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Glass Houses: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
by Louise Penny
Glass Houses (3/13/2019)
A conscience - we all have one, but do we know what may be on another person's conscience or even on ours that may bother us?

When a hooded figure appeared on the green in Three Pines and stayed without moving for three days, all the residents were tense and wondered what he was doing there. Did the hooded figure date back to the historical Cobrador who collected debts?

Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector, kept an eye on the figure and could do nothing within his powers to remove him. But...why is Armand Gamache now on the witness stand testifying about a death that occurred during the time the hooded figure was present?

We follow the situation by being introduced to the trial and then back again to the events in Three Pines with the hooded figure standing on the village green. The trial has something going on besides the trial, though, and the judge seems to be picking up on it.

Louise Penny has given us another beautifully written, intellectual, intriguing plot that will have you glued to the pages, thinking about what a conscience really is and how it helps or hinders one's choices, and feeling for Gamache as he must defend all that happened in the quiet village of Three Pines.

GLASS HOUSES had me confused during the first few chapters, but once GLASS HOUSES got going another fantastic Louise Penny read and outcome awaits you with the endings always being brilliant and unexpected.

Don't miss reading the latest from Louise Penny. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
The Time Between
by Karen White
The Time Between (3/13/2019)
Pianos, beaches, mansions, guilt, accidents, decisions, grief, love, secrets and children who didn't know each other as children but knew each other now as adults.

Eleanor was the cause of her sister's paralyzing accident when they were children, and her mother never let her forget it. Eleanor was made to work and take care of her sister Eve. Eleanor seemed to be at the beck and call of every family member and did not think of herself or think of her own happiness. Eve seemed to enjoy how uncomfortable she always made her sister feel and how she could still make her feel guilty about the accident. Their mother wasn't any nicer to Eleanor and seemed to expect Eleanor to pay for what she did to her sister.

One day Eleanor's boss, Finn, had a proposition that would allow Eleanor to return to Edisto Island where she and her family had always spent their vacations. Would this be good for Eleanor or would it bring back too many sad memories of her father? Would it relieve some of Eleanor's guilt? She had to give it a try. Something had to help her heal and forgive herself and to gain her sister's forgiveness. The piano she saw in Helena's house cinched her decision about accepting the job. Playing the piano was Eleanor's passion.

When Eleanor arrived on Edisto Island, she met Aunt Helena and Genevieve. They both were likable characters even though Helena tried to rattle Eleanor at first, but that kept Eleanor going. Genevieve was an adorable girl who loved pink. The characters were authentic and genuine. The descriptions of the characters' every move and thoughts were marvelous.

THE TIME BETWEEN is a heartwarming, redeeming, cozy read with exceptional writing that sets the mood for the book's theme. I could feel myself become a part of the feelings of each character whether it was a sense of belonging or rejection. When Eleanor interacted with Helena, you could feel the warmth between them growing not only as caregiver and the one being cared for but as kindred souls searching for something, and in Helena's case hiding something. Each character kept you guessing about his/her motives, their reason for acting the way they did, and what they actually were looking for in their relationships with each other.

Through Ms. White's skillful writing style you could tell her characters were obscure but sincere in their feelings for each other and that something was being hidden and being held back by each of them. The book's chapters were titled with each character's name, and that character's voice spoke for that specific section.

The book had an effortless flow and a very appealing storyline. It addressed human feelings, choices, and healing. The ending was painful but uplifting as well as fascinating because of the added bonus of information about WWII.

It was an enjoyable but thought-provoking book that will have you sitting back and definitely thinking about "the time between" that was explained on Page 319 as:

"There is how we were before, and how we are now, and the time between is spent choosing which doors to open, and which to close."

This book was absolutely wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the lessons learned, and the book's comfortable pace. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review
The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach
by Pam Jenoff
The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach (3/13/2019)
Adelia Monteforte was put on a boat alone to America in 1941 as WWII was underway. Her mother forced her into leaving Italy and living with her aunt and uncle that she had never met.

