Out Now

This is out today!

Goodreads:  It’s the winter of 1984. Twelve-year old Herbie and his two brothers—Wally and Cockroach—are enjoying the mayhem of winter break when a late Nor’easter blows through New England, trapping their quirky family in the house. The power goes out and playing Space Invaders to AC DC’s Back in Black album is suddenly silenced—forcing them to use their twisted imaginations in beating back the boredom. At a time when the brothers must overcome one fear after the next, they learn that courage is the one character trait that guarantees all others.

This hysterical coming-of-age tale is jam-packed with enough nostalgia to satisfy anyone who grew up in the ‘80s or at least had the good fortune to travel through them.

Thank you Steven for sending this to me!

 

My Father’s Wives

Author: Mike Greenberg
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  Jonathan Sweetwater has been blessed with money, a fulfilling career, great kids and Claire, his smart, gorgeous, sophisticated wife. But there is one thing Jonathan never had: a relationship with his father.

Percival Sweetwater III has been absent from his son’s life since Jonathan was nine years old. A five-term U.S. senator, now dead, Percy was beloved by presidents, his constituents, and women alike, especially the five women who married him after Jonathan’s mother.

Jonathan hasn’t thought about Percy or the hole he left in his life for years. Dedicated to Claire and his family, he’s nothing like his serial monogamist father. But then Jonathan discovers evidence that everything in his marriage may not be as perfect as he thought. Hurt and uncertain what to do, he knows that the only way to move forward is to go back.

On this quest for understanding—about himself, about manhood, about marriage—Jonathan decides to track down his father’s five ex-wives. His journey will take him from cosmopolitan cities to the mile-high mountains to a tropical island—and ultimately back to confront the one thing Jonathan has that his father never did: home.

Ope’s Opinion: I found it interesting that Jonathan tried to “find himself” by searching out his father’s wives.  I think he thought, like father like son, so he wanted to see who his estranged father was.

Thinking from a woman’s perspective, I think it would have been a better choice to just confront his own wife and figure out their relationship, rather then go in search of his father’s life.

The ending was predictable.

If Only I Could Tell You

Author: Hannah Beckerman
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Fiction
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  Hannah Beckerman pens a life-affirming novel that tells the story of a family divided and the secret that  can possibly unite them—a must for fans of This Is Us.

Audrey knows that life is filled with ups and downs, but she can’t help feeling like she’s been dealt more than her fair share as she’s watched her family come undone over the years. Her dream as a mother had been for her daughters, Jess and Lily, to be as close as only sisters can be. But now as adults, they no longer speak to each other, and Audrey’s two teenage granddaughters have never met. Even more upsetting is the fact that Audrey has no idea how to fix her family as she wonders if they will ever be whole again.

If only Audrey had known three decades ago that a secret could have the power to split her family in two, but ironically, also keep them linked. And when hostilities threaten to spiral out of control, a devastating choice that was made so many years ago is about to be revealed, testing once and for all Audrey and those she loves.

Is it too late for one broken family to heal and find their way back to each other…?

A beautiful novel of mothers and daughters, the bonds of family, and the secrets that can sometimes divide us yet also bring us together, If Only I Could Tell You will remain on your mind long after the last page is turned.

Ope’s Opinion:  I got tired of the “if only I could tell” until almost the end.  I would have enjoyed the whole book more if I were in on the secret from the start and see the fall out from there.  Instead, it just frustrated me – it made me skim parts with hopes to figure out what couldn’t be told.

If you are the kind of reader that likes being strung along until the very end, you will enjoy this book.  I just like being in the know, so I had a hard time waiting until the end for the reveal.

Glory Road

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

Goodreads:  Written in Lauren Denton’s signature Southern style, Glory Road tells the story of three generations of women navigating the uncertain pathways of their hearts during a summer that promises to bring change–whether they’re ready for it or not.

At thirty-eight, garden shop owner Jessie McBride thinks her chances for romance are years behind her and, after her failed marriage, she’s fine with that. She lives contentedly with her fiery mother and her quiet, headstrong daughter. But the unexpected arrival of two men on Glory Road make her question if she’s really happy with the status quo. Handsome, wealthy Sumner Tate asks her to arrange flowers for his daughter’s wedding, and Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention. And Ben Bradley, her lingering what-could-have-been from high school days who’s known her better than anyone and whom she hasn’t seen in years, moves back to the red dirt road. Jessie finds her heart being pulled in directions she never expected.

Meanwhile, Jessie’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Evan, is approaching the start of high school and trying to navigate a new world of identity and emotions–particularly as they relate to the cute new guy who’s moved in just down the road. At the same time, Jessie’s mother, Gus, increasingly finds herself forgetful and faces a potentially frightening future.

As all three women navigate the uncertain paths of their hearts and futures, one summer promises to bring change–whether they’re ready for it or not.

Ope’s Opinion:  Oh, Lauren Denton writes the best stories!  From beginning to the very end, every part of it is wonderful.  This clean, deep, emotional story was a pleasure to read. 

This story is told from three generations of the McBride family.  All three of these women are strong and independent – good examples for women of every age.  They are great  characters that are very relatable.

The ending was what you expected and was very satisfying.  I am counting down until I can read another Lauren K. Denton book.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Author: Abbi Waxman
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  The author of Other People’s Houses and The Garden of Small Beginnings delivers a quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone’s radar.

Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all–or mostly all–excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

Ope’s Opinion:  Oh, so many great things to say about this book.   My daughter Kristin of Kritters Ramblings liked this so much she recommended I buy a copy, so I did!  It was worth every minute of time I spent with it and every penny ( maybe more ) I spent to purchase it. 

If you are a book person, who likes to read about other book people, book stores and bookish things – go buy this one!    You will enjoy it from the beginning to the end.

The relationships in this book were so much fun to read and watch grow. Nina was a wonderful character I won’t soon forget.  I relate to her love of being alone with her books.

It was a feel good book.  The ending was exactly what I wanted.

 

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.

 

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!