Genre: General Fiction

#BookReview
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
@elinhilderbrand @littlebrown

#BookReview The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrownTitle: The Identicals

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Published by Little Brown and Company on June 13, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 432

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Little Brown and Company, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, a summertime story about identical twins who couldn’t be any less alike.

Nantucket is only two and a half hours away from Martha’s Vineyard by ferry. But the two islands might as well be worlds apart for a set of identical twin sisters who have been at odds for years. Just because twins look exactly the same doesn’t mean they’re anything alike–and Tabitha and Harper Frost have spent their whole lives trying to prove this point. When a family crisis forces them to band together–or at least appear to–the twins come to realize that the special bond that they share is more important than the resentments that have driven them apart. A story of new loves, old battles, and a threat that gives a whole new meaning to the term sibling rivalry, THE IDENTICALS is Elin Hilderbrand at her page-turning best.


Review:

Absorbing, enchanting, and absolutely irresistible!

This story is set on the picturesque islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and gives us a glimpse into small-island living, complete with alluring beaches, endless sun, infinite gossip, and competitive rivalry. It is told from three different perspectives; Harper, a free spirit who is fun and kind but often impulsive and reckless; Tabitha, Harper’s mature, responsible, workaholic identical twin who struggles with underlying grief; and Ainsley, Tabitha’s teenage daughter who is popular, spoilt and in desperate need of some additional parenting.

The writing is flawless. The plot is a perfect blend of heart, hope, angst, and drama. And the characterization is well-developed with a wonderful cast of characters, including three generations of strong, determined women who learn to embrace the future and let go of the past. 

This is, ultimately, a story about family dynamics, sister relationships, heartbreak, secrets, expectations, loss, grief, forgiveness, dreams, love, discovering one’s true self and the undeniable special bonds between twins. It is the perfect summer read. It sweeps you away to another place, gives you some tears, gives you some smiles and I absolutely adored it.

 

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 lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

#BookReview
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
@robinnelee @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Idea of You by Robinne Lee @robinnelee @StMartinsPressTitle: The Idea of You

Author: Robinne Lee

Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 13, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 372

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love. When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life, but the lives of those closest to her.


Review:

Sophisticated, alluring, and extremely passionate! 

This is a thought-provoking, intriguing novel that reminds us that women can be confident, powerful, intelligent, attractive, sexual beings at any age and that being famous often has many drawbacks.

The prose is genuine and raw. The characters are authentic, honest, multi-layered, and appealing. And the plot sweeps you away into an engaging saga about motherhood, independence, responsibility, age disparity, stardom, art, seduction, desire, lust, love and unquenchable chemistry.

This a wonderful debut for Lee. It’s an exquisite love story with palpable emotion, strong narration and an ending, which I logically understand but still wish was different, that will resonate with you long after you finish the final page. 

 

This novel is due to be published on June 13, 2017.

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 Robinne Lee

ROBINNE LEE is an actor, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Ros Bailey. Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. The Idea of You is her first novel.

#BookReview
Practicing Normal by Cara Sue Achterberg
@CaraAchterberg

#BookReview Practicing Normal by Cara Sue Achterberg @CaraAchterbergTitle: Practicing Normal

Author: Cara Sue Achterberg

Published by Story Plant on June 6, 2017

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

Pages: 336

Format: eBook

Source: Cara Sue Achterberg

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The houses in Pine Estates are beautiful McMansions filled with high-achieving parents, children on the fast track to top colleges, all of the comforts of modern living, and the best security systems money can buy. Welcome to normal upper-middle-class suburbia. The Turners know in their hearts that they’re anything but normal. Jenna is a high-schooler dressed in black who is fascinated with breaking into her neighbors’ homes, security systems be damned. Everett genuinely believes he loves his wife . . . he just loves having a continuing stream of mistresses more. JT is a genius kid with Asperger’s who moves from one obsession to the next. And Kate tries to manage her family, manage her mother (who lives down the street), and avoid wondering why her life is passing her by. And now everything is changing for them. Jenna suddenly finds herself in a boy-next-door romance she never could have predicted. Everett’s secrets are beginning to unravel on him. JT is getting his first taste of success at navigating the world. And Kate is facing truths about her husband, her mother, and her father that she might have preferred not to face. Life on Pine Road has never been more challenging for the Turners. That’s what happens when you’re practicing normal. Combining her trademark combination of wit, insight, and tremendous empathy for her characters, Cara Sue Achterberg has written a novel that is at once familiar and startlingly fresh.


Review:

Authentic, heartwarming, and intriguing!

