Monday, June 30, 2014

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

When Lydia, a teenager, disappears and is found drowned in a lake, her family wonders about the circumstances of her death.  It's 1977 in Ohio and her parents have suffered prejudice since they married.  Mom Marilyn--blond and Caucasian--gave up her dreams of being a doctor when she married Chinese-American James Lee. James was denied his aspirations of being an American history professor at Harvard because of his race. Lydia was the favored middle child, the one that both Marilyn and James pinned their success on. Marilyn wanted Lydia to become a doctor, while James wanted her to be popular and have all the friends that he never had. Eldest son Nath and younger daughter, Hannah, are left with their own complicated emotions as their sister's passing causes their parents to confront the choices that they've made in their lives. Everything I Never Told You is a beautifully written debut novel that explores the issues of prejudice, individuality and family ties. It would be a great novel for a book discussion.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton

Kinsey is hired by wealthy Nord Lafferty to escort his daughter, Reba, back home after she's released from prison. Kinsey finds herself liking Reba and wanting her to succeed on the outside, so Kinsey spends time with her. Soon, however, Kinsey is embroiled in Reba's relationship with shady businessman Alan "Beck" Beckwith. In fact, Reba had taken the fall for Beck because she was in love with him. When the U.S. government asks for Kinsey's help in getting Reba to help them go after Beckwith, Kinsey is apprehensive. Will the situation end with justice served or in tragedy?

Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall

LAPD detective Lou Norton is still haunted by the disappearance of her older sister twenty-five years ago. When she's called to a crime scene where teenager Monique Dawson was murdered, she realizes that there is a connection to her sister, namely successful businessman Napoleon Chase and she becomes even more determined to solve the current case. Will problems in her marriage and the memories of her sister derail her plans?  A mystery that's perfect for people who enjoy Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Malorie lives near Detroit with her two young children in an abandoned neighborhood. However, she has no idea what really lurks beyond her house because everyone has to wear blindfolds whenever they go out. Four years ago, people mysteriously began committing suicide after seeing some unknown creature. Back then, Malorie found a safe shelter with some other people, but now she and the children are on their own. Malorie decides to make a harrowing journey to what she believes is a safe haven, but to get there she must, along with the kids, row sightless for twenty miles down a river... Bird Box is a fast-paced story of fright, survival, and hope.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Quilt for Christmas by Sandra Dallas

Eliza Spooner's husband Will is fighting for the north in the Civil War. For the Christmas of 1864, she makes him a quilt that a fellow soldier will deliver to him.  But soon after, Eliza gets word that Will has been killed in the fighting. A Quilt for Christmas follows Eliza's life over the next year as she takes in fellow war widow (Missouri Ann and her daughter, Nance), bonds with the women in her small quilting circle and finds both solace and sorrow in her memories of Will and their life together. The novel is a prequel to Dallas' The Persian Pickle Club and features the grandmothers of the women in that earlier book. A gentle and heartwarming read. It will be published in October.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

A horrible act of violence occurs at the Pirriwee Public School's trivia night fundraiser for parents. In the novel, the reader follows the lives of the parents and children starting six months before that fateful evening. Single mother Jane, and her son Ziggy have just moved to town and are ostracized almost immediately by most of the mothers when Ziggy is tagged as the kindergarten bully. Madeline befriends Jane, yet is going through turmoil in her own family when her teenage daughter, Abigail moves in with her dad, Nathan (Madeline's ex-husband). Madeline also has to face Nathan's seemingly perfect wife, Bonnie every day, since their daughters are in the same kindergarten class. Their friend, Celeste seems to have the perfect life with her wealthy husband, Perry, but she is hiding being the victim of domestic abuse. In Big Little Lies, Moriarty explores the lives of these three women, letting us in on their innermost thoughts and feelings. She does a fabulous job of keeping the reader guessing about the events of parents' night. Also, there was one great shock at the end of the book that had me gasping out loud.  Another page-turning read from Moriarty. It will be published next month.