This weeks book review is Liane Moriarty's newest novel Nine Perfect Strangers. I am a fan of Moriarty's previous novels so I was excited about the new release. The premise to the novel was fascinating. Nine people arrive at a health resort looking for relief from the hardships of life. From the onset, the health resort is odd. Bags are search, items are confiscated, and for five days, there is no speaking. Throughout the novel, the reader peers inside the lives of the nine strangers - what brought them there and the ghosts they are trying to leave behind. From there, the story takes a dramatic turn as the leader of the facility has incorporated extremely alternative therapeutic protocols.
Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline delves into the the dynamic relationship between teenager Molly and Vivian, a ninety year old woman who on the surface has nothing in common with Molly. As the story unfolds, you realize that everyone has a story to tell, even those residing in large mansions on the outskirts of town. An unlikely pairing, Molly and Vivian are drawn to each other and the connection formed is deeper than ever expected.
Debbie Macomber is one of my favorite "happily-ever-after" story crafters! While A Good Yarn and Thursday's at Eight are my favorite Macomber books (I'm a big fan of her "Classics"), I enjoyed Last One Home. In the book, we meet the female protagonist Cassie Carter. Cassie, her father's clear favorite, grew up with a loving mother and two sisters. Cassie had a scholarship waiting on her following high school - she had a promising future ahead of her, that is, until she chose to run away and marry Duke. The story jumps forward to the current day, where Cassie is thirty-one and a single-mother raising her daughter on her own and trying to leave her difficult past behind. That difficult past included losing the ties she'd had with her family, and during that time, both her parents had sadly passed away.
Agatha Christie is known as The Queen of Mystery for a reason. Her book, Murder on the Orient Express does not disappointment. The book is set on a train. The first night on the train, a passenger is murdered. As if that isn't bad enough, the train is stopped in its tracks by a large snowdrift. The passengers are stranded, together...a murderer among them. But who?
I often enjoy psychological suspense novels, however, I was deeply disappointed by this one. The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn grabs your attention at the start. The protagonist, Anna Fox lives alone. She is a recluse in her New York City home. She spends her days online, drinking wine, watching old movies...and watching her neighbors - using her camera lens to zoom in on their lives. Anna's daughter and husband are away - she says they had to leave her temporarily because of the state she's in. She says she needs to be alone to heal. But heal from what, we don't know. We find out quickly that Anna has a therapist come to visit her at her house. Anna herself is a therapist and she, at times, counsels people online in chat groups. She often talks to others who are recluses like herself.
My favorite Agatha Christie novel is And Then There Were None. To be honest, that was the first of Christie's novels I'd read...and I loved it. But this review is about another of Christie's books...A Caribbean Mystery. The book is part of the Miss Marple series (#10), although you certainly don't have to read the other Miss Marple books to enjoy this one as it can be read entirely as a stand-alone novel, too.
The Light We Lost, by Jill Santopolo is one of my favorite fiction books I've read this year. The book captivated me from the first page to the last. And the ending is a surprising one!
In The Light We Lost, the protagonist, Lucy, falls head over heels for Gabe, while they are seniors at Columbia University. But when a life-changing event occurs they both decide they want to make sure their lives matter. Gabe becomes a photojournalist and moves across the country. Lucy's career is in New York. The story centers around their thirteen year journey and the choices they both make throughout their lives - choices that tear them apart and other choices that bring them together. The story is about the power of first love. It's also about the way even the smallest choices we make in life, alter our lives in their entirety.
It Ends With Us, by Colleen Hoover is a great read. I've read a handful of books by Hoover and this has been my favorite.
"Sometimes the one you love hurts you the most." Begins the Amazon book description of It Ends With Us. Lily has recently started her own business, a flower shop in Boston. She's also met and fallen for a neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid. Everything in her life seems almost "too good to be true." But Lily is going with it and hoping things stay as good as they are. However, as time passes, Lily sees that Ryle is not only confident, but arrogant. He also says he "doesn't do" relationships. Yet, Lily has strong feelings for Ryle and thinks about him all of the time. As Lily begins to question how right Ryle is for her - despite their intense attraction, she is reconnected with her first love, Atlas Corrigan. It's not just a story of 'who will she chose?' It's a story of 'how do we know who's right' for us? And how do our choices create the lives we have?
The Rumor, by Elin Hilderbrand is a captivating beach read. I've read several books by this author and have loved some while others I have not enjoyed much. The Rumor is one I enjoyed and recommend if you're looking for a gossip-type novel. It's a great summer read that will grab your attention from the first to last page.
The Beach House, by Mary Alice Monroe is a wonderful book. After reading the book, I was excited to find out that it has been turned into a Hallmark movie! The Beach House is the first book I've read by this author and I look forward to reading more books by Mary Alice Monroe. The author is a strong story teller and I felt like I knew the characters throughout the book.
The story is set in the south. Caretta Rutledge left her Southern roots and troubled family behind, years ago - or so she thought. When she receives a letter from her mom, begging her to come and spend some time with her over the summer, Cara's intuition says she needs to see her - even though it's been years since they've visited each other. One reason Cara agrees to see her mom now is because her own life is overwhelming her. She's spent her adult life climbing the corporate ladder and becoming a success...and then, out of the blue, loses her job. She doesn't know who she is or what she has without her career. She's lost and confused. Caretta heads south to the beach house where she spent her childhood summers, and reconnects with her mom, despite her hesitations and her painful past. While reconnecting with her mom and her childhood roots, Caretta learns about the loggerhead turtles on the beach from the "turtle ladies"...her mother included. Caretta begins learning that life isn't solely about achievement. It's about love, connection and family.
I rated the book 5-stars. The story made me smile and was well-written. The pacing was good and the characters were well developed. If you're looking for a good beach read, I recommend The Beach House!
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