Thursday, July 30, 2020
Rose and Lily Winters are identical twins. Their parents are in a dysfunctional marriage. The mother, often cold, distant and obsessed with her weight didn’t stick around for long. Their father battled his own demons and pacified himself with alcohol. Rose and Lily only had each other. They were inseparable and their love ran deep and strong. As they approached high school their sameness became an obstacle and the twins subconsciously fought against the tides with food. Rose completely eliminating it and Lily gorging herself with it. Flash forward and at 24, just as Rose approaches her one year anniversary at the rehabilitation facility she swindles her escape to help Lily. It is finally her turn to do the saving. This debut novel by Diana Clark is well written, disturbing, scary and hard to put down. It is not an easy read. Anorexia and an array of eating disorders are horrible diseases and sadly prevalent in society today. From a very young age the media, our peers and often our own families distort the way we see ourselves. While the book focuses largely on Rose’s disorder it equally emphasizes the extraordinary bond between sisters and friends. With a distinctive voice this remarkable story unfolds and I am really glad I read it.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Lucie Churchill is a young, beautiful woman of 19 when her very good friend invites her to the wedding of the year on the island of Capri. Lucie is swept away with the charm and romance of this magical setting. Her “half-Asian” beauty attracts quite a bit of attention, especially from an extremely wealthy and handsome guest named George. As their moment in the sun is quickly snatched away the story flashes forward 5 years to find Lucie engaged to the absolute bachelor of the year. As the couple and all of their perfectly wealthy, beautiful friends galavant down Fifth Avenue and through East Hampton, Lucie once again meets up with George and must admit that her feelings are real. Crazy Rich Asians in Capri and New York, with a diversity twist and plenty of humor. If you are a Kevin Kwan fan, Sex and Vanity is a quick, cute summer read. Perfect for a day at the beach!
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
As Liza Miller is about to turn 50 she returns from her cabin in the woods and publishes a novel, loosely disguised story of her life posing as a younger woman in the workplace. Sound familiar? The little troupe had split in many directions; Sexy Josh concentrating on his successful business in Brooklyn, Maggie now a mom and Kelsey is quickly building her career in Los Angeles as a producer. It is time for Liza to once again reinvent herself and more than anything she wants the truth to set her free. When Kelsey ops her book for a TV show, Liza heads west and gets caught up in an LA movie star crush. With all the fun flirting and crazy antics of Younger, this group never fails to entertain. Fans will go wild for this sequel to a show we wait for with bated breath. Pure rom-com enjoyment, an absolute must read for the beach this summer. Thank you Pamela Redmond, just the right amount of “Take me away!" during these crazy times!
Jessica Burnstein is a single mom and successful attorney living in Los Angeles. She is raising her daughter Emily with the help of an efficient nanny and a meticulous schedule. When mom and daughter duo set out on an upscale college tour, Jessica analyzes her highly stressful job and rocky relationship with her demanding teenage daughter. Overcompensating with lots of LOL’s this quick read was little too true/annoying. Perhaps it’s a timing issue and I am way past the college app extravaganza but this read felt repetitive while the storyline faded fast.
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Mallory is a young woman struggling with life in the Big Apple. She loves to read and dreams of writing but the fast paced, competitive nature of the city just doesn’t fill her heart. Unexpectedly, Mallory inherits a cottage on Nantucket. Her adored aunt, that most of the family misunderstood, has bequeathed her an idyllic ocean paradise. Mallory quickly adapts to island living. She makes friends, teaches high school English and lives in her own little dream world. When her brother visits with some friends, Mallory has an instant connection (love at first sight) with his old roommate Jake McCloud. He is on the fast track in D.C. as a lobbyist with his on again/off again girlfriend Ursula. Because they are young idealists (and hot for each other!) Mallory and Jake begin a “Same Time Next Year” (like the classic movie circa 1978.) As Jake’s wife climbs the political ladder it becomes more difficult to continue their promise to meet every Labor Day. This complicated romance is a delicious summer read. All the elements of sand and sun and just enough tears to contemplate the one that got away. Perfect for a day at the beach, or yard, or park or wherever you can escape! Thanks Erin Hilderbrand, I needed that!
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Claire is married to a powerful man, a politician through and through. Although it began as a whirlwind romance a decade ago, their marriage is now a sham. Rory’s words slowly turned cruel and over the years became physical. The abuse Claire succumbed to overwhelmed every aspect of her life. Once upon a time this beautiful, independent woman had a career and friends. Rory has taken that all away. She represents the family foundation and nothing Claire does meets her husband’s expectations. Claire finds herself at JFK airport being sent on yet another Cook Foundation task. Last minute changes alter her route and Claire’s meticulously crafted plan to disappear through Canada is upended. When an unexpected opportunity falls at her feet, she cannot resist. Switch places and tickets with a complete stranger, a woman named Eva. As this suspenseful thriller twists and turns in the most unexpected ways, freedom lies just up ahead. The question is … for whom. Could not put down this irresistible read. Narrated by both woman The Last Flight will take you far far away from the daily grind. Highly recommend this FABULOUS FIVE STAR summer read!!
