Genre: Contemporary Women

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My Husband’s Wife is a Multi-Layered Psychological Thriller

February 8, 2017 Book Review, reviews 4

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

My Husband’s Wife is a Multi-Layered Psychological ThrillerMy Husband's Wife by Jane Corry
Published by Pamela Dorman Books on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 352
Source: complimentary review copy
AmazonBarnes & Noble
Goodreads

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using the link, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no cost to you.

There are times when you’ll find yourself swearing that blue is black. You’ll truly believe it yourself. We all do it. It’s not that lawyers lie. It’s that they twist the real facts to make another world that everyone else believe in, too. And who’s to say that won’t be a better world? Lily in My Husband’s Wife

A Multi-Layered Psychological Thriller

A book about the lies we tell to others and ourselves to survive this thing called life. Lily is an up-and-coming solicitor in a London firm married to Ed, a self-professed genius artist. Lily and Ed live in a small flat across the hall from Francesca and her 9-year-old daughter, Carla. When Lily is given the criminal appeal of Joe Thomas her life becomes entwined with Joe’s in a way she never imagined. In the meantime, Lily and Ed become enmeshed in the lives of their neighbors when Lily offers to watch Carla anytime Francesca needs help. Life is messy and only gets messier when lies are told and secrets are kept.

The strongest point of My Husband’s Wife is the twisting and turning plot points. There’s almost too many to keep up with, but it kept me turning the pages. The characters are not likable. Every time I thought Lily was going to redeem herself another layer of her character was exposed. Whenever I thought Carla would grow up and evolve, she surprised me with her actions once again. Told in the alternating voice of Lily and Carla, My Husband’s Wife is like an onion – layer upon layer revealed.

As the debut thriller for author Jane Corry, My Husband’s Wife is a solidly good book. Jane Corry has mastered the queer intricacies of human behavior. Secrets can (and do) have devastating consequences as revealed in My Husband’s Wife. I read somewhere that this book is comparable to a Liane Moriarty novel and can understand the comparison. Jane Corry is not the writer that Liane Moriarty is (yet), but her plotting and focus on human behavior are certainly a good comparison. I’m looking forward to watching Jane Corry’s rise in the ranks of creating compelling psychological thrillers that entertain and shock while revealing the worst in man and woman-kind!

Recommended for anyone who enjoys deeply flawed characters, layer upon layer of sub-plots, and irony – lots of irony.


 

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Thoughts on Flight Patterns

May 24, 2016 Book Review, reviews 4

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Thoughts on Flight PatternsFlight Patterns by Karen White
Published by NAL on May 24th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Southern
Pages: 416
Source: complimentary review copy
AmazonIndieBound
Goodreads

 

I’ve been a fan of Karen White’s books since Falling Home and After the Rain. She’s one of those authors that it doesn’t matter what the book is about, I’m going to buy it. My absolute favorite book of Karen White’s is On Folly Beach ~ that one was like immersing myself in dream, buying a used bookstore & living at the beach…

So about Flight Patterns. I’m not sure what went wrong with this one, but for me, I simply could not buy into the premise, the characters or even the setting. And setting is typically this author’s strong point!

What I did not love

  • Maisy. She was angry at the world, spiteful and simply not a nice person. It seemed like the author was trying to make a point with Maisy’s character and how our parents can affect us even into adulthood. I did not see any real growth in her character throughout the book. Even in the end she felt flat and one-dimensional to me – an angry, bitter person.
  • The progression of the book seemed stilted. It’s like the author threw every contrived scenario at the characters in order to create emotional drama and impact but instead, it didn’t flow with White’s typical immersive storytelling skill.
  • The novel felt too long and drawn out. We were told many, many times how Birdie was mentally unstable and Maisie was ‘justifiably’ angry and Georgia was responsible for everything.

[Tweet “The good and the bad with #flightpatterns”]

What I did enjoy

  • Becky, Maisy’s daughter. Such a sweetly drawn character who stole the show for me.
  • Many of the bee facts – fascinating!

When a hive is invaded by a wasp, the bees cluster around the intruder and fan their wings to make it 117 degrees, knowing that wasps cannot survive temperatures above 116. This is the ultimate act of survival, as the bees will die if the temperature reaches 118 degrees.

  • Nuggets of life truths sprinkled throughout the book:

When you let your hurt from the past control you, you are tied to it forever. You will never change your life until you learn to let go the things that once hurt you.

Because no one can hurt us as much as those we love the most.

Sometimes all we need to do to forgive our parents is to understand their own childhoods.

I”d honestly recommend one of Karen White’s earlier books over this one, especially On Folly Beach…have I mentioned how much I love that book?!?

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Book Review: A Week at the Lake

July 7, 2015 Book Review 7

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Book Review: A Week at the LakeA Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax
Published by Berkley Books, Penguin on June 23rd, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction
Pages: 432
Source: complimentary review copy
Goodreads

 

Y’all know the only book I was able to read while on family vacation was Wendy Wax’s A Week at the Lake from this tongue-in-cheek confession.  The book came back from the beach a bit water-logged, though not quite as soaked as the book my daughter was reading.  She left a borrowed paperback in her beach chair. . .that was on the edge of the water. . .and a wave crashed ~ a large wave. . .you get the picture, right?  Her version includes something about me sitting in the chair next to hers. . .My defense? I bet you can guess ~ I was reading!

