If you have ever binge watched "The Americans" or loved "The Expats" this is your book! Vivian and Matt have the perfect life. With the exception of one of their infant twins having health complications the other kids are doing great and their marriage is solid. Matt is an amazing dad who works from home when he can, manages the house and the kid's busy schedules because his wife's job takes her away from home. Vivian is a CIA agent about to break into a Russian spy cell. She is also about to get a nasty surprise. You think you know your spouse, your kids, your own mind - think again. The reader follows Vivian down the rabbit hole into Wonderland not trusting anything or anyone. This
is a rock solid debut thriller by a former CIA agent that will having staying up late and looking strangely at everyone close to you. This one is going to be huge!
This is a sweeping look at eternity and the love that binds parents and their child. We make deals with God all the time - in times of despair or just when we need a bit of good luck but would you make a deal to live forever in exchange for God sparing the life of your son. That is exactly what Rachel and the boy's father did in biblical times. Rachel has watched her hundreds of children grow old, outlived all of her husbands only to die and be reborn as someone new. Her true love also made the pact and they continue to meet up but never stay together for long. When one of Rachel's grandchildren tries to study the secret of her longevity and asks for a DNA sample for a study her world spins out of control. The blend of old Hebrew teachings made modern and the flashbacks back to Rachel's first life is magical.
Mary Pickford and Frances Marion took Hollywood by storm in the fledgling years of the movies and birth of the huge studios. Both took gambles and gave up much of their lives to become the best in the business although they were constantly inspected, measured and diminished because of their sex. Frances was able to rise above it but fame took much from Mary in the end. It was true then and is still true today - the public idolizes celebrities and doesn't want their image of them tarnished with real life events. You had to choose your friends and spouses carefully because someone was always waiting in the shadows looking for you to fall off that pedestal. Melanie Benjamin does what she does so well -showing us the real women not the myth, with all their frailties, grit and spirit. Historical bio-fiction doesn't get any better.
Veronica Speedwell and her coworker/love interest Stoker are never content cataloging dusty specimens for the museum so when Stoker's archeologist friend goes missing along with a looted Egyptian treasure they pool their detective skills and go off in search of answers and the treasure.
Deanna Raybourn delivers all you could want in a Victorian whodunit plus the added bonus of snarky wit and clues into the ever elusive Stoker's past.
Darrow and his friends are in power and content with their children growing up together and all the glory that came after the Revolution. They are starting to act like the Golds they sought to kick out of power ten years previous. Elsewhere in the Universe, Lyria has only known hard work, poverty and suffering in the Mars camps and then one day her life explodes as they are butchered. By doing the right thing and saving someone important she earns a safe place for her nephew and herself. Can she trust her good fortune? The Revolution should have brought peace but instead it ushered in another Revolution. This is the first of a new series that begins ten years after "Morning Star".
Clara Kelly left Ireland in a hurry to America hoping for a way to support herself and send money to support her family left at home. A mix-up over a name leaves her with a unique opportunity. She takes on the role of the other Clara and becomes the ladies maid to the Carnegie matriarch. Knowing almost nothing of her role she keeps her wits and eyes sharp and soon becomes indispensable. Andrew, the oldest son and head of the growing empire, is taken with Clara not only for her looks but for her brain. In quiet clandestine meetings they talk about books and business sharing everything but the truth. Can love be based on a lie and is love worth the risk if your family's survival is riding on it? Quiet historical fiction with a built-in moral dilemma.
Where would we be if we did not have motherhood/work guilt? Myriam needs to go back to her law job after being at home with her two small children and she feels guilty over missing that part of her life. When she and her husband find Louise she is relieved of that guilt - not only is Louise great with the kids she cooks, cleans and is on call 24/7. Myriam and Paul can entertain, go on vacations and rekindle their marriage. They don't seem to get that Louise lives in a little dumpy apartment alone, doesn't have any friends and basically doesn't have a life that doesn't include her employer and family. Everyone is happy right? Then, the horrific happens and everyone starts questioning the family, other nannies and the neighbors. Twisty, dark and an absolute no-no for anyone thinking of hiring a nanny. The author is French and the setting is Paris but this story has universal appeal.
Herbjorg Maria Bjornsson is an 80 year old woman living out her final days in a garage in Reykjavik Iceland. Her days consist of pills, vitamins and seducing younger men over the internet. It would be easy for her to be bitter especially since she has been cheated out of her money and is hardly ever visited by her sons and their families but she remains tough and tells us her story of survival during World War II. Her mother was never really there for her and her dad decided that Hitler made sense leaving them in Denmark while her enlisted. Herbjorg's experiences during the war started with her being left at a train station in Germany by her dad who had to get back to the war, told to wait for her mom who never came. Years of fending for herself and being taken advantage of by everyone made her tough as nails and she traveled to several countries before coming home to Iceland. The story is told journal style and it is a bit jumpy but that could be because it is a translation. Her story will bring tears to the hardest of hearts.
The basic premise of this story reads like a perfect dinner party conversation starter - if you knew when you were going to die would you live your life differently? The Gold children make the mistake of tracking down a local gypsy woman who tells them the date they will die. Armed with this knowledge they grow up responsible and scientific or loose and looking for the magic in the world.
As each of the sibling's date approaches the outcome begins to effect them. This is a classic family story about sibling love, jealousy and the common threads that bind them. It will make you want to call up your brothers and sisters and tell them you love them.
New Orleans 1918
A city of new beginnings now that the war is over and the birth of Jazz has begun to catch on or is it a city sliding back into the swamp facing corruption, racial tension and murder? Jazz is the newest thing to catch fire but few musicians can make a living of it. Instead they must act as laborers building the new canal or fall into illegal means that make more money. The Spanish Flu is sweeping through the city taking it's toll on young and old, black and white, rich or poor. Corruption is rampant and there is a serial killer on the loose- the Axeman who has everyone on edge and the police hassling all the young black men in the city. The author blends the characters and their story almost like the jazz music itself - short jerky bursts of violence blended with the low mournful sound of a solo trumpet.
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