Meg & Jo

 

Author: Virginia Kantra
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Retelling Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.

The March sisters–reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth–have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.

Meg appears to have the life she always planned–the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.

One thing’s for sure–they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.

Ope’s Opinion:  If you are a fan of Little Women – you will definitely want to pick this book up.  I just saw Little Women in the theatre, so it was interesting to read this book right after that.   I enjoyed comparing the movie to the book in my head while I was reading it.

Virginia Kantra wrote a sequel called Beth & Amy.  I am not sure if the story picks up where this one left off or are we going to see the same story from Beth & Amy’s perspective?  I think I would have preferred to have all four little women in one book.

Ask Again, Yes

Author: Mary Beth Keane
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Fiction
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  How much can a family forgive?

A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the bond between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, the daily intimacies of marriage, and the power of forgiveness.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, two rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. What happens behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne—sets the stage for the explosive events to come.

Ask Again, Yes is a deeply affecting exploration of the lifelong friendship and love that blossoms between Francis and Lena’s daughter, Kate, and Brian and Anne’s son, Peter. Luminous, heartbreaking, and redemptive, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story, while tested by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace. 

Ope’s Opinion: Reading the synopsis, I thought this was going to be more about police life then it was.  There were police officers and their families, but the story could have happened to any family.  

If you enjoy reading family drama – this book is for you.  Two families are tied up with each other in many ways.  For me, the character Kate saved the book.  I had a hard time connecting to the parents – the slow pace may have effected my opinion.

The message of messing up and still being loved came through at the end.

Bread Bags & Bullies

Author: Steven Manchester
Publisher: Luna Bella Press
Genre: Fiction
Source: Steven Manchester 

 

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. 

Ope’s Opinion:  If you were a boy in the 80’s and had brothers, you would probably relate to this story.  I am a reader of Steven Manchester and I do enjoy his books.  He has a way of making his characters feel real  ( like someone you know).  

I enjoyed being taken back in time. It gave me an inside perspective of my brothers lives as they were growing up.  This was an easy read, as Steven’s writing flows.

I still think Goodnight, Brian is my favorite Manchester book.  If you enjoy this one and haven’t read his other books – go back and look them up.

 

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.