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10 March 2010

Book Review: Waking Up In the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo

Title: Waking Up In the Land of Glitter
Author: Kathy Cano-Murillo
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN: 9780446509244
Genre: Fiction


About the Book:

With glue guns, glitter, twigs, or yarn, the ordinary can become extraordinary . . . especially at La Pachanga. Owned by Estrella "Star" Esteban's family, the restaurant has a rep for two things: good food and great art. La Pachanga brings people together-even when it looks like they couldn't be further apart.

One ill-fated evening, Star jeopardizes her family's business, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her future career. To redeem herself, she agrees to participate in a national craft competition, teaming up with her best friend, Ofelia-a secretly troubled mother whose love for crafting borders on obsession-and local celebrity Chloe Chavez-a determined television personality with more than one skeleton in her professional closet. If these unlikely allies can set aside their differences, they'll find strength they never knew they had, and learn that friendship, like crafting, is truly an art form.

My Review:

Waking Up In the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo is a cute story of friendships, heartbreaks, family and unwavering love. Murillo's novel is well written, her characters are quite real, her descriptions are vivid enough to make me hungry on more than one occasion. With all that said, I struggled to identify with many of the characters, quite possibly because my children are so close to the ages of several of the key players in Waking Up In the Land of Glitter.
While I found myself relating more to Star's father, Alfonso Ortega Esteban more than Star, most likely considering Al and I are about the same age, I am glad I persevered through the novel and read it to the end. I will not give away spoilers, however, it is well worth the wait. 350 pounds of imported glass glitter and a promise of 200 handmade centerpieces in exchange for La Pachanga's sponsorship of the CraftOlympics have Star turning to her friend Ofie, who loves to craft, for help and from there an odd lot, each for their own reasons, begin to meet weekly at Ofie's home to begin brainstorming ideas for the centerpieces. Thus begins the intriguing dynamics of the relationships of Star, Ofie, Crafty Chloe Chavez, and Benecio. I did find it interesting that while the 20-somethings behaved as adolescents it took an adolescent to bring them together. As I previously mentioned I related best to Al, Star's father and of course Ofie's mother-in-law Nana Chata, however, Ofie and her husband Larry weaved their way into my heart, while everyone had so much to gain and learn in this novel, I was most pleased with Ofie and Larry. Waking Up In the Land of Glitter was not what I expected it would be; yet I believe many readers will come to love this eclectic group of 20-somethings. For anyone looking for a novel about family, friendships and finding oneself, Waking Up In the Land of Glitter may be exactly what you are looking for.

About the Author:

Kathy Cano-Murillo is a lifelong writer and artist. Her crafts have been carried by hundreds of retailers including Bloomingdales, Target, and Hallmark. She is a former entertainment reporter for The Arizona Republic, and has authored seven books including Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing. She is the founder of, a wildly popular web site to inspire women to brighten their lives with clever craft ideas. She has a web series on, and can be seen on HGTV and DIY Network.

I received a complimentary copy of Waking Up In the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo from Hachette as part of the tour. Receiving a free copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Eli's Lids said...

Fun fun fun! Everything is better with glitter!

Christina T said...

Oh, this sounds interesting! When I first saw this book mentioned on your blog I thought it was a crafting book and I don't really do much with crafts anymore (partly because I am not very crafty and partly because I am a perfectionist so it sucks the fun out of it). But after reading your review I think I will add this to my TBR list. Great review!