pink or blue The pink is a contemporary shade that’s a bit edgy hot and ‘in your face’ like the erotic dolls the main character fashions at her kitchen table The blue appears saturated by water and light maybe from an ancient mediterranean place – somewhere near sand – where Francisco the anthropologist and love interest might find bones The book cover has a matte finish my favorite type and is soft and subtle to the touch – so comfortable in your hands it’s hard to resist the temptation to open the book and smell the pages I liked carrying it around with me It felt good in my hands and was enjoyable to hold as I read And hey that’s important In this early age of ebooks the tactile ualities of a physical book insure we’ll always have bookshelves filled with booksTwo A Favorite ReadAfter 57 books this book was also one of favorite reads in 2013 I enjoyed the writing and choice of words every bit as much as I enjoyed the character development and unfolding of events There were lines in the book so “deep” and raw I made my husband listen to them and one afternoon I read a bunch of marked pages aloud to my sister a clinical psychologist and the perfect reader for this book because the characters especially Carla are so messed up but work hard trying to better their flawed set of circumstances I know my sister would have a field day if all the character’s in Cinthia Ritchie’s book were called in for group therapy and I imagine the author “wrote deep” within the actual words and lines of her manuscript because many of the images circumstances and overarching uestions posed in the book led you to think about the cultural andor psychological underpinnings of the story eg Whether Carla views herself as sexually liberated in a world in which women model their behavior around the desires of menThree Favorite SettingThe story is set in Alaska and I’m crazy obsessed with anything that has to do with Alaska I watch all the shows about survival and homesteading in Alaska and I hope to winter in Alaska at least once before I die I have family that live in Alaska but when we see each other it’s usually at a family gathering in the lower 48 Spending almost 350 pages in Alaska was wonderfulI also really really enjoyed having a single mother as a main character a demographic I think is underrepresented in women’s fiction and I don’t know why From this character I learned to always pursue my dreams and I think readers will enjoy the underlying message that you don’t have to be perfect to be lovedFour Authentically Flawed CharactersThe characters are so utterly flawed and realistic you half expect them to walk off the page and take a bite of your sandwich An eclectic ‘family’ is formed in the book with characters so uniue and uirky you’ll read because the character arcs are so interestingCarla is visited at odd times and in odd places by the ghost of her Polish grandmother who typically leaves her with some advice and a recipe for Polish baked goods the recipes are included in the book – love that – and whatever you do don’t skip the instructions for baking My three favorite recipes you’ll know why Gramma’s Communion Wafers from Chapter 12 Barry’s Peanut Butter Cookies from Chapter 14 and Gramma’s Chrusciki Angel Wings at the end of the bookFrancisco an anthropologist courts Carla by giving her ancient human bones Bones Hhmmm What do they mean?Carla a painter is haunted not only by her Gramma but by a painting of a woman running with a box What’s in the box? Why is she running? And why does Carla drill vaginas into dolls turning them into erotic often satirical art for an adult website? Is she making a statement about sex or using sex to make a statement?Five okay There isn’t really a five At least if there was it would probably contain spoilers so it’s best I not go there Okay okay I changed my mind Five Favorite Take Away from the Book Gramma’s warning that “sins make you fat” You’ll have to read the book to understand why this is so wise Disclaimer As a book blogger I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review The expanded book review with links to the author and book on various websites can be found at wwwjulievaleriecom


  9. Nikki Jefford Nikki Jefford says:

    This book is the best thing since Bridget Jones’s DiaryHere’s why it’s even better1It’s set in Alaska2Includes naughty dolls3Recipes for baked goods4Is hilariously and heartbreakingly true to life5Stephanie the babysitter Dolls Behaving Badly is a story so brutally honest and personal that its diary style format couldn’t be fittingWhat amazed me most was how much I could relate to the main character Carla Richards which is funny considering I’m not divorced in debt a single mother painter or waitress Yet I found myself nodding along with her comments throughout the book Carla speaks for any woman who’s ever wanted out of life I hear you sister Best of all I laughed my head off in many places which earned several stares as I read inside my car on the ferryBooks that can make me laugh out loud earn a special place in my heart for all eternityStephanie the babysitter is one of my all time favorite fictional characters I could share a number of her witticisms but I think her flier says it allGOT KIDS? HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR WITH THREE YEARSEXPERIENCE WILL WATCH FEED AND AMUSE YOURKIDS WEEKNIGHTS AND WEEKENDS UNLESSOCCUPIED WITH A TOTALLY AWESOME DATEThe moment I read that I could NOT wait to meet Stephanie I almost wish I had kids – just so I could hire this larger than life teen Maybe she’d dog sit?The baking recipes scattered throughout the book reflect the mood of the main character with instructions like “eat late at night after a good cry” or “eat the whole damned batch by yourself” or “share with good friends and family Laugh Always have seconds”That last one was for Gramma’s Polish Apple Cakes which I made this morningand I did have secondsand thirds Comedy entertainment life lessons and recipes all rolled into one book Dolls Behaving Badly goes onto my all time favorite’s list


