General Fiction

#BookReview
Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens
@aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanada

#BookReview Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens @aeskens @mulhollandbooks @HBGCanadaTitle: Nothing More Dangerous

Author: Allen Eskens

Published by: Mulholland Books on November 12, 2019

Genres: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In a small town where loyalty to family and to “your people” carries the weight of a sacred oath, defying those unspoken rules can be a deadly proposition.

After fifteen years of growing up in the Ozark hills with his widowed mother, high-school freshman Boady Sanden is beyond ready to move on. He dreams of glass towers and cityscapes, driven by his desire to be anywhere other than Jessup, Missouri. The new kid at St. Ignatius High School, if he isn’t being pushed around, he is being completely ignored. Even his beloved woods, his playground as a child and his sanctuary as he grew older, seem to be closing in on him, suffocating him.

Then Thomas Elgin moves in across the road, and Boady’s life begins to twist and turn. Coming to know the Elgins-a black family settling into a community where notions of “us” and “them” carry the weight of history-forces Boady to rethink his understanding of the world he’s taken for granted. Secrets hidden in plain sight begin to unfold: the mother who wraps herself in the loss of her husband, the neighbor who carries the wounds of a mysterious past that he holds close, the quiet boss who is fighting his own hidden battle.

But the biggest secret of all is the disappearance of Lida Poe, the African-American woman who keeps the books at the local plastics factory. Word has it that Ms. Poe left town, along with a hundred thousand dollars of company money. Although Boady has never met the missing woman, he discovers that the threads of her life are woven into the deepest fabric of his world.

As the mystery of her fate plays out, Boady begins to see the stark lines of race and class that both bind and divide this small town, and he is forced to choose sides.


Review:

Impactful, atmospheric, and hauntingly realistic!

In this latest novel by Eskens, Nothing More Dangerous, he transports us to Jessup, Missouri, a small, midwestern town that suddenly finds itself turned upside down when an unsolved case of embezzlement, a missing, young, African-American employee, depressing economics, and a strong underlying racist mentality tests and unearths all the hidden, longstanding alliances, relationships, and friendships within it.

The prose is gritty and descriptive. The characters are vulnerable, raw, and impulsive. And the plot is an immersive journey of life, loss, poverty, coming-of-age, familial drama, friendship, courage, morality, loyalty, community, self-preservation, racism, and violence.

Overall, Nothing More Dangerous is a sincere, pensive, ominous tale that not only highlights the ugliness and weakness of group mentality and the ease with which it allows one to behave with ignorance, intolerance, and even participate in the most unforgivable of crimes, but also reminds us that kindness and compassion is the base of humanity that should ultimately transcend skin colour and socioeconomic status.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                          

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Allen Eskens

Allen Eskens is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, the Deep Dark Descending and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Rosebud Award, Minnesota Book Award, and the Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His work had been published in 21 languages and his debut novel, The Life We Bury is being developed for a feature film.

Allen lives with his wife, Joely, in greater Minnesota and is represented by Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron and Associates, and is published by both Seventh Street Books and Mulholland/Little Brown.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview
Right after the Weather by Carol Anshaw
@carolanshaw @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Right after the Weather by Carol Anshaw @carolanshaw @SimonSchusterCATitle: Right after the Weather

Author: Carol Anshaw

Published by: Atria Books on October 1, 2019

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The author of the “graceful and compassionate” (People) New York Times bestseller Carry the One presents a new and long-awaited novel exploring what happens when untested people are put to a hard test, and in its aftermath, find themselves in a newly uncertain world.

It’s the fall of 2016. Cate, a set designer in her early forties, lives and works in Chicago’s theater community. She has stayed too long at the fair and knows it’s time to get past her prolonged adolescence and stop taking handouts from her parents. She has a firm plan to get solvent and settled in a serious relationship. She has tentatively started something new even as she’s haunted by an old, going-nowhere affair. Her ex-husband, recently booted from his most recent marriage, is currently camped out in Cate’s spare bedroom, in thrall to online conspiracy theories, and she’s not sure how to help him. Her best friend Neale, a yoga instructor, lives nearby with her son and is Cate’s model for what serious adulthood looks like.

