June Reads

It’s time to stock up for summer reading.  I think you’ll find some of these reads ones you’ll want to add to your must read list.

The Breakdown: The 2017 Gripping Thriller from the Bestselling Author of Behind Closed Doors

New book from the author of Behind Closed Doors: A Novel reviewed here – Behind Closed Doors.

This author truly captured the fear of Cass, afraid she’s losing her mind to early onset dementia.  You felt her panic coming through the pages as you race through the book to find out what’s happening.  Cass takes a shortcut home on a rainy, stormy night.  She sees a car pulled over with a woman inside.  She stops but is afraid to get out of her car fearing it’s some type of trap.  When the woman doesn’t come to her, she drives off and plans to call police once home.  But, a text plants some seeds of doubt that she’s forgetting things.  Her mom suffered from early onset dementia and she begins to panic that she will suffer the same fate.  This is a page turner that won’t disappoint with several twists and turns before you reach the final conclusion.  Both of these books are worth reading this summer.

 

I Found You: A Novel

By the author of The Girls in the Garden: A Novel this is another page turner that I couldn’t put down.

Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house in the pouring rain.  He seems to have no memory of who he is, or why he is sitting there.  She doesn’t want to get involved as she’s barely making it herself and he could be dangerous.  Against her better judgement she invites him to stay in her shed.   In an alternating chapter we meet Lily whose newly married husband doesn’t return home from work.  The police inform her his ID is fake and he never existed.  In another chapter we meet kids, Gray & Kirsty who are on summer holiday with their family.  These alternating chapters set the stage for the connections and kept me up late into the night.  I really enjoyed this one, though I wished for a different type of ending it was well worth reading as is her other book.  Both of these would make good vacation reads.

Before We Were Yours: A Novel

This book is 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.

The story opens with a mom giving birth to twins (1939) aboard the Mississippi River on a shantyboat.  When it becomes clear she may die, the father takes her down river in a storm to the hospital.  While away strangers arrive and capture the Rill and her siblings and they are taken to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage.  At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together.  In an alternative chapter we meet Avery Stafford (present day) daughter of a wealthy politician.  She returns home to help her father manage his career through a health crisis and her path crosses with an elderly woman in a nursing facility.  A glimpse at a photograph compels her to take a journey through her family’s history.  This book was riveting and hard to put down.  To think that this was based on true events really made me sad.

All of these books will keep you busy this summer.  Clear your calendar, or put one in your beach bag.  You won’t be disappointed in any of them!  If you read them, I’d love to hear your opinions.  Please share your thoughts below.  Enjoy!

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March Reads

This was a slow reading month for me as I only read five books.  Two of them were professional reads for work, so I’m not including the review for those in my post.

The Princess Diarist

I grew up during the Star Wars generation.  Carrie Fisher may have been every guys dream princess, but for us young girls she was our hero.  She proved to the world that women could play strong characters in a man’s movie world.  With her sad passing, I was interested to read her books.  This is the second one I have read and it wasn’t my favorite.  I enjoyed reading the behind the scenes narration about life on the set of Star Wars.  I didn’t know til her passing that she had an affair with Harrison Ford so that felt like juicy gossip.  The warm relationship between the characters of this movie was evident when reading this book.  Their friendships lasted decades and it was truly touching to hear of the bonds.  This book felt like my last connection to the movie and the characters so I did savor reading it.  When reading Carrie’s books, you are treated to her sarcasm and wit.  Unfortunately, you also get a window, I feel, into her mental illness.  Must read for all Star Wars fans, but for others it may not be of interest.  I loved the narrative more than the actual diary entries.

Good as Gone: A Novel of Suspense

If you are a suspense junkie, then this book is for you.  Julie is kidnapped from her home and the only witness to the crime is her sister.  Years go by without a trace of Julie and the effects of this on her family are played out in the book.  The relationships are damaged, with her sister bearing the brunt, as her relationship with her mother have been forever altered.

