It seems that there is a lack of understanding all over the world. Vivek is deposited on the steps of his family home dead. Vivek has been a bit of a mystery to them his whole young life but to his friends especially his cousin Osita - he is a miracle. Osita is dealing with secrets just like Vivek and they are only truly at peace when they are with each other or the mixed culture girls of the Nigerwives. Their parents only want them to get a good education, find a good Nigerian woman to marry and be just like them. The world is changing and they looked the other way unable to see anything different than what they wanted to see plus they have secrets of their own. Powerful and heartbreaking it should make us all take time to truly listen to our kids and just love them. 4 stars
A mystery within a mystery! A young woman arrives at a remote island searching for an older recluse author to edit his collection of murder mysteries which will now be published years after he wrote them. As they read and discuss each story the author reveals a bit of his mathematical system for writing but nothing of his own history. With each story we, the reader, begin to wonder about the author's past as much as the editor. Full of clues and mis-clues this is the ultimate Agatha Christie and Sir Conan Doyle's fan fiction. It is a candy store for the amateur sleuth in all of us. The mathematical formulas and components of what makes a good detective story are as interesting as the stories themselves. A stellar debut that will leave you thinking about it well after the last page. For fans of classic detective stories as well as those newer thrillers that play twisted mind games with the reader. 4 1/2 stars
A cautionary look at climate change, big fishing and the last two Arctic terns left in the world. Trading Ireland for Greenland, Franny is out to tag and then follow these birds to their nesting grounds south. She is desperate to find a fishing boat to get her there and is willing to do just about anything to follow the pair of birds. Ennis is the captain of a fishing boat who is kind of like Captain Ahab searching for the illusive white whale. Franny convinces him and his rag tag crew that these birds will lead them to fish nirvana and it goes downhill from there. The deeper we dig into Franny's past the more muddied her current quest becomes. A game of cat and mouse or rather, killer whale and seal is being played and it may not have anything to do with birds. Quirky but kind characters and Franny who is has run away most of her life make for an illuminating tale about love, mistakes and forgiveness. 4 stars
3 1/2 stars
Ariel is coming home years after she ran from home. She wants to make amends with her mom and invite her to Ariel's upcoming wedding. Life has been tough for her mom who runs an animal sanctuary that is bleeding her dry. Even with a couple to help out she barely has five minutes to herself before a furry paw is nudging her or a crisis happens. Money is in short supply, medicine is in short supply and her patience is gone. Ariel coming home has its own ups and downs. While trying to help her mom out she must deal with her feelings for the man she left behind, promises that were broken and then her fiancee shows up to complicate things even more. Poignant, heart warming and utterly believable this is a sweet story of the power of love to heal - furry or human.
3 1/2 stars
Danny has lost his wife and since her death, his son Will has lost his voice. To make matters worse he owes people a bunch of money and he was just fired from his construction job. So what is an unemployed single dad to do? Buy a panda costume and become a street performer of course! Being disguised in a panda suit has another important perk. He is able to interact with his son and help him deal with his grief, without his son being aware of who he is talking to. A light hearted look at bad luck, grief and being a single parent that will make you smile. Maybe being a dancing panda is Danny's destiny and in finding himself he can find the son he thought he lost.
I don't know if there is such a thing as a fun detective book but if there is then Private Detective Nils Shapiro has to be near the top of the list. He is summoned by an overprotective grandmother and sent from his home in Minnesota to the wilds of Hollywood to make sure the grandson is not wasting his inheritance making movies. It turns out that is exactly what he is doing but the money will not be wasted as he is cutting out the middleman and letting the creative side dig in. Ebben may be doing a noble thing but he has made somebody mad because he and everyone around him seems to be in danger. Nils along with his support staff from Minnesota just want to get the job done and get back home. Nils is a great character- a midwest version of Jack Reacher who is at home in the midwest but Hollywood might as well be Mars. He is just an all around good guy caught up in a bad guy business. 4 stars
Wow! Hold onto your armrests readers because this is one bumpy ride. A sister is released from a psychiatric hospital that she has willingly lived at for 15 years. As a child she was convinced that she shot her mother which then caused her father to shoot himself and take the blame. Now, as a grown woman she is going back to the Upper Peninsula home where it began and reunited with her older sister and aunt. Some of her memories are different than the police report and she is starting to question her guilt. Do we believe her version that it was a sad accident or do we think somebody is messing with her mind?
In alternating chapters that go back to the early days when the girls were young we start to get a different POV. Packs a punch and never lets up. A intense journey into remote Michigan almost to Canada that the author knows extremely well - animals, guns and scary things. This will get any thriller reader's blood pressure up. 4 stars
Ten year old Misty knows that