Only a few blocks away, but in a parallel universe we find Nathan and Irene—casual sociopaths, drug addicts, and small-time criminals. Their world and Cate’s intersect the day she comes into Neale’s kitchen to find these strangers assaulting her friend. Forced to take fast, spontaneous action, Cate does something she’s never even considered. She now also knows the violence she is capable of, as does everyone else in her life, and overnight, their world has changed. Anshaw’s flawed, sympathetic, and uncannily familiar characters grapple with their altered relationships and identities against the backdrop of the new Trump presidency and a country waking to a different understanding of itself. Eloquent, moving, and beautifully observed, Right after the Weather is the work of a master of exquisite prose and a wry and compassionate student of the human condition writing at the height of her considerable powers.


Review:

Slow burning, sobering, and forlorn!

Right after the Weather is an affecting, perceptive novel that takes us into the life of Cate, a middle-aged, lesbian, set designer whose life is riddled with disappointment and multiple, complex relationships that are strained and never fully satisfying.

The prose is edgy and raw. The characters are multilayered, frustrated, and dissatisfied. And the somber plot is a reflective tale with a side of violence that’s full of life, loss, infidelity, forbidden love, familial dynamics, friendship, assault, and the instability caused by the 2016 US election.

I have to admit this was a really hard one for me. There is no doubt that Anshaw can write and write beautifully about how hard, gritty, and even depressive life can truly be. And even though I am confident that some readers will absolutely love the tragic gloominess of Right after the Weather, unfortunately for me I couldn’t quite connect with the characters and the story was a little too dispiriting to enjoy it as much as I would have liked.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Carol Anshaw

Carol Anshaw is an American novelist and short story writer. Her books include Carry the One, Lucky in the Corner, Seven Moves and Aquamarine. Her stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories in 1994, 1998, and 2012. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts (1992). She has won a National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, an NEA Grant, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, a Carl Sandburg Award and Society of Midland Authors Award. Her newest novel, Right after the Weather, is forthcoming in October from Simon & Schuster.

Anshaw is also a painter. She divides her time between Chicago and Amsterdam.

Photography courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview
What Happens in Paradise
by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand
@littlebrown @HBGCanada

#BookReview What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanadaTitle: What Happens in Paradise

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Series: Paradise #2

Published by: Little Brown and Company on October 8, 2019

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 432

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Secret lives and new loves emerge in the bright Caribbean sunlight, in the follow-up to national bestseller Winter in Paradise

A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a helicopter crash. But that wasn’t Irene’s only shattering news: he’d also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.

Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life -and death – of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they’re about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures.

Lush with the tropical details, romance, and drama that made Winter in Paradise a national bestseller, What Happens in Paradise is another immensely satisfying page-turner from one of American’s most beloved and engaging storytellers.


Review:

Escapist, addictive, and downright enthralling!

In this latest novel in the Paradise series, What Happens in Paradise, we head back to the idyllic island of St. John and into the lives of the Steele family who after the turbulent events triggered by the death of the patriarch in the first novel begin to accept, heal, move on, take chances, forge new friendships, and find new love even while the underlying feelings of dread still linger.

The writing is smooth and seamless. The characters are hesitant, multilayered, and intriguing. And the plot is an alluring tale of life, loss, heartbreak, friendship, family, coming-of-age, secrets, deception, corruption, and new beginnings.

Overall, What Happens in Paradise is a heartwarming, mysterious, romantic, domestic drama that keeps you engaged and invested from start to finish and with its beautiful infusions of island living and tantalizing cliffhanger ending it will undoubtedly leave you eager for more and counting down the days until the third and final novel in this trilogy becomes available.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                           

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is a mother of three, an avid runner, reader, and traveler, and the author of twenty-three novels. She grew up outside Philadelphia, and has lived on Nantucket for more than twenty years.

