The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor -- I like this author so I was glad to see this book on the New Books shelf at the local library. I like how I learn a bit about an historical character while reading her books. This one was about Grace Darling, who helped her family keep the light in Longstone in Northumberland, England in the 1830s. The other narrative is fictitious, but interesting as Matilda leaves Ireland to stay with a distant relative in Rhode Island, Harriet who happens to be a lighthouse keeper as well. Cool
After by Kristin Harmel -- I've read a couple of her books before, and liked them so I put this one on my Amazon Wishlist and received it for my birthday. It's more of a YA book which is fine. It's about Lacey, a junior in high school, who loses her father to a car accident. This is the few months after that.
Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen -- this is another book I requested on Amazon after reading the only one from this author that my library had; Hannah is excited after a business trip because she is told she is due for a big promotion. She travels home, eager to tell her boyfriend, but when she arrives home, he's gone. And every single thing he brought into the house upon moving in is gone too. Her phone pictures of them together. Her Facebook pictures of them. All gone. What happened to Matt? Why did he leave when she thought things were fine? Pretty good although Hannah really bugs me some.
Broken Wings by Terri Blackstock -- when I put this book on hold, I thought it was in the New Books offered at the library, but ... it's from 1998 so?? And honestly I usually like her suspense novels pretty well, but this one about Erin the airline pilot who struggles to fly after her friend is killed in a crash was really a dud.
We Hope For Better Things by Erin Bartels -- This book covers three time periods with some of the same characters, but it wasn't too hard to keep track of. It involves black-and-white relations in Detroit during the Civil War, around 1960 and present day. Pretty good book.
The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner -- I realized I had stop reading these and only had about 3 left that the library has so I put this one on hold. It's about Kimberly Quincy's first weeks at the FBI training academy and a body she discovers while running one morning. She and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations guy (whom the author made to be waaaay too weirdly southern, in my opinion, Sugar) race to solve the mystery and hopefully save one of the victims.
Sugarland by Martha Conway -- a "Jazz Age Mystery" that takes place in Chicago during Prohibition; This book follows Eve and her stepsister Chickie who sing and play piano in night clubs. They meet Lena, a tall, white lady, who helps them as they try to solve a mystery. Pretty good, nothing special. I got this from my Amazon Wishlist quite awhile ago and procrastinated on reading it.
The Gown by Jennifer Robson -- "a novel of the royal wedding" focusing on a couple of ladies who embroidered for Norman Hartnell, famous for designing the wedding gown for Princess Elizabeth when she married Philip Mountbatten. My mom read this first, and recommended it. Good story.
The Nowhere Child by Christian White -- a pretty good story by a new author; Kim is approached during a break in her photography class in Australia by a guy from America who claims she was kidnapped as a two-year-old child. From Kentucky. After some convincing proof (a 98.4% sibling match on a DNA test), she travels to the US with hopes of figuring out this mystery. Pretty good book. I liked the author's ending note quite a lot for some reason.
The Huntress by Kate Quinn -- Jordan McBride is a late-teen, enjoying photography, wishing to go to college (dad says "no") when her father - a widow for many years - falls in love with a refugee from Germany who happens into his antique shop in Boston. Nina grows up as a "barbarian" in the far east of Russia on Lake Baikal and later leaves home to follow her dream of becoming a pilot. Ian and Tony are a team who hunt down Nazis, and Ian is especially interested in the one who killed his younger brother, after feeding him a meal and making him feel safe. Nina joins Tony and Ian who eventually travel overseas to find die Jägerin. A long book (500+ pages), but interesting and good!
Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly -- In her first novel, the author introduced us to Caroline Ferriday and her mother, and in this book she goes back a generation to focus mostly on Caroline's mother's work supporting Russians fleeing the Reds when that country was in a huge upheaval. This book is told through the voices of Eliza Woolsey Ferriday based in New York and Connecticut; an aristocrat from Russia, Sofya, who escapes Russia and is searching for her young son; and Varinka, the peasant girl who is hired as a nanny just before the revolution that separated Sofya from her son. A good story!
The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman -- Ruth and Millie's relationship is complicated by a childhood where Millie was adored and Ruth felt resentment towards her little sister. This story follows the sisters through parts of World War II when they move from Brooklyn to Springfield, Mass, where they both find jobs in the Armory. A decent story.
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith -- a fun little book a friend sent for my birthday. After her father dies, Precious Ramotswe sells his cattle (her inheritance) and invests in a new house and opens a detective agency. The book follows Mma Ramotswe as she hunts down clues in Botswana and surrounding areas. I saw that my library has more of these books so I think I'll read more of them when I need some lighter reading. A cute story and character!
After the Party by Cressida Connolly -- This book was OK. I got to not liking the main character towards the end. She just sounded a bit whiny even though she had fair reason to feel as she did. It's about Phyllis, the youngest of three English sisters, who support the Party to various degrees. The Party is some sort of fascist group, which quite frankly, I wasn't very familiar with so this was at least a somewhat interesting way to learn more about them, I suppose.
Making Minty Malone by Isabel Wolff -- another of her not-so-great-early (?) - books that I'm glad I didn't start with or I probably would never have read the books of hers that ARE really good. This one was a bit better than Tiffany Trott, and a good one to read while sitting on a bench at the children's museum as Sophie played with friends because it was OK being interrupted while reading this. Minty - short for Araminta - works for a radio show in London, and all her coworkers are present when her fiancé leaves her at the altar on their wedding day.
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey -- this is a "Mystery of 1920s India" given to me by a friend for my birthday. I enjoyed this look into other cultures (Parsi, Indian, Muslim Indian, British in India) much more than I expected. The mystery aspect was pretty good, not great, but overall, a nice book that I'm glad I read and learned from!
ETA another book I finished before the end of May! Finished it today after getting it from the library yesterday.
The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis -- Darby leaves Ohio to start secretarial school in New York City. She's fortunate enough to live in the all-girls' Barbizon Hotel in 1952, and what adventure awaits! In modern times, Rose is searching for the story of the ladies who lived in the Barbizon Hotel back then - the few left who live on the fourth floor. Will Darby and the others share their secrets? And what's with this story of a maid who was pushed from the terrace by a friend who was cut in the face? I liked this book!