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

Friday, September 29, 2023

September Books


The White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear -- Following her roles in two world wars, Elinor knows a bit about survival and taking care of business. When she realizes her neighbors are trying to get away from a well-known crime family in London, she makes it her business to learn about what's going on. This book alternates between present (the crime family story) and two world wars that impacted Elinor in her place of birth, Belgium, and in her mom's home country, England. Pretty good.

Canary Girls by Jennifer Chiaverini -- Did you know that during World War I, women in England made ammunition for the troops, and some of them turned yellow because of their work with TNT? This book follows the lives of Lucy, April, Helen, and their friends, families and coworkers during this time. These women also played on football teams in order to raise funds for the war effort and those impacted by it. Pretty interesting novel.

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner -- Emmy is fifteen years old with big dreams of designing bridal gowns. Among her problems is she's a bit too young to have a job, her mum relies on her for watching her little sister, plus there is a war on. When Emmy gets a job at a bridal shop, she's disheartened when her mum insists she and Julia be evacuated to the country.... because the Germans are probably going to bomb London. And thus it goes. Pretty good book, and my third in a row dealing with one of the world wars and taking place in England, huh. 

Is This Normal? by Dr. Jolene Brighten -- I didn't read every bit of this 450+ page book, but I read most of it as some subjects interested me more than others. This is "judgment-free straight talk about your body," with lots of good information.

An American Beauty by Shana Abé -- "a novel of the Gilded Age," this book follows the story of Arabella Yarrington who is the mistress of Collis Huntington, a super-wealthy man. Pretty interesting.

I Didn't Do It by Jaime Lynn Hendricks -- Thriller novelists are meeting in New York City for Murderpalooza, "the premier thrill writers conference," but when a star writer is murdered and Twitter accusations are off the charts, Vicky, Davis, Mike, and Suzanne become allies of sorts as each feel they might be killed next.

What Harms You by Lisa Black -- This seems to be part of a series because there is mention of these people involved in other cases, but in this one Dr. Ellie Carr is starting a new job at the Locard Institute, where they train people in ways forensic science is useful in solving crimes. Then the scientist Ellie is replacing is found dead and other bizarre things are happening. Could a serial killer be taking classes at the institute?

What Never Happened by Rachel Howzell Hall -- Colette aka Coco returns to Catalina Island years after the tragic murders of her parents and brother because her Aunt Gwen has gotten a bit forgetful and needs care. While writing obituaries for the tiny newspaper, she becomes involved in an investigation into why so many older women are dying. Plus, there are threats against her. Pretty good.

Mrs. Porter Calling by AJ Pearce -- This book is better if you read the two previous books and even better if you remember what all happened in those two books. Alas, I've read them both, but couldn't recall everything about them. Still! Emmy Lake continues writing her popular column in Woman's Friend magazine, but when the owner dies and leaves this magazine to his niece, well, Mrs. Porter has a few changes she wants to make in order to make the magazine less "mis" and more glamorous. Pretty good story.

The Paris Assignment by Rhys Bowen -- Madeleine goes to Paris to study abroad for a semester and ends up marrying Giles and having a child named Olivier. When Hitler comes to power, Giles wants his wife and child to go to England where Madeleine is from. Later Madeleine comes back to France to help with the war effort. Meanwhile Olivier somehow ends up in Australia!

Red Flags by Lisa Black -- I read this author earlier this month and was curious about the first book in this Locard Institute series and the introduction of Dr. Rachael Davies and Dr. Ellie Carr. In this book Ellie is on the scene of an infant abduction and realizes it's her cousin Becca's child. There's talk of online games, addiction algorithms and such. Pretty good.

Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine -- Now that she's nearly forty, Anna is desperate to have a child! By weird coincidence her acting career is taking off right at a time she's bound to home more due to IVF. When weird things start happening, she and her husband Dex escape to a friend's home in the Hamptons where .. weird things still happen. A bit strange, but a rather-interesting book.

The Paris Daughter by Kristin Harmel -- Juliette and Elise are American women married to French men who meet in Paris around the time Hitler is on the march across Europe. When Elise has to flee the area due to things her Communist husband did, she gives her young daughter to Juliette to care for until she returns. After the war Elise returns to look for her daughter, but Juliette has moved without leaving a message for Elise.

The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox -- Ivy inherits an abbey rumored to be haunted. Soon she believes it because weird things happen. Also, her memory is failing. This seems to happen with all the heirs of Blackwood. What's the deal? Different!

In the Shadow of the River by Ann Gabhart -- Jacci grew up on a showboat and after her mom's death when she was five, her grandpa taught her to dance and sing so she could be part of the show. There's some mystery as to why her mom was stabbed and Jacci learns more about that. An OK book.

The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner -- Abby has mostly come to appreciate her larger size even though she lives in a world that values thinness, and agrees to lead a bicycling tour where she meets a few interesting characters. Unbelievably, she comes face to face with a guy she hooked up with one night two years ago while in NYC at a bachelorette party.  Sebastian often wondered about the lady who left his bed before he woke up that morning. Despite being a serial dater with no long term relationships to his name, he felt different with Abby. Meanwhile Abby's group includes her fat-shaming mother (surprise!) and a daughter trying to keep a secret from her mom. Interesting story!

The Trade Off by Sandie Jones -- This book explores "toxic" tabloid media through the stories of Jess who went to work for The Globe and her immediate boss Stella. Jess found she didn't have the drive to ruin lives whereas Stella wanted a story at all costs. Pretty interesting.

The Hurricane Blonde by Halley Sutton -- Salma Lowe is the daughter of actors, but she left her own brief stint in show business years ago, and is currently running a tour through Los Angeles related to her own sister's fate. Tawney's murder was never solved, but Salma has long suspected Tawney's ex-fiancé, Cal, who is now directing a movie about Tawney.  An OK book.

Still Life by Joy Fielding -- After Casey has an enjoyable outing with her friends, she finds herself hit by a speeding vehicle and left in a coma. Eventually Casey realizes she can hear everything, and friends and family and medical folks reveal her condition, what they really think about her and others, and they wonder why Casey was hit and left for dead. Was it on purpose or an accident?

The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray -- These authors explore the relationship and hard work of Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune. 
Since I'm posting today: H2ndBD, JDF!  <3

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