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Friday, March 27, 2015

FINDING ME (KATHRYN CUSHMAN)



ISBN: 978-0-7642-1261-1

 
What would you do if you learned your life was a lie?

All her life, Kelli Huddleston has been told the story of a fire - a fire that killed her mother and two siblings when she was an infant. After her father's death, though, she uncovers evidence of a different story, including clippings about a boat accident that killed a young father and his infant daughter. And Kelli quietly realizes the story of her life has been a fiction.

How far would you go to discover the truth?

Armed with only a few pictures of what she thinks might be her family, Kelli crosses the country to Tennessee, determined to uncover the truth about what happened over twenty years ago in a small southern town. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are jeopardized, Kelli is faced with an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.

FINDING ME was a phenomenal read, don't miss this one!

DOG CRAZY (MEG DONOHUE)



ISBN: 978-0-06-233103-8

As a pet breavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog resuce organization.

Everything changes when a distraught woman shows up at Maggie's office and claims that her dog has been stolen. Searching the streets of San Francisco for the missing pooch, Maggie finds herself entangled in a mystery that forces her to finally face her biggest fear - and to open her heart to new love.

Packed with deep emotion and charming surprises, DOG CRAZY is a bighearted and entertaining story that skillfully captures the bonds of love, the pain of separation, and the power of our dogs to heal us.

Anyone who loves dogs will adore this story and understand the physical, emotional, and spiritual bonds that people have with their four-legged fur friends. I hope their will be a sequel to this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

HOUSE BROKEN (SONJA YOERG)


ISBN: 978-0-451-47213-7

For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They're also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it's up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.

Since her teens, Geneva has kept her self-destructive mother at arm's length. Now, with two slippery teenagers of her own at home, the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix. But Geneva's husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden chance to repair their relationship.

Geneva isn't expecting her mother to change anytime soon, but she may finally get answers to the questions she's been asking for so long. As the truth about her family unfolds, however, Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive.

My eyes never left the pages until I was done, I read this in one sitting as I just couldn't put it down. Helen is certainly a force to be reckoned with and I'm glad she wasn't my mother. I felt sorry for Geneva who put up with a lot, much to the detriment of her own health and sanity, but she did what any responsible adult child would do and took Helen in anyway. However, even the worst of families sometimes come out at the end okay, much worse for the wear at times, others better people for what they've endured together.

MEAN STREAK (SANDRA BROWN)




ISBN: 978-1-4555-8114-6

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband, Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of "instant divorce," Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consicousness and finds herself held captive by a man whose violent past is so dark that he won't even tell her his name. She's determined to escape from him and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

As her husband's deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer from those who wish her dead - and from heartbreak.

This was a real nail-bitter of a read! And, surprise oh surprise, I certainly didn't see THAT end coming at all. As usual, Sandra Brown continues to entertain to the fullest degree possible. Highly recommended for those who want a good suspense story.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

THE BOSTON GIRL (ANITA DIAMANT)




THE BOSTON GIRL (ANITA DIAMANT)

 
ISBN: 978-1-4391-9935-0



Told through the eyes of a young Jewish woman growing up in the North End of Boston in the early twentieth century, Addie Baum is the Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Addie's intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can't imagine - a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women; a world where women finish high school, go to college, have a career, and find true love on their own.

THE BOSTON GIRL begins when Addie's twenty-two-year-old granddaughter asks "How did you get to be the woman you are today?" Eighty-five-year-old Addie starts her story in 1915 - the year she joined the library group for girls at a neighborhood settlement house, where she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naive girl she was, empathy for the woman she has become, and wicked sense of humor.

Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Diamant's previous novels bestsellers, THE BOSTON GIRL is a moving portrait of one woman's complicated life in twentieth-century America and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.

I fell totally in love with Addie Baum. She was so lovable, so kind-hearted, so naive, so innocent that you just wanted to hug her and tell her how much she was loved. Anita Diamant has certainly outdone herself with THE BOSTON GIRL. I'm going to remember Addie Baum for a long time to come. I highly recommend this novel for everyone, especially those fascinated with history.

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES (SALLY HEPWORTH)



ISBN: 978-1-250-05189-9

Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy - including the identity of the baby's father - hidden from her family and coworkers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it unbearable to let this secret rest. The more Grace rods, the tighter Neva holds to her story, and the more the lifelong differences between private, quiet Neva and open, gregarios Grace strain their relationship. For Floss, Neva's grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva's situation thrusts her back sixty years in time to a secret that errily mirrors her granddaughter's - one which, if revealed will have life-changing consquences for them all. As Neva's pregnancy progresses and speculation makes is harder and harder to conceal th truth, Floss wonder if hiding her own truth is ultimately more harmful than telling it. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal ith the inevitable condequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?

Three generations of women with secrets from the present and the past make for good story-telling. I loved these women's characters and felt like I knew them well and wanted to spend more time with them. I didn't want the book to end. I also enjoyed Ms. Hepworth's writing style and will be looking for more of her work. For anyone who enjoys stories about midwives, this one will give you exactly what you're looking for. Highly recommendable.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

HOLLOW CITY: THE SECOND NOVEL OF MISS PEREGRINE'S PECULIAR CHILDREN (RANSOM RIGGS)



ISBN: 978-1-59474-735-9

 
September 3, 1940, TEN PECULIAR CHILDREN FLEE an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them - but she's trapped in the body of a bird. The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

Hollow City was as exciting and magical as the first novel and I couldn't wait to finish it to find out what happened. The characters are so well fleshed out and the plot line runs along smooth as glass, not a single word out of place. I'm really looking forward to the third installment.