Genre: General Fiction

#BookReview The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz @CeladonBooks #TheLatecomerBook #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

#BookReview The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz @CeladonBooks #TheLatecomerBook #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner Title: The Latecomer

Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz

Published by: Celadon Books on May 31, 2022

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Celadon Books

Book Rating: 8/10

The Latecomer follows the story of the wealthy, New York City-based Oppenheimer family, from the first meeting of parents Salo and Johanna, under tragic circumstances, to their triplets born during the early days of IVF. As children, the three siblings – Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally – feel no strong familial bond and cannot wait to go their separate ways, even as their father becomes more distanced and their mother more desperate. When the triplets leave for college, Johanna, faced with being truly alone, makes the decision to have a fourth child. What role will the “latecomer” play in this fractured family?

A complex novel that builds slowly and deliberately, The Latecomer touches on the topics of grief and guilt, generational trauma, privilege and race, traditions and religion, and family dynamics. It is a profound and witty family story from an accomplished author, known for the depth of her character studies, expertly woven storylines, and plot twists.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Latecomer is a layered and immersive literary novel about three siblings, desperate to escape one another, and the upending of their family by the late arrival of a fourth.


Review:

Sincere, simmering, and dramatic!

The Latecomer is a layered, compelling, multi-generational story that delves into the complex bonds and emotional scars that can exist between family members and immerses you in a tale about discovering one’s true self, confronting the past, accepting the things you cannot change, learning to heal, and moving on.

The prose is nuanced and fluid. The characters are conflicted, self-absorbed, and bitter. And the plot told from multiple POVs is an intriguing tale about life, loss, secrets, resentment, privilege, race, individuality, sexuality, infidelity, fertility, acceptance, forgiveness, friendship, and family drama.

Overall, The Latecomer is a rich, immersive, character-driven tale by Korelitz that reminded me that life is complicated, challenging, messy, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other special, defining moments that happen in-between.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Celadon Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jean Hanff Korelitz

Jean Hanff Korelitz is the author of the novels You Should Have Known (which aired on HBO in October 2020 as The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, and Donald Sutherland), Admission (adapted as a film in 2013 starring Tina Fey), The Devil and Webster, The White Rose, The Sabbathday River and A Jury of Her Peers, as well as Interference Powder, a novel for children. Her company BOOKTHEWRITER hosts Pop-Up Book Groups in which small groups of readers discuss new books with their authors. She lives in New York City with her husband, Irish poet Paul Muldoon.

Photo by Michael Avedon.

#BlogTour #BookReview The Lost Storyteller by Amanda Block @ACBlockAuthor @Mobius_Books @HodderBooks #TheLostStoryteller #AmandaBlock #MobiusBooksUS

#BlogTour #BookReview The Lost Storyteller by Amanda Block @ACBlockAuthor @Mobius_Books @HodderBooks #TheLostStoryteller #AmandaBlock #MobiusBooksUS Title: The Lost Storyteller

Author: Amanda Block

Published by: Hodder And Stoughton Ltd. on May 10, 2022

Genres: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Mobius Books US

Book Rating: 9/10

Rebecca hasn’t seen her father Leo since she was six. Her family never talk about him, and she has long since pushed him firmly to the back of her mind. All she knows is that, once upon a time, he was a well-loved children’s TV star.

But when a journalist turns up uninvited at her office, asking questions about her once-famous father, Rebecca starts to wonder whether there is more to Leo’s absence than she realised. Then, looking for answers, she unearths a book of fairy tales written by Leo and dedicated to her – but what use are children’s stories to her now, all these years later?

Tentatively, Rebecca tries to piece together her father’s life, from the people he used to know and her own hazy memories. Yet her mind keeps returning to the magical, melancholic fairy tales, which seem to contain more truth than make-believe. Perhaps they are the key to unlocking the mystery of her father, the lost storyteller; to revealing who he was, what he went through – and even where he might be now…


Review:

Imaginative, mysterious, and moving!

The Lost Storyteller is a captivating, beguiling tale that sweeps you away to the UK and into the life of Rebecca Chase, a young woman who, after being contacted by Ellis Bailey, a journalist hoping to write an article about her father who starred in the successful children’s program, The Stowaway, until the late 1990s when after two seasons he vanished without a trace, decides to join forces with him to finally discover what really happened to her beloved father she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl and who actually left her a book of fairy tales that has been hidden by her maternal grandmother for many years and which may hold all the clues she’ll ever need to find him.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are multilayered, apprehensive, and determined. And the plot is a tender tale about life, loss, family, friendship, secrets, attraction, self-discovery, mental illness, special moments, forgiveness, contentment, taking chances, and the enchantment of fairy tales.

