Sing You Home

Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  One miscarriage too many spelled the end of Max and Zoe Baxter’s marriage. Though the former couple went quite separate ways, their fates remained entangled: After veering into alcoholism, Max is saved in multiple senses by his fundamentalist conversion; Zoe, for her part, finds healing relief in music therapy and the friendship, then romantic love with Vanessa, her counselor. After Zoe and Vanessa, now married, decide to have a baby, they realize that they must join battle with Max, who objects on both religious and financial grounds. Like her House Rules and several other previous Jodi Picoult novels, Sing You Home grapples with hot button issues. The novel also includes a CD of songs, each matched with a chapter in the book. Perfect for book clubs.

Ope’s Opinion: Very predictable.  A court case ensues as usual with Jodi Picoult. 

I wish Picoult had be more objective in her writing the Christian characters.  It may have made me more sympathetic with the story.  I do like my thoughts and views being challenged by seeing things from another perspective, but lets represent all views accurately.

I did enjoy the struggle of who has custody of an embryo – having nothing to do with sexual orientation.  Would Max have fought just as hard if Zoe’s partner were male?  What makes a family has been changed over the years, I think it will continue to change.

Overall the book was a bit long and the ending tied up into a bow.  Not sure it was what really happens in todays world.

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Sisters Like Us

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Emer at Harper Collins

Goodreads:  The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…

Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgeling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

Ope’s Opinion:  Overall, this book was worth the read.  The characters were well developed and had flaws you could relate to.

What I liked – the relationships, the story lines and the characters.  I loved that the romances moved slow and they had real relationships with each other before the physical aspects started.  The mother – daughter ( Harper / Becca ) was very realistic.  I liked the sister relationships too.

What I didn’t like – the repetitive writing of how inadequate Stacy felt about being a mother and Bunny ( worst mother of the year ).  I don’t think it was necessary to have her be such an unlikable character.  The story could have been wonderful without that aspect.

If you like Susan Mallery’s other books, you will like this one.

The Secret to Southern Charm

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Kristy Woodson Harvey

Goodreads:  Leaving fans “practically [begging] for a sequel” (Bookpage), critically acclaimed author Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the second novel in her beloved Peachtree Bluff series, featuring a trio of sisters and their mother who discover a truth that will change not only the way they see themselves, but also how they fit together as a family.

After finding out her military husband is missing in action, middle sister Sloane’s world crumbles as her worst nightmare comes true. She can barely climb out of bed, much less summon the strength to be the parent her children deserve.

Her mother, Ansley, provides a much-needed respite as she puts her personal life on hold to help Sloane and her grandchildren wade through their new grief-stricken lives. But between caring for her own aging mother, her daughters, and her grandchildren, Ansley’s private worry is that secrets from her past will come to light.

But when Sloane’s sisters, Caroline and Emerson, remind Sloane that no matter what, she promised her husband she would carry on for their young sons, Sloane finds the support and courage she needs to chase her biggest dreams—and face her deepest fears. Taking a cue from her middle daughter, Ansley takes her own leap of faith and realizes that, after all this time, she might finally be able to have it all.

Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author).

Ope’s Opinion:  My suggestion is that you read Slightly South of Simple before you start this one, but it is not necessary. KWH books are so wonderful, you don’t want to miss the first one.  She has an excellent way of writing this story so you won’t feel lost if you haven’t read the first one, but you really don’t want to miss the start of all their lives.

There was a lot of drama in this book and it moves fast.    All three daughters, Mom           ( Ansley ) and Grammy ( Ansley’s Mom ) are living in Peachtree Bluff.  The book is written from Sloane’s ( the second daughter ) and Mom’s ( Ansley ) perspectives, but you actually hear everyone’s voices.

This was an amazing book, that just took me away.  I am ready for book three from Peachtree Bluff.

Out Now

If you like southern charm, wonderful characters, and
Kristy Woodson Harvey,
you need to pick this book up today!

Goodreads:  Leaving fans “practically [begging] for a sequel” (Bookpage), critically acclaimed author Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the second novel in her beloved Peachtree Bluff series, featuring a trio of sisters and their mother who discover a truth that will change not only the way they see themselves, but also how they fit together as a family.

After finding out her military husband is missing in action, middle sister Sloane’s world crumbles as her worst nightmare comes true. She can barely climb out of bed, much less summon the strength to be the parent her children deserve.