Adelia was grateful for her aunt and uncle's love, but ?she ?felt out of place with them and with her accent. When she met the Connallys, things changed. There were children her own age, children to play with?, a family she felt very comfortable with, and their son she fell in love with.

Her aunt and uncle seemed distant but very kind to Adelia. Mrs. Connally was more of a mother to Adelia than her aunt, but I think Adelia made that happen as she chose to be closer to a stranger than her own relatives. She did upset me how she was closer to the family that lived next door at the beach than her blood relatives.

We follow ?Adelia who is a very strong-willed character and who makes decisions on her own even though she is quite young. I was surprised at her quick, poorly thought-out decisions. Some were decisions I definitely would not have made.?

Adelia had become unsettled in her town after a while and also with the Connallys and left for Washington, D.C. to escape Charlie Connally. She then moved on to London when Washington, D.C. wasn't far enough away for her.

London wasn't what she expected, but Adelia was able to make new friends and continue to work at the same newspaper she worked for in the USA. Adelia never thought London would be a?s? war torn as it was?, but no matter what the circumstances or how far she went, she never could get Charlie out of her mind.

THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH is filled with loss, growing up, learning about life, and a love story.

THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH had a lesson about the importance of family and the importance of following your heart.

As always, Ms. Jenoff's books are well researched and very well written. You become part of her books and want to be one of the characters simply because of the marvelous way Ms. Jenoff tells a story.

If you haven’t read THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH or any of Ms. Jenoff’s books, what are you waiting for? :)

You won't go wrong with any of her books. ENJOY....I know you will. 5/5
The Walnut Tree: A Holiday Tale
by Charles Todd
The Walnut Tree (3/13/2019)
Alain told Lady Elspeth Douglas not to worry as he went off to fight and she stayed home with his ring on her finger because the war would be over by Christmas. Little did they know that the war would NOT be over by Christmas.

Lady Douglas decided that she didn't want to just sit around and wait so she joined the Nursing Sisters...she meets Todd's famous Bess Crawford during this time. Since Lady Douglas was born and raised in a privileged household, it was unheard of for a woman of her class to join the nursing profession and treat wounded men. It was stated that anyone of her class wouldn't be acceptable as a wife to a gentleman if she was part of the nursing sisters. She thought otherwise. To avoid being turned down, she kept her title a secret when she applied to become a nurse.

The book follows Elspeth through her duties as a nurse in France and England during WWII. Of course, she met someone else even though she was engaged to Alain....this theme was the main part of the book. You will find out how she handles this situation and each situation that occurs whether the situation is traveling alone on trains and boats filled with soldiers, visiting relatives, or nursing.

The book is mixed with this love story and war. Mr. Todd takes the reader into the hospitals and gives details about the surgical and nursing units and the unpleasant tasks carried out by the nurses and doctors. He also brings the reader into the thick of the heartbreak, disasters, and ugliness of war. Elspeth's love story has a culminating scene under a walnut tree that binds her and her true love.

I enjoyed the book, but it was a bit of a tedious read. You will want to keep reading, though, because you will want to find out how the love part of the story turns out. WWII history buffs will love all the details that Mr. Todd so exquisitely and brilliantly knows how to portray. My rating is 4/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
After I'm Gone
by Laura Lippman
After I'm Gone (3/13/2019)
One disappearance and then another ten years later. Could both these disappearances have been planned far apart so no one would know the real reason?

Felix Brewer disappeared because he wanted to avoid going to jail for his misdeeds. He left his wife and three daughters, but was his wife really surprised he had left? He never really was with her in the first place. He always had a mistress and was rarely home. His mistress, Julie, was his most steady one. To cause more heartache and questions after Julie’s disappearance, Felix's wife wonders if she may have gone with him.

The questions about whether they were together or not surfaced twenty-six years later when they found Julie's body.

AFTER I'M GONE moves from present to past and from character to character. I actually was not swept away as I had been with Ms. Lippman's other books until the ending pages.

It was very confusing even when I was three quarters of the way into the book. I had trouble following the storyline. The detective, Sandy, made the book for me.

I had to keep reading, though, just to see if they found out where Felix was and who had killed Julie.

