November 2020 Publisher’s Choice
By Rose Mary Stiffin, PhD
Reviewed by Anita Finley, Gerontologist
I had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Stiffin on many occasions regarding her assortment of novels she wrote and although she is a scientist and professor, she is an absolutely devoted author of five fascinating novels that I know of and probably more on her computer, ready for publication. She was anxious to feature REFLECTIONS in our November issue and after reading it from cover to cover, I know why! It is a page turner, with laughs, tears and mystery intricately woven throughout its 332 pages.
One main feature is about alcoholism. This addiction is a profoundly serious life-threatening disease and Dr. Stiffin’s main character, tall, dark, and handsome Warren, is plagued with it. When he is faced with losing everything, he gets help from his family and friends and can keep it at bay. Ask any alcoholic, it is not easy. The author’s description of her character’s difficulty helps to develop his personality and makes the reader have compassion and excitement for his complicated life, before,
during and after.
Familial relationships are woven into many of its characters, with reality scenes experienced in daytime soap operas. In all fairness, most families suffer from parental challenges and choices, some good and others destructive. One of the chapters features the main female character, Dawn, who is a photographer and charms Warren. She is devastated by her father’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. It affects her and her mother emotionally, ending with his death she very sensitively handled. The reality of the author’s words had me in tears. Dr. Stiffin’s specialty is cancer so she was able to write about this with great compassion.
The characters are mostly beautiful and there are luscious sexual scenes that make the reader feel like they are right in bed with the participants. Trouble brewed in a few cases when sexual encounters were casual only to realize deteriorating results. Dr Stiffin is an excellent humanist, as she always makes the characters act with fairness and positivity.
If you are in a book club, this is an excellent book to share with your readers, as there are discussion questions in the back of her book to help move the story along. Better than a movie or TV sitcom, REFLECTIONS is a book that will stay with you, while you are reading it and long after. If you appreciate REFLECTIONS, you will be in for a treat as we are going to feature her other four books in our December issue of Boomer Times.
About the author:
Rose Mary Stiffin, PhD was raised and educated in Indianola, Mississippi, the hometown of the blues legend, BB King. She received her Bachelor of Art degree in Chemistry from Mississippi Valley State University (1974), her Master of Science degree in Organic Chemistry from Mississippi State University (1981), and her PhD (Biochemistry) from the University of Tennessee in Memphis (1995). She did her post-doctoral work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the Chair of the Division of Health and Natural Sciences at Florida Memorial University, a small HBCU located in Miami Gardens, FL