Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

By Neil Gaiman   A fable set in Sussex England and a
parallel world with delightful quirky characters. When a middle aged man returns to his childhood neighborhood for a funeral, he finds himself on a bench by the "ocean" down the lane. It is on this bench that his mind travels back to his childhood, back to when he was seven years old and his friend Lettie Hempstock saved his life and changed it forever. This Narnia-like magic world spliced so perfectly with reality that the reader must pay very close attention to these beautiful words and characters to follow along. Reflecting on ones own childhood, it is interesting to contemplate why we remember some very specific details from our lives and others not at all. As Old Mrs. Hempstock quotes in the story, "you'll never get any two people to remember the same thing." I highly recommend this novel, it is both easy and unique in every way. I personally have not read many fantasy like stories and was extremely surprised how enjoyable this read was. BUY TODAY!!
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Girl You Left Behind

By Jojo Moyes   The lives of two beautiful women living
during two very different centuries collide on a path to finding out the truth about the world and about themselves. This novel finds Sophie, a French woman during WWI in a small village that is occupied by the Germans. Her artist husband Eduard is off fighting the war and she lives with her sister Helene to help run the family hotel Le Coq Rouge. The women become somewhat hostage to the German group as the Kommandant takes an unwelcome liking to Sophie and uses their hotel as a dining hall for his soldiers every evening. The fear and discomfort is palpable and Sophie must trust her instincts to see how far she can use this "friendship" to provide for and save her family. Liv, a sad widow at 32, lives in London in an apartment made of glass designed by her beloved lost husband. She looks out these humungous glass windows as the world turns around her, but sadly she is not a part of that world. Liv has removed herself to an isolated existence with few friends and little to fill her days. Until Liv meets Paul and the sun begins to shine once again. These two very different worlds are pulled together by history and chance over a painting of The Girl. A portrait of Sophie hanging on Liv's wall that haunts her very soul but may be the answer to her release, and Sophie's too.  This story is filled with fantastic characters who find their way deep into the readers heart and imagination. Ms. Moyes keeps the twists and turns of the past moving quickly as her beautiful words of love and loss and hope fill the pages. Highly recommend this excellent novel. Okay, readers I hear you. Only once in awhile do books like Me Before You come along. They are few and far between and it is hard to describe "why" but this is a good book and we must support this extraordinary writer. BUY TODAY! You will not be disappointed!!
The Girl You Left Behind

Friday, August 23, 2013

Swimming at Night

By Lucy Clarke  Two sister's learn the about the devastating line
between love and hate, need and want, true happiness and contentment. Katie and Mia grow up in Cornwall England with their loving mother in a small house near the sea. Katie, the older sister by three years, has spent her well disciplined life looking out for Mia, teaching her, guiding her and secretly wishing for just a small bit of the freedom and energy emanating from Mia's life. Mia desperately wants to be like her older sister, following her, admiring her yet constantly disappointing her. Well, at least thats the way they see it. Irresponsible Mia is found dead at the bottom of a cliff in Bali. Katie discovers hers sisters infamous journal in her belongings and decides the only way to understand this tragedy is to follow in her sisters footsteps. Keeping the journal close to her heart, Katie learns of the twists and unexpected turns Mia's life had taken the last few months. She feels closer to Mia than ever and as she finds the answers to life's most difficult questions she also discovers who she really is. This novel is filled with sibling psyche, romance, friendship and magnificent scenery. It's got it all! HIGHLY recommend this excellent read, you will not want to put it down!! BUY NOW!
Swimming at Night: A Novel

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pictures of the Past

By Deby Eisenberg  It is 1937 and Taylor Woodmere of Chicago,
is sent to Europe on behalf of his fathers successful business. While traveling he meets and falls madly in love with Sarah Berger, beautiful daughter of a Jewish business associate from Berlin. He presents her with a gift of a magnificent painting by Henri Lebasque that she will possess until they could be together again. And so begins this generational saga engrossing the reader from WWII to present day. Chapters flashing back and forth in time with the lives of Taylor, his disastrous son Courtland and finally his children and grandchildren as well.  Descriptive scenes of the Worlds Fair in 1937, the rise of Hitler, and resistance movement that followed changed all their lives forever. Later when the infamous painting is donated to The Chicago Museum of Art its provenance is questioned and history and love reach back more than 70 years to find the answers and the truth. I recommend this novel if you desire a simplistic historical quick read. It is not a blockbuster but is good. BUY NOW!
Pictures of the Past

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fin & Lady

By Cathleen Schine    It is 1964 and Fin Hadley, an orphan
has come to NYC to live with his new guardian and long lost older sister named Lady. Lady, an exotic free spirited intellectual searching for love and acceptance in a world filled with rules and war. Fin is eleven years old. He has spent most of his childhood on a dairy farm in Connecticut. Fin just wants to have a family and feel safe. He just wants to be loved. Fin watches out for Lady as much as Lady watches out for Fin. Then there is Mabel, the negro maid that does not want to discuss civil rights, thinks these people are generally nuts and loves them more than anything in the world. "Uncles" Tyler, Biffi and Jack, potential suitors for Lady, Phoebe the girl across the street whom Fin confides and joins in his escapades. A colorful novel filled with witty fun and adventure, love and loss. A warm, delicious story from beginning to end, highly recommended! BUY OR DOWNLOAD TODAY!!
Fin & Lady: A Novel

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Woman Upstairs

By Claire Messud       Nora Eldridge is a 37 year old schoolteacher
living in the suburbs of Boston. She has been a good girl, a good daughter and a good friend - all of her life. And she has been waiting. Waiting for true happiness. Waiting to find that magic moment when a person realizes their purpose. And she is waiting. And Nora is getting angry and bitter while she waits. When Nora meets the Shahid family her life dramatically changes. Each member, husband, wife and child become significant to Nora in their unique way and Nora becomes obsessed with their very being. This book is a quiet, intense probe into the workings of an ordinary woman searching for an extraordinary life. Claire Messud is a magnificent writer, I found there were sentences I had to read over and over. She slowly brings the reader closer and closer to the heart of the truth. Highly recommend this excellent read. BUY NOW!
The Woman Upstairs

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Crazy Rich Asians

By Kevin Kwan  After two years of dating, Nick is finally bringing
Rachel home to meet his family in Singapore. They are both professors at NYU and plan on spending the summer traveling on holiday after attending the wedding of Nick's best friend, Colin. Nick basically has been leading a double life; while in NYC he appears as an intelligent struggling young history professor, he has failed to mention that he hails from one of the most powerful and richest families in Singapore. He does not warn or properly prepare Rachel for the scrutiny and evil eyes she is about to receive from his entire (huge!) family at the mega $40 million wedding of century. This funny, laugh out loud novel sweeps the reader through the world of private jets, couture designer boutiques, yachts the size of cruise ships and mansions staffed with an army of servants. Mr. Kwan describes the delicious cuisine (yum!) in detail, regals us with this ridiculous opulence, which he apparently toned down to be believable! Intermixed with difficult family dynamics (like any family!) a lovely romance between Nick and Rachel and characters out of the cheekiest international soap opera! Fun, enjoyable, terrific beach read! A definite MUST this summer!
Crazy Rich Asians