I am not going to say I disliked this book, but it just didn't grab me, didn’t pull me back to reading, or have me thinking about the characters or story when I wasn't reading. AFTER I'M GONE definitely has a character-driven storyline even though they were not likeable. Most of them were only worried about themselves.

Ms. Lippman may have been trying something different with this book, but I have to say I was disappointed until the end. Whenever I hear Laura Lippman, I normally know I am in for a real treat. The treat was late in coming as it came toward the end of the book as Sandy was wrapping up the investigation. AFTER I'M GONE actually got quite good at this point, and the outcome of “who done it” was very clever.

As I turned the ending pages, I said: "I know this person did it," and then I said: "no that person did," but I was wrong. When you find out who really “did it,” you will love it.

My rating originally was going to be a 3/5, but the sensational, clever ending that kept me guessing is going to move it up to a 4/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
The Almost Sisters
by Joshilyn Jackson
The Almost Sisters (3/13/2019)
A successful career, an ailing grandmother, a one-night stand, and a Southern family with untold secrets.

Leia had always been close to her grandmother, but did she really know her grandmother? After finding out her grandmother has been suffering with dementia for over 10 years, Leia puts the job she loves on hold and goes to Alabama to see what actually is going on.

What Leia finds at her grandmother's home isn't what she had expected, and coupled with her unexpected pregnancy was a bit ?overwhelmed.

Grandmother Birchie and her life-long friend, Wittie, are delightful characters and characters that can no longer live alone, but are putting up a fight.? When the secret in their attic is found, they get a reprieve from having to leave their home becaus?e the Sheriff ordered them to stay in the state.

THE ALMOST SISTERS had a lot of drama? and a lot of love?. I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline, the Southern charm, and especially the characters. They all were lovable, authentic, and sweet in their own way.

THE ALMOST SISTERS was a very enjoyable first book I have read by ?Ms. Jackson?. She has a marvelous writing style and a women’s-fiction-theme-based story with some characters having unusual problems and others with normal, everyday problems that the reader can relate to.

THE ALMOST SISTERS is a touching, endearing book about family.

I would ?recommend THE ALMOST SISTERS to readers who enjoy Southern living and adorable characters you wish you could spend some time with and will miss once you turn the last page.

THE ALMOST SISTERS is a book that will bring you closer to your own loved ones. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for a honest review.
Hush Hush: A Tess Monaghan Novel
by Laura Lippman
Hush Hush (3/13/2019)
Did she or didn't she?

Melisandre was found not guilty, but was the charge of insanity the correct charge? How could anyone not be guilty of forgetting her child in a hot car?

After the trial, Melisandre left the country and lost custody of her other two children.

Melisandre returned years later, but when another murder occurred and she was present, she wasn't going to be going anywhere.

The characters in HUSH, HUSH were an interesting mix and most were not likable. Melisandre was evil and manipulative, and her ex-husband wasn't a nice person. The girls, Alanna and Ruby, were ok. They were confused and were the way they were because of their crazy mother and their sneaky father.

HUSH, HUSH was set up in an interesting way. The book started? out with an interview and had several throughout the book with people who knew Melisandre because Melisandre wanted to make a documentary about when she met her estranged daughters. I didn't understand what the documentary was going to prove or the purpose of it. HUSH, HUSH then went back and forth between Melisandre and Tess's life and actually all over the place.

HUSH, HUSH was difficult for me to follow. Not sure if it was the way it was set up or just the storyline. I also couldn't keep the characters straight. It did get a bit better toward the end but was still confusing even though the ending pages wrapped it all up.

I was disappointed because I always enjoy Ms. Lippman's books. 3/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Wilde Lake
by Laura Lippman
Wilde Lake (3/13/2019)
The famous Brandt family....could they do anything wrong or were they not able to because of their status? Or...did they do it anyway?

The Brandt family was made up of attorneys and secrets.? Lu and her brother AJ were eight years apart with Lu admiring AJ and his friends. The secrets kept all of those years of the night AJ saved someone's life along with another secret and how it affected their lives became apparent as the book continued.?

