Thursday, December 28, 2006

Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella

Becky Brandon and her husband, Luke, have been on a extended round-the-world honeymoon when they decide to return to London. Upon coming home, Becky finds out that she has a long-lost sister, Jess. Becky and Jess are completely different people. Becky is into shopping and the finer things in life, while Jess loves saving money and hiking to find rocks. Will Becky be heartbroken when she and her sister don't see eye to eye? Shopaholic & Sister is the fourth book in the popular chick lit series. Sophie Kinsella is the pseudonym of Madeleine Wickham. I've read and enjoyed several of those books (The Tennis Party, Swimming Pool Sunday, and the Gatecrasher) and they are different from the Kinsella books in that they are concerned with deeper family issues and are not humorous.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

True Evil by Greg Iles

FBI agent Alex Morse is stunned to discover that her sister, Grace, has had a stroke. She arrives just in time for Grace to tell her that her husband planned her death. Alex feels she must investigate in order to protect her nephew, Jamie, from his father, whom she considers a murderer, or at least an accomplice. Her investigation reveals an intricate and devious plan to get rid of spouses of wealthy people, leaving no trace of what killed them. This leads her to Chris Shepard, a doctor in Natchez, Mississippi, whom she believes will be the killer's next victim. Alex and Chris work together to try to unravel the mystery of who is behind the murders and to keep Chris out of harm's way. Iles has written a suspense novel full of interesting characters, lots of action, and a good sense of place. A page turner.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde

Anna is an interior designer who is rehabbing her first house on her own, a listed cottage in the Cotswolds. With no staircase and no bathroom in the house, Anna has her work cut out for her. On a personal front, she is pining for Max, who was a guest lecturer when she was at university. But when she meets, Rob, who works for the listed buildings department, she is intrigued. Katie Fforde has written her usual delightful romance. All the details about village life, rehabbing houses, and greyhound dogs (Anna somehow adopts one) make this a cozy read. If you enjoy books about women's lives and relationships, give Katie Fforde a try. A publishing note: Practically Perfect has not been published in the U.S. yet, but you can get it through interlibrary loan from your library. St. Martin's Press (Fforde's U.S. publisher) is two books behind the U.K.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk

A day in the life of stay-at-home and working mothers in a suburban town in England. In the novel, we meet five women and get to know their feelings about their lives, marriage and their children. I picked it up because as a stay-at-home mom I was interested in what Cusk has to say about contemporary mothers. In some ways, it reminded me of Tom Perrotta's Little Children because the women at times seemed so unhappy and both are satires. I did really enjoy the inside look at other mothers, although the descriptions of the town and the weather get a bit wordy at times, and as a mother of a little boy, I think her depictions of sons can be a tad harsh. For readers of literary women's fiction.