Long-time friends Emily, Mackenzie and Serena are to meet up at Emily’s lake house after a 5-year absence.  Since their college days they had an annual vacation tradition at Emily’s Grandmother’s historic Millionaires’ Row home on Lake George.  Emily is from a long line of actors.  She became favorite media gossip when, as a teenager, she divorced her famous parents.  Gifted clothing designer, Mackenzie, married her college sweetheart, but after 20 years of marriage, they seem to have hit a rough patch.  Serena is the famous sultry voice behind a popular animated television series {along the lines of the “Family Guy” or “The Simpsons”}.  Serena is a popular media darling as well with her long line of affairs.  The women have each suffered from their lack of connection for five years.

Favorite quote

Serena’s therapist tells her, “If you’re going to expend time and energy imagining scenarios, you really need to allow for the positive.”  Now that feels like great advice for anyone!

[Tweet “If you’re going to expend time & energy imagining scenarios, allow for the positive @wendy_wax “]

My thoughts

Set in New York City and Lake George, A Week at the Lake is a departure for Wax.  Most of her novels have been set in the south and evoke the particular landscape and feel of the South.  The descriptions of the old lake ‘house’ from Millionaires’ Row were breathtaking.  I was able to visualize the lake house.  Older homes and description is definitely Wendy Wax’s strong point.

Early on, I figured out what happened to distance the women, and why they went five years without communicating.  I can understand how time gets away from us all and we lose touch with friends, but it was clear that such was not the case for Emily, Mackenzie and Serena. My issue with A Week at the Lake is that I could not relate to any of the women nor their situations in the novel. My expectations based on the cover and the title had me thinking A Week at the Lake would be a perfect beach read.  I know, I know “never judge a book by its cover!”  The build-up to the reveal of why the five year distance lasted almost the entire novel ~ revealing the secret earlier along with the aftermath would probably have kept me better engaged.  Unfortunately, this one is a miss for me.  

Will I give Wendy Wax another try? Absolutely!  Her Ten Beach Road series is laugh-out-loud funny, heartwarming and engaging.

How is your summer reading coming along? Any stand-outs?

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Mini-Book View: The Boston Girl

January 5, 2015 Book Review 8

Mini-Book View: The Boston GirlThe Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
Published by Scribner on December 9th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction
Pages: 336
Source: purchased
Goodreads

In a nutshell:  In which I just want to say, eh, it was ok; nothing spectacular.

Having read The Red Tent over ten years ago and recalling it to be an intense literary read, my expectations for The Boston Girl may have been a bit high.  Either my memory of The Red Tent is faulty or The Boston Girl just does not live up.  The premise is eighty-five year old, Addie, recounts her coming-of-age during the 1920’s to Ava, her 22-year-old granddaughter.  There are snippets of wisdom from Addie to Ava like You should always be kind to people, Ava. You never know what sorrows they’re carrying around. and You know Ava, it’s good to be smart, but kindness is more important.  The anecdotes, although a good message, had a way of repeating throughout the novel.

Touted to be a book of feminism, I found The Boston Girl to be more focused on female friendships. The life-long friendships between the women of the reading club where Addie found her voice was the shining star of the novel.  Diamant knows how to write female friendships like no other.  But hardcore feminism? Nope.

I enjoyed the title of the chapters like The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. in which Addie learned to type and I thought he was sweet and that I was sweet on him.  where Addie met a new beau. All of chapter titles felt like really good blog post titles. The various Jewish phrases interwoven gave some legitimacy to the culture in which Addie emerged.  

The Boston Girl is a genteel novel that reads like a lighter memoir.  According to Goodreads, many people have liked this novel.  I can’t say I didn’t like it, it just didn’t live up to my expectations.  I would recommend this novel for those who enjoy a lighter fare of women’s fiction.  Recommended with caution.

Have you read any of Anita Diamant’s books? Do you have a favorite?

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Book Review: The Glass Kitchen

June 29, 2014 Book Review, reviews 7

Book Review:  The Glass KitchenThe Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee
Published by St. Martin's Press Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction
Pages: 384
Source: complimentary review copy
Amazon
Goodreads

 

For food lovers the world over The Glass Kitchen is the perfect summer read.  It’s light, refreshing, sweet with a touch of bitter – completely satisfying in the end.  Portia has the gift.  The gift of ‘knowing’ – the sensation of needing to cook certain items because something is about to happen.  She knows when the table should be set for 3 rather than 2.  She knows when to make special foods for loved ones, friends, and new acquaintances.  Of the three sisters, Portia is the only one who has ‘the gift.’  When Portia’s scheming unfaithful Texas-politician husband dumps her, Portia escapes to the NYC brownstone apartment left to her grandmother.  Portia’s two other sisters sold their apartment inheritance to Gabe who has renovated the upper two floors and lives there with his daughter, Ariel.

Part love story, part family dynamics, part intrigue and whole lot of sassiness and strong female characters, The Glass Kitchen is a must read for the summer!  The good feeling you’re left with after reading this novel is worth the read.  And doesn’t the cover just scream “summer read” and catching lightening bugs and family dinners and love?  It’s the love of food, family, neighbors and did I mention the food that makes this book a quality read.  Savor each chapter.

What’s your favorite summer meal?

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