"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August Books


Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic -- Roan Montgomery's life revolves around horses and her Olympic gold-medalist father, Monty. Roan likes that her father is training her to be a winner as he was, but his control is, well, complete. After her mom leaves the family fully knowing the awful secrets of what exactly Roan and Monty's relationship is like, Roan welcomes the friendship of Will Howard, a schoolmate. Pretty good story, but very troubling (read: ick!)  relationship issues.

An Unlikely Spy by Rebecca Starford -- as a quote from the front of the book says, "'An exceptional novel about World War II, bringing 1940s England to life.'"  I enjoyed this book about Evelyn, Julia, Nina, and Sally. Focusing on Evelyn. Good story.

Palace of the Drowned by Christine Morgan -- An OK story about a novelist, Frances or Frankie to most people, who escapes to her friend's place in Venice after a scathing review and "an incident" in a bar back in England. When she meets - or is reunited with - Gilly (hard g), things change.

The Stranger Behind You by Carol Goodman -- After Joan's article about a prominent publisher accused of sexual harassment puts her in danger, she looks to the Refuge for a secure place to live. Prominent publisher, Caspar's wife, Melissa, is looking for information on what Joan has for her book deal. Good story by a new-to-me author.

Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson -- After Bree's son is kidnapped, she's instructed by a deranged woman to follow her instructions or else she'll never get her baby back. In the meantime, Bree's friend Marshall, a former police officer, tries to help. A good suspenseful book with an important message about college parties that go too far.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica -- Mia is abducted by Colin, but instead of turning her over to Dalmar, he decides to hide out in the woods of Minnesota. This story is told from the perspectives of Colin, the detective, Gabe; and Eve, Mia's mom. Pretty good story.

Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman -- At age 11 two white girls took a black baby that they found on the porch of her (black baby's) home in Baltimore. The girls ended up serving time for their crime and then 7 years later after their release, they are suspects in a missing child case. An OK book. I thought some of the descriptions of people in this book were a bit much. Quite a lot of fat-shaming and stuff that just struck me wrong. I like this author most of the time, but this book (nearly 20 years old) wasn't my favorite.

A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin -- Jillian is a NYC-based journalist whose job just dissolved and she's looking for a great story to pitch to her former editor who now has a good job at a reputable news agency. Jillian wants to infiltrate the secret lady's club, Nevertheless, and expose what they did to a promising female mayor whom Jillian had hoped would one day run for president! This book was pretty good for the most part although the ending  and the very -inner circle dealing were a bit much. Of course Jillian thought the same way at first so...!

The Sea of Lost Girls by Carol Goodman -- Tess is at a loss when she believes her husband and son are suspects in the murder of a student, Lila, who had been hanging out at their house in recent months. This book explores Tess's own experience at the school, and how things have carried over in the school's history now that she's a high school teacher. Pretty good story.

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth -- Rose and Fern are fraternal twins. Fern has sensory-processing issues, and Rose looks out for her by dimming lights, turning down radios, and telling people to stop touching her. Fern is a librarian and meets an American guy whom she calls Wally due to his choice of clothes. When Fern discovers that her sister is unable to get pregnant, she decides the logical thing to do is to have a baby for her sister. A good story.

Sustaining Faith by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan -- Book 2 in the When Hope Calls series. Since I read the first book in this series, I figured I'd read the second one. Ben helps lead orphans from England to Canada where they await new homes. In this case he smuggles aboard a little girl who wasn't on the list, and helps her reach a house where Grace and Lillian keep children who haven't been placed in a family. An OK story.  I might like it better if I remembered more of the backstory from previous books.

An Ambush of Widows by Jeff Abbott -- I've never read this author before, but decided to try this one. It was a pretty good mystery concerning two ladies brought together when their husbands were murdered in Austin. As Kirsten leaves New Orleans to see where her husband died in Austin (when he was supposed to have been in New York), she meets up with Flora whose husband died as well. And thus the mystery of why these two men were together, and why they were killed.

Pack Up the Moon by Kristan Higgins -- A good book; quite the tearjerker though it had lots of funny bits, too. Lauren is dying from a terminal lung illness. During her last few weeks she writes letters for her husband to have at monthly intervals for the first year after her death. Her best friend Sarah delivers these missives to him each month. I did a fair deal of crying at times during this reading. Knowing young people are dying these days from covid...I know of a 33 year old mother, Clair, who died a few days after giving birth to her son, well, this book just hit hard at times.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles -- A good book about librarians and subscribers at the American Library in Paris and an alternate storyline featuring Lily who befriends the mysterious French lady, Odile, who is a librarian from the ALP during World War II. I enjoyed this one.

I Don't Forgive You by Aggie Blum Thompson -- A pretty good mystery/thriller book. Allie lives in an upscale D.C. neighborhood, but has trouble fitting in with the moms of suburbia. After a few minutes of harmless flirting ends with a guy assaulting her, Allie is shocked the next day when she finds out this guy was murdered overnight. This book involves fake social media profiles and hackers and has quite a lot of bad stuff going on for one person to handle (so a bit overwhelming!), but it was pretty good.

The Boy in the Photo by Nicole Trope -- Six years after her young son was taken by his father, Megan is thrilled to have her boy home again. Only it's more difficult to adjust to this preteen boy as Megan remembers the loving six year who was taken. Pretty good story.

The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine -- Addison Hope is preparing for her wedding to Gabriel, but she wishes she had memories beyond the two years she's lived with Gigi and Ed. Ed found her roaming the street and she had no memories of who she was or where she lived. Meanwhile Julian is looking for the wife he lost two years ago so he can bring her back to their family, especially their daughter Valentina. When Julian chances upon a gallery in Philadelphia, he believes he found his missing wife. Pretty good mystery-type book.

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