Sunday Afternoon Reads: "Tully" by Paullina Simons

Ever stumble across an author that you can't believe that you haven't read yet? Happens to me with alarming regularity considering that I consider myself quite a broad reader. Wandering around the airport at 5:50 in the morning waiting for my request to "Go to Gate", my great intentions of going back to sleep on the plane flew out the window and I found myself in the book store hunting for a holiday novel - which is completely against my usual habit of either buying them on extreme discount days at Borders or from second-hand stores. I chose this book because it was easier on the pocket than the other book that intrigued me and boy, am I glad that I did.
The book that won was Tully by Paullina Simons. Also famous for her novel "A Girl in Times Square", Tully is a novel that shows the drama in so-called normal life. It follows the titular character Tully and her friends Jennifer and Julie through their adolescent years and into the future, the scope narrowing down more on Tully as the novel progresses through the years. It focuses on the choices that we all have to make in life and the catastrophe that can result from hesitation in making decisions.
I really liked the way that the author writes the plot as largely motivated by the relationships between characters. The times where Tully is the sole character in the book and there are no interactions stand out starkly. Ms. Simons tackles some heavy issues in this novel and, without giving the storyline away, each of the female protaganists has a serious complication in their life that will affect their futures. Do things work out as Jennifer, Julie and Tully had planned? You'll have to read the novel to find out.
This novel felt intensely real to me - all the issues involved in the novel are as relevant in a contemporary setting as they are in the mid-twentieth century setting that the novel was set in and the characters seemed incredibly believable in their reactions... I could see something of all my friends in them. I'll be seeking out more by this author to find whether her other novels speak to my heart on the same level.

4 out of 5 stars.


  1. This is one of my favourite books ever

  2. omg! I read this book as well. While it wasn't my favourite of Paullina's, (yes, we're on a first name basis now) it did get me interested in her other works which are just as good, if not better.

    I would suggest 11 Hours to read also. FANTASTIC book.

    I usually find authors tend to stick to a formula (ie Dan Brown). All their novels have a different story line, but generally run in a similar way. Paullina Simons' novels aren't like that so you never know what to expect.

    She's a fantastic author!


  3. you are actually giving me a reason to pick up a random author and start reading... i do it often but that often hasnt happened in a long time. thanks for the recommendation!

  4. I'm a huge Paullina Simons fan but I actually didn't enjoy this one very much. My fav is definitely the beautiful historical drama "The Bronze Horseman" followed by it's sequel "The Bridge to Holy Cross." The third in the trilogy, "The Summer Garden" however was the biggest piece of cack I have had the misfortune of reading. Horrid!

    I have her latest novel "The Road to Paradise" languishing on my TBR pile.

    Oh and I met Ms Simons in 07 in Palmerston North - she is just delightful!