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

Thursday, September 30, 2021

September Books


The Last Flight by Julie Clark -- Claire is making plans to leave her abusive, well-known husband, but at the last minute a flight change has her frightened. Her carefully-orchestrated plans are ruined. When Eva approaches her at the airport and the two women decide to switch flights, Claire heads to California as Eva, and Eva takes Claire's place. Interesting, good story! 

Three Words for Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb -- When Violet invites her granddaughters to lunch, Clara and Madeleine haven't spoken in the year since their father's funeral. But for the sake of their dying grandmother, the sisters agree to travel to three cities in Europe (Paris, Venice, and Vienna) on the brink of a world war. Good story! 

The Fiancée by Kate White -- Pretty good mystery type book although the main character, Summer, was a bit too much for me. Too suspicious or self-absorbed or something. But she is part of a family of brothers who traveled each summer to their inlaws' lovely vacation property, but instead of the usual fun times, some tragic events occur. Summer suspects the new addition to the family, Nick's fiancée! 

The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly -- Snippets from three generations of women - around 1907 with Venetia who created the garden; 1944 with Diana, Beth, and Stella; and 2021 with Emma as she is tasked with recreating the garden. A pretty good story. 

The Butterfly House by Katrine Engberg -- Apparently this is book 2 in a Copenhagen crime series because when I looked up the author, I saw book 1 in this series at my library. Jeppe and his team of detectives are looking for a serial killer while his usual partner Anette is at home on maternity leave, bored out of her mind caring for her little girl. Anette decides to do some online sleuthing. A decent story. I'm planning to read book 1 so I can be properly introduced to these Danish characters. 

The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter -- Delta is a photographer who likes to pretend she's part of the families she photographs. Especially when the family is as rich and seemingly perfect as Fritz, Amelia, and Natalie. A pretty good mystery type book.

Mrs.March by Virginia Feito -- A rather weird book, but I read it pretty quickly. Mrs. March is very self-absorbed, but maybe this just reflects how many of us are. Who knows? When she finds a newspaper clipping in her husband's office, she suspects him in the disappearance of a woman in Maine. 

The Turnout by Megan Abbott -- Sisters Marie and Dara run a dance studio with Charlie, a former dance student who lived with the family for several years and whom Dara ended up marrying. When the studio needs construction work due to a fire, Derek is recommended to oversee the project. But he never seems to get ahead on the job, and seems to be everywhere making remarks and making folks uncomfortable. This book was just ok for me.

The Other Me by Sarah Zachrich Jeng -- One minute Kelly is at her friend's showing at an art gallery in Chicago and the next minute she's back home in Michigan, married to a guy she was barely friends with back in high school. Two totally different lives yet she has long memories of both. What gives? This book was a bit weird because it involves a bit of time travel, but overall I enjoyed it.

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange -- If you want to read an Irish Catholic-style drama, this book might be for you. It was decent. Sunday returns home from Los Angeles after a DUI, and starts helping out with the family-owned pub. Of course there are questions about why she even left rather suddenly five years ago, and all that good sort of family stuff.

Mrs. Rochester's Ghost by Lindsay Marcott -- A pretty good thriller-type book. After Jane loses her job in New York, she sends out an email blast to see if her friends have any leads on a cheaper place to live. She didn't expect Otis's offer of a cottage across the country in California where she could live rent-free as long as she did a few jobs around the property of Otis's cousin, a soon-to-be-very-very-rich Evan Rochester. Jane agrees to a three-month stint there, and deals with the ghost of Evan's wife.

Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce -- a follow-up to the book Dear Mrs. Bird, this book follows Emmy in her job with a new editor, her meeting with Anne and other ladies who worked for the war effort, her boyfriend Charles (who is halfbrother to her boss) and so forth. A rather good, somewhat light-hearted book.

False Witness by Karin Slaughter -- This book took me a couple extra days to read because (one) it was a bit longer than some books I've read recently and (two) I was really distracted a couple days because my uncle was seriously ill in the hospital with covid since late August and I finished this book today, September 20, which is one day after he died. So yesterday I was more into grieving and reading sweet Facebook posts and crying at them because I am definitely one of those who cries easily when people offer me sympathy and post sweet pictures and I think of someone I will miss (so basically normal, I reckon?). What's really really weird and cool in a way is that this is the FIRST book I've ever read that is a novel set in covid times. Like, I've read several new books this year where the authors mention quarantine and the pandemic in the Acknowledgements or Author's Note, but this is the first book that has covid as a player in the background during the whole book. The main characters caught covid and one had been seriously ill, and still has lingering issues with her lungs; they regularly masked up, social-distanced; stuff like that. So that was kind of weirdly neat to read while my mom's brother was suffering the sad effects of this horrible virus.  This story was pretty good, but if you have a hard time reading about drug addicts and, in my opinion, maybe too much detail relating to shooting up drugs then you probably won't like this book. It was nearly too much for me. Also, the language is pretty awful. I nearly decided not to read it, but the story line got to me so I continued.  Leigh is a defense attorney in Atlanta, and she is introduced to her latest client who knows her from her teen years. He was a boy she and her sister babysat for. He knows a terrible, secret thing that Leigh and Callie did, and is threatening to reveal it if Leigh doesn't play by his rules. Pretty good story other than the things I mentioned. 

The Tenant by Katrine Engberg -- since I read book 2 in this series a couple weeks ago, I figured I'd read book one. It introduced me to the police team there in Denmark and a few additional characters present in book two. In this book Esther has a tenant who is murdered and Jeppe and Anette and the gang are looking for who would murder sweet young Julie.

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty -- A good book about Stan and Joy Delaney, and their four adult children: Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke, avid tennis player all. When Joy is missing, the children eventually go to the police, and the book is back and forth to present time and a few months leading up to Joy being missing. An enjoyable book about tennis, sibling rivalry, and such things.

Where I Left Her by Amber Garza -- When Whitney doesn't hear from her daughter, Amelia, after dropping her off at Lauren's house for a sleepover, she drives by there to make sure everything's ok. Only, the old couple who answer the door have no idea what Whitney is talking about: no Amelia has been there, and Lauren doesn't live there. What has happened to her daughter? Pretty good thriller type book.

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel -- When she was only two Inge was stolen from her home by Jerusza who raised the toddler, renamed Yona, in the vast forests in (then) Poland. Jerusza had a sixth sense about things, and taught Yona how to survive and thrive and kill in the woods. She kept her away from civilization for the most part, and the only person Yona ever knew for many years was Jerusza. Sometime after Jerusza died at age 102, Yona came across a little girl in the woods, and helps her and tracks down her family, Jews who escaped from people trying to kill then. And thus the story continues. A good book about people struggling to stay alive while Germans hunted them down.

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell -- A good thriller/mystery book set in London and a country area not too far away. Sophie joins her partner as he takes over the headmaster role at a school for rich-but-troubled youth. While there she gets involved in a missing persons' case involving Zach and Tallulah, who had left for a date night at a pub, but never returned. (I found it amusing that Zach, Sophie, and even Susie and Megs were names of characters in this book.)  Pretty interesting story! 
And thus ends another month of 2021.