  10. Danielle Robertson Danielle Robertson says:

    I was contacted by the author Cinthia Ritchie and was given a copy of Dolls Behaving Badly in exchange for a reviewThis is the most fun that I've had reading a book in uite a while Ritchie's characters jump off the page and the main character and narrator Carla felt like a friend at the end of the book I adore the concept of a character keeping a journal; as a reader I felt privy to so much information about Carla as the novel progressed Journal entries are also a great way to track change in a character on a personal level I certainly saw that exhibited here I loved the Oprah Giant character a sort of Julia Cameron figure a la The Artist's Way pushing people to keep journals to help them on their emotional journey A great incentive for Carla to keep a journal The cast of characters in Dolls Behaving Badly are uite a bunch each man woman and child has a uniue personality No one here is perfect or two dimensional These are real uirky people with talents and flaws It was a joy to get to know each and every one of themI also really enjoyed the inclusion of recipes within the text You can learn so much about a person through their relationship with food As Carla bakes foods from her childhood she rekindles memories of her Gramma These recipes were a lovely addition to the novel One complaint I was so hungry on the train ride home from workA little naughty a lot of fun and extremely heart warming Dolls Behaving Badly is a fun read for anyone looking to brighten their day


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Dolls Behaving Badly [Download] ➾ Dolls Behaving Badly By Cinthia Ritchie – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk A hilarious and heartwarming debut novel about a single mom living in Alaska trying to make a life for herself and her young son Carla Richards is a lot of things She's a waitress at Anchorage's premi A hilarious and heartwarming debut novel about a single mom living in Alaska trying to make a life for herself and her young son Carla Richards is a lot of things She's a waitress at Anchorage's premier dining establishment Mexico in an Igloo; an artist who secretly makes erotic dolls for extra income; a divorcee who Dolls Behaving MOBI :Þ can't uite detach from her ex husband; and a single mom trying to support her gifted eight year old son her pregnant sister and her babysitter turned resident teenager She's one overdue bill away from completely losing control when inspiration strikes in the form of a TV personality Now she's scribbling away in a diary flirting with an anthropologist and making appointments with a credit counselor Still getting her life and dreams back on track is difficult Is perfection really within reach Or will she wind up with something even better.

  • Paperback
  • 352 pages
  • Dolls Behaving Badly
  • Cinthia Ritchie
  • English
  • 15 October 2016
  • 9780446568135

About the Author: Cinthia Ritchie

Alaska writer trail runner and author of Malnourished A Memoir of Sisterhood and Hunger releasing Jan from Raised Voice Press and Dolls Behaving Badly from Hachette Book Group; lover of good books and hot baths or better yet reading good books while lounging in a hot bath Secret wish To hike up a mountain Dolls Behaving MOBI :Þ while holding Emily Dickinson's hand.