Overall, The Lost Storyteller is a heart-tugging, absorbing, magical debut by Block that highlights the unconditional, everlasting love that exists between a parent and a child and is a beautiful reminder of the importance and power of stories.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to Mobius Books US for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amanda Block

Originally from Devon, Amanda moved to Edinburgh in 2007, where she attained a master’s degree in creative writing. Since then, she’s divided her time between ghostwriting, editing and tutoring.

Amanda’s writing is often inspired by myths and fairy tales, which she uses as starting points to tell new stories. Her work has been shortlisted in contests such as the Bridport Prize and the Mslexia Short Story Competition. The Lost Storyteller is her first novel.

 

#BookReview Honor by Thrity Umrigar @ThrityUmrigar @AlgonquinBooks @ThomasAllenLTD #Honor #ThrityUmrigar

#BookReview Honor by Thrity Umrigar @ThrityUmrigar @AlgonquinBooks @ThomasAllenLTD #Honor #ThrityUmrigar Title: Honor

Author: Thrity Umrigar

Published by: Algonquin Books on Jan. 4, 2022

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 326

Format: Hardcover

Source: Thomas Allen & Son

Book Rating: 10/10

In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.

Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena—a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man—Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one’s own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita’s own past. While Meena’s fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.

In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.


Review:

Tragic, thought-provoking, and affecting!

Honor is a powerful, riveting, emotionally-charged novel that sweeps you away to present-day India and into the lives of a handful of people, including Smita Agarwal, an Indian American journalist who, after being shamed as a child and adamant she would never set foot in India ever again, finds herself travelling back to the country of her youth to cover the harrowing story of Meena Mustafa, a young Hindu girl who, after falling for and marrying a man of Muslim faith, endures horrific familial violence, shoulders extreme grief, and sacrifices everything she has all in the name of “Honor.”

The prose is lyrical and expressive. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are vulnerable, conflicted, and scarred. And the plot is a profoundly moving tale of life, loss, shame, misogyny, ostracism, class division, poverty, desperation, corruption, suffering, courage, friendship, and forbidden love.

Overall, Honor will make you think, it will break your heart, and it will resonate with you long after the final page. It’s a powerful, hopeful, enthralling tale by Umrigar that uses exquisite character development to weave a transformative exploration with a beautiful, bittersweet story of female friendship all steeped in an abundance of violence and pain.

This book is available now. 

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Thrity Umrigar

Thrity Umrigar is the bestselling author of eight novels, including The Space Between Us, which was a finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, as well as a memoir and three picture books. Her books have been translated into several languages and published in more than fifteen countries. She is the winner of a Lambda Literary Award and a Seth Rosenberg Award and is Distinguished Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. A recipient of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard, she has contributed to the Boston Globe , the Washington Post, the New York Times and Huffington Post.

Photo courtesy of algonquin.com.

#BookReview Night Road by Kristin Hannah @StMartinsPress #NightRoadNovel #KristinHannah #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Night Road by Kristin Hannah @StMartinsPress #NightRoadNovel #KristinHannah #StMartinsPress #SMPInfluencers Title: Night Road

Author: Kristin Hannah

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 4, 2022

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 10/10

Life comes down to a series of choices.

To hold on…

To let go…to forget…to forgive…

Which road will you take?

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close-knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids out of harm’s way. But senior year of high school tests them all. It’s a dangerous, explosive season of drinking, driving, parties, and kids who want to let loose. And then on a hot summer’s night, one bad decision is made. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, Night Road raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.


Review:

Beautiful, tragic, and incredibly heart-wrenching!

Night Road is a pensive, poignant, emotionally-charged novel that takes you into the lives of a handful of people, including eighteen-year-old Lexi Baill, whose worlds become irrevocably changed and shattered one summer day when a fatal accident leaves some devastated by loss, some overwhelmingly consumed with guilt, and some haunted and struggling to survive the inevitable repercussions and fallout that follows.

The prose is sobering and expressive. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are complex, consumed, and tormented. And the plot is an exceptionally absorbing tale of life, loss, love, family, friendship, grief, guilt, denial, secrets, heartache, parenthood, and redemption.