Then suddenly, one day Julie rings the bell and returns home.  Her family is thrilled to have her back, but doubts begin to surface as to who she really is.  Did they just accept her wanting their daughter back?  Is it really Julie?  Would you be willing to lose your child all over again, or just accept what could be?  This novel is fast paced and suspenseful as you are pondering the fate of Julie throughout.  The past is told in snippets until the thrilling conclusion. Quick, one night read for me.

The Two-Family House: A Novel

I love multigenerational novels with strong characters.  The emotional sagas pull you in and tug at your heart as you follow the life of the novel’s families.  This one will not disappoint those who love this genre.  The strong narrative grabs you from the first page and pulls you right in.

The foreshadowing of the main event to come made it pretty obvious to me where we were heading, but that didn’t bother me as this is not a novel of suspense.  Rather, it’s a novel of emotional drama, a saga that will tug at your heart.  I highly recommend this one as well.  It was not a one night read though as I wanted to savor the book and not let it end.  My first read by this author and one that made the Popsugar’s 6 Books You Must Read list.

If you love family drama that spans generations, this book is for you.  If you are opposed to predictable plots then maybe not.  Considering the favorable reviews are strong and it’s made the 14 Most Buzzed About Books list, I think I’m in the majority on this one when I say – read it!

Hoping to have a better reading month in April.  I have a week off this month so I’m stocking up my Kindle now.  What have you been reading?  Please share some great titles with me as I’m always looking for new reads.

 

Remember the Ladies

Remember the Ladies

This fast paced, well written debut novel by Gina Mulligan came to me by surprise from the publisher.  I had missed the preview window, but they graciously sent me a copy anyway.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to future undertakings by Ms. Mulligan.

The book opens with a tragic wagon accident that leaves the main character, Amelia, orphaned.  She spends her youth living in an orphanage and becomes disillusioned with the limitations society places on her as a woman.  She is often caught stealing books that are not meant for the girls.  She exhibits a strong desire to learn more than “girl” life skills.  Fast forward to her release into adult life.  A chance meeting on a train will change the course of her life.  A simple act of kindness, coupled with a powerful mentor opens a whole new path for Amelia.

The book has a great flow with the strength and drive of Amelia driving the plot admirably.    Amelia is determined to make it in a man’s world, but at what cost.  The book is set around the time of the suffrage movement and Amelia becomes a lobbyist who works tirelessly to get this amendment passed.  Her life and her struggles were fascinating to me.  She had tenacity in a time when most women were not permitted to engage outside their roles as housewives.

I enjoyed reading about the inner workings of politics that unfortunately sound a lot like today’s political climate.  I guess things haven’t changed all that much.  Lot’s of deal making and backstabbing add excitement to the story. I believe this book will be a best seller for those who love the genre of historical fiction, but the plot and characters would interest fiction lovers as well.  A must read for the summer, so add it to your ever growing list.

Available now.  Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this book.

 

 

 

Laura’s Book Blog

Welcome to my book blog.  I am excited to share all things books with you here.  Anyone who knows me well knows I’m totally addicted to reading.  I’m often asked, “Is there anything you haven’t read?”  The answer is, “Lots!”  With so many great books out there I have miles to go before I can say I’ve read it all.

I do have very eclectic reading tastes, so rest assured you’ll find something here you’ll want to read.  My current favorite genre is Psychological Thrillers.  I mean who doesn’t want to stay up all night turning pages to find answers.  Who doesn’t like their mind blown with twists and turns you never saw coming?  Not many people.

That being said, I do also like feeling connected to strong characters.  I like to laugh out loud and cry my eyes out.  I like to form a relationship with my characters that lives beyond my time in their stories.  True authors are masters at forging those relationships.

Each week I will share my reading life with you here in these pages.  I’m excited to read and discuss books with you all.  I also have a Facebook page for ongoing dialog that just can’t wait til Saturday.  You know the kind I mean!  The middle of the night dialogue when you say, “I never saw that coming!”, or “Oh my God are you kidding!” Search this page on Facebook to join the fun – Laura’s Book Blog.

I’m looking forward to our journey through books.  Happy reading!

Professional Reader
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