Bellows, Melina Gerosa 1965-

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Bellows, Melina Gerosa 1965-


PERSONAL:

Born 1965; married; husband's name Keith; children: Chase, Mackenzie Rose.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Washington, DC. Office— National Geographic Kids Magazine, National Geographic Society, 1145 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036-4688. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER

Ladies Home Journal, New York, NY, senior editor; National Geographic Kids, Washingon, DC, vice president and editor-in-chief.

WRITINGS:


The Fun Book: 102 Ways for Girls to Have Some, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.

The Fun Book for Couples: 102 Ways to Celebrate Love, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO) 2003.

Wish (novel), New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.

Author's work has appeared in many magazines, including Ladies Home Journal, Entertainment Weekly, New York Times, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Elle.

SIDELIGHTS:

Melina Gerosa Bellows's first novel, Wish, is the story of Bella Grandelli, who, as a young girl in 1974 when the novel opens, wishes only to be a beautiful bride and to "cure" her twin brother, Bobby, who suffers from a type of autism known as Asperger's syndrome. Bella's wishes change as she grows older: she wishes she were thinner, she hopes to get into Notre Dame, and she wants to find the perfect man. The novel skims through the years and by the 2000s, Bella has had her share of failed relationships, and Bobby has had his share of failed treatments. Still, she continues to grapple with her relationship with Bobby while her parents take care of him.

Along the way, Bella creates a successful career for herself as a magazine writer (complete with a cameo appearance by Oprah Winfrey), only to be stymied by depression, guilt, and the eternal need to seek her parents' approval. Only when she stops blaming herself for Bobby's disability can she come to terms with what he means to her and who she really is. As a "chick-lit" novel, Wish was appreciated by reviewers, particularly for the character of Bobby, whose unusual characteristics (such as eating spaghetti with tweezers and his constant mimicking of cartoon characters) and his inability to communicate or let people touch him make him "a more interesting character than most of Bella's suitors," according to a writer for Kirkus Reviews. Writing on the Web site Bookreporter.com, Norah Piehl praised Bella's self-awareness, noting that the book's "thoughtfulness makes it a natural for book discussion groups," and Kristine Huntley, in a review for Booklist, called Bella "a charming heroine."

Prior to writing Wish, Bellows was herself a successful magazine writer and editor, and she continued editing National Geographic Kids magazine after the publication of her novel. In addition, she has published two nonfiction books, The Fun Book: 102 Ways for Girls to Have Some and The Fun Book for Couples: 102 Ways to Celebrate Love, which includes many low-cost ideas for rediscovering a partner, such as listening to old cassette tapes or hiding Christmas presents around the house.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


PERIODICALS


Booklist, October 15, 2005, Kristine Huntley, review of Wish, p. 29.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2005, review of Wish, p. 865.

Publishers Weekly, August 29, 2005, review of Wish, p. 34.

ONLINE


Bookreporter.comhttp://www.bookreporter.com/ (April 29, 2006), Norah Piehl, review of Wish.

Melina Gerosa Bellows Home Page,http://www.melinabellows.com (April 29, 2006).