Her mother, Ansley, provides a much-needed respite as she puts her personal life on hold to help Sloane and her grandchildren wade through their new grief-stricken lives. But between caring for her own aging mother, her daughters, and her grandchildren, Ansley’s private worry is that secrets from her past will come to light.

But when Sloane’s sisters, Caroline and Emerson, remind Sloane that no matter what, she promised her husband she would carry on for their young sons, Sloane finds the support and courage she needs to chase her biggest dreams—and face her deepest fears. Taking a cue from her middle daughter, Ansley takes her own leap of faith and realizes that, after all this time, she might finally be able to have it all.

Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is “the next major voice in Southern fiction”

Thank you Kristy Woodson Harvey for this one!
Can’t wait for the next one!

Before I Let You Go

Author: Kelly Rimmer
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Fiction
Source: Claire @ Little Bird Publicity

Goodreads:  The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.

Ope’s Opinion:  Without the constant “f” word, this might have been a five chair book.  The story line was deep and difficult to read.  It was very well written, very realistic.

This is about an addict and her family.  It made me realize how an addict effects the whole family.  It also had an amazing story about what brought her to be an addict.

This is also about sisters and their relationship, and their dependence on each other.

The ending wrapped things up nicely.  I would read another Kelly Rimmer book.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In April I hope to read….

Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher:  Gallery Books

Goodreads:  Leaving fans “practically [begging] for a sequel” (Bookpage), critically acclaimed author Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the second novel in her beloved Peachtree Bluff series, featuring a trio of sisters and their mother who discover a truth that will change not only the way they see themselves, but also how they fit together as a family.

After finding out her military husband is missing in action, middle sister Sloane’s world crumbles as her worst nightmare comes true. She can barely climb out of bed, much less summon the strength to be the parent her children deserve.

Her mother, Ansley, provides a much-needed respite as she puts her personal life on hold to help Sloane and her grandchildren wade through their new grief-stricken lives. But between caring for her own aging mother, her daughters, and her grandchildren, Ansley’s private worry is that secrets from her past will come to light.

But when Sloane’s sisters, Caroline and Emerson, remind Sloane that no matter what, she promised her husband she would carry on for their young sons, Sloane finds the support and courage she needs to chase her biggest dreams—and face her deepest fears. Taking a cue from her middle daughter, Ansley takes her own leap of faith and realizes that, after all this time, she might finally be able to have it all.

Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author).

Thank you Kristy Woodson Harvey for sending this one!!

Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Graydon House

Goodreads: The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.

 

What is coming soon …. to a bookshelf near you?

Let me know – I am always looking for a good read!

The Baby Plan

Author: Kate Rorick
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Fiction
Source: Paul at Harper Collins

 

Goodreads:  In Kate Rorick’s first adult fiction novel, we enter the wild, bewildering world of modern pregnancies. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shake your head as you wonder where everyone’s sanity went…

Meet the mothers…

Nathalie Kneller: Nathalie’s plan: to announce her pregnancy now that she’s finally made it past twelve weeks! But just as she’s about to deliver (so to speak) the big news to her family, her scene-stealing sister barfs all over the Thanksgiving centerpiece. Yup, Lyndi’s pregnant too, swiping the spotlight once more…  

Lyndi Kneller:  Lyndi’s plan: finally get her life together! She’s got a new apartment, new promotion, new boyfriend. What she didn’t count on—a new baby! She can barely afford her rent, much less a state-of-the-art stroller…

Sophia Nunez: Sophia’s plan: Once she gets her daughter Maisey off to college, she’ll finally be able to enjoy life as make-up artist to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and girlfriend to one of rock’s hottest musicians. But after 18 years she discovers the stork is once again on its way…

Now these women are about to jump headlong into the world of modern day pregnancy. It’s a world of over the top gender reveal parties (with tacky cakes and fireworks); where every morsel you eat is scrutinized and discussed; where baby names are crowd-sourced and sonograms are Facebook-shared. And where nothing goes as planned…

Ope’s Opinion:   This book was just okay.  Each woman had their relationships with other people change due to their pregnancies.  I thought it started out silly and kind of cute.  Then the relationships got complicated ( don’t want to spoil things ) and not so cute or fun.

It seemed a long book for what happened.  I felt like there were many times when things were described with too much detail that didn’t really matter to the core of the story.

The ending was all over the place.  It didn’t feel like things were wrapped up.