This is a thought-provoking novel that reminds us that life is unpredictable and that when it comes to “normal” perspective is everything.

The story is told from three different points of view; Kate, a mother, wife and daughter who spends all her time and energy taking care of those around her; Jenna, a teenager struggling with hormones, individuality and new love; and Everett, a husband and father who is impatient, selfish, and too wrapped up in his own wants and needs to appreciate what’s right in front of him.

The prose is reflective and sincere. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are complex, strong, and endearing. And the plot is a compelling tale full of familial dynamics, friendship, infidelity, secrets, coming-of-age, honesty, humour, love, as well as an in-depth look into the stereotypical mentality, difficulties and extraordinary abilities that those with Asperger’s experience.

This is the second novel I’ve read by Achterberg and once again she has blown me away with this well-crafted, touching story that gives us a real, raw look into a contemporary multi-generational family.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                 

 

Thank you to Cara Sue Achterberg for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Cara Sue Achterberg

Cara Sue Achterberg is a blogger and novelist who lives on a hillside farm in South Central, Pennsylvania.

Cara’s novels, I’m Not Her (August 2015, The Story Plant) and Girls’ Weekend (May 2016, Story Plant) are both works of women’s fiction. Her upcoming novel, Practicing Normal, will be published June 2017 by The Story Plant.

Cara is also the author of Live Intentionally, a nonfiction book based on ten years of trying to shop, cook, eat, and live intentionally with kids in tow. It’s a guidebook for the organic life.

Cara is a prolific blogger and currently posts regularly two blogs which can be accessed through her website, CaraWrites.com.

Cara teaches creative writing and her essays and articles have been published in numerous anthologies, national magazines, websites, and blogs, in addition to local media.

Cara grew up in Hockessin, Delaware (and still considers Delaware the best state of all).

Cara is passionate about organic food, clean air, productive gardens, uncluttered lives, and real relationships. She is also passionate about adopting rescue dogs and currently fosters dogs and puppies for the all-breed rescue, Operation Paws for Homes.

Cara’s next project is a memoir about fostering her first fifty dogs.

When not writing or weeding (which can sometimes be one and the same), Cara enjoys running, hiking, reading, visiting Virginia wineries, and trying not to fall off her favorite horse, True.

#BookReview
The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro
@JuliaFierro @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro @JuliaFierro @StMartinsPressTitle: The Gypsy Moth Summer

Author: Julia Fierro

Published by St. Martin's Press on June 6, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 6.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

It is the summer of 1992 and a gypsy moth invasion blankets Avalon Island, an islet off the coast of Long Island. Leslie Day Marshall—only daughter of Avalon’s most prominent family—returns to live in “The Castle,” the island’s grandest 

estate. Leslie’s husband Jules is African-American, and their children biracial, and islanders from both sides of the tracks form fast and dangerous opinions about the new arrivals. 

Maddie Pencott LaRosa straddles those tracks: a teen queen with roots in the tony precincts of East Avalon and the crowded working class corner of West Avalon, home to Grudder Aviation factory, the island’s bread-and-butter. Maddie falls in love with Brooks, Leslie’s and Jules’ son, and that love feels as urgent to Maddie as the questions about the new and deadly cancers showing up across the island. 

Her upbringing on economically segregated Long Island and her fascination-followed by-heavy research into gypsy moths inspired this novel, translating her acute observations into a literary meditation on race, politics, and community. In incorporating the political tensions of the 1992 presidential election, Fierro makes powerful parallels to the 2016 presidential Clinton campaign. 

Vivid with young lovers, gangs of anxious outsiders; a plotting aged matriarch, a demented military patriarch; and a troubled young boy, THE GYPSY MOTH SUMMER is about love, gaps in understanding, and the struggle to connect: within families; among friends; between neighbors and entire generations. 


Review:

Pensive, poignant and undeniably tragic!

In this latest novel by Fierro, she transports us to Avalon Island, an islet infested by not only the gypsy moth but small-town, small-minded politics, economics, and environmental consciousness.

The prose is vivid and exquisitely descriptive. The characters are destructive, materialistic and damaged. And the plot, which is ultimately about love, life, loss, cruelty, deception, familial dynamics, and vengeance has too many subplots and tackles too many issues, including industrial pollution, social and class division and strife, abuse, racism and emerging sexuality to not get a little bogged down and awkward.

I have to admit this was a really hard one for me. There is no doubt that Fierro can write and write well and some readers will love the dark, somber feel of this story, but for me, I couldn’t quite connect with the characters and the story had too much misery and not enough redemption.

