Happy Publication Day!!
If you are looking to stock up on some new reads, today is your day. There are so many great new releases this week that I felt this publication day deserved its own blog post!
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
From the author of Jar of Hearts, a mother driven to the edge by the disappearance of her son learns her husband is having an affair with the woman who might have kidnapped him.
Four hundred and eighty seconds. That’s how long it took for someone to steal Marin Machado’s four-year-old son.
Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.
Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.
Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.
April 21st, 2020
Domestic Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Mystery & Suspense
Little Secrets (you can pre-order using my affiliate link HERE.)
My reading choices tend to be very cyclical as I am primarily a mood reader. I go in waves and sometimes I am into drawn-out character-driven family sagas, other times I am looking for a lighter read.
When I am reading to escape, thrillers, suspense and mysteries are my kinds of books. They are entertaining, face pasted and super engrossing which is great for when you have a million other things running through your head.
Last week was one of those times and after seeing my friend Kristina raving about Little Secrets on #bookstagram, I couldn’t wait to read it myself. I try to read books by their release dates so I can stay more on top of things, but it doesn’t always happen! I am currently reading an August 2020 advanced reader copy so yeah, I don’t do all that well with this, ha!
More About Little Secrets:
So Little Secrets ended up being just what I needed. It was engaging from the very first page and I just love Jennifer Hillier’s writing style so much. Her characters are multifaceted and the plot has enough twists and turns to keep me guessing but not so much that they just felt like they came out of nowhere.
I love a book where things look a little too perfect on the outside to be true and this book has all of that and more. It does involve the kidnapping of a small child but it has so many other elements that made it rise above this common thriller plotline. I so enjoy a good domestic thriller and this one is a roller coaster of suspense with a super satisfying ending.
I loved it so much that I am now listening to Hillier’s 2018 release Jar of Hearts on audio. It’s the best when you read a book you don’t know a lot about beforehand and then leave with a new to you author to follow along with.
Thank you to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an unbiased review.
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!
Ready to Travel…Summer Reading:
The other day I met a friend for coffee at Target and she told she was going camping and wanted to bring along a book to read and was hoping for some suggestions. She was looking for something enjoyable and also easy to travel with…meaning she didn’t want to bring a bunch of hardcover books.
I have noticed an uptick in people asking for reading suggestions lately which makes me so happy! I thought it was the perfect time to hop on over to the book section at Target and see what was readily available if you were looking for a book to grab and go!
I do order many of my books online but there is something about being able to run into a store and pick something up last minute. All of these books are readily available at your local Target, Barnes & Noble and will be easy to find at an airport bookstore and the best part…they are all around the $10 mark!
The Perfect Couple is one of my very favorite Elin Hilderbrand books and I have many! This one has all the elements of her quintessential Nantucket beach reading style along with a captivating murder mystery. It’s Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer-the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.
But it’s going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom’s famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from The Castaways, Beautiful Day, and A Summer Affair, The Perfect Couple proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read.”
I know, I can’t stop sharing about Life and Other Inconveniences, but Kristan Higgins is truly one of my favorite summer reading authors. She has the ability to share relatable and real storylines that have both humor and heart. You can read my full review HERE.
“Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.
When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.
So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?”
All We Ever Wanted has all the elements of Emily Giffin’s easy reading style. In addition, she shares a storyline with a thought-provoking and relevant topic that many of us will be able to relate to with the many complexities of modern life.
While this certainly isn’t literary fiction, I think that is exactly why it worked. I loved how she was able to take a timely topic and incorporate it into her accessible writing style. It was engrossing to read while also sparking discussion in a way her books haven’t done before.
“Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton.
Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.
Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.
Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.
Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.
At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.”
I read Before We Were Yours on vacation a couple of years ago and I will never forget it. Lisa Wingate shares a powerful and heartbreaking story that is based on true life events with compassion while also being completely compelling as a reader.
“Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.
Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.”