Wilde Lake tells the story through flashbacks.? The flashbacks allowed us into the Brandt family's history.?

Lu Brandt tells of her motherless childhood, how she admired her older brother, and of her adult life raising twins alone and being the ?first female state's attorney of Howard County, Maryland, trying a homeless man for murder.

?As this trial moved forward quickly and then ended quickly, things that had happened in the past slowly creeped up.?

WILDE LAKE seemed more of a family saga than a mystery. ?I enjoyed the characters even though they all were a bit socially awkward.

WILDE LAKE dragged a little at times because I kept waiting for the mystery.

I can’t say I didn’t like the book, but it took a while to get to the mystery, but it was worth the wait.

ENJOY when you read WILDE LAKE. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
by Laura Lippman
Sunburn (3/13/2019)
Two men, more added on, one woman, many lies and a lot of deceit.

SUNBURN has your brain burning to find out what is really going on.

Polly has just left her husband, Gregg, and her daughter, Jani, while they were at the beach. She had it planned, but we don't know why.

Gregg was ready to leave the marriage, but Polly took off first.

Adam is also mysterious because we don't know what he is up to since he showed up at the same time Polly did and decided to hang around and work at the same place Polly found a job.

The suspense continues non-stop as secrets come out and Polly keeps manipulating and planning. She has a secret she won’t tell and things she needs to take care of.

Surprises continue to pop up, and the intrigue intensifies as Polly continues to secretly and mysteriously do what she does best.

Wow...Ms. Lippman has outdone herself with this book.

Absolutely loved it...the entire storyline and ending were great!!

Ms. Lippman has written another psychological page turner which is going to be a favorite.

SUNBURN is truly a masterpiece of suspense!! One of her best. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher, Bookperk, PageTurners, and Edelweiss in return for an honest review.
The Wife Between Us
by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
The Wife Between Us (3/13/2019)
Don't marry Richard...you don't know what you are getting yourself into.

Vanessa was Richard's first wife and wanted to warn her replacement to not marry Richard. Vanessa also had some mental issues or maybe she didn’t and was made to think she did.

The entire book was a guess what or guess who and then it all became changed with a new guess what or guess who.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US switches back and forth in time with all the characters. The book gives hints about the main issue, the husband, and his possessiveness, but it is very subtle.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US was confusing but a good confusing because the authors wanted it that way…brilliant tactic!!

The ending had me saying HMMMMM, but the only way to experience the book is to make sure you read it yourself and form your own opinion. I don't think anyone can tell you what to think or surmise. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
The Last Romantics
by Tara Conklin
The Last Romantics (2/6/2019)
The family had to move to a smaller house and a not-so-nice neighborhood and to fend for themselves because they only saw their mother when she decided to venture out from her bedroom.

Renee was the oldest, Caroline was next in line, Joe was the only boy, and Fiona was the baby when it all happened. They called this time their mother was absent The Pause. The Pause went on for a few years.

The children did well for a while, but then things started to get tough. Renee couldn’t take the responsibility, and the other children couldn’t do without her. They started going their separate ways and weren’t as close knit as they had been until one day another adult stepped in, got them some help, and got their mother Antonia out of bed.

Things looked up after that, and the family unit worked better together as everyone grew up.

We learn of what happened to each family member whether good or bad. They all loved each other and were there for each other.

I was disappointed in this book even though it has Ms. Conklin's beautiful, detailed writing.

THE LAST ROMANTICS was not an appealing read or of interest, and I struggled to read it in its entirety especially since I LOVED her first book.

I know I am in the minority for opinions. 2/5

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via NETGALLEY and in print in exchange for an honest review.
Forget You Know Me
by Jessica Strawser
Secrets, secrets, secrets (2/5/2019)
Each character has something they hide from another character and actually from themselves.

We first meet Liza and Molly the night of their long overdue Skype chat that was to bring them close again, but the chat turned everything sour.

Another question is what was going on between Molly and her husband that she couldn’t tell him or even call him about the scary incident that Liza had seen?

An answer might be that there were a lot of things happening in Molly and Daniel's life that were not being addressed, and it had nothing to do with what happened in the Skype chat.