 

This book 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 Julia Fierro

JULIA FIERRO is the author of the novels The Gypsy Moth Summer and Cutting Teeth. Her work has been published in Buzzfeed, Glamour, The Millions, Poets & Writers, Time Out New York, and other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Julia founded The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop in 2002, a creative home to more than 3,500 writers in NYC, Los Angeles and Online.

#BookReview #BecomingBonnie by Jenni L. Walsh #BonnieAndClydeVersary
@jennilwalsh @forgereads

#BookReview #BecomingBonnie by Jenni L. Walsh #BonnieAndClydeVersary @jennilwalsh @forgereadsTitle: Becoming Bonnie

Author: Jenni L. Walsh

Published by Forge Books on May 9, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: Forge Books

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From debut historical novelist Jenni L. Walsh, Becoming Bonnie is the untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo!

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family’s poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas’s newest speakeasy, Doc’s.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, and embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—Bonnie tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. What she doesn’t know is that her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.

She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.

Few details are known about Bonnie’s life prior to meeting her infamous partner. In Becoming Bonnie, Jenni L. Walsh shows a young woman promised the American dream and given the Great Depression, and offers a compelling account of why she fell so hard for a convicted felon—and turned to crime herself.


Review:

This is a remarkably fascinating interpretation about the life of Bonnelyn Parker, a young, sweet, god-loving girl who became known as one of the most notorious outlaws of the 20th century. She was, ultimately, a victim of the times and longed and strived to help support and protect those she cared for.

It is a story about familial responsibilities, poverty, coming-of-age, survival, friendship, dreams, desire and love.

The prose is precise and fluid. And the story takes us back to the mid-to-late 1920s to a dusty town on the outskirts of Dallas where people worked hard but didn’t always have much, prohibition was in full force and the worst, longest and deepest economic depression was just about to hit.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this story. It is a well written, intriguing, rich story, and even though there is not much known about Bonnelyn’s early life and the events that led up to her close, intimate relationship with the fugitive Clyde Barrow, Walsh has done an exceptional job of taking historical facts and surrounding them with fiction that is both alluring and exceptionally captivating.

 

This novel is available now!

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

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Jenni L. Walsh and Forge Books for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jenni L. Walsh

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia’s countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni’s passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet.

#BookReview
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman
by Denis Thériault @PGCBooks

#BookReview The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Thériault @PGCBooksTitle: The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

Author: Denis Thériault, Liedewy Hawke

Published by Oneworld on March 14, 2017

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 137

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Bilodo lives a solitary daily life, routinely completing his postal rounds every day and returning to his empty Montreal apartment. But he has found a way to break the cycle — Bilodo has taken to stealing people’s mail, steaming open the envelopes, and reading the letters inside. And so it is he comes across Ségolène’s letters. She is corresponding with Gaston, a master poet, and their letters are each composed of only three lines. They are writing each other haikus. The simplicity and elegance of their poems move Bilado and he begins to fall in love with her. But one day, out on his round, he witnesses a terrible and tragic accident. Just as Gaston is walking up to the post-box to mail his next haiku to Ségolène, he is hit by a car and dies on the side of the road. And so Bilodo makes an extraordinary decision — he will impersonate Gaston and continue to write to Ségolène under this guise. But how long can the deception continue for? Denis Thériault weaves a passionate and elegant tale, comic and tragic with a love story at its heart.


Review:

Unique, quirky and exceptionally thought-provoking!

This is a short but poignantly sweet story about a young, content postman by the name of Bilodo who lives a simple life by day and a much more exciting though deceptive life by night as he secretly indulges in the writings of strangers and the lives and love those letters express.

The prose is exquisitely descriptive. The imagery is beyond words with metaphors and similes that ignite all the senses. And the plot is truly a well-crafted love letter to Haiku poetry, Zen philosophy and Japanese culture from the symbolic, magical kimono to ‘ensō’ the circle representing creative enlightenment all the way to the sobering yet karmic ending.

This is ultimately a story about life, love and death and although the storyline as a whole is morally questionable the writing itself is so beautiful you can’t help but be engrossed, immersed and swept away in this poetic, fable-like, love story.

 

This book is available now.

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

                                  

 

 

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

 

About Denis Thériault

Denis Thériault, romancier et scénariste, est diplômé en psychologie. Il a été quatre fois finaliste aux prix Gémeaux. Son premier roman, L’iguane (XYZ, 2001), a remporté le prix France-Québec 2001, le prix Anne-Hébert 2002, l’Odyssée 2002 et le Combat des livres 2007 de Radio-Canada. Son deuxième roman, Le facteur émotif (XYZ, 2005), a remporté le Prix littéraire Canada-Japon 2006. Ses romans sont publiés au Canada anglais, en Allemagne, en Chine et en France.