Monday, July 6, 2020
Hilarie Burton Morgan recounts her life on Mischief Farm as a mother, wife and newcomer to a small quaint town in upstate New York. Realizing her acting dreams as a young woman, the “biz” wasn’t exactly what Hilarie hoped it would be. Not sure if it was just a case of the grass is always greener, Hilarie reached back to her feelings of childhood; a rural community and true friendships which were increasingly hard to find as her career shuttled her between LA and NYC. After a love at first sight intro to her actor (husband) Jeffrey, they quickly had a beautiful baby boy and purchased a farm filled with green hills and wide pastures. Their everyday struggles are written plainly and honestly. While Jeffrey chops wood between jobs, Hilarie holds the farm together, growing vegetables, caring for the animals and even saving the iconic town candy shop from ruin. Hilarie perfectly describes this charming search to find the place her family can truly call home. I picked this memoir up rather randomly and it was an absolute delight - well written, funny and heartwarming. The perfect summer read during these uneasy times. Thanks for sharing your story Hilarie!
Friday, June 19, 2020
Faye had a shaky past growing up in a remote part of Sweden. Alone in the world, she changes her name and heads off to the big city to attend college, determined to make a better life for herself. Faye meets golden boy Jack. He is a handsome superstar who seems to know anybody and everybody. Jack takes her under his wing and Faye leaves school in her last year to support his endeavors. Unfortunately, as Jack’s success soars Faye is left at home with their daughter. Her opinions no longer valued, it seems the more money and status Jack acquires, the less he needs Faye at his side. When an affair is discovered Faye is set for revenge. Jack has no idea of her violent past or just how far she will go to seek revenge. This fast paced psychological thriller is unputdownable. Translated from Swedish is carries a different tone that I loved. Once you find your rhythm The Golden Cage is completely unputdownable. Highly recommend for your suspenseful summer pick!
Sam Casey is the librarian at a quaint, eclectic elementary school on the island of Galveston. She has pink bangs, wears colorful clothing and delights in the children and everything that is books. When the head principal passes away the whole community is deeply saddened and Sam is shocked to discover that her old crush Duncan Carpenter has been hired to fill his shoes. Unfortunately Duncan has completely changed, and the fun loving kid hero aims to turn their school upside down.This cute, completely light hearted story had the Katherine Center flair of humor but for me lacked any substance. Unlike her other novels, which I adored, the characters and plot in this one did not grab me at all :(
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Cecily is a beautiful young woman trying to make it in the big city. Originally from the mid-west, she finds herself stuck in a ho-hum job at a second rate newspaper. When her handsome boyfriend of three years refuses to talk about the future, she ends their relationship and finds herself in a seedy bar, alone at 2 in the morning. Just as she is about to cave and dial his number, a man approaches and tells her not to do it. Throwing all common sense to the wind and following her heart - Cecily begins an intense friendship with Grant that is filled with a passion she never before experienced. Grant has his own issues to deal with but their connection is unmistakable, he is her soulmate. And then 9/11. As quickly as this mysterious man entered her life, he vanishes. Desperately struggling to figure out what happened Cecily learns the meaning of love and just how important the truth really is. Another perfect summer read by author Emily Giffin (albeit with a twist!) It’s a must for the beach!
Saturday, June 6, 2020
Lakshmi is alone in the city of Jaipur. It is the 1950’s and this simple young woman who escaped her arranged marriage at 15 years old will do anything she has to do for a better life and a brighter future. Fighting against traditional roles, she finds herself alone in the world with a very unique talent. She is both an artist and a healer. If only one good thing came out of her violent marriage, it was her mother in law, who taught her the many secrets of natural medicine. This captivating story will take you away to the noisy crowded streets of India. The caste system tries to keep Lakshmi in her place but her gifts have even the palace requesting her services. With careful planning she is building her own home and becoming quite a commodity. Appreciating every moment of her hard won independence, Lakshmi is thrown for a loop when her former husband reappears and some of the jealous ladies are more concerned with their reputations than the truth. Beautifully written, I highly recommend this colorful novel filled with the tastes, sounds and traditions of another place in another time.
Like most little girls Avery Abrams had one dream. To be an Olympic gymnast. Unlike most young girls, she was beyond good. Avery was the best and her promising career was real. She trained her entire childhood; no junk food, few friends, no sleepovers and eventually homeschooled. Avery and her loving parents sacrificed what most people take for granted. When she tragically injured herself at the Olympic trials, her one chance to lead the girls team was gone forever. Age wise, she was done. Avery dabbled in college gymnastics but her heart just wasn’t in it. Her disappointment so great that her life spiraled out of control for 7 years. Back home in the small town she grew up in, this former superstar has to learn to face her past and figure out some sort of future. When Coach Ryan (a former gymnast she crushed on throughout her teenage years) hires her to assist a promising young gymnast for the upcoming Olympics, Avery is finally ready to begin the healing process. Funny, well written and timely. This adorable romcom is filled with gymnastic dreams and the crushing reality of the sport. You will definitely be rooting for this all around winner.