Monday, September 28, 2015

Girl Waits With Gun

WOW. This brand new historical fiction read was everything
I hoped (and heard!) it would be. The Kopp sisters and their fight for justice. Constance, the eldest is not your typical woman of 1914. She towers over most men, is not afraid to exert her intelligence and has more confidence than even she knows what to do with. One day she is out with her two sisters, Fleurette and Norma, in their horse drawn buggy when an automobile collides with them. No one is seriously injured but their buggy is destroyed and the irascible male driver denies accountability. And so begins a yearlong journey of detective work that brings fear and mystery into the previously humdrum lives of the Kopp sisters. From learning how to shoot a pistol, to following clues and deciphering handwriting samples - the sisters will not let this Mr. Kaufman control or harass them as he is so very famous for. Their brave standoff leads them to independence, justice and new destinies. Incredibly well written, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey these women manage. Based on the very real and true story of the Kopp sisters this novel captures the essence of the time and mindset of women who thought outside the rules that guided them, those set by their mother, their brother and every neighbor in town. Highly recommend this exciting, interesting and enjoyable read. I am so happy to have found author Amy Stewart and look forward to reading her other novels!

A Window Opens

Alice is describes as a "mostly" happy mother of three. Living
in the suburbs, a town she grew up in, just outside NYC. Alice has few complaints. Oh, the PTA moms can get a little competitive and sometimes her Pilates class is running late but her kids are delicious, she is a part time book reviewer, her helpful parents live nearby and her husband is her best friend (and a good one at that!) And then it all unravels. Her husband decides to leave his large firm to start his own practice, her beloved Dad is ill and she needs to find a full time job to help support the family. Gone are the days of waiting on line at the coffee shop and walking the kiddies home from school. It is time for Alice to jump back in the saddle of Manhattan and she is ready, or at least she pretends to be. Alice finds employment at Scroll, a tech start up that is aimed to change the world of reading. Everyone there is half her age and there is a whole new world and lingo to be learned. With wit, good humor and tenderness Alice finds her way through this maze of her life. Only a teensy bit far fetched and incredibly funny, I absolutely loved accompanying Alice on her journey that is at once familiar, foreign and totally possible. I highly recommend this fun, well written, enjoyable read and will definitely be looking for more from author Elisabeth Egan in the future.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Blue

The third amazing novel from author Lucy Clarke was completely unputdownable.  Lana and Kitty abandon England hoping to leave their demons behind. Both motherless, with father issues and careers floundering; these childhood besties set out for an adventure. With the spin of a globe the girls find themselves backpacking through the Philippines. Completely by chance the girls meet a group who sail on a yacht called The Blue. An innocent visit to the boat turns into an invitation to crew with this small enticing group of characters. Indescribable paradise (and author Lucy is very good at that!) is found, along with romance, friendship and intrigue. Unfortunately some of the intrigue becomes disturbing. Some of the crew have not told the truth, and appear to be hiding behind this paradise. Very quickly the passage to Palau and nine days at sea unravel. Lana cannot escape her demons, the sea is rough and everyone is agitated. As Lana becomes more fearful, danger seems imminent and her lifelong friendship with Kitty leaves her wondering just what is it they are not telling her? I absolutely loved this suspenseful, fantastic read. I dreamed of being on The Blue and have already cast the movie in my mind! (Think Matthew McConaughey for Denny!) Highly recommend this read!

Between the Tides

Lainie Smith Morris is a mother, an artist and a wife, in that order.
She lives in NYC with her successful orthopedic surgeon husband Charles, who has a perfect profile and resume to match. Lainie adores her four young children but her creative mind, her heart and soul pull her towards water. Having grown up on the New Jersey shore Lainie always swam feverishly, her family ran a small marina and later, her art featured water and everything surrounding it. Having pushed aside her talent to raise a family Lainie manages by swimming at the Y and having a gorgeous view of the river. All of that changes when Charles accepts a prestigious position at a hospital in the suburbs of New Jersey. Outside of Manhattan Lainie flounders. Her routine is flummoxed and she cannot find her footing at home or with her painting. She reconnects with an old friend named Jess who appears to be the head honcho mom of this small town. But Jess’s motives are flawed and Lainie is the last to find out just how tainted their friendship truly is. Everything Lainie loves is at stake. Highly recommend this suspenseful, intriguing novel of friendship, marriage and the paths that take us to and from our passions. Excellent writing from this newfound author, I look forward to reading her again!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Who Do You Love

Rachel and Andy meet as youngsters in a Miami Emergency Room.
Their bond is immediate but Rachel, a six year old precocious girl was born with a serious heart defect. As her mom quietly cries her way through Rachel's childhood and Bat Mitzvah, she becomes a typical lip gloss wearing, boy crazy, clothes conscious teen who is desperately searching for "love." The only thing she focuses on more is covering up the scar from her surgeries and becoming popular. In high school, after much begging and cajoling Rachel convinces her parents to allow her to attend a volunteer program out of state for a week. Upon arrival a familiar face approaches. He is tall, dark and handsome - this is too good to be true. And very quickly Rachel reacquaints herself with Andy. He remembers her perfectly and they instantly reconnect. Andy's life has not been exactly that of a prince. His mother is protective and secretive, his father is dead and they are poor. Andy struggles socially and gets into fights. Finally to keep him out of trouble, Andy discovers running. He is extremely talented and track becomes his focus and his future. He and Rachel desperately try to hold on to what they believe is true love. Through decades of an on and off relationship and deep friendship they pass through the ups and downs, the good and very bad that life throws their way. Highly recommend this latest novel by Jennifer Weiner exploring the notion of soul mates, love, friendship, family and trust. As always she tells her story with insight and humor. There is no avoiding the reminiscence of childhood and effects of every relationship. Is it true that the people from your past know you best? Know and love you in a way no one else can?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Run You Down

Rebekah Roberts works at the New York Tribune.  She moved to New York after graduation from the University of Florida with her close friend Iris and finds herself at her dream job just beginning to learn her way around. But Rebekah's past and long time anxiety is catching up with her. Aviva, her birth mother had left a deeply religious Jewish world many years ago. After Aviva ran off with Brian, Rebekah's dad, she had abandoned everything she knew and disappeared. More than twenty years later Rebekah finds herself on a story investigating murder in the very community her mother ran from. While she closely looks for clues, Rebekah shockingly finds a trail leading to her mother's past and a religious world she finds both hard to understand or defend. Discovering this very isolated community and battling her own personal conflicts with religion and motherlessness cause Rebekah to confront her deepest questions and fears. Through this exciting sequel to Invisible City (which I loved - but you can read the two novels independently) we once again meet Saul, the ex NYPD turned private eye that knew Rebekah's mother and helps her navigate this Chassidish world she has trouble understanding. While Rebekah works to solve this supposed murder which has been covered up - but by whom? - Rebekah learns about her own past and present self. This suspenseful page turner is a fabulous read. I highly recommend both of these well done, throughly enjoyable novels by author Julia Dahl. Cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Heart-Shaped Hack

Kate Watts is a young woman running a struggling food pantry
in Northeast Minnesota. She is beautiful, smart and has a full social life. After abandoning her career as an attorney and leaving her sweet but ho-hum boyfriend, Kate knows something is missing from her life. Like most young women Kate is looking for love and excitement, she is searching for adventure. After appearing on tv for a short promo to raise money for her food pantry, Kate receives a large donation from a rather self possessed, very good looking man named Ian. And Ian is relentless in his attempts to win Kate's heart. But Ian is a computer hacker and from this moment on Kate's life is certainly no longer quiet, and if it was adventure she was looking for it is now waiting at her doorstep and in her bed. Hackers have enemies and they are not always more than a click away. Author Tracey Garvis Graves once again pulls us into her delicious romance and page turning novel. Thrown into the exciting world of computers and hacking, which most of use daily but know little of the dangers that lurk beneath each key stroke. Don't miss this easy, most enjoyable read. You too are certain to fall in love with Kate and Ian. I will most certainly be waiting for the sequel!