10 thoughts on “Dolls Behaving Badly

  1. Aditi Aditi says:

    Woody Allen has said The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have instead of what you don't have Carla Richards who is in her late 30s is one such woman who had to learn this fact of happiness from a giant woman who was the guest in Oprah's talk show and by following the giant's advice to maintain a diary Well wonder who Carla is? Carla is the main protagonist in Cinthia Ritchie's novel Dolls Behaving Badly The name is uirky and has a really interesting meaning to it name Cinthia Ritchie has pen down this tale in the form of Carla's diary entry hence the book's pace is uite good This is about Carlita shortly known as Carla is in her mid 30s has a super smart son Jay and is divorced to her ex husband Barry Moreover she lives with Jay in a trailer working as a waitress in a restaurant and loves to paint She secretly wants to be successful as a painter She even has a 'perfect' elder sister Laurel who is married to some rich dude and also Laurel has a career of her own Carla has started writing diary since one day she got inspired by one of Oprah Winfrey's guest in her talk show and also Carla follows her blog religiously She wanted to thrive for happiness in her not so happy content and successful life But from the beginning of the diary entry till the very end we can see Carla's life changing her introspects and views changing towards herself and how in the beginning she lacked confidence in herself but in the end she became one strong woman This book is an epic one It’s thoroughly humorous as well as inspiring at the same time The book has got a loads of treats for us for example Carla's Gramma's secret Polish recipes her Kitchen table top view etc best part being it is set in the wild Alaska and the wilderness was uite evident in every pages of the bookTom Bodett the American author has once said It’s not like Alaska isn't wilderness it mostly is But most Alaskans don't live in the wild They live on the edge of the wild in towns with schools and cable TV and stores and dentists and roller rinks sometimes It's just like anyplace else only with mountains and moose Yeah beware there are a lots of Moose Carla had a dream to become an artist so she left her home at a very tender age to pursue it instead she fell in love got married and finally got pregnant with Jay and thus putting her dream on a reverse gear But her after her divorce her life was falling apart it was getting hard to pay the bills well no doubt she loved spending carelessly hence to keep herself afloat she started making dirty dolls for an adult website You will be shocked to read about her uniue talent I never knew so many things could be done with simple plain old Mattel Barbie Dolls Eventually no doubt her talent got recognized also she learnt to move on from her husband who was a chef and was uite chubbily handsomeno wonder why Carla was still seeing her husband even after her divorce and fell in love completely with a weird anthropologist who used to send bones of dead bodies to Carla on every occasionCinthia Ritchie has a uite natural passion in writing down her tales and the way she has written it will make you fall in love with her style of writing almost immediately The book is very 'raw' and deep with emotions But from the very first page you'll find tears rolling down from your eyes from laughing because of the sarcastic one liners or uotes of Carla and Jay will make you fall in love with him and Stephanie's poems will make you wonder that poems can touch your soul so deeply and Laurel's sophistication might make you hate her in a good and sympathetic way and Barry's wisdom will make you want a man like him in your life These uirky and out of box characters definitely justify the book in a good way The book has got a simple message “Don't worry and just follow your instincts” But this simple message is embedded in the tale so brilliantly Cinthia Ritchie has kept us hooked from the very first pages of the book with Carla's witty words and sarcasmRead this book and watch yourself go ROFL completely Thank you Cinthia Ritchie for providing me with a copy of your book in return for an honest review

  2. Carrie Carrie says:

    Impossible not to get caught up in this single mother's world as she faces mounting debt endless care taking of an eccentric bunch of friends and family and the promise of new love There is so much depth to these characters you'll feel you know them and all of them evolve and adapt as the story goes on Throw in hilarious chapter ending letters from the various businesses Carla owes money to and the mouth watering recipes of a deceased but not absent Polish grandmother and you have a book that'll make your lick you lips laugh and maybe even tear up You won't want to put it down and when you finish reading it you'll feel sad it ended but entirely content with the journey it took you on And the cherry on top? Its setting of Alaska which along with its daring prose gives the book an edgier vibe What a wonderful debut novel

