Monday, August 29, 2016

The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood

Ava is still reeling a year after her husband, Jim, left her for another woman. She decides to join her friend Cate's long-running book group, figuring it might make her feel more connected. Over the next year, each book club member gets to choose the book that has mattered the most to them as one of the titles the group will read. Ava chooses a book from her childhood that soothed the sorrow she felt when her younger sister, Lily, and mother, Charlotte, died within a year of each other. Meanwhile, Ava's troubled daughter, Maggie, is studying abroad in Italy, but follows a lover to Paris, where she falls into her usual self-destructive behavior. Alternating the focus between Ava and Maggie, the novel explores the relationships between mothers and daughters, secrets, and learning to recover and heal when the unexpected happens.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

Olivia Rawlings decides to escape to Vermont after a disastrous mishap with a baked Alaska at her job as a pastry chef in Boston. Arriving in Guthrie and staying with Hannah, her friend from college, Olivia scores a job as the baker at the Sugar Maple Inn. Soon, she finds herself part of the community, playing her banjo with a local group and falling for Martin McCracken, who's moved back home from Seattle because his father, Henry, is dying of cancer. Will Olivia be able to find happiness if her first thought is to bolt when things get tough? The City Baker's Guide to Country Living is a first novel filled with sumptuous descriptions of desserts and a lovely sense of place in small town Vermont. For readers who enjoyed Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks and the novels of Erica Bauermeister.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson

Alan Banks has just been promoted to Detective Superintendent and finds himself heading up two cases. He and DS Winsome Jackman are looking into the fact that celebrity Danny Caxton, now in his 80's, sexually abused young women at the height of his fame. Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabbot and DC Geraldine Masterson (with Banks overseeing them) are investigating the brutal murder of a young woman found near the side of the road. In When the Music's Over, Robinson engages the reader with two interesting cases in classic british police procedural style.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Grace thinks that she has found the perfect match in Jack. He's handsome, wealthy, and is happy to have Grace's younger sister, Millie, who has Down's Syndrome, come and live with them. However, right after their wedding, Grace discovers she has married a monster. Jack delights in imprisoning Grace in their home and controlling what she eats and wears. He is also anxious for Millie to leave the group home she's been living in and move in with them because he will then have two people to torment. Grace knows she has limited time to somehow get away from Jack and save her sister from the hell she's experienced. How will Grace succeed when Jack never leaves her alone? If you can suspend a bit of disbelief for how Grace gets herself into this situation in the first place, you will be treated to a nail biting tale that you will want to hurry to finish.

Monday, August 8, 2016

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Ten years ago, Nicolette's best friend, Corinne disappeared. Nicolette has tried to move on, leaving Tyler, her boyfriend, behind, relocating to Philadelphia and getting engaged to Everett, a lawyer from a prominent family. Her brother, Daniel, calls and asks Nicolette to come home to Cooley Ridge, North Carolina, to assist in selling their childhood house to help pay the costs of their father's nursing home, and Nicolette is thrust back into the past. When Tyler's current girlfriend Annaleise goes missing, he immediately comes under suspicion and it makes everyone wonder if there is any connection between the women's disappearances. In addition, Nicolette's father is suffering from Alzheimer's and it appears that he has secrets he can't talk about because of his condition. All the Missing Girls is a psychological novel told with a unique story structure--the action unfolds backwards. It's a good read-alike for Julia Keller's A Killing in the Hills.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

Eight years ago, teenager Julie was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night. Her younger sister, Jane, saw it happen, but was quieted by Julie as she left.  Now years later, Julie shows up at home, run-down but healthy, and her family is so glad to have her back. Julie says that she was sold as a sex slave and taken to Mexico--but is this person really Julie, and if it is Julie, is her story about being in Mexico true or was she really somewhere else? Good as Gone is a fast-paced tale that is an exploration of family dynamics, survival, and healing.