The Hideaway

Author: Lauren K. Denton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  “A story both powerful and enchanting: a don’t-miss novel in the greatest southern traditions of storytelling.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever knew in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering her grandmother’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

“Two endearing heroines and their poignant storylines of love lost and found make this the perfect book for an afternoon on the back porch with a glass of sweet tea.” —Karen White, New York Times bestselling author.

Ope’s Opinion: My review will not do justice to this wonderful book.  It had everything I wanted in it – amazing characters, an awesome story with a few twists, and an ending that was very satisfying. 

I liked the dual narrative that let you see the past ( Mags ) and the present ( Sara ).  Each of them had a story that centered around family.  Part of the story is about fixing up an old house – I really enjoyed that part as well.

This was the kind of book that I curled up with and didn’t want to leave until the last word was read.  I enjoyed each moment with these characters.  I have another Lauren K. Denton book on my shelf and I will read it as soon as possible.

 

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The Last Book Party

Author: Karen Dukess
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Fiction
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  A propulsive tale of ambition and romance, set in the publishing world of 1980’s New York and the timeless beaches of Cape Cod.

In the summer of 1987, 25-year-old Eve Rosen is an aspiring writer languishing in a low-level assistant job, unable to shake the shadow of growing up with her brilliant brother. With her professional ambitions floundering, Eve jumps at the chance to attend an early summer gathering at the Cape Cod home of famed New Yorker writer Henry Grey and his poet wife, Tillie. Dazzled by the guests and her burgeoning crush on the hosts’ artistic son, Eve lands a new job as Henry Grey’s research assistant and an invitation to Henry and Tillie’s exclusive and famed “Book Party”— where attendees dress as literary characters. But by the night of the party, Eve discovers uncomfortable truths about her summer entanglements and understands that the literary world she so desperately wanted to be a part of is not at all what it seems.

A page-turning, coming-of-age story, written with a lyrical sense of place and a profound appreciation for the sustaining power of books, The Last Book Party shows what happens when youth and experience collide and what it takes to find your own voice.

Ope’s Opinion: I wanted to read this book because the synopsis talked about books and the writing world.  In my opinion, there wasn’t enough about books and too much about who was sleeping with whom.  I am not, nor will I ever be a writer, so maybe coming from that perspective I missed something.

I am also a bit frustrated that “the coming of age” had to have an affair to happen.  Can’t a young woman come of age without having an affair with an older married man?

All the secrets came out at the last book party – which is why it was the last one!

Last Summer

Author: Kerry Lonsdale
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: 
Claire/ Sarah at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  From the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Everything series comes a new novel of love, lies, and deceit.

Lifestyle journalist Ella Skye remembers every celebrity she interviewed, every politician she charmed between the sheets, and every socialite who eyed her with envy. The chance meeting with her husband, Damien; their rapid free fall into love; and their low-key, intimate wedding are all locked in her memory. But what she can’t remember is the tragic car accident that ripped her unborn child from her. Ella can’t even recall being pregnant.

Hoping to find the memories of a lost pregnancy that’s left her husband devastated and their home empty, Ella begins delving into her past when she’s assigned an exclusive story about Nathan Donovan, a retired celebrity adventurer who seems to know more about her than she does him. To unravel the mystery of her selective memory loss, Ella follows Nathan from the snow capped Sierra Nevada to the frozen slopes of southeast Alaska. There she discovers the people she trusts most aren’t the only ones keeping secrets from her—she’s hiding them from herself. Ella quickly learns that some truths are best left forgotten.

Ope’s Opinion:  You should know I am a Kerry Lonsdale fan,  but this is not my favorite of her books.  I like intense books and she writes them very well, this one just didn’t hit the mark for me.

This one was very intense, but the intensity drug on too long before there was any clue as to what Ella could not remember.  It was repeated that Damien knew something, but the reader was not clued in to what it was.  Then Ella went to see Nathan and he knew something, but did not reveal anything for a while.  It got frustrating and old after a while.

The ending was left open – not sure what Ella did, not sure who was being honest with her.  It left me wanting more – a little too abrupt for me  without answers.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In July I hope to read….

Surfside Sisters

Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Goodreads: A woman from Nantucket returns home to find that reunions aren’t always so simple in this heartwarming novel from the New York Times bestselling author of A Nantucket Wedding and Secrets in Summer .

Growing up, Lara always dreamed of leaving Nantucket to become a writer. Now that she’s a bestselling novelist living in New York City, she realizes that success isn’t what she thought it would be. Confused, and with a harrowing case of writer’s block, Lara misses the island way of life more than ever. But going back to Nantucket out of the blue isn’t so easy, as a deep rift with her childhood best friend, Isabelle, has kept the two from speaking for years.

When her mother is laid off from her job and becomes depressed, Lara reluctantly comes home, leaving a failed relationship and hopefully her other troubles behind. But facing her estranged best friend is harder than she expects. And falling for Isabelle’s brother, Sebastian–who was also Lara’s teenage crush–only complicates things. Lara soon realizes that she must remedy the mistakes of her past in order to find true happiness.

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

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

Mrs. Everything

Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: 
Ariele at Atria Books

 

Goodreads:  From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.

Ope’s Opinion: This is a very realistic story  – too realistic at times  – not an easy read.  To see how women were treated, feelings had to be hidden, and secrets were kept, was hard to read about.  

These two sisters are each put in difficult situations that neither felt they could be honest about.  The book explores how that shaped their lives.  The changes in society as they were growing up also influenced them and their decisions.

This story had a lot of deep meaning and difficult subject matter.   It makes you think and hopefully appreciate where women are now.

This is Home

Author: Lisa Duffy
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Megan at Atria Publicity

 

Goodreads:  From the author of book club favorite The Salt House comes a deeply affecting novel about a teenage girl finding her voice and the military wife who moves in downstairs, united in their search for the true meaning of home.

Sixteen-year-old Libby Winters lives in Paradise, a seaside town north of Boston that rarely lives up to its name. After the death of her mother, she lives with her father, Bent, in the middle apartment of their triple decker home—Bent’s two sisters, Lucy and Desiree, live on the top floor. A former soldier turned policeman, Bent often works nights, leaving Libby under her aunts’ care. Shuffling back and forth between apartments—and the wildly different natures of her family—has Libby wishing for nothing more than a home of her very own.

Quinn Ellis is at a crossroads. When her husband John, who has served two tours in Iraq, goes missing back at home, suffering from PTSD he refuses to address, Quinn finds herself living in the first-floor apartment of the Winters house. Bent had served as her husband’s former platoon leader, a man John refers to as his brother, and despite Bent’s efforts to make her feel welcome, Quinn has yet to unpack a single box.

For Libby, the new tenant downstairs is an unwelcome guest, another body filling up her already crowded house. But soon enough, an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, when Libby and Quinn stretch and redefine their definition of family and home.


With gorgeous prose and a cast of characters that feel wholly real and lovably flawed, This Is Home is a nuanced and moving novel of finding where we belong.

Ope’s Opinions: This story moved at a slower pace then I would have liked.  It was also kind of sad, which PTSD is, but it took a long time to feel uplifting to me.  The other characters in the book also seemed sad, as they were in difficult situations.

They did come together as a community and helped each other.  They made their house a home.  Libby and Quinn give you their perspective of the events that are taking place.  

The ending did bring each situation to more positive conclusion.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In June I hope to read….

Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Atria Books

Goodreads: From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.

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

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