#BookReview
The Reckless Oath We Made
by Bryn Greenwood @bryngreenwood @PenguinRandomCA @PutnamBooks

#BookReview The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood @bryngreenwood @PenguinRandomCA @PutnamBooksTitle: The Reckless Oath We Made

Author: Bryn Greenwood

Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons on August 20, 2019

Genres: General Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A provocative love story between a tough Kansas woman on a crooked path to redemption and the unlikeliest of champions, from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.

Zee is nobody’s fairy tale princess. Almost six-foot, with a redhead’s temper and a shattered hip, she has a long list of worries: never-ending bills, her beautiful, gullible sister, her five-year-old nephew, her housebound mother, and her drug-dealing boss.

Zee may not be a princess, but Gentry is an actual knight, complete with sword, armor, and a code of honor. Two years ago the voices he hears called him to be Zee’s champion. Both shy and autistic, he’s barely spoken to her since, but he has kept watch, ready to come to her aid.

When an abduction tears Zee’s family apart, she turns to the last person she ever imagined–Gentry–and sets in motion a chain of events that will not only change both of their lives, but bind them to one another forever.


Review:

Heart-tugging, unconventional, and gritty!

The Reckless Oath We Made is an incredibly raw, moving novel about life in small-town Kansas where making ends meet is hard, responsibility weighs heavy, and loyalty, innocence, and love comes in many different forms.

The writing style is unique, with the narration being a mixture of contemporary and Middle English. The characters are tormented, fragile, and opportunistic. And the plot takes us on an emotional rollercoaster ride full of life, love, violence, tension, special needs, incarceration, ignorance, injustice, death, loss and selfless heroism. 

The Reckless Oath We Made is a very complex, intriguing, tragic romance that highlights just how powerful and personally destructive a solemn promise can be. It grips you from the very first page and leaves your heart bleeding for every single character, even the ones who at times are truly difficult to even like.  

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bryn Greenwood

BRYN GREENWOOD is a fourth-generation Kansan and the daughter of a mostly reformed drug dealer. She is the author of the NYT bestseller All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. The Reckless Oath We Made is her fourth novel from Putnam. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BookReview
Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones
@amylaurajones @McClellandBooks @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones @amylaurajones @McClellandBooks @PenguinRandomCATitle: Every Little Piece of Me

Author: Amy Jones

Published by: McClelland & Stewart on June 4, 2019

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of We’re All in This Together comes a novel about family, friendship, fame, and the cost of living in the public eye — because when everyone suddenly knows your name, it’s easy to forget who you really are.

“The first time they met, Mags saved Ava’s life. The second time they met, Ava saved Mags’s.”
Ava Hart is the most reluctant cast member of a reality TV show based on her big city family’s (mostly staged) efforts to run a B&B in small-town Nova Scotia. Every family has its problems, but Ava has grown up seeing her family’s every up and down broadcast on national television, after the show becomes an unexpected success for reasons that will take a heavy toll on the Harts.

Mags Kovach is the charismatic lead singer of a struggling Halifax rock band hoping to be the Next Big Thing. For years she’s managed to contain her demons and navigate the uglier aspects of being a woman in the music world, but after a devastating loss, she turns her anger on the only person she can: herself.

As their private tragedies continue to set social media and tabloid headlines on fire, their every move subjected to an endless stream of public commentary, it will be their unexpected friendship that will save them. They will push back against the roles they’ve been forced to play, and take back control of something they thought they’d lost forever — the right to their own stories.


Review:

Pensive, sharp, and tragic!

Every Little Piece of Me is a character-driven, gritty tale that follows two women, unlikely friends, Mags and Ava, as they each struggle to find some semblance of control, meaning, and love in a life littered with abandonment, self-destruction, and relentless scrutiny.