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory is on my own summer reading list and I am planning on taking it on our upcoming summer vacation to Maine. So many of my book reviewing friends have suggested it and I have been holding off on reading it specifically because I wanted to save it for our trip.
I love a good contemporary romance that is enjoyable yet not too cheesy and Guillory excels at this. It sounds like the perfect poolside read and after loving her book The Wedding Date, I have high hopes for this one.
“Maddie and Theo have two things in common:
1. Alexa is their best friend
2. They hate each other
After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?
But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.”
The Dream Daughter is one of my favorite books ever. Diane Chamberlain’s books are so unique and she has this ability to weave storylines they are thought-provoking while also being completely engrossing. I am a details person and I love how she builds multifaceted characters and mystery and intrigue at the same time. I need to do a whole post about my favorite Diane Chamberlain books because I have many, but I loved The Stolen Marriage, Necessary Lies, Pretending to Dance and The Silent Sister.
The Dream Daughter had me on the edge of my seat while also constantly making me think “what would I do in this situation?”. You are able to see the story from multiple viewpoints because she does such a wonderful and in-depth presentation of the main characters. This was very different from a lot of her past books with the time-traveling aspect but it stayed true to her roots with the general concept and flow of the book. You can read my full review HERE.
“When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam war, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly’s part.
And all for the love of her unborn child.
The Dream Daughter is a rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.”
How to Walk Away was my first book by Katherine Center book. I loved reading something that introduces me to a new author to love and anticipate their next piece of writing. While I am a fan of contemporary romance, I am quite particular about giving many a high rating.
The storyline is semi-predictable but it is the character development that Center just does so well and that makes her books so satisfying. I enjoyed watching Margaret’s journey towards healing and she had the perfect mix of vulnerability and strength that kept me rooting for her while also being relatable.
Katherine Center excels at infusing both humor and also resilience into her characters and I just enjoy her books so much. Her newest release Things You Save In a Fire is not out in paperback yet but it was a 5 star read for me which doesn’t happen a lot with this genre!
“Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment.
In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.
How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture the reader’s hearts with every page.”
This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel a story about family, marriage, secrets and daily life. This book was so beautifully written and timely. I read it a couple of years ago while celebrating our own wedding anniversary and it was the perfect balance of a book that makes you think while also being completely heartwarming and heartwrenching at the same time.
“Well. Usually, boys don’t wear dresses to preschool,” Rosie admitted carefully. “Or tights.”
“I’m not usually,” said Claude. This, Rosie reflected, even at the time, was true.
In a world where sexuality and society norms are a part of political discussions and also everyday life, this book is amazingly powerful and so timely. Frankel’s approachable writing not only educates but also shares a powerful message. She shares the idea of self-acceptance and allowing everyone to be who they really are while also taking into account the complexities of everyday life and just trying to do the best we can as parents and as human beings.
“This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.
This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.
This is how children change…and then change the world.
This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress and dreams of being a princess.
When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.
Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.
This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.”
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell is a psychological thriller that ended up having the perfect amount of character complexities and suspense, which if you know my particular expectations of this type of books, you know I rarely find! I love her writing style and how she keeps me totally absorbed in the storyline. It was gripping and kept me guessing until the end.
“Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.
And then she was gone.
Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?”
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog at no cost to you. You can read more about this HERE in my FAQs section. Thank you!
The Turn of The Key by Ruth Ware
(August 2019 Book of The Month Selection)
“When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.
Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unraveling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.
It was everything.
She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.”
August 6th, 2019
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware was one of my highly anticipated summer reads. I have really enjoyed her writing in the past and the Woman in Cabin 10 left me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. The summary of the book sounded right up my alley and I was intrigued by the idea of it being written in letter format.
I found that the story was a slow build and didn’t totally engage me right away but I stuck with it. I think Ware is a fantastic author who really knows how to keep you guessing and The Turn of The Key had all the elements of a Gothic tale…a faraway vacation home, a nanny, a garden and house filled with secrets, mysterious characters, and haunting happenings.
