The Marriage Plot By Jeffrey Eugenides Three students about to graduate from Brown University in 1982. Madeleine Hanna is a waspy, intelligent, beautiful girl searching for her voice, her path, her destiny and true love. She is dating Leonard Bankhead who is a brilliant, handsome, science student who is a bit odd but very charming when he chooses to be. Leonard and Madeleine are on an emotional rollercoaster when Leonard is diagnosed with a medical condition. Mitchell, the third main character is a brilliant theology student who is secretly or not so so secretly in love with Madeleine. They are all three confused about their next step, their future lives and what real love truly means. The characters are all interesting and charismatic. The beginning feels scattered, it is hard to decide where this story is going but the characters are likeable enough to continue on. It feels like the author is sometimes trying too hard to impress but ultimately brings it full circle very successfully.
One Day By David Nicholls Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew attended the same university in England. He, over the top gorgeous and popular and she, a very pretty intellectual type. Their paths rarely crossed until a big graduation party. One night together could have been chalked up to drinking too much and celebrating the end of college and beginning of real adult life but at the last minute they decide to exchange numbers and (albeit hesitantly!) to keep in touch. And so begins their 20 year relationship. They have their ups and downs and way way downs. They connect on many levels, laugh, cry and become the best of friends. One Day is funny and descriptive and nostalgic until the end, the very bitter end. The reader cannot help but picture darling Anne Hathaway as Emma and although I have not seen the film, can imagine she would play it perfectly. Strangely the end is rather disappointing. After being thoroughly immersed into these characters it ends with a race to the finish. One of the signs of a good read, I wanted more.
The Social Climber's Handbook By Molly Jong-Fast Dick and Daisy Greenbaum are a very very very rich couple in NYC. They have two spoiled annoying children that act like they are 25, when they are only 8 yrs old. Dick is an extraordinary math genius with a mediocre background that has climbed his way to the top of The Bank. Daisy is an insecure but outwardly sweet character that never fits in no matter how hard she tries. This drama of affairs, schemes, wealth and ultimately murder is at times funny and well written. It revolves around the current financial collapse and escapades of both banks and investment firms, ultimately showcasing how ridiculous it all has become. It is an easy read but not my cup of tea, my TBR list is just too long!
Ellen Foster By Kaye Gibbons Fall in love with this spunky, honest, smart, clever, brave young girl named Ellen. In a small backward southern town Ellen's mother dies from a heart condition and pure sadness. Her no good father drinks heavily and verbally abuses her daily. She has noone to hold her, noone to love her until through her own determination and Gods will she finds her new mama and becomes Ellen Foster. A classic story for all to enjoy. Take a moment to reflect on Ellen's struggle and faith that family and happiness are out there somewhere. She never stops hoping.
Cleaning Nabocov's House By Leslie Daniels Barb Barrett's husband has told her how he would like the dishwasher loaded. He is handsome, successful, always right and a manipulating, condescending man. Barb takes her two kids on an unannounced extended camping trip and is later accused of kidnapping. She loses her two beautiful children, leaves her "experson" and starts her new life. Alone, penniless, sad and broken in their small town, Onkwedo (his hometown), in upstate New York. This is where the story begins and then it turns and turns and turns until you are upside down with Barbs new business, new friends and new life. Superb writing, hilarious details and laughs along the way. Barb finds herself and the reader finds out that just about anything is possible. An excellent, enjoyable, easy read, don't miss it!