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Mary Pat Hyland is an award-winning, former newspaper journalist who writes novels and short stories set in upstate New York. In July 2013 she published her latest novel, a family saga called "The House With the Wraparound Porch." Her other works include the chicklit Maeve Kenny series: “The Cyber Miracles”; “A Sudden Gift of Fate”; and "A Wisdom of Owls". She has also written “3/17”, a St. Patrick’s Day riff on Dante’s “Inferno” and a Sept. 11-inspired suspense novel, "The Terminal Diner". Her work is inspired by authors such as Eudora Welty, Anne Tyler, John Irving, Maeve Binchy, Frank McCourt and Flannery O’Connor and influenced by her Irish-American heritage. Hyland’s interests include Finger Lakes wines, the Irish language, gardening and cooking.
on Aug. 30, 2011 :
The Terminal Diner has a small town setting that feels real and a likable main character, Elaina, whose dull life is stirred up in the wake of 9/11 (the shock and mourning of the town residents are beautifully and believably described by Hyland). Elaina makes an impulsive leap -- which does change her life, but not in the way she thought it would.
Elaina bakes great pie. This talent turns out to be as important as her mother said it was before her mother ran off with a trucker from Missoula, Montana.
The novel also contains a couple of mysteries, only one of which is solved. But the unsolved one is even more satisfying than the one that is eventually explained.
The Terminal Diner delivers reading pleasure and leaves you feeling hopeful. A winner.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Aug. 24, 2011 :
Elaina's mother left when she was sixteen. Her only advice - "Men like pies." So Elaina has spent the past twelve years working in the family diner making the best pies in the state. Her sister has a life, her friends have a life, but her life is the diner and making pies that men love. Then 9-11 happens and her life (and the lives of many others) will never be the same.
For some reason I started reading this book expecting a murder mystery. There is murder and a bit of mystery, but I would classify this as more of a romance than a murder mystery. The story centers around a group of people and a diner located close to the airport (hence the name of the diner).
I'll be honest, for the first several chapters of this book I was very bored. I know that the author had to lay some groundwork for the story to make sense, but the story just plodded along. Then, all of the sudden, it picked up and I couldn't put the book down. There were a couple of characters that could have been developed a bit more to help with the story line, but for the most part I enjoyed the book once I made it past those first few chapters. I will definitely be checking out her other books.
I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
on Aug. 19, 2011 :
As soon as I got the book put onto my Kobo and started reading, I couldn't put the book down! I was completely drawn into the story. I love the characters, they're very well developed and I can relate to them easily. Their reactions to situations are believable, I've found some authors whose characters are too ready to accept weird things happening, but I never saw that in The Terminal Diner. Having grown up in the area where the story takes place makes this book have a deeper meaning to me. I know the places she describes well, especially the airport having just come home from Florida two days ago. Seeing the name of the area where I've grown was thoroughly exciting and added an extra sense of attachment to the story. Mary Pat Hyland is an AMAZING writer, her characters come alive and interact well with each other. If you want to read a book, I would highly recommend this one.
(reviewed the day of purchase)