Good morning, and welcome to another Monday, in which we celebrate our reading, blogging, and life. Mailbox Monday is hosted in August by 5 Minutes for Books; and Book Journey brings us another edition of What Are You Reading?
Another great week in the mailbox! I received four review books, 1 contest win, and I downloaded 1 book on Sparky.
An emotionally gripping family drama from beloved New York Times bestseller Luanne Rice
Clare Burke’s life took a devastating turn when she tried to protect her sister, Anne, from an abusive and controlling husband and ended up serving prison time for assault. The verdict largely hinged on Anne’s defense of her spouse—all lies—and the sisters have been estranged ever since. Nearly twenty years later, Clare is living a quiet life in Manhattan as an urban birder and nature blogger, when her niece, Grit, turns up on her doorstep.
The two long for a relationship with each other, but they’ll have to dig deep into their family’s difficult past in order to build one. Together they face the wounds inflicted by Anne and find in their new connection a place of healing. When Clare begins to suspect her sister might be in New York, she and her niece hold out hope for a long-awaited reunion with her.
A riveting story about women and the primal, tangled family ties that bind them together, Little Night marks a milestone for Luanne Rice—the thirtieth novel from the author with a talent for creating stories that are “exciting, emotional, terrific” (The New York Times Book Review).
2. And When She Was Good, by Laura Lippman (Amazon Vine)
Perennial New York Times and nationally bestselling author and acclaimed multiple–prize winner Laura Lippman delivers a brilliant novel about a woman with a secret life who is forced to make desperate choices to save her son and herself.
When Hector Lewis told his daughter that she had a nothing face, it was just another bit of tossed-off cruelty from a man who specialized in harsh words and harsher deeds. But twenty years later, Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who knows how to avoid attention. In the comfortable suburb where she lives, she’s just a mom, the youngish widow with a forgettable job who somehow never misses a soccer game or a school play. In the state capitol, she’s the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record.
But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she’s the woman of your dreams—if you can afford her hourly fee.
For more than a decade, Heloise has believed she is safe. She has created a rigidly compartmentalized life, maintaining no real friendships, trusting few confidantes. Only now her secret life, a life she was forced to build after the legitimate world turned its back on her, is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new, mysterious dangers. Her employees can’t be trusted. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, a suicide. Or is it?
Nothing is as it seems as Heloise faces a midlife crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know.
And then she learns that her son’s father might be released from prison, which is problematic because he doesn’t know he has a son. The killer and former pimp also doesn’t realize that he’s serving a life sentence because Heloise betrayed him. But he’s clearly beginning to suspect that Heloise has been holding something back all these years.
With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life—again. Disappearing will be the easy part. She’s done it before and she can do it again. A new name and a new place aren’t hard to come by if you know the right people. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.
3. Love Anthony, by Lisa Genova (Amazon Vine)
I’m always hearing about how my brain doesn’t work right. . . . But it doesn’t feel broken to me.Olivia Donatelli’s dream of a “normal” life shattered when her son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Understanding the world from his perspective felt bewildering, nearly impossible. He didn’t speak. He hated to be touched. He almost never made eye contact. And just as Olivia was starting to realize that happiness and autism could coexist, Anthony died.
Now she’s alone in a cottage on Nantucket, separated from her husband, desperate to understand the meaning of her son’s short life, when a chance encounter with another woman facing her own loss brings Anthony alive again for Olivia in a most unexpected way.
Beth Ellis’s entire life changed with a simple note: “I’m sleeping with Jimmy.” Fourteen years of marriage. Three beautiful daughters. Yet even before her husband’s affair, she had never felt so alone. Heartbroken, she finds the pieces of the vivacious, creative person she used to be packed away in a box in her attic. For the first time in years, she uncaps her pen, takes a deep breath, and begins to write. The young but exuberant voice that emerges onto the page is a balm to the turmoil within her, a new beginning, and an astonishing bridge back to herself.
In a piercing story about motherhood, autism, and love, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Genova offers us two unforgettable women on the verge of change and the irrepressible young boy whose unique wisdom helps them both find the courage to move on.
4. Midnight Exposure, by Melinda Leigh (from author)
Point, click, die.
When two hikers disappear, their hometown in Maine blames the blinding storms. But the truth is far more sinister. Unaware of the danger, tabloid photographer Jayne Sullivan follows an anonymous tip to find the most reclusive sculptor in the art world. Instead, she finds sexy handyman Reed Kimball—and a small town full of fatal secrets.
Five years ago, Reed buried his homicide detective career along with his wife. But when a hiker is found dead, the local police chief asks Reed for help. Why was a Celtic coin found under the body? And where is the second hiker? Avoiding the media, Reed doesn’t need a murder, a missing person, or a nosey photographer. Then Jayne is attacked, and her courage is his undoing. Reed must risk everything to protect her and find a cunning killer.
Don’t miss this sexy thriller from the author of International Thriller Award nominee She Can Run.
5. Phoebe and the Ghost of Chagall, by Jill Koenigsdorf (from publisher)
Phoebe is an artist making very little money designing wine labels for a winery in Sonoma. Her house is in foreclosure, she’s divorced, turning forty, and beleaguered on every front. Enter Marc Chagall s ghost, visible only to her, who appears to help her retrieve one of his own paintings that Phoebe s father found during the liberation of France. Meant for Phoebe and her mother, the painting never made it into their hands. In this debut comic novel, Phoebe and Chagall hunt down the painting in the South of France with help from a cast of characters including two sisters who are witches, a San Francisco Art dealer, and a misguided French innkeeper. Their snooping also leads Chagall to a few out of the hundred paintings that went missing during his lifetime. With skill and tension this book pits characters who appreciate art for its beauty against black market art dealers, evil collectors, and the mysterious German pawn hired to deliver the goods.
6. Sharp Objects (e-book), by Gillian Flynn
WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.
NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.
HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.
WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Welcome to another great week to share thoughts on reading and blogging. If you stop by the other blogs in our community, you might just find your next favorite read.
Assorted Stuff On the Blogs:
Reading-Click Titles for Reviews:
1. We Sinners, by Hanna Pylvainen
2. The Other Woman’s House, by Sophie Hanna
3. Wonderful Tonight, by Pattie Boyd
4. The Language of Sisters (e-book), by Amy Hatvany
What’s Up Next? (Click Titles/Covers for More Info)
1. The Meryl Streep Movie Club, by Mia March
2. Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch, by Haywood Smith
3. Against My Will, by Benjamin Berkley
4. The Song Remains the Same (e-book), by Allison Winn Scotch
And that’s my week! What did yours look like? Come on by and share…..