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What I’ve Read Lately

Today I’m back with my first book post of 2019! I hardly was able to read in December so it’s been a bit since I’ve gathered enough titles to share with you all. In case you’re new around here, you can see previous book reviews here. I read 8 books over January and February so let’s dive in. There were a few really good ones!

Where The Crawdads Sing

Summary: This is the story of Kya, a girl who grew up in a marsh after her mother abandons her family and, one by one, her siblings and father abandon her too. She lives outside of a bigger city, and run-ins with the town people are few and far between. Over the years, she develops relationships with 2 men, and after 1 is murdered, a bounty of secrets emerge and you learn about what the future holds for Kya.

Would I Recommend It: This book was brilliantly written and so hard to put down. The prose was eloquent and the characters were described so carefully that you could easily picture both them and their surroundings. The story is heartbreaking and beautiful and, without giving too much away, an amazing story of love and strength and the power that lies within your own self. I could not recommend this more.

Sundays at Tiffany’s

Summary:  Jane Margaux is a lonely little girl. Her mother, a powerful Broadway producer, rarely makes time for her, so instead, Jane has only one friend: a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael. He’s perfect. But only she can see him. As Jane grows up, and develops relationships of her own, Michael is suddenly back in her life and she must decipher what is real and what is imaginary.

Would I Recommend It: I had been on a suspense/crime novel binge, and wanted something light and airy so I gave this a go. It’s a super easy read and equal parts cheesy and cute [it did become a Lifetime movie after all!]. If you need a quick read that is charming and fun, give this a try.


All We Ever Wanted

Summary:  Nina lives the quintessential Southern charmed life with her uber-rich husband Kirk and their spoiled son Finch who is on his way to Princeton in the fall. One night, Finch makes a horrible decision that causes their lives to intertwine with single dad Tom and his impressionable daughter Lyla. This story shows the lengths parents will go to for their children and how 30 seconds can change the course of many lives.

Would I Recommend It: I was a big fan of Something Borrowed by this author [and loved the movie!], so I was really looking forward to this. I was pleasantly surprised that this book had a deeper subject matter and therefore was less of a “beach read” and more of an involved novel. This book was FANTASTIC. I devoured it in two days. The writing is so realistic and I was immediately drawn into Nina’s world, and I loved how the story moved among the characters so you could see everyone’s point of view. Especially in today’s moral and political climate, this story is so relevant and your heart breaks for [nearly] everyone involved. Especially as a boy mom, the ending had me in absolute tears. I highly, highly recommend this book.

The Birth House

Summary:  This is the story of Dora Rare, the first of 5 girls in her family, and her life as a mid-wife apprentice to the outspoken Miss Babineau. Dora learns to assist the women of an isolated Nova Scotian village through infertility, difficult labors, breech births, unwanted pregnancies, and unfulfilling sex lives. During the WWI, the arrival of a brash new medical doctor and his promises of progress and fast, painless childbirth put Dora and Miss B’s practice in jeopardy. Going head to head with the new doctor in town, Dora fights to protect women’s rights and all that Miss B has taught her.

Would I Recommend It: This book was definitely different for me, but I really enjoyed it. It was interesting to hear about all that goes into midwifing and I loved diving into the relationships that Dora has, whether she chose them or they were forced upon her. It was a great “girl power” message and a unique read. Especially if you’re a mother, this book will touch you.

The Subway Girls

Summary:  This is the story of two strong women, Charlotte and Olivia, who are 2 generations apart, yet find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition. This revolves around the Miss Subways campaign, that over time, will shape the lives of both of these women.

Would I Recommend It: 100% YES! I had no idea I would love this book so much. It was an absolute delight and I loved that because each chapter alternated between Olivia and Charlotte, I was dying to turn the pages to see where the other left off. It almost had a similar vibe to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo [which I also adored]. Charlotte had this way about her that reminded me of Midge Maisel, another perk. This was heart-warming and inspiring, and these two women are such a reminder that it is totally okay to live life on your own terms. There was a quote in it that stuck with me so much and it said “this was what it felt like to finally be the author of your own precious life”. I don’t want to say much more without giving anything away, but this book truly captivated me and I definitely recommend it. It’s fun but thought-provoking, juicy but sweet. I loved it.

OK, Mr. Field

Summary:  This is the story of Mr. Field, who wants a new life. His career as a concert pianist in London ends when he is in a horrific train accident. The accident splinters his left wrist, so on a whim, he uses his compensation money to buy a house he has seen only once in a photograph, a replica of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye on a stretch of coast outside Cape Town. Mr. Field and his wife Mim go to the house in the hopes to find happiness. But as time passes, the house begins to have a disturbing effect on Mr. Field. When his wife inexplicably leaves him, Mr. Field can’t even go search for her because he is so bogged down by the demons in the house. Alone, he finds himself unglued from reality and possessed by a longing for a perverse kind of intimacy, which causes him to come dangerously close to someone from the past.

Would I Recommend It: This book was weird. I needed a quick read and wanted something different, so I grabbed this off the “new in” shelf at the library. It was definitely a short read, and the twists and turns were certainly alluring. I almost felt creepy reading this book, like I was the fly on the wall in the house. I think that’s the intrigue of the author’s writing. It seems like you’re spying in on something you shouldn’t see. If you look quirky, suspenseful, psychological thrillers, you may like this. But I’d recommend many other books before this one.

Verity

Summary: Lowen Ashleigh is down on her luck with the recent passing of her mother and subsequent eviction of her apartment. Surprisingly, a very gracious offer to ghostwrite the final 3 novels of now-injured Verity Crawford’s best-selling series falls into her lap. She moves into Verity’s home with her husband Jeremy and uncovers more secrets than she can handle as she’s researching for the books.

Would I Recommend It: Oh my GOD this book consumed me. I finished it in two sittings because I just couldn’t put it down. Without giving anything away, this book is gritty, disturbing, shocking, and totally addicting. The end blew my mind and I know I’ll be thinking of this one for a while. If you want a crazy thriller to dive into, get your hands on this ASAP. Just, wow.

The Couple Next Door

Summary: Anne and Marco are having a seemingly innocent dinner party with their neighbors when their baby daughter is stolen out of her crib in the middle of the night. What then ensues is a tangle of familial lies, deception, truths, and chaos as they search for their little girl.

Would I Recommend It: This was another book that I finished it in two sittings because I just couldn’t put it down. It’s best to go into this with little to no information about what will happen and just be shocked by the twists and turns. The writing was gripping and you couldn’t wait for the next secret to be exposed. The way everything intertwined was fascinating and proves you really never know what is going on behind closed doors. If you’re a thriller lover, definitely read this one.

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