The prose is pithy and effective. The characters are young, damaged, lonely, and vulnerable. And the plot is a realistic, moving story about familial drama, exploitation, loneliness, self-preservation, coming-of-age, and the unrelenting pressure of fame and fortune.

Overall, Every Little Piece of Me is a sensitive, heartwrenching, timely tale that does a remarkable job of highlighting the detrimental effects of reality tv and technology on the human psyche and reminds us that even in this high-tech, digital world we still have an innate requirement for kindness, interaction, companionship, intimacy, and love that’s created and nurtured offline.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                    

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amy Jones

AMY JONES's first novel, We're All in This Together, was a national bestseller, won the Northern Lit Award, and was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Her debut collection of stories, What Boys Like, won the Metcalf-Rooke Award and was a finalist for the ReLit Award. She won the 2006 CBC Literary Prize for Short Fiction, was a finalist for the 2005 Bronwen Wallace Award, and is a graduate of the Optional Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Her fiction has appeared in Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Stories. Originally from Halifax, she lived in Thunder Bay for many years before moving to Toronto.

Photo by Ali Eisner.

#BookReview
Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand
@elinhilderbrand @littlebrown

#BookReview Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrownTitle: Summer of '69

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Published by: Little Brown and Company on June 18, 2019

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Little Brown and Company, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century! It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket: but this year Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, a nursing student, is caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests, a passion which takes her to Martha’s Vineyard with her best friend, Mary Jo Kopechne. Only son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother who is hiding some secrets of her own. As the summer heats up, Teddy Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, a man flies to the moon, and Jessie experiences some sinking and flying herself, as she grows into her own body and mind.

In her first “historical novel,” rich with the details of an era that shaped both a country and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again proves her title as queen of the summer novel.


Review:

Relevant, vivid, and absorbing!

Summer of ’69 is a nostalgic, domestic tale that takes us back to the idyllic island of Nantucket during a year when Vietnam was still raging, and Apollo 11 was finally going to put men on the moon, and into the lives of the blended Foley-Levin family as they navigate a summer of revelations, change, and new additions.

The writing is expressive and polished. The characters are genuine, troubled, and sympathetic. And the spirited plot is a delightful mix of summer fun, heartbreak, coming-of-age, secrets, wartime worries, adultery, racial segregation, women’s rights, and fresh starts.

Overall, Summer of ’69 is once again a beguiling, heartfelt, must-read summer tale by Hilderbrand that highlights the power of family and reminds us that even though we’ve come so far, in some respects we still have a long way to go.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                           

 

 

Thank you to Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is a mother of three, an avid runner, reader, and traveler, and the author of twenty-three novels. She grew up outside Philadelphia, and has lived on Nantucket for more than twenty years.

#BookReview
The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley
@marissastapley @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley @marissastapley @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Last Resort

Author: Marissa Stapley

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on June 18, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The Harmony Resort promises hope for struggling marriages. Run by celebrity power couple Drs. Miles and Grace Markell, the “last resort” offers a chance for partners to repair their relationships in a luxurious setting on the gorgeous Mayan Riviera.

Johanna and Ben have a marriage that looks perfect on the surface, but in reality, they don’t know each other at all. Shell and Colin fight constantly: after all, Colin is a workaholic, and Shell always comes second to his job as an executive at a powerful mining company. But what has really torn them apart is too devastating to talk about. When both couples begin Harmony’s intensive therapy program, it becomes clear that Harmony is not all it seems—and neither are Miles and Grace themselves. What are they hiding, and what price will these couples pay for finding out?

As a deadly tropical storm descends on the coast, trapping the hosts and the guests on the resort, secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested and not one single person—or their marriage—will remain unchanged by what follows.


Review:

Sinuous, compelling, and timely!

