Paul and his lovely wife, Mia are headed to their lake house for their best day ever. They have left their children in the hands of a young girl and are going to rekindle their marriage or are they? Paul loves his wife and has planned this weekend to show her how devoted he is or is it that Paul wants others to think he is the devoted husband and he really can't tolerate anyone who goes against his every desire. As the book progresses we begin to wonder if their relationship is all as it seems. Will this truly be their best day ever or is it the start of a nightmare they will never forget. Paul is the perfect unreliable narrator and you want to hate him but you will feel compelled to keep reading.
Jacob Koopman lives in Holland with his family as war breaks out and suddenly his world turns upside down. His father, eager to land a big account with Volkswagen for his lightbulbs, travels to Germany frequently and encourages Jacob and his brother to improve relations with them by sending the boys to a German summer camp. Soon after war is declared , the Koopmans begin to feel the sting of the Third Reich and also from the relentless bombs of the Allied troops. Jacob begins to help his Uncle sabotage the Germans while pretending to aid in ferrying troops and supplies using his Uncle's boat.
With the war raining down hardships and Jacob's losses adding up he begins to lose his way and finds he can no longer help either side but just survive. He begins as a boat runner and ends as a boat runner. This tragic tale is one of many in an ugly war where families were torn apart and heroes made where yesterday children stood.
Ernst finds himself on his way to America after his Chinese dirt poor mother gives him up. Just as he finds his way at the boarding school/orphanage in Seattle, he is once again given away as the lottery prize at the World's Fair ending up at a high end brothel. After being reunited with his savoir on their dark voyage across the Pacific, Ernst meets Maisie and the three become inseparable. Fast forward to the 60's and Ernst is now fighting to help his wife remember their life together. When her memories unearth their real story, Ernst must decide to share what really happened with their daughters. This is a story of a great love, an undying spirit of hope and a true look at the immigrant experience in the States.
In early 1800's in Brittany, the Orchiere women led by Grandmere Ursule keep the old faith alive but always in secret. Persecuted by the church for witchcraft, they are hunted down and killed. Each generation of these women produce one daughter who will inherit the skill, power and the crystal tailsman but always it must be kept a secret. Some use the power for love, some for safety and others for less noble means. The book follows five generations of these women in language rich with historically vibrant stories. The storytelling of these women, both brave and devious, is magical.
Historical fantasy at its best.
Classic coming of age story about the have and the have nots - about the choices we make that keep us going or haunt us forever. Mia and her daughter Pearl lead a nomadic existence but soon try to put down roots in Shaker Heights where the beautiful well off people live. They are lucky to be renting a small cottage nearby for a modest sum which still allows Mia to work odd jobs to support herself and Pearl but really focus on her art. Soon their landlords, The Richardson's lives and their own are woven tight as kids and the adults form relationships and friendships. Pearl gets on well with the Richardson kids and is soon spending more time with them than with her mom. Life is good until the past comes to light and present jealousies get in the way. There are no good guys or bad guys here - only the misguided victims. Beautifully crafted - these families are like all those around you. It stays with you long after the last page is turned.
Naomi is in search of a little girl who is lost in the woods - three years ago. She has been hired by the girl's distraught parents as her reputation for finding lost people has reached desperate ears. The story is split between Naomi and the missing "snow child". Not only did the "snow child" survive but she may not feel like a captive. A side case that Naomi is working on does not have a happy ending. We see through Naomi's eyes that the circumstances of all the missing may take many forms. Naomi herself is dealing with issues. This multi-layered novel is quiet and heartbreaking and violent all at once.
Imagine that in the not too distant future America is messed up with the majority of people crammed into living on one side of a wasteland named "The Salt Line". The well off folks can pay for the boot camp adventure of a lifetime on the other side of the salt line but with luxury camping or at least that is what they think. Instead, they are shown a vast area where if the killer ticks get you and you aren't able to catch the bug before she lays eggs goodbye camper, they visit abandoned relic museums named Cracker Barrel and try not to let anything happen to their partner. Soon things go downhill quickly and the ticks might not be the most dangerous thing out there. They all had different reasons for going on this trip but surviving it will be the one thing they all share. A touch of "Station Eleven", "The Fireman" and "Survivor" it is a thrill ride from start to finish.
Lizzie is the only child of two revered psychologist professors who treat her more like their own science experiment than their child so it is no wonder that she is an emotional mess. A high school dare gone awry and a lost "love of her life", Lizzie meets George and falls in love...almost. While the noble, stable and completely normal George fights to win her undying love and cure Lizzie's profound sadness, Lizzie meanwhile searches endlessly for the one that got away. She envelops George's family who do their best to give her the family life she never had and tries to keep the demons at bay. A wonderful love story with real people who live in that same screwed up space we all do, dealing with the same issues we all face. George and Lizzie will make you cry, sigh and laugh and we could all do with more of that.
Turtle and her dad live far away from the world in the hills near Mendocino. They live the life of hermits ,a solitary existence where the only people Turtle comes into contact with are her dad, teachers, an angry bus driver and her grandfather. She has no friends and spends all her free time roaming the hills and coast. Her father, Martin, is tough and gentle, a parent and a tyrant, abusive and manipulative so Turtle is caught between love and fear. She is tough as nails but also so fragile and her story will break your heart. Her teacher and people at the middle school want to help her catch up with her studies, an old friend of her parents worries about what kind of relationship they have and her grandfather finds fault with a father who is teaching his twelve year old daughter how to hunt, shoot a variety of guns and survive in the hard world he sees himself in. It will take Jacob, an older boy who reaches out to Turtle to teach her about love and suddenly she finds herself with divided loyalties that could be very dangerous. Vivid, profound writing and a heroine with a heart of gold, Gabriel Tallent is one debut author who is going places.
This memoir is about a little girl who was raised first by her grandmother and then by her grandfather and his very young wife. This sounds innocent enough except the family business were successful adult video shops which then meant Kelly had everything she needed including being sent to a French immersion school in Los Angeles. Kelly was fortunate in that to balance her grandfather's crude remarks and rough behavior, she had a friend in his wife Marilyn. As Kelly grew up her mother's unsolved murder when she was just a baby took on more meaning and she actively pushed to have the cold case reopened and solved. Her story is heartbreaking and honest and it makes us all cherish our family and childhood innocence.
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