Overall, Night Road made me think, it made me cry, and it resonated with me as a daughter, sister, and mother long after I turned the final page. It’s an enthralling, impactful, hopeful story by Hannah that once again interwove her signature exceptional character development with a bittersweet, immersive, heartbreaking love story steeped in an abundance of tragedy and pain.

This new paperback copy is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to St. Martins Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristin Hannah

KRISTIN HANNAH is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including The Nightingale, The Great Alone, and The Four Winds. A former lawyer turned writer, she lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.

Photo by Kevin Lynch.

#BookReview Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA @librofm #CloudCuckooLand #AnthonyDoerr #Librofm

#BookReview Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA @librofm #CloudCuckooLand #AnthonyDoerr #Librofm Title: Cloud Cuckoo Land

Author: Anthony Doerr

Published by: Scribner on Sep. 28, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 640

Length: 14 hrs 51 mins

Format: ARC, Audiobook, Paperback

Source: Libro.fm, Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.


Review:

Magical, memorable, and uniquely beautiful!

Cloud Cuckoo Land is a creative, moving, enthralling novel that sweeps you back and forth from the fifteenth century to the 1950s, to the present day and beyond and introduces you to five people whose lives are inexplicably impacted and changed based on their appreciation and love for an ancient manuscript, written by a Greek scholar, about a shepherd whose greatest desire is to escape to the sky.

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are adventurous, inquisitive, and intelligent. And the compelling plot is an intricately woven, epic saga that touches on life, solace, innocence, sacrifice, imagination, survival, morality, and the power of the written word to guide, teach, fascinate, entertain, instil hope, and at its base level transcend time and space to entwine us all.

Cloud Cuckoo Land is another large novel by Doerr, with over 600 pages, but it is so remarkably immersive, affecting, and well written that before you know it, the story is finished, and you’re yearning for more. As some of you may know, I’m not a huge fan of science fiction, so I was a little worried at the start, but after receiving both the audio and paperback versions of this book and being able to enjoy them both, I can honestly say that this is one of the most enthralling novels I’ve read in a long time, and I was blown away by how effortlessly this novel transitions between the three distinct storylines and how powerfully moving and impactful it turned out to ultimately be.

This novel is available on September 28, 2021.

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

              

 

 

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

 

About Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr is the author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Alex Award, and a #1 New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

Photo by Ulf Andersen.

#BookReview All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle @mikegayle @GrandCentralPub #AlltheLonelyPeople #MikeGayle #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle @mikegayle @GrandCentralPub #AlltheLonelyPeople #MikeGayle #GrandCentralPub Title: All the Lonely People

Author: Mike Gayle

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Jul. 13, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

If you loved A Man Called Ove, then prepare to be delighted as Jamaican immigrant Hubert rediscovers the world he’d turned his back on, in a novel that is “warm, funny, and gives you all the feels” (Good Housekeeping).

In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfillment. But it’s a lie. In reality, Hubert’s days are all the same, dragging on without him seeing a single soul.

Until he receives some good news — good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on. The news that his daughter is coming for a visit.

Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out.
Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship, and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . .

Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he’s pretended to have for so long?


Review:

Powerful, poignant, and memorable!

All the Lonely People is a nostalgic, touching novel that takes us into the lives of three main characters; Hubert Bird, a kind-hearted, Jamaican widow whose loneliness is palpable and who spends the better part of his days in companionable silence with his beloved cat, Puss; Ashleigh, a friendly, determined, young mother living in a new place with no family or friends nearby to turn to; and Jan, an elderly woman with a heart of gold who not only spends her time having a little fun but helping anyone in need.

The prose is eloquent and reflective. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are unique, endearing, multi-layered, and warm. And the plot, alternating between “Now” and “Then,” is a beautiful tale of friendship, happiness, kindness, generosity, loss, grief, solace, forgiveness, honesty, humour, unconditional love, growing old, and the true meaning of family.

Overall, All the Lonely People is a moving, delightful, exceptional story by Gayle that will make you laugh, make you cry and is hands down one of my favourite reads of the year that, in my opinion, everyone should read at least once.

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mike Gayle

Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham, UK. After earning a Sociology degree, he moved to London to become a journalist and ended up as an advice columnist for a teenage girls’ magazine before becoming Features Editor for another teen magazine. He has written for a variety of publications including the Sunday Times, the Guardian, and Cosmo. Mike became a full-time novelist in 1997 and has written thirteen novels, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. After stints in London and Manchester, Mike now resides in Birmingham with his wife, two kids, and a rabbit.

#BookReview The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison @NicolaHAuthor @StMartinsPress #ShowGirlNovel #NicolaHarrison #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison @NicolaHAuthor @StMartinsPress #ShowGirlNovel #NicolaHarrison #SMPInfluencers Title: The Show Girl

Author: Nicola Harrison

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Aug. 10, 2021

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

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

It’s 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more–even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way.

Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy–the only man she’s ever met who seems to accept her modern ways–her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.


Review:

Stylish, dramatic, and absorbing!

The Show Girl is a captivating, passionate, coming-of-age tale that takes you into the life of Olive McCormick, an unwed, determined young woman, who after being tricked into sexual relations and having to regretfully give up her baby girl for adoption, moves from Minneapolis to Manhattan to reinvent herself, forget the past, and hopefully, achieve her dreams of becoming a famous performer for a successful, vaudeville-inspired show running in NYC.

The prose is eloquent and fluid. The characters are well-drawn, genuine, and endearing. And the story sweeps you away to New York during the 1920s when women were gaining independence and cutting their hair short, prohibition was in full force, and the Ziegfeld Follies was the place to be with its lavish sets, elaborate costumes, high-class productions, and beautiful chorus girls.

Overall, The Show Girl is ultimately a story about friendship, loyalty, familial relationships, secrets, prosperity, ambition, life, loss, and love. It’s a vivid, rich, engaging tale by Harrison that has just the right amount of drama, romance, and intrigue to be a satisfying, highly entertaining treat for historical fiction lovers everywhere.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nicola Harrison

Born in England, Nicola Harrison moved to CA where she received a BA in Literature at UCLA before moving to NYC and earning an MFA in creative writing at Stony Brook. She is a member of The Writers Room, has short stories published in The Southampton Review and Glimmer Train and articles in Los Angeles Magazine and Orange Coast Magazine. She was the fashion and style staff writer for Forbes, had a weekly column at Lucky Magazine and is the founder of a personal styling business, Harrison Style.

Photo by Erwin List.

#BookReview We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange @CeladonBooks #WeAreTheBrennans #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

#BookReview We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange @CeladonBooks #WeAreTheBrennans #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner Title: We Are the Brennans

Author: Tracey Lange

Published by: Celadon Books on Aug. 3, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Celadon Books

Book Rating: 9/10

In the vein of Mary Beth Keane’s Ask Again, Yes and Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest, Tracey Lange’s We Are the Brennans explores the staying power of shame—and the redemptive power of love—in an Irish Catholic family torn apart by secrets.

When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they’ve got questions.

Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together.


Review:

Affecting, nuanced, and immersive!

We Are the Brennans is an intense, captivating, multi-generational story that delves into the complex bonds and emotional ties between family members and immerses you in a tale about confronting the past, accepting the things you cannot change, rediscovering one’s self, learning to trust, and moving on.

The prose is polished and smooth. The characters are conflicted, loyal, and scarred. And the plot told from multiple POVs is an exceptionally absorbing tale about life, loss, love, secrets, resentment, regret, acceptance, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, loneliness, miscommunication, and passion.

Overall, I found We Are the Brennans to be a beautiful mix of hope, healing, and heart that is not only a moving, emotive, stunning debut by Lange but definitely a must-read for anyone who loves a well-written, meaty family saga.

This novel is available on August 3, 2021.

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

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Celadon Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tracey Lange

Born in the Bronx and raised in Manhattan, Tracey Lange comes from a large Irish family with a few secrets of its own. She headed west and graduated from the University of New Mexico before owning and operating a behavioral healthcare company with her husband for fifteen years. While writing her debut novel, We Are the Brennans, she completed the Stanford University online novel writing program. Tracey currently lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, two sons and their German Shepherd.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy @christi_clancy @StMartinsPress #ShoulderSeason #ChristinaClancy #SMPInfluencers

#BookReview Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy @christi_clancy @StMartinsPress #ShoulderSeason #ChristinaClancy #SMPInfluencers Title: Shoulder Season

Author: Christina Clancy

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jul. 6, 2021

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

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

The small town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is an unlikely location for a Playboy Resort, and nineteen-year old Sherri Taylor is an unlikely bunny. Growing up in neighboring East Troy, Sherri plays the organ at the local church and has never felt comfortable in her own skin. But when her parents die in quick succession, she leaves the only home she’s ever known for the chance to be part of a glamorous slice of history. In the winter of 1981, in a costume two sizes too small, her toes pinched by towering stilettos, Sherri joins the daughters of dairy farmers and factory workers for the defining experience of her life.

Living in the “bunny hutch”—Playboy’s version of a college dorm, surrounded by a twelve-foot high barbed-wire fence (to keep the men out, and the girls in)—Sherri gets her education in the joys of sisterhood, the thrill of financial independence, the magic of first love, and the heady effects of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But as spring gives way to summer, Sherri finds herself caught up in a romantic triangle––and the tragedy that ensues will haunt her for the next forty years of her life.

Shoulder Season follows Sherri from her fledgling days as a bunny, when she tries to reinvent herself before she even knows who she is, to the woman she becomes years later. From the Midwestern prairie to the California desert, from Wisconsin lakes to the Pacific Ocean, this is a story of what happens when small town life is sprinkled with stardust, and what we lose—and gain—when we leave home. It’s about the brief but intoxicating experiences of our youth, and how they have the power to shape the rest of our lives. With a heroine to root for and a narrative to get lost in, Shoulder Season is a sexy, evocative tale, drenched in longing and desire, that captures a fleeting moment in American history with nostalgia and heart.


Review:

Engaging, dramatic, and informative!

Shoulder Season is an absorbing, intriguing tale that takes us to East Troy, Wisconsin during the 1980s when The Lake Geneva Playboy Club was the place to be, girls were excited for more than just marriage, and Sherri Taylor would quickly change from a naive, small-town girl to a bunny whose eyes would be opened wide to a world of sex, drugs, fortune, and fame.

The writing is vivid and expressive. The characters are young, impressionable, and impulsive. And the plot takes us from the 1980s to the present day and tells the story of a life filled with loss, love, loneliness, grief, coming-of-age, friendship, discontent, insecurity, and sexual awakening.

Overall, Shoulder Season is a captivating, candid, heartbreaking tale by Clancy that isn’t exceptionally exhilarating but is nevertheless an insightful tale that takes us back to a different era and does a wonderful job of reminding us that everyone who enters our lives, no matter how briefly, impacts, shapes, and defines it.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Christina Clancy

CHRISTINA CLANCY is the author of The Second Home. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Sun Magazine and in various literary journals, including Glimmer Train, Pleiades and Hobart. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and lives in Madison, WI with her family.

Photo by James Bartelt.

#BookReview What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster @zafatista @GrandCentralPub #NaimaCoster #WhatsMineandYours

#BookReview What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster @zafatista @GrandCentralPub #NaimaCoster #WhatsMineandYours Title: What's Mine and Yours

Author: Naima Coster

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Mar. 2, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 341

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

From the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family-and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships.

A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the span of the next twenty years.

On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee’s steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he’ll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle’s headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn’t protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie.

When Gee and Noelle join the school play meant to bridge the divide between new and old students, their paths collide, and their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives. And their mothers-each determined to see her child inherit a better life-will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come.

As love is built and lost, and the past never too far behind, What’s Mine and Yours is an expansive, vibrant tapestry that moves between the years, from the foothills of North Carolina, to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Paris. It explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.


Review:

Graceful, thought-provoking, and moving!

What’s Mine and Yours is a beautifully written, affecting tale that takes you back and forth in time and immerses you into the lives of two single-mother families as they grapple with all the secrets, wounds, smiles, tears, strength, discontent, and compassion that life seems to have handed them.

The prose is effortless and rich. The characters are authentic, angry, and raw. And the story is a touching, coming-of-age tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, race, discrimination, marital discord, courage, hope, socioeconomic disparities, and the complex dynamics that exist between family members.

Overall, What’s Mine and Yours is an insightful, nuanced, multi-generational family saga by Coster that reminds us that life is complicated, messy, challenging, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other special moments and lovely times that happen in-between.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Naima Coster

Naima Coster is the author of Halsey Street, and a finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Naima's stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Kweli, the Paris Review Daily, Catapult, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, as well as degrees from Fordham University and Yale. She has taught writing for over a decade, in community settings, youth programs, and universities. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Photo courtesy of grandcentalpublishing.com

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