The Last Resort is an ominous, character-driven novel that takes us to the idyllic Harmony Resort where the illustrious marriage counsellors Miles and Grace Markell are once again ready to help another group of struggling couples find their way back to each other. But like most things involving money, power, and privilege everything is not always as it seems, and hidden away behind those polished, flawless exteriors lies an abundance of lies, secrets, adultery, greed, abuse, subjugation, and manipulation.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are troubled, deceptive, and vulnerable. And the plot, including all the subplots, keep you engrossed from start to finish with a multitude of twists, turns, obsession, deception, jealousy, familial drama, revelations, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Last Resort is an atmospheric, intricately woven, engrossing mystery by Stapley that is highly entertaining and devilishly satisfying.

 

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                   

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Marissa Stapley

Marissa Stapley is the Globe and Mail bestselling author of the novel Mating for Life, and the forthcoming Things to Do When It’s Raining. She writes the commercial fiction review column “Shelf Love” for the Globe and Mail, reports on books and culture for the Toronto Star, and lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Best of Crimes by K.C. Maher
@kcmaher3 @RedDoorBooks #thebestofcrimes

#BlogTour #BookReview The Best of Crimes by K.C. Maher @kcmaher3 @RedDoorBooks #thebestofcrimesTitle: The Best of Crimes

Author: K.C. Maher

Published by: RedDoor Publishing on May 9, 2019

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: RedDoor Publishing

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Walter, a child prodigy who now works on Wall Street, considers himself a father figure to Amanda, his daughter’s best friend and only child of a neglectful single mother. But when he loses his job after the 2008 financial crisis and his materialistic wife leaves him, taking their daughter, his relationship with Amanda enters a precarious new stage.

Walter struggles to give her the affection and guidance she needs, without succumbing to her budding sexuality. In the year before she enters high school, these two lonely souls will transform each other as Walter breaks out of his emotional shell, and Amanda blossoms into adolescence.

In a world that has always failed to protect its most vulnerable, The Best of Crimes is a new narrative and an unconventional love story that will challenge your perception of right and wrong.


Review:

Unsettling, thought-provoking, and controversial!

The Best of Crimes is a fascinating, pensive tale that takes you into the life of Walter Mitchell, a thirty-three-year-old prodigy who finds himself struggling to control his strong, inappropriate, emotional attachment to his daughter’s thirteen-year-old best friend.

The prose is fluid and precise. The characters are lonely, vulnerable, and sympathetic. And the plot chronologically unfolds into a tempestuous journey of love, life, heartbreak, infidelity, familial dynamics, psychological conflict, and forbidden love.

Ultimately, The Best of Crimes is a unique, intriguing, beautifully written tale by Maher that sensitively explores the ethical and moral fine line between right and wrong, and does an exceptional job of posing the question does intention make someone guilty of a crime even if a crime is not actually committed.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

 

Thank you to RedDoor Publishing and K.C. Maher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About K.C. Maher

K.C. Maher’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals including Ascent, Black Warrior Review, Confrontation, Cottonwood, Gargoyle, and The View From Here. Her work has reached short-list status in various contests, including the Iowa School of Letters Award and Drue Heinz Literature Prize. The is her debut novel. She is mother to two children and lives in New York City with her husband.

 

 

 

For more information on Red Door Publishing visit them at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

#BookReview
Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner
@JamieLBrenner @littlebrown

#BookReview Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner @JamieLBrenner @littlebrownTitle: Drawing Home

Author: Jamie Brenner

Published by: Little Brown and Company on May 7, 2019

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Little Brown and Company, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

An unexpected inheritance, a promise broken, and four lives changed forever: the newest page-turner from USA Today bestselling author Jamie Brenner.

Summer has started in idyllic Sag Harbor, and for Emma Mapson that means greeting guests at the front desk of The American Hotel. But when one of the town’s most famous residents, artist Henry Wyatt, dies suddenly, Emma learns he has mysteriously left his waterfront home – a self-designed masterpiece filled with his work – to her teenage daughter, Penny.