  3. Carl R. Carl R. says:

    They don't write too many novels about the class of characters in Dolls Behaving Badly blue collar paycheck to paycheck up to here in credit card debt lives either out of control or on the brink thereof I don't know why Maybe people who write novels don't come from that milieu There's Updike's Rabbit but that's a northeast brahmin blue collar pretender thing and to my mind counts not at all Janet Evanovich comes to mind maybe Sara Paretsky All that aside meet Carla RichardsShe has a middle school boy an ex husband with whom she still gets together regularly a waitress job and a nearly vanished dream to be an artist The only thing going well in her life is son Jay Jay In her struggle to get out of debt she begins buying old broken dolls and spends her night recreating them to market on an erotic website Dolls that are anatomically correct right down to vaginas anuses and pubic hair Never before I think has this plot line appeared on the page or on big screen or smallThe dolls all have cute names like the policeman pull me over and pull it out MeanwhileHer real estate sales sister has an affair gets pregnant leaves her husband and moves in with Carla The 17 year old baby sitter from the druggie parents three trailers down gets thrown out and moves in as well Her colleague at work develops a strange romance with no kisses and Carla gets involved with an anthropologist who makes her gifts of bones In between Carla maintains a communion with her dead Polish gramma and gives us her recipes touch of magical realism there you see as well as a taste bud connection And that's just the setupObviously there is room for complications galore and we get a flood of them The best part of Dolls to my mind is Carla's voice It's the voice of a woman whose dreams seem broken whose life seems out of control but who maintains a basic optimism throughout She takes on burdens that don't really belong to her helps solve problems that aren't hers but she never loses her sense of humor and never gets bitter about those who exploit her In the end that pays off big time but you'll have to read the book to find out how I'm not going to spoil your fun by revealing it hereAnd then there's Alaska almost a character in itself with the weather the moose et al It's a great setting You ought to go to for Ritchie's trenchant comments on what it's like to live and write there A terrific pieceWhat drags the book down for me is that it is sometimes as out of control as Carla's life There's so much going on it loses focus We get deep into someone's moods at times when the action is what matters For example in the matter of the sister's aborted abortion when she then disappears from the scene for uite a while just when she's in the worst spot and in literary terms needs our sympathy and attentionAll in all though Dolls is an absorbing and joyous read with some deep exploration of moral issues such as abortion not from a government legalistic point of view but from the personal female angle of the conflicts and conseuences It's a life and art affirming read and believe me memorable

  4. Marie Marie says:

    Ritchie has written a uniuely structured novel that uses a diary format employing first person narration letters and recipes The structure adds considerable depth to what would otherwise be an ordinary story of a single mom trying desperately to support herself and her young son in an economically depressed small Alaskan town Much of the novel reminded me of the TV show Northern Exposure except there is no outsider to pass judgment on the uirky eccentric characters Instead the reader immediately feels the normality of the community the bill collectors demanding payment often do so with dry humor; the crisscrossing of romantic relationships raises few eyebrows; and seeing and talking to ghosts seems a natural result of stress and loneliness Ritchie draws an Alaskan territory that is otherworldly beautiful and yet cruel at the edges The cold darkness of winter seeped into my bones as I read yet I wished I could be there as Carla comes across a moose while running And I wished I could be there for the community as well You definitely feel the draw of Alaska as a place where a person could be her or himself where everyone has a uirk or two and where no one ultimately is normal than anyone elseA lot happens in this novel as Carla tries to straighten out her finances as her life threatens to spin off into a melodramatic disaster of soap opera proportions Her older sister with whom she had always had an uneasy relationship suddenly moves into Carla’s trailer seemingly ignorant of Carla’s need for stability and money An anthropologist pursues her romantically her closest friend sets off on her own roller coaster of romance and fear and a street smart teenager becomes her son’s babysitter and by extension the daughter that Carla often imagined having Her son Jay Jay is gifted and has a preternatural wisdom that both his parents depend on He’s their proof that they did at least one right thing together How Carla manages to earn some extra cash get noticed as an artist and weather the resulting publicity moves her story along at a steady pace It was a good thing I read this book while on vacation because it was hard to put down I always wanted to read “one chapter” before turning off the lights This is a rich novel I could write so much but I don’t want to give it all away Read it for yourself

  5. Ruth B Ruth B says:

    Being a divorcée mom is not easy trying to be an artist is not easy lets be honest being a woman is not easy but it can be extremely fun Dolls Behaving Badly is the perfect tale for women of all ages A story that proves the way to happiness is not a straight line In fact it is a journey full of twists and turns and usually is uite turbulentCarla is a thirtyish woman waitress and artist by night mother of an incredible boy living in Alaska A free spirit when she was younger she is now settled down and trying to pay her overdue bills A funny and real woman with real and believable problems Her mind itself is a complete world full with ideas insecurities doubts dreams Carla is very funny and it’s hard not to love her No matter how old you are something in her will remind you one or women in your life The book has great characters each one with a different personality and very well built Jay Jay is the most amazing kid Intelligent and down to earth a realistic child that wins your heart with every word that comes out of his mouth Stephanie the teenager babysitter an extroverted and secure girl with a hard life whose dialogues and attitudes made the book extreme funny Laurel the sister a woman who I didn’t like at first but ended up being a good companion with an amazing story The story is amazing for the veracity of the situations the hilarious dialogues and the emotions it transmits The author made a good job capturing the stress anguish despair anxiety and also the happy feelings that make life what it is The diary style made it dynamic and easy to read The letters and recipes are a great part of the story and displays Carla’s evolution The paintings and the adorable erotic dolls are other witnesses of the storyOverall a woman’s fiction with excellent uality with engaging characters a constant rhythm and wonderful recipes I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

  6. Kristin Richey gaskill Kristin Richey gaskill says:

    This story was instantly close to my heart I didn't want to like it because of it's name but as soon as I started reading it my desire to distance myself from it immediately melted and gave way to endearmentI felt like I had a direct bloodline to the characters in the book right from the get go; when Carla's grandmother my favorite character in the story offers her intermittent advice I felt like I was getting to know my own grandmother I loved how the remedy for most of life's unsolvable problems was to cook a specific dish and thought the recipes being included was clever Although set in Alaska the story is relatable to all women anywhere That it takes place in Alaska only makes it interesting I was endeared by the relationship Carla develops with a man who gives her bones as tokens of his affection and enjoyed watching how that relationship played out with regard to Carla's son and his relationships Carla's son is adorable and the way he considers the feelings of others and takes a hit for the team made me cry affectionately Although I didn't care much for the main character's sister I did enjoy following her sub story The same was true for me regarding Carla's best friendco worker not people I'd pick to keep close in my life but interesting sub stories regardless Sometimes we get what we get and Carla clearly makes the best of the situations and relationships in her world I could easily identify with the connection that Carla and her son's babysitter shared the family we pick as opposed to that which we're given at birth A great heartwarming tale of the triumphs and successes of a single mom in Alaska These truly believable characters will stay in your heart long after you finish turning pages

  7. Stacy Natal Stacy Natal says:

    I can't decide on a three or four star rating for this book about a woman finding herself through journal writing but this book made me laugh cry and think so I opted for the four Parts of it are a bit unrealistic but the characters are rich One of my favorite uotes from the book is Happiness is like trying to catch the fog You can walk and walk and never realize you've reached it until you look back

  8. Julie Valerie Julie Valerie says:

    5 Reasons I Gave this Book a 5 Star ReviewOne Best CoverOf the 57 books I read in 2013 this was my #1 most favorite book cover If it wasn’t my most favorite it was definitely in the top threeLoved the consistent use of the doll’s flesh tones as a background color loved the control of light and soft edges Loved the lowercase letters and rounded font used for the title Loved the choice of pink and blue against the flesh tones to “pop” the text and make reference through color to the feminine and masculine – and I loved that the pink and blue were not your typical pink or blue The pink is a contemporary shade that’s a bit edgy hot and ‘in your face’ like the erotic dolls the main character fashions at her kitchen table The blue appears saturated by water and light maybe from an ancient mediterranean place – somewhere near sand – where Francisco the anthropologist and love interest might find bones The book cover has a matte finish my favorite type and is soft and subtle to the touch – so comfortable in your hands it’s hard to resist the temptation to open the book and smell the pages I liked carrying it around with me It felt good in my hands and was enjoyable to hold as I read And hey that’s important In this early age of ebooks the tactile ualities of a physical book insure we’ll always have bookshelves filled with booksTwo A Favorite ReadAfter 57 books this book was also one of favorite reads in 2013 I enjoyed the writing and choice of words every bit as much as I enjoyed the character development and unfolding of events There were lines in the book so “deep” and raw I made my husband listen to them and one afternoon I read a bunch of marked pages aloud to my sister a clinical psychologist and the perfect reader for this book because the characters especially Carla are so messed up but work hard trying to better their flawed set of circumstances I know my sister would have a field day if all the character’s in Cinthia Ritchie’s book were called in for group therapy and I imagine the author “wrote deep” within the actual words and lines of her manuscript because many of the images circumstances and overarching uestions posed in the book led you to think about the cultural andor psychological underpinnings of the story eg Whether Carla views herself as sexually liberated in a world in which women model their behavior around the desires of menThree Favorite SettingThe story is set in Alaska and I’m crazy obsessed with anything that has to do with Alaska I watch all the shows about survival and homesteading in Alaska and I hope to winter in Alaska at least once before I die I have family that live in Alaska but when we see each other it’s usually at a family gathering in the lower 48 Spending almost 350 pages in Alaska was wonderfulI also really really enjoyed having a single mother as a main character a demographic I think is underrepresented in women’s fiction and I don’t know why From this character I learned to always pursue my dreams and I think readers will enjoy the underlying message that you don’t have to be perfect to be lovedFour Authentically Flawed CharactersThe characters are so utterly flawed and realistic you half expect them to walk off the page and take a bite of your sandwich An eclectic ‘family’ is formed in the book with characters so uniue and uirky you’ll read because the character arcs are so interestingCarla is visited at odd times and in odd places by the ghost of her Polish grandmother who typically leaves her with some advice and a recipe for Polish baked goods the recipes are included in the book – love that – and whatever you do don’t skip the instructions for baking My three favorite recipes you’ll know why Gramma’s Communion Wafers from Chapter 12 Barry’s Peanut Butter Cookies from Chapter 14 and Gramma’s Chrusciki Angel Wings at the end of the bookFrancisco an anthropologist courts Carla by giving her ancient human bones Bones Hhmmm What do they mean?Carla a painter is haunted not only by her Gramma but by a painting of a woman running with a box What’s in the box? Why is she running? And why does Carla drill vaginas into dolls turning them into erotic often satirical art for an adult website? Is she making a statement about sex or using sex to make a statement?Five okay There isn’t really a five At least if there was it would probably contain spoilers so it’s best I not go there Okay okay I changed my mind Five Favorite Take Away from the Book Gramma’s warning that “sins make you fat” You’ll have to read the book to understand why this is so wise Disclaimer As a book blogger I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review The expanded book review with links to the author and book on various websites can be found at wwwjulievaleriecom

