Sunday, April 29, 2018

Digging In by Loretta Nyhan

Two years after her husband died in an accident, Paige, living with her teenage son, Trey, is going through the motions of life. Adding to the stress, changes are afoot at the advertising agency where she works. Big Frank, the founder of the agency, has passed away and his son, Lukas has taken over. Lukas is enamored of the principles outlined in a trendy new business bestseller and has completely redesigned the workplace. He has also made it apparent that two out of the office's six employees will be let go soon. One thing that has been extremely satisfying for Paige in this time of upheaval is digging in her backyard, much to the dismay of her noisy and not-so-nice neighbor, Mr. Eckhardt. Soon, Paige decides that she will turn the backyard into a garden. Will Paige be able to pull her professional and personal lives back together--and get a garden to grow? Digging In is a humorous tale of a woman overcoming a tragedy and finding a new self. A great choice for those who love novels about relationships.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

Saskia is missing and the police are questioning Angela, the ex-girlfriend of Saskia's husband, HP. HP and Angela were very close as teenagers and she has not taken well to being dumped for Saskia, even though it happened years ago. When Detective Novak asks Angela if she knows what happened to Saskia, Angela proceeds to tell him the whole story, starting with when she and HP met. Did Angela really harm Saskia, or is this just an opportunity for her to mull over what she considers past injustices? While Our Little Secret is a quick read, there are other psychological novels that I would put instead on my sure bet list.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

As he is about to graduate from college, Harry gets a phone call from his stepmother, Alice, letting him know that his father, Bill, has fallen off a cliff walk and died. Stunned by the news, Harry travels to Maine, where Bill and Alice have been living. Harry, in fact, doesn't know Alice all that well, since his father and Alice have only been married for four years, during which Harry did not spend a lot of time with them. The police are also investigating Bill's death, since they are not sure exactly what happened. Could Alice possibly be involved? In alternating chapters, Swanson gives the reader insight into Alice's past, beginning with her teenage years, so that our suspicions, along with Harry's, continue to rise. All the Beautiful Lies is another novel by Swanson that's hard to put down.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Go Ask Fannie by Elisabeth Hyde

The grown Blaire siblings are convening at their father Murray's home in New Hampshire for the weekend. There's eldest Ruth (a high-powered lawyer in Washington D.C. and a control freak), George, (a nurse who never married) and youngest Lizzie (a professor of literature who lives closest to Murray). The weekend gets off to a bad start when Lizzie confesses that her ex-lover, Gavin, ruined their mother, Lillian's cookbook. Lillian died over thirty years ago and the cookbook was extremely special to the family, with years' worth of handwritten comments and marginalia. To make matters worse, Lizzie was so mad at Gavin that she poured hot water over his laptop and, in the process, burned his hand. Now, he is threatening to sue her. Amidst the drama, the family also reflects on their relationships with each other and the two family members who are absent. As in her excellent last book, In the Heart of the Canyon, Hyde again treats the reader to a novel that's perfect for people who love to explore a variety of relationships.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

For the past seven years, Lynn and her family have lived an isolated existence in the wilds of the Yukon. World order broke down years ago, with nuclear war and a bird flu wiping out most of the population and any semblance of organization. Lynn has become a quite adept hunter, but her memories of life before the chaos when her father was still alive are still very vivid. When a man named Jax arrives at their camp, he brings with him unknown danger that threatens the lives of Lynn and those close to her. The Wolves of Winter is a fast-paced read for readers who enjoy books with strong female protagonists and plenty of action.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Wildwood by Elinor Florence

Unable to find work after losing her job as an accountant in Arizona, Molly decides to move with her young non-verbal daughter, Bridget, to a farm in northern Alberta that has been bequeathed to her by her great aunt Mary. The only condition of the will is that she live there for one year, after which she can put it up for sale. Knowing that she can sell the property for more than $1.5 million is the biggest incentive to make the move, but the house, built in the 1920's, has no electricity or plumbing--although it is in extremely good shape--and the closest "neighbor" is eight miles away. Wildwood follows Molly and Bridget on their year-long journey, with Molly guided and inspired by Mary's diary that she finds. With lots of detail of daily life from Mary's time and in the present, this is an engaging, cozy read. Perfect for readers of Sandra Dallas.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Italian Party by Christina Lynch

In 1956, newlyweds Scottie and Michael Messina move to Siena when Michael gets a job with Ford selling tractors to the locals. In reality, the job is a cover created by the CIA, and Michael's assignment is to prevent the Communist mayor from being re-elected. Scottie knows nothing of Michael's ruse and spends her days learning Italian, eating good food and immersing herself in the local community. Of course, Scottie is also keeping secrets of her own--and Michael, in turn, is hiding even more  about himself. Will their marriage survive all the life changes and duplicity? The Italian Party is a novel with a great sense of place and an interesting story.