Back in Manhattan, legendary art patron Bea Winstead’s grief at her lifelong friend and former business partner Henry’s passing turns to outrage at the news of his shocking bequest. How did these unknown locals get their hands on the estate? Bea, with her devoted assistant Kyle in tow, descends on Sag Harbor determined to reclaim the house and preserve Henry’s legacy.

While Emma fights to defend her daughter’s inheritance, Bea discovers that Henry left a treasure trove of sketches scattered around town. With Penny’s reluctant help, Bea pieces them together to find a story hidden in plain sight: an illustration of their shared history with an unexpected twist that will change all of their lives.

Drawn together in their battle for the house, Emma and Bea are forced to confront the past while facing a future that challenges everything they believe about love, fate, and family.


Review:

Heart-tugging, tender, and sincere!

Drawing Home is an uplifting, engaging tale that takes us to Sag Harbor and into the life of Emma Mapson as she juggles all sorts of highs and lows, including single motherhood, an unexpected inheritance left to her teenage daughter, an ex who suddenly reappears out of nowhere, and an elderly woman determined to contest the final wishes of her oldest friend.

The prose is immersive and expressive. The characters are well-drawn, troubled, likeable, and genuine. And the plot is a wonderful mix of life, loss, forgiveness, grief, love, familial drama, friendship, community, contentment, coming-of-age, and art.

Overall, Drawing Home is another lighthearted, beautiful, beach read by Brenner that mixes a side of mystery with her innate ability to delve into all the psychological and emotional entanglements found in nuclear families.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                             

 

 

Thank you to Little, Brown and Company and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jamie Brenner

Jamie Brenner was born and raised in suburban Philadelphia but has called New York City her home for the past twenty years. She graduated from George Washington University with a degree in literature and spent her career in publishing before becoming an author herself. Her books include The Gin Lovers, The Wedding Sisters. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.

#BookReview
Normal People by Sally Rooney
#sallyrooney @HogarthBooks @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Normal People by Sally Rooney #sallyrooney @HogarthBooks @PenguinRandomCATitle: Normal People

Author: Sally Rooney

Published by: Hogarth on April 16, 2019

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Connell Waldron is one of the most popular boys in his small-town high school–he is a star of the football team, an excellent student, and never wanting for attention from girls. The one thing he doesn’t have is money. Marianne Sheridan, a classmate of Connell’s, has the opposite problem. Marianne is plain-looking, odd, and stubborn, and while her family is well-off, she has no friends to speak of. There is, however, a deep and undeniable connection between the two teenagers, one that develops into a secret relationship.

Everything changes when both Connell and Marianne are accepted to Trinity College. Suddenly Marianne is well-liked and elegant, holding court with her intellectual friends while Connell hangs at the sidelines, not quite as fluent in language of the elite. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle each other, falling in and out of romance but never straying far from where they started. And as Marianne experiments with an increasingly dangerous string of boyfriends, Connell must decide how far he is willing to go to save his oldest friend.

Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a novel that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the inescapable challenges of family and friendships. Normal People is a book that you will read in one sitting, and then immediately share with your friends.


Review:

Fresh, intense, and intimate!

Normal People is a character-driven, classic, coming-of-age story involving the clever, wealthy Marianne and the intelligent, working-class Connell as they embark on an enduring love affair littered with misunderstandings, betrayals, overreactions, and, ultimately, broken hearts.

The prose is evocative and controlled. The characters, including the damaged, lonely protagonists, are young, innocent, and vulnerable. And the tightly crafted, witty plot unfolds chronologically seamlessly unravelling all the motivations, actions, personalities, desires, needs, and complex relationships within it.

Overall, Normal People is a sensitive, adept, passionate tale that does a remarkable job of highlighting all the universal struggles of growing up, acquiring self-confidence, forging friendships, experiencing love and lust for the first time, and feeling entitled to be loved.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney was born in the west of Ireland in 1991. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta and The London Review of Books. Winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award in 2017, she is the author of Conversations with Friends and the editor of the Irish literary journal The Stinging Fly.

%d bloggers like this: