Reese Witherspoon chose The Other Woman by Sandie Jones for November’s book club and it happened to also be available at the library last week. It’s the story of Emily, her boyfriend Alex, and their relationship with Alex’s mother. I can’t tell you much more about it without spoiling the ending, which I admit, I didn’t expect. So, in that way, it was an enjoyable read with a surprise ending. There wasn’t much to this one, but it was a quick and acceptable read, which kept me going this weekend.
I loved Jenna Blum’s Those Who Save Us. So, I was excited to pick up The Lost Family, her newest. But, ultimately, it was a disappointment. I enjoyed the first 2/3rds of the story, but it fell apart for me in the last third. Peter is a well-known single chef in Manhattan who survived Auschwitz who has sworn off relationships since his wife and daughters were killed in Germany. Years later, June comes into the restaurant and he falls for her. Unfortunately, their subsequent marriage is fairly loveless and their daughter creates a bit of a mess. When the focus shifts from Peter and June’s story to Elsbeth’s (their daughter), the story lost track for me. I wanted to love this, but I just didn’t.
I happened to get Tear Me Apart by JT Ellison and Sunburn by Laura Lippman, both psychological thrillers, at the same time, one on audio and one in print. They were so similar, that it was hard to keep them straight and I wish I hadn’t listened to/read them at the same time. Nevertheless, I did like Tear Me Apart better. While it was too long, the plot was entertaining enough that I stuck with it until the end. Sunburn also went on too long, and was quieter and less interesting to me. Each focuses on a central female character who clearly has difficulties and secrets. Both are mothers, but each inhabits that role differently. If you are looking for a thrilling ride, pick up Tear Me Apart.
Tear Me Apart:
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger has been on my TBR list for a while. And, it’s a light and silly summer reading choice. Perfect for this hectic time of year. There’s nothing deep here, but if you were a fan of The Devil Wears Prada, grab this one.
I was really excited to read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Most people have probably already read this selection (or seen the new movie), but I am a little behind (and was taking a break from YA). So, even though it was YA (which I don’t really enjoy), I did like this one. Starr lives in a poor neighborhood but attends a fancy prep school. When she is part of the shooting of a friend and is thrown into the national spotlight, her worlds collide and threaten to destroy her community. You can predict many of the issues which this books delves into as well as some of the plotline. It’s still a good read.
It’s been a while since I posted (or finished reading anything…). I started two books and haven’t had a chance to finish either while books from the library kept coming due. So, I grabbed Something in the Water, by Catherine Steadman. What a great, suspenseful, and quick read. Reese Witherspoon knows how to pick ’em. You begin the book with Erin digging a hole to bury her new husband. And then you trace back to a choice they made on their honeymoon and how everything goes wrong afterward. This is not amazing literature, but it’s an unusual and unpredictable story that keeps the pages turning. It’s a perfect beach read.
I have never read anything by Michael Ondaatje. And, I struggled through Warlight. I enjoyed it at first, but by page 209, I gave up. It was just too slow and rangy for me. I almost pushed through to finish it, but I decided that life is too short and I have too many others on my list that I want to tackle more. So, rather than spend time reviewing this one with any more depth, I will simply give it one star and move on…
A great way to spend a rainy Sunday was reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. While, as mentioned in my last post, I wasn’t looking to add any more WWII books to my collection, I grabbed it anyway when I saw it on the “express” shelf at the library. And, am I glad I did. It is the story of Lale, who is sent to Auschwitz and, because he speaks multiple languages, rises to the top of the prisoner ranks, where he is able to do good for his fellow prisoners and falls in love. Yes, it’s depressing and sad, and yet, hopeful and uplifting as well. And, as it was based on a true story, it was even more compelling. I would add this to my TBR list if I were you.
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave has been on my list for a long time, but I had grown tired of WWII books and wasn’t looking to start this one. It came up at the library, however, and I thought I would give it a try. The story is shared between Mary and Tom, in London, and Tom’s friend Alistair, who is posted in France. The most compelling part of this story is that it is based on the author’s grandparents’ letters from the war. Otherwise, it was too long, too slow, and not as rich or compelling as The Nightingale or All the Light We Cannot See. We’ll see how the next two WWII books on my stack (The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Warlight) hold up.
Girl Unknown by Karen Perry was a great break between all the memoirs. It’s a thriller about David and his wife Caroline who are moving through middle life – marriage, children, aging parents, careers – when David’s unknown daughter shows up in his university office. Can their marriage and family handle the unexpected visitor? This is a pretty good story with some nice twists. It’s not amazing, but a good read nonetheless.