The tension mounted as we learn more about what was going on with everyone and how cunning and sneaky some of the characters were.

If you enjoy personal drama, seeing how any type of relationship can fall apart, characters that are somewhat believable, secrets, and a story line that will have you thinking about the situations and choices the characters made long after you turn the last page, then FORGET YOU KNOW ME will be a book you won't want to miss.

I do have to say that the book dragged on a bit too long, but it didn't affect the read. I still enjoyed the book and the revelations at the end. 4/5

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Wartime Sisters
by Lynda Cohen Loigman
The Wartime Sisters (1/22/2019)
Sisters who didn't get along because of jealousy.

Sisters who didn't get along because of different ways of looking at things.

Sisters who just didn't get along or agree about anything.

Ruth and Millie were sisters who fit into those categories. Ruth was older and more reliable. Millie just couldn't focus on anything and was not reliable but earned the favor of their mother and could do no wrong in her eyes.

THE WARTIME SISTERS focuses on relationships between the sisters, between a mother and her daughters, between other women, and on how everything affected their daily lives.

We follow Ruth and Millie from their childhood to the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts during WWII. We see the friction between the sisters during both time periods in their lives. Nothing had changed over the years for them.

THE WARTIME SISTERS held my interest because of the well developed characters. Each one had something interesting about themselves and something that truly added to the story line.

Lillian was a favorite character for me. She was very nurturing. Ruth was likeable, but a bit too strict and unforgiving. Millie was a bit pitiful because she knew she had made a bad mistake by marrying Lenny, but I liked her. Arietta was the best...I just loved her singing and her cooking.

Ms. Loigman's writing is very detailed and pulls you in with the beautiful way she has the words simply grab you.

When a small comment was slyly dropped in one of the chapters about a truth Ruth kept from Millie and then a truth Millie had kept from Ruth, the interest definitely was upped.

THE WARTIME SISTERS is a beautiful, warm, marvelously researched read.
City of Women: A Novel
by David R. Gillham
City of Women (1/15/2019)
The book's title indicates what Berlin was like during WWII....women waiting for their soldiers to return home, women enduring the air raids, women keeping an eye out for traitors and those not following the German edicts at that time, and women going to work.

Sigrid lived with her mother-in-law and hated every moment. She worked in the day and kept people on their toes at all times, but always made friends. Her favorite place to meet people for clandestine reasons or even legitimate reasons was in the movie theater. You will follow Sigrid through her daily routines as well as her covert actions of smuggling and other secret activities. You will also be fearing what her decisions would be in different situations.....situations involving fellow citizens, situations where she would be meeting a lover, or situations where she was helping hide Jewish people.

I liked Sigrid and could see why she despised living with her mother-in-law. She was a very strong woman and knew who she could trust and who was actually trying to trick her to see if she was being loyal to Hitler. Her decisions were the basis of the book and what made the book quite gripping.

The book was beautifully written with wonderful detail and great descriptions of what life was like in Berlin at that time in history. The German names were a bit difficult to keep track of, and it took a few pages to get into the storyline, but you could figure out what was going on and will become completely absorbed in the book because of the author's magnificent writing.

This is a compelling novel that will have you putting yourself into the story and also one that will be making you nervous for the characters as they endured the life they lived and definitely will be making you fear the outcomes of their unethical or illegal deeds. You will become immersed in the story and the characters simply because of the eloquent writing style of the author and its riveting content.

Even though it takes a few pages to get involved with the characters and the story, it is a book you won't want to miss. The cover itself is enough to draw you in. The genuine feel of the era is magnificently relayed to the reader and takes you along page by page into Berlin and into the lives and terrors of Berlin's citizens. 5/5

I received this book free of charge from the publisher at the BEA in New York City in June of 2012 in exchange for an honest review.
Emma in the Night
by Wendy Walker
Emma In The Night (1/10/2019)
Two sisters disappear after a fight over a necklace, two sisters leave no trace except a pair of shoes and a car on the beach, two sisters leave and then one sister returns after three years.

The police have questions for Cass about where she and Emma were, but Cass can't pinpoint where they have been held captive for the past three years. Cass only knows it was an island.

EMMA IN THE NIGHT moves along as we join in the questioning of Cass by the police and a psychologist. Cass tells all, but holds back some things on purpose. What Cass doesn't hold back is what she wants to shock her mother with because her mother was abusive and a narcissist.

Mrs. Martin as Cass calls her mother was the reason they left. Cass's story about their three years away was filled with half truths, and Cass seemed to lie quite a lot about many things.

The characters all seemed mentally disturbed and as if they had to be top dog competing with and against each other.

As the book continued, the tension about the story of the girls leaving home and the investigation increased. You never knew who to trust or to believe.

EMMA IN THE NIGHT is definitely a psychological thriller. The most interesting aspect was learning about narcissism and how it affects an entire family. It actually was an education and thoroughly frightening to learn about this disorder.

Readers who enjoy unusual family drama along with intense psychological situations to the point of unbelievable will enjoy EMMA IN THE NIGHT.

The ending was exceptional and unexpected, and the book was a bit disturbing. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Sold on a Monday
by Kristina McMorris
Sold On A Monday (1/9/2019)
Good and bad things seemed to happen on Mondays for Ellis Reed, but more bad.

The day Ellis was biding time until a scheduled meeting, happened to be the day his career changed, but it also was the day that would change his life and the life of the Dillard family.

Ellis’s story about a family who had their children for sale turned out to be something more than a story. It really happened, and when Ellis found out, he couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Meanwhile Lily worked at the paper as a secretary and had a part in this story even though she didn’t write the story. Lily had a secret about the story and her personal life that she hoped would never be revealed, but you know how things work with secrets.

Ellis wanted to be successful, but once he was, he still held back because he felt his success was based on the misfortunes of the family he had taken a photo of and had written a story about.

Ellis and Lily worked together once they found out what happened to the Dillard’s after the publication of the story and the sign that said: 2 Children for Sale.

They both felt responsible for the outcome, and it haunted both of them. Neither Lily or Ellis wanted to rest until they found out where the children were and what happened to their mother.

Set during the depression, you can feel the troubles and worries families had and the desperate measures some of them took.

SOLD ON A MONDAY has wonderful, lovable characters. Ms. McMorris marvelously portrayed characters you would want to know. You will be with them in their pain, their indecisions, their decisions, their love for each other, and their feelings.

Ms. McMorris knows how to tell a story and keep you interested. SOLD ON A MONDAY is a beautiful story about caring and compassion.

SOLD ON A MONDAY was heartwarming as well as heartbreaking.

It is a book women’s fiction fans won’t want to miss. 5/5

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Our House
by Louise Candlish
Our House (1/9/2019)
My house? Your house? Whose house is it?

Seeing someone moving in is no big deal in this neighborhood, but someone moving into YOUR house IS a big deal.

Fi had no idea that the morning she came back from a business trip there would be a moving van in the driveway and all of her belongings would be gone.

Where did everything go and what was going on? Another puzzling fact is that she was not able to get in touch with her husband.

We go back and forth in time and find out the circumstances leading up to the unknown sale. Bram had a shady past and secrets, but how could this have happened?

The situation was very tense, and hopefully can’t happen. Having your house sold right under your nose without signing anything or knowing anything about is frightening.

Both the house situation and what the characters were doing was truly unbelievable and hopefully not something that could be done.

Each chapter leads us to more and more about what was going on with the situation and the characters. I didn’t find one character that was likable in this book, but that didn’t take away from the excellent story line.

OUR HOUSE is one of the most creative suspense books I have read.

If you like to wonder what makes people do what they do, and you like to keep guessing at it, OUR HOUSE is a must read this summer.

OUR HOUSE is bizarre, nerve wracking, and unbelievable, but oh so good. That last line is WOW!!

Enjoy if you read this book. 5/5

This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
The Summer Wives
by Beatriz Williams
The Summer Wives (1/9/2019)
Miranda has come back after eighteen years to the island where she has spent every summer since her mother married into the prestigious Fisher family. She hasn’t told anyone the reason why she has returned to Winthrop’s Island with bruises that no one mentions, but since she stays for a relatively long time, the reason can be assumed even though it might be the wrong guess.

Miranda's return isn’t a welcome event even after all of this time, though, because of her testimony at the trial of the lighthouse keeper’s son back in 1951 when she was eighteen and in love with the accused.

Miranda hadn’t grown up with the elite and wealthy. When her mother married Hugh Fisher after her father was killed in WWII, she is introduced to that life and also sees how the year-round residents who fish and work as domestics live.

THE SUMMER WIVES goes back and forth from 1930 to 1951 and then to 1969. We learn about Miranda’s life, the lives of the Fisher and Monk families, the lives of other island residents, and how the lives of the domestic help are all connected by one specific incident during those years.

I enjoyed the story from the 1950’s the best. It was the most interesting and the least confusing. The 1930’s didn’t make sense to me how it fit in, but as I kept reading, I found out that it kept a secret and held a BIG surprise.

Ms. Williams has written another book that will hold your interest but has a bit of confusing story line with all the back and forth.

THE SUMMER WIVES is a story of the typical antics and lives of privileged families. We learn that most of the Winthrop Island families may have had money, but most of them are not happy.

THE SUMMER WIVES has a great setting, good story line, and has characters with problems and secrets both past and present.

I enjoyed Ms. Williams’ latest even though it dragged a bit at times, but the ending had it all coming together and was very satisfying. 4/5

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Next Year in Havana
by Chanel Cleeton
Next Year In Havana (1/9/2019)
The Perez girls were the talk of the town for many reasons.

The day they had to leave Cuba was not pleasant but a necessary event.

We meet the girls when their family was prosperous and in power, and then we move to when the granddaughter of Elisa Perez, Marisol, comes back to Havana as a grown woman and a journalist to find a place to spread her grandmother’s ashes in her beloved Cuba.

What her granddaughter finds is a box that her grandmother had buried and was told to keep for Marisol. What Marisol finds inside the box is upsetting and reveals something no one ever knew or perhaps something Elisa never told anyone.

Marisol is determined to find out more, but is warned about the danger of looking into someone's past.

Ms. Chantell has a mesmerizing effect on you as you read about the adventures and lives of the Perez girls and of living in Cuba then and now.

Her descriptions of the scenery, the kitchens, the food, and simply everything is detailed, beautiful, and exquisite.

Let’s not forget that absolutely gorgeous cover, and remember that no book can be complete without a little bit of love and romance.

The book was a lesson in the history of Cuba and its people. If you have an interest in the history of Cuba, NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA will be a book you won't want to miss.

The secret that Marisol finds out about her grandmother is sweet but heartbreaking.

ENJOY if you read NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.
As Bright as Heaven
by Susan Meissner
As Bright As Heaven (1/9/2019)
From a small town in Pennsylvania as a family rolling tobacco leaves for a living to Philadelphia as a family living and working in a funeral home.

The Brights made a big change from their quiet life in Quakertown to the noisy, big city of Philadelphia. Both the city and the job Thomas Bright had were quite different from what they were used to.

The girls had to leave their friends and make new ones, but most folks weren't interested in being friends with a funeral director's daughter. Pauline Bright was always solemn and quiet since the death of her infant son, but she seemed a bit better but different in Philadelphia.

Along with the change in their lives comes Thomas going off to war and then the Spanish flu arriving full force and killing thousands.

AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN has the reader following and becoming immersed in the lives of the Bright family. They were a sweet, unassuming family that you will want to be a part of and to get to know better.

The reader will also learn about The Spanish Flu and its devastation of the population around the world. If you are like me, you will do research of your own about the Spanish Flu.

Ms. Meissner has written another touching book that teaches us some history as well as teaches us about the goodness of mankind and its generosity in times of a crisis.

Another marvelous, heartfelt read by Ms. Meissner you won't want to miss. You will fall in love with the characters and won't want the book to end.

AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN has a beautiful story line, beautiful research, and beautiful characters.

You will also need a few tissues. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher, NetGalley, and BookishFirst. I received an ARC. All opinions are my own.

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