Saturday, January 27, 2018

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

In 1939, Lily Shepherd is making the five week voyage from England to Australia on a passenger ship. Her goal is work in service for two years and then return to England. On board, she meets siblings Helena and Edward, Maria (who has fled Hitler's Austria), and the wealthy hedonist couple Max and Eliza. With lots of time available for socializing on board and in the different ports of call (including Gibraltar, Egypt, and Ceylon), Lily finds herself becoming involved in all their lives and being exposed to situations and people very different from home. When a horrible crime occurs, will Lily come out unscathed? Dangerous Crossing has an interesting storyline, describing the long journey of people both rich and poor starting new lives on the eve of war.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Strangers by Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel

When Erik gets home from work, he's stunned to discover that his fiancee, Joanna, does not know him and all his possessions have been removed from the home they share. Terrified, Joanna wonders who Erik is and why he is breaking into her house, while Erik speculates if Joanna has had some type of breakdown. In alternating chapters, Strangers explores both Erik's and Joanna's points of view of the situation they find themselves in. The reader, along with couple, wonders who is out to destroy them and why.

My Favorite Books of 2017

Two historical fiction books, a mystery, and two contemporary novels are included on the list of books that I enjoyed most last year.

In alphabetical order, by author:

Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly

With Connelly appearing on the list for the third straight year, this Bosch novel had Harry going undercover for the first time and explored Harry's legacy with the LAPD along with some unforgettable interactions with his brother Mickey Haller.

The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn

Dunn's take on a couple trying to enliven their marriage was entertaining and filled with memorable characters.

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

A novel told through the eyes of a teenage girl with autism is realistic, touching, and timely.

The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

This civil war novel with a suspenseful subplot stayed with me long after I had finished it.

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

Like The Second Mrs. Hockaday, this popular historical fiction novel was hard to forget.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The English Wife by Lauren Willig

In 1899, Janie Van Duyvil's life is turned upside down when her brother, Bay, is found stabbed to death, and her sister-in-law, Annabelle, is presumed drowned. With the Van Duyvils' wealth and social standing, the press is having a field day speculating that Bay killed Annabelle then himself. Janie--never married and without a good relationship with her mother--decides to delve into Bay's and Annabelle's marriage to uncover the truth, with the help of a reporter named Mr. Burke. The English Wife recounts in flashbacks Bay's and Annabelle's courtship and subsequent marriage, along with Janie's journey to find out what really happened to her brother and his wife.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Windfall by Diksha Basu

When Anil Jha sells a website he created for $20 million, he and his wife, Bindu, decide to move to the wealthy community of Gurgaon, away from the East Delhi housing complex where they raised their son, Rupak. However, their newfound wealth and all the possessions they are now buying for the move are causing them stress. They also worry about missing their friends and how they will fit in within the new community. Meanwhile, their son, Rupak (studying in the United States) is close to flunking out of graduate school and is reluctant to tell his parents about his American girlfriend, Elizabeth. Will the Jha family be able to traverse the changes in their lives smoothly? The Windfall is a humorous look at contemporary India with vivid descriptions of the Jha's and their friends and neighbors. A great read-alike for Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians trilogy.