Nora Webster by Colm Toibin
I read his book Brooklyn (like the movie) and really liked it. This one wasn’t quite as great. Nora is recently widowed. She has two boys at home and two older girls who are away at home. It’s the late 60’s/early 70’s in Ireland. This is mostly about her dealing with the day to day after her husband’s death. She has to go back to work, her boys are having issues, and one of her daughters is involved with the protests. As time goes on, she starts to put herself out there and make friends. This wasn’t a bad book, just slow moving and kinda bland, so much that I read another book in the middle of this one and I never do that.
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
If you liked Where’d You Go, Bernadette, you’ll like this one. It reminded me of Bernadette in many ways. Based in Seattle, Eleanor tries to do better and not let things go, but it’s hard. Then she stops by her husband’s office one day and finds he has told his staff he’s on vacation. He’s not though. She’s convinced he’s cheating, vows to have more sex with him, and goes on a man hunt to find him. She does, and it’s almost worse than she thought. Lots of similarities to Bernadette, but I still really enjoyed it.
The Girl From Venice by Martin Cruz Smith
An Italian fisherman finds a dead girl one night while out on his boat. She ends up not being dead, is Jewish, and on the run from the Nazi’s. He hides her and in trying to help her stay out of the Germans hands, he discovers what his movie star brother really does, meets new characters, learns about forgery, loses the girl, finds her again, and realizes his feelings for her. This took me a bit to get in to. It wasn’t great, but it was good. It was a different WWII book than what I usually read, as this was more about Mussolini than Hitler.
The Regulars by Georgia Clark
I loved this! I thought it was going to be pure fluff, but it was so much better. Three women in New York. They are all average. Average faces, average bodies. One works in the magazine world, one an aspiring actress, and they see what life would be like if they were prettier and had better figures. They come upon a potion that turns them pretty. Not just pretty, but gorgeous and perfect bodies. The potion only lasts a week though. In that time, they take on what they think they’ve always wanted, but they also destroy what they had. They all learn their lessons, in different ways, and while they love their new exterior selves, they also realize it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The potion thing was well written. It could have been really cheesy, but it worked somehow.
The Lake House by Kate Morton
Everyone seemed to recommend The Secret Keeper and I read it last month. I think this was better. Alice lives on her family’s estate. She’s got the perfect life with her family. After a midsummer’s party though, her baby brother goes missing. The family moves to London and never returns. Modern day Alice is a crime writer and has been for years. She’s contacted by police detective Sadie who hears about the cold case and starts investigating on her own time. She comes up with theory after theory, then after meeting Alice, they both set out to find the truth. This one was easier to figure out than The Secret Keeper, but I do think I liked it more.
Room by Emma Donoghue
I read one of her’s a couple months ago and someone mentioned Room to me. I hadn’t heard of it, even though now I see it everywhere. I hadn’t even heard of the movie. 5 year old Jack lives with his mom in Room. It’s all he’s ever known and he’s happy there. They live there though because his mom was kidnapped and he was born from her rape. She devises a plan for them to escape, it works, and then Jack is thrown into Outside. He is confused by so much, but slowly learns to adjust. It’s told from his point of view, so there isn’t details of things like there would be if it was from his mom’s point of view. This one is must read too.
First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
I enjoy my romances, especially when they are well written. Phillips have always been good and funny. This is another in the Chicago Stars series, focusing on retired quarterback Cooper Graham. He is being followed by Piper Dove, a PI. She won’t say why and she won’t leave him alone. There’s side plots, but ultimately someone is after him, she knows it and is trying to figure out, they fall for each other, you know the deal. I really like her books though. After finishing this one, I decided that I need to re-read all the Chicago Stars books, but my library only has two. Don’t think I haven’t read them again though.