Unfortunately, I struggled to connect and kept waiting for the mysteries to unravel. When they finally did, they felt like they were really crammed into the last few chapters of the book and many of them just seemed unbelievable. I am not sure if it is just me and maybe I am just thrilled out”, but this one just didn’t deliver as I had hoped. All in all, this one was just okay for me.
Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story…until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.
Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.
July 2nd, 2019
Lock Every Door was my third Riley Sager book. After loving The Last Time I Lied I had high hopes for Lock Every Door. The beginning of this book really pulled me in and I loved the setting at the Bartholomew. The idea of Jules housesitting in a luxury apartment when little things start to feel very wrong was intriguing.
Unfortunately, after a good start, the pacing just started to feel off and the story ended up dragging for me. There were little twists along the way but I just didn’t feel very connected to the storyline. I will say he did keep me guessing but when we finally did get our answer, it just didn’t work for me.
All of the signs and little things that kept us guessing did not line with how the mystery played out and it just made it feel like a very frustrating ride as the reader. I also was left wanting more. I wanted to know WHY and learn some of the backstories and instead, we just get this mediocre ending but not a lot of answers.
I do think some of this is just me. I get frustrated a lot with the thriller genre and the generalizing that happens, often so they can fit it all the thrills I am sure. I just didn’t really understand the why and it all seemed so far-fetched and out of left-field as a reader. This didn’t work for me but what I struggled with is exactly why so many readers loved it so I think it just depends on your reading preferences.
Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Upcoming 2019 Book Releases!
Summer Reading Choices…
Today I am excited to talk about some highly anticipated upcoming 2019 book releases! I talked about summer reading yesterday in my New Releases post HERE. With the full days and lots of interruptions(school is out for summer!) I really look to books that are easy to pick up and put down in shorter periods of time. I need real page turners in order to stay engaged and also remember what was happening in the book! Thrillers are a genre I get into a lot more during the summer months.
Conflicted Feelings About The Thriller Genre:
I have talked about my conflicted feelings about thrillers in the past but basically, I wanted to love them but I am frequently disappointed. I think I tend to have high expectations and then feel let down, that the story is totally unplausible or like I have read the same thing a hundred times before…I do have lots of favorites though and I am super excited that those authors have new books coming out during the next couple of months!
If You Liked…Then Read THIS!
Today I am going to share some past thrillers favorites and the new books those authors will be releasing during the next couple of months. I love finding new authors to love and there is nothing like the anticipation of a NEW book!
If you loved The Last Time I Lied …check out Lock Every Door!
Riley Sager is one of my very favorite thriller authors and his books are so engrossing! loved the summer camp setting of The Last Time I Lied and his newest book, Lock Every Door, will be released on July 2nd!
If You Enjoyed The Woman In Cabin 10…Check Out The Turn of The Key!
Ruth Ware was one of the first thriller authors I really got into. I found The Woman in Cabin 10 super addicting and I can’t wait to read what she comes out with next. The Turn of The Key will be released on August 6th!
If you loved The Marriage Lie..check out Dear Wife!
I love a domestic thriller and Kimberly Belle is amazing at writing them!! The Marriage Lie was one of those books that EVERYONE was reading a couple years ago and I think the same exact thing is going to happen with Dear Wife. I am reading it now and it is addicting, face paced and is keeping me guessing! This was released yesterday, June 25th!
If You Enjoyed The Couple Next Door…Check Out Someone We Know!
I remember reading The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena in one sitting…I just needed to know what happened! Her books are always unique and engrossing and I can’t wait for Someone We Know which will be released on July 30th!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase I receive a small percentage of the sale. This helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you so much!
June 25th Book Releases
New Book Releases:
June has had some amazing new book releases and it isn’t over yet! If you are still looking for some fiction books to add to your summer reading list, you are in luck! This week there is a great mix of suspense, romance, and contemporary fiction being released, sure to meet your own summer reading desires.
Reading Choices Based on the Season
Just like with any other kind of media, everyone has very different ideas of what is preferable. My reading definitely changes by the season and there are books genres I tend to read more this time of the year than in the winter for instance. The pace of life, the weather, and my workload all play into what my preferences are for reading.
What Does Summer Reading Mean to YOU?
During the spring and summer, I tend to pick books that are a little more fast paced. I like books that are easier to pick up and put down in shorter spurts of time and so they need to be engaging enough to keep my interest. Family dramas or fiction books that are meant to savor are tougher for me to read this time of year, but I totally love them in January. What about you?!
And Now on to The New Book Releases!
Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle
If you are looking for an addicting psychological thriller that will keep you guessing, this is it! I am reading it now and loving it! As you might know, I am quite picky about thrillers and find myself let down by quite a few of them so this is a big compliment! Ha!
Psychological Thriller/Domestic Thriller
“CAN SHE ESCAPE THE PERSON SHE ONCE LOVED?
Beth Murphy is on the run…
For nearly a year, Beth has been plotting to leave her abusive husband. This is her one chance at freedom—one that requires a new look, new name and new city. Each part of her plan has to be carefully thought out, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.
Sabine Hardison is missing…
A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only trace of her the police have to go on, and all signs point to foul play.
The detective on the case will stop at nothing to bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? As Beth’s husband starts piecing together her whereabouts, she’ll have to make a decision about her future that will leave readers breathless.”
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
“A dazzling, multigenerational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple–still madly in love after forty years–recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they’ve built.
When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that’s to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she’s not sure she wants by a man she’s not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents’.
As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt–given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before–we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons’ past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile.
Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo’s debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us. In painting this luminous portrait of a family’s becoming, Lombardo joins the ranks of writers such as Celeste Ng, Elizabeth Strout, and Jonathan Franzen as visionary chroniclers of our modern lives.”
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
If you are looking for an engaging fiction/romance this is it. I enjoyed that this was a romance book that was actually relatable and the main characters had regular issues they had to acknowledge and address. I appreciated that the issues were not only highlighted but dealt with and this made this book so much stronger. This also added some much-needed depth while also having plenty of light-hearted moments. This was a fun feel-good read that also highlighted many important real-life issues which to me as the reader was a perfect balance! You can read my full review HERE.
“In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn’t correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy’s childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and he can’t figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button.
When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken–and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they’ll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they’ve broken, the plans they’ve changed, and the secrets they’ve kept. They’ll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance–right up until the last out.”
How Could She by Lauren Mechling
“After a devastating break-up with her fiancé, Geraldine is struggling to get her life back on track in Toronto. Her two old friends, Sunny and Rachel, left ages ago for New York, where they’ve landed good jobs, handsome husbands, and unfairly glamorous lives (or at least so it appears to Geraldine). Sick of watching from the sidelines, Geraldine decides to force the universe to give her the big break she knows she deserves, and moves to New York City.
As she zigzags her way through the downtown art scene and rooftop party circuit, she discovers how hard it is to find her footing in a world of influencers and media darlings. Meanwhile, Sunny’s life as an It Girl watercolorist is not nearly as charmed as it seemed to Geraldine from Toronto. And Rachel is trying to keep it together as a new mom, writer, and wife–how is it that she was more confident and successful at twenty-five than in her mid-thirties? Perhaps worst of all, why are Sunny and Rachel–who’ve always been suspicious of each other–suddenly hanging out without Geraldine?
Hilarious and fiercely observed, How Could She is an essential novel of female friendship, an insider’s look into the cutthroat world of New York media–from print to podcasting–and a witty exploration of the ways we can and cannot escape our pasts.”
I hope you find something you love from this list! <3