#BookReview
Mothers And Other Strangers
@ginasorell @PGCBooks

#BookReview Mothers And Other Strangers @ginasorell @PGCBooksTitle: Mothers and Other Strangers

Author: Gina Sorell

Published by Prospect Park Books on May 2, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 318

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

“My father proposed to my mother at gunpoint when she was nineteen, and knowing that she was already pregnant with a dead man’s child, she accepted.”

Thus begins this riveting story of a woman’s quest to understand her recently deceased mother, a glamorous, cruel narcissist who left her only child, Elsie, an inheritance of debts and mysteries. While coping with threats that she suspects are coming from the cult-like spiritual program her mother belonged to, Elsie works to unravel the message her dying mother left for her, a quest that ultimately takes her to the South African family homestead she never knew existed.


Review:

Heart-wrenching, engrossing and deeply moving!

This is an intriguing novel that highlights the enduring physical and psychological effects parents can have on their children and emphasizes just how important guidance, affection, respect and love are in child development.

The prose is eloquent and fluid. The characters are fragile, tormented and raw. And the plot is a subtle journey into one middle-aged, woman’s life as she tries to discover her true self and find some form of closure and happiness while piecing together all the secrets and sins of a mother she never truly knew.

Overall this is an incredibly thought-provoking, gripping, beautiful debut by Sorell that does a remarkable job of illuminating the complex bonds and emotional ties between mothers and daughters.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Gina Sorell

Born in South Africa and raised in Canada, Gina Sorell now resides in Toronto, and lives in a world of words. Some of those words are: writer, namer, creative director, artist, daughter, sister, wife and mother.
After two decades as a working actor of stage and screen in NYC, LA, and Toronto, Gina decided to return to her first love–writing, and graduated with distinction from UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Gina likes to balance out the long solitary hours of novel writing, with her work as a Creative Director of Eat My Words, a SF based branding firm, where she collaborates all day long with innovators and entrepreneurs whose identity she establishes with only one word, their name.

#BookReview
After the Fall by Julie Cohen
@julie_cohen @StMartinsPress

#BookReview After the Fall by Julie Cohen @julie_cohen @StMartinsPressTitle: After the Fall

Author: Julie Cohen

Published by St. Martin's Griffin on May 2, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the author who brought you Dear Thing, Julie Cohen, comes After the Fall — a poignant, beautifully heartbreaking novel about what it means to be family, the ties that bind us, and the secrets that threaten to tear us apart.

When an unfortunate accident forces Honor back into the lives of her widowed daughter-in-law, Jo, and her only granddaughter, Lydia, she cannot wait to be well enough to get back to her own home. However, the longer she stays with Jo and Lydia, the more they start to feel like a real family. But each of the three women is keeping secrets from the others that threaten to destroy the lives they’ve come to know.

Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.

Jo’s secret could destroy the “normal” family life she’s fought so hard to build and maintain.

Lydia’s secret could bring her love―or the loss of everything that matters most to her.

One summer’s day, grandmother, mother and daughter’s secrets will be forced out in the open in a single dramatic moment that leaves them all asking: is there such a thing as second chances?


Review:

Thought-provoking, reflective and deeply moving!

This is an intriguing novel that emphasizes the enduring mental and emotional anguish that can be caused by underlying grief, secrets, guilt, family dynamics, sexuality struggles, friendship and loneliness and emphasizes the importance of acceptance, closure, forgiveness and love.

The prose is expressive and clear. The characters are consumed, troubled, wounded and real. And the character-driven plot interweaves the lives of these three generations of women as they learn to cope, survive, support and love each other unconditionally.

This truly is an absorbing, emotional novel that is incredibly captivating and will tug at your heartstrings from start to finish.

This is the first novel I have ever read from Julie Cohen but I can tell you it definitely won’t be my last.

 

This novel is due to be published on May 2, 2017. 

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

                                            

 

 

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

 

About Julie Cohen

Julie Cohen grew up in Maine, USA, and studied English at Brown University, Rhode Island and Cambridge University in England. She moved to the UK permanently to research fairies in Victorian children’s literature at the University of Reading, and then taught English at secondary level. She now writes full time and is a popular speaker and teacher of creative writing. She lives with her husband and their son in Berkshire. She is also the author of Dear Thing and Where Love Lies.

