Magpie by Elizabeth Day -- Marisa is thrilled when her new boyfriend Jake suggests they get a place together and start trying for a baby! Marisa's mom left when she was seven years old, taking her baby sister, and leaving Marisa with her father. She never got over that abandonment and just wants someone safe which Jake is. When Jake's business takes a downturn, he suggests renting out a spare room, and Kate moves in. Kate makes herself at home and seems to take over too much personal space. What could go wrong with that scenario? Pretty good book.
Girls of Flight City by Lorraine Heath -- "inspired by true events, a novel of WWII, the Royal Air Force, and Texas;" Pretty interesting story about Jessie and her younger sister Kitty, Texans whose town had members of Britain's Royal Air Force train there before the United States entered the war. I enjoyed this one!
The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith -- After a lot of yard cleanup (I helped Andrew for hours over the weekend) due to Hurricane Ian's remnants, it was wonderful having a string of beautiful fall weather. I sat outside yesterday and read a lot in this book. Greta's parents had an Alaskan cruise scheduled with their four best friends (two couples), but Greta's mom died of a brain aneurysm three months before it could happen. So her father wouldn't be the fifth wheel, Greta's brother talked her into going on the cruise with him. Greta and her father don't get along, but Greta agrees reluctantly to make the trip. This was a decent book. I like that one of the stops was in Haines, Alaska, because within the last year or so, I read a few books by a lady (Heather Lende) who lives there, and it was neat to read a bit about that place in a novel.
Verity by Colleen Hoover -- A very quick read for me. When Lowen is asked to finish a series of novels for a famous author who was hurt in an accident, she is invited to stay at the family's home for a few days as she sifts through the author's (her name is Verity) office for notes and research. Soon Lowen discovers an autobiography with chilling details about the family. Pretty interesting story with lots of crude language if that's your thing.
The Foundling by Ann Leary -- Pretty interesting story about Mary Engle, a half-orphan who works at an institution for "feebleminded women of childbearing age." Quite a fascinating time in our nation's history when women could be committed to years of imprisonment because they had children out of wedlock or their husbands wanted to send them there. Infuriating! Sidenote: I was reading this book when I got the most-awful phone call about my little brother dying hours after a same-day surgery. While I took this book with me when I traveled to where his family lives, I didn't open it for a week. I stayed so busy most of the time, and during down times I caught up on emails. I tend to write details in emails to my sister to keep them as kind of a journal.
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan -- Good story. I enjoyed learning more about bees, honey, and beekeeping as the story of single-mom Olivia unfolded as well as Lily, the new girl at school who dated Olivia's son Asher until her death. Asher is charged with Lily's murder, and well, this book had a major plot twist which introduced me more to people whom I'm not very familiar with. It was good for me to learn more about them. And I'm purposefully trying to be vague here, but, yeah, I enjoyed this one and resonated with the Authors' Notes at the end (which has spoilers, FYI.)
Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson -- I'm not totally sure about the plot in this book. It was all over the place: Nellie Coker and her London clubs; her children's roles in everything; the librarian-turned-police informant - much about London's 1926 nightlife.
The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward -- I liked her other book that I read better, but this was pretty good. Charlotte is 71 and enters a contest winning a European cruise for herself and her three adult children, Lee, Cord, and Regan. The book alternates between all four voices, and was pretty interesting as each deals with life struggles and such.
Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward -- This book was beside the book just above so I got it recently on a trip to the library. Maddie, Ian, and Charlie live in Kansas where Maddie grew up and vowed to never return. So boring. While Ian still has his foreign travels with work, Maddie stays home with Charlie and starts seeing a writing therapist. Through her journaling and alternating chapters we learn about her life with Ian, and her life before she and Ian married when Maddie and her friend Joanna lived in Bulgaria and Macedonia - places way more exciting than Kansas! Pretty good story.
The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer -- An interesting look at the experiences of some Polish people - Jews and Catholics - during World War II. This book alternated between the voices of Roman who lived in the ghetto, and Emilia who traveled into the ghetto with a social worker named Sara. This book also covers a bit of the Red Army's occupation of Poland after the war ended. When Emilia finds herself living with some nuns for a time and is unable to sleep, she rises to light a candle and pray in the chapel. I loved the part on page 354 when she hears the chapel door open and looks up to see Sister Agnieszka Gracja kneel beside her and light another candle. The Sister rose when Emilia rose, and as she and Emilia walked back to their rooms, Emilia questioned, "'What were you praying about at this strange hour?'" and the Sister smiled and replied, "'I was asking God to ease your torment.'" That touched me because I really appreciate people praying for me and my family, too!