A Million Reasons Why by Jessica Strawser -- When Caroline's husband was in charge of the family Christmas gifts, he opted for DNA tests. How fun! But when a DNA Match reveals a half-sister living hundreds of miles away, Caroline isn't sure how to handle that news. Eventually she meets her half-sister, Sela. An OK story.
Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane -- When Lila's husband Aaron, a beloved teacher, is missing, police investigators focus on her. Meanwhile Lila tries to solve the mystery of what really did happen to her husband, because he's not where she last saw him (presumably dead!) Pretty good story.
Eternal by Lisa Scottoline -- A very different book for this author as it goes back in time to the Fascists and Nazis in Italy. The story of Sandro and Marco and Elisabetta, three best friends, who are caught up in life under Mussolini and later the Nazi-occupation of Rose. Some videos about the book.
Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer -- Paige's life takes a twist when she gets an email from a DNA website that she had a new match - a parent/child match. How is that even possible? Her beloved father died two years ago. A pretty good story.
Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly -- A tale from the Civil War as told by Georgy, working as a nurse part of the time; Jemma, an enslaved woman on a tobacco plantation in Maryland; and Anne-May, the Louisiana-born lady who inherited Peeler Plantation where Jemma lives. Pretty good book.
Day of the Dead by Nicci French -- last of the Frieda Klein series; In this book a student is doing her dissertation and a professor suggests the student do it on Frieda. Lola goes to Frieda's workplace, home, to her friends and family, and realizes Frieda is missing. Pretty good series.
The Woman with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff -- Sadie and Ella come from two very different areas of a Polish city, but the two young women meet in an odd place when Ella is on a quest to find cherries for her stepmother's dinner party. Pretty good story.
The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul -- I've read a couple other books by this author so I put more of them on my Amazon Wishlist and I got this one for my birthday. It explores the possibility that Maria, one of the Romanov children, escapes the execution of her family, and a more modern story of Val Doyle, whose Russian father is dying at a care facility in Australia. Pretty good story.
The Wedding Thief by Mary Simes -- When Sara goes home to Connecticut, she thinks she's going to find her mother wasting away on her deathbed. Instead her mom is cooking and singing as she did in usual times. Looks like her mom's plea for Sara to come home was just a ploy to get her to reconcile with her sister, Mariel, who stole Sara's boyfriend and plans to marry him. A bit silly at times, but a light read and easy book to finish.
Forgive Me by Susan Lewis -- This book was OK, it got a little long-winded or something for me. When Marcy, her daughter, and granddaughter flee Claudia's husband and seek new lives in another part of England, they meet a nice group of friends. This book is also about restorative justice.
The Secret Wife by Gill Paul -- Another book about the Romanov daughters - this one about Tatiana and her sweetheart Dmitri Malama. An imagined tale of what could have happened if Malama's quest to free the Romanovs had happened....or if not the whole family, at least his beloved one. Decent book; I like the other one (above) a bit better.
Big Sky by Kate Atkinson -- This book was way different from the only other book I've read by this author. It was somewhat entertaining with interesting and sometimes funny characters, but at times it seemed all over the place with backstories and such. Apparently it's a series starring Jackson Brodie and I stepped into it some place way down the line.
Up From the Blue by Susan Henderson -- I thought this book seemed familiar, but not enough that I stopped reading it. Tillie speaks of her military family and troubles they faced because Tillie had a hard time settling down, her dad was too impatient and tough on them, and her mom just checked out of life most of the time.
The Affair by Gill Paul -- A book based on the 1960s film Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor which was filmed in Rome. The author interviewed a few people who were there, and made a novel about it. An OK story. I liked the character Diana's knowledge as a historical researcher.
If A Tree Falls by Jennifer Rosner -- Last year I read a story by this author, and then saw she had a memoir of sorts about her daughters being born deaf. My library didn't have that book, but I got it for Christmas and finally read it. Part of it is imagined - as the author processes the fact that several of her ancestors were deaf. Since their stories are mysteries to her, she makes up tales for Nellie and Bayla, and their mom's struggles with having two deaf daughters.
The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth -- Since her own mother died when Lucy was just 13, Lucy wants so badly to have a close relationship with her husband's mother. Unfortunately Diana isn't made for close relationships and Lucy struggles with Diana's standoffish ways, and unhelpfulness, and impractical gifts. When Diana is found dead, the police investigate whether or not it were truly a suicide, or if Diana were killed. Good story.
The Fragile World by Paula Treick DeBoard -- When their college-aged son and brother is killed in a freak accident. Olivia and her parents struggle (understandably.) Her mom eventually leaves for her hometown halfway across the country, while Olivia chooses to stay with her dad in California. A decent story.
All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson -- Harry returns home to Maine after his father slips off a cliff and dies. He lives with his young stepmother, Alice, while things are sorted out because the police aren't sure Harry's father fell to his death. Pretty good, thriller-type book.
The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr -- "How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth"; The author uses her knowledges as a medieval historian to make the case that "biblical womanhood" shouldn't include the patriarchal view that is prevalent in many conservative churches today. I first heard about her on NPR, and decided to get her book for my birthday.
All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese -- Molly has lots of social media followers who watch her makeup and hair videos, but when she's urged to find a cause in order to boost her follower count, she meets Silas who runs a ministry for young adults who have aged out of the foster system. Pretty good story though it ran a bit long, but overall a good message here.
Piece of My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke -- I really should have read the first book in this series because there was a lot of backstory going on, but when I saw this book at the library the other day, I picked it up. It is the last book MHC wrote before she died in early 2020, and I had it on my list to read. So I did. Marcy and Andrew were with their young children in the Hamptons when their son went missing. Who has Johnny and how can they get him back?