  9. Nikki Jefford Nikki Jefford says:

    This book is the best thing since Bridget Jones’s DiaryHere’s why it’s even better1It’s set in Alaska2Includes naughty dolls3Recipes for baked goods4Is hilariously and heartbreakingly true to life5Stephanie the babysitter Dolls Behaving Badly is a story so brutally honest and personal that its diary style format couldn’t be fittingWhat amazed me most was how much I could relate to the main character Carla Richards which is funny considering I’m not divorced in debt a single mother painter or waitress Yet I found myself nodding along with her comments throughout the book Carla speaks for any woman who’s ever wanted out of life I hear you sister Best of all I laughed my head off in many places which earned several stares as I read inside my car on the ferryBooks that can make me laugh out loud earn a special place in my heart for all eternityStephanie the babysitter is one of my all time favorite fictional characters I could share a number of her witticisms but I think her flier says it allGOT KIDS? HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR WITH THREE YEARSEXPERIENCE WILL WATCH FEED AND AMUSE YOURKIDS WEEKNIGHTS AND WEEKENDS UNLESSOCCUPIED WITH A TOTALLY AWESOME DATEThe moment I read that I could NOT wait to meet Stephanie I almost wish I had kids – just so I could hire this larger than life teen Maybe she’d dog sit?The baking recipes scattered throughout the book reflect the mood of the main character with instructions like “eat late at night after a good cry” or “eat the whole damned batch by yourself” or “share with good friends and family Laugh Always have seconds”That last one was for Gramma’s Polish Apple Cakes which I made this morningand I did have secondsand thirds Comedy entertainment life lessons and recipes all rolled into one book Dolls Behaving Badly goes onto my all time favorite’s list

  10. Danielle Robertson Danielle Robertson says:

    I was contacted by the author Cinthia Ritchie and was given a copy of Dolls Behaving Badly in exchange for a reviewThis is the most fun that I've had reading a book in uite a while Ritchie's characters jump off the page and the main character and narrator Carla felt like a friend at the end of the book I adore the concept of a character keeping a journal; as a reader I felt privy to so much information about Carla as the novel progressed Journal entries are also a great way to track change in a character on a personal level I certainly saw that exhibited here I loved the Oprah Giant character a sort of Julia Cameron figure a la The Artist's Way pushing people to keep journals to help them on their emotional journey A great incentive for Carla to keep a journal The cast of characters in Dolls Behaving Badly are uite a bunch each man woman and child has a uniue personality No one here is perfect or two dimensional These are real uirky people with talents and flaws It was a joy to get to know each and every one of themI also really enjoyed the inclusion of recipes within the text You can learn so much about a person through their relationship with food As Carla bakes foods from her childhood she rekindles memories of her Gramma These recipes were a lovely addition to the novel One complaint I was so hungry on the train ride home from workA little naughty a lot of fun and extremely heart warming Dolls Behaving Badly is a fun read for anyone looking to brighten their day

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