#BookReview
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
@LizStrout @randomhouse

#BookReview Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout @LizStrout @randomhouseTitle: Anything Is Possible

Author: Elizabeth Strout

Published by Random House on April 25, 2017

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 254

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout comes a brilliant latticework of fiction that recalls Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity. Written in tandem with My Name Is Lucy Barton and drawing on the small-town characters evoked there, these pages reverberate with the themes of love, loss, and hope that have drawn millions of readers to Strout’s work.

“As I was writing My Name Is Lucy Barton,” Strout says, “it came to me that all the characters Lucy and her mother talked about had their own stories—of course!—and so the unfolding of their lives became tremendously important to me.”

Here, among others, are the “Pretty Nicely Girls,” now adults: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband, the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. Tommy, the janitor at the local high school, has his faith tested in an encounter with an emotionally isolated man he has come to help; a Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD discovers unexpected solace in the company of a lonely innkeeper; and Lucy Barton’s sister, Vicky, struggling with feelings of abandonment and jealousy, nonetheless comes to Lucy’s aid, ratifying the deepest bonds of family.

With the stylistic brilliance and subtle power that distinguish the work of this great writer, Elizabeth Strout has created another transcendent work of fiction, with characters who will live in readers’ imaginations long after the final page is turned.


Review:

Powerful, compelling and extremely thought-provoking!

In this latest novel by Strout she delves into the enduring emotional and psychological effects that socioeconomic differences, gossip and war has on some of the people we were introduced to in her previous novel “My Name is Lucy Barton” from the small town of Amgash, and highlights that every family has its struggles and life is never easy.

The characters are raw, troubled and vulnerable. The prose is sophisticated and smooth. And the plot is written in the form of nine linking stories that are full of familial drama, introspection, anger, shame, remorse, disappointment, abandonment, forgiveness, survival, support and love.

This is certainly a deeply moving novel that emphasizes just how much our childhood experiences shape us and reminds us of the importance to always believe that anything is truly possible!

 

This novel is due to be published on April 25, 2017.

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

                                          

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout is the author of several novels, including: Abide with Me, a national bestseller and BookSense pick, and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. In 2009 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book Olive Kitteridge. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker. She teaches at the Master of Fine Arts program at Queens University of Charlotte.

#BookReview
It Happens All The Time by Amy Hatvany @AmyHatvany @AtriaBooks

#BookReview It Happens All The Time by Amy Hatvany @AmyHatvany @AtriaBooksTitle: It Happens All the Time

Author: Amy Hatvany

Published by Atria Books on March 28, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Atria Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From master storyteller Amy Hatvany—whose writing has been hailed as “gripping and emotionally honest” (Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times best-selling author)—comes a provocative and compelling novel about two friends whose lives are changed by a drunken kiss.

I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.

Returning home for the summer after her college graduation, Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young, Amber kisses Tyler.

What happens next will change them forever.

In alternating points of view, It Happens All the Time examines the complexity of sexual dynamics between men and women and offers an incisive exploration of gender roles, expectations, and the ever-timely issue of consent.


Review:

Intense, emotional and extremely impactful!

This is a heartbreaking story that delves into the devastating and enduring physical and psychological effects of acquaintance rape and reminds us that sometimes good people make bad decisions and do bad things.

The story is narrated from two different perspectives and uses a past/present style to give both depth and understanding to all the relationships and connections between the characters. 

The prose flows seamlessly. The characters are young, multi-layered and sympathetic. And the plot is engrossing, fast paced and full of ups, downs, tension and drama.

This ultimately is a deeply moving story about friendship, trust, sexual dynamics, power, violence, betrayal and revenge and even though the subject matter is incredibly dark I highly recommend it.

 

This book is due to be published on March 28, 2017.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook DepositoryB&NKobo

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Atria Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amy Hatvany

Amy Hatvany was born in Seattle, WA in 1972, the youngest of three children. She graduated from Western Washington University in 1994 with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs – some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist. In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car, quit her job, and take a chance on writing books.

The literary gods took kindly to her aspirations and THE KIND OF LOVE THAT SAVES YOU was published in 2000 by Bantam Doubleday. THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was picked up by NAL in 2002. (Both titles published under "Yurk.")

Amy spends most of her time today with her second and final husband, Stephan. (Seriously, if this one doesn’t work out, she’s done.) She stays busy with her two children, Scarlett and Miles, and her “bonus child,” Anna. Their blended family also includes two four-legged hairy children, commonly known as Black Lab mutts, Kenda and Dolcé. When Amy’s not with friends or family, she is most likely reading, cooking or zoning out on certain reality television shows. Top Chef is a current favorite. She eagerly awaits auditions for the cast of “Top Author.” (“Quick Edit” instead of “Quick Fire” Challenge? C’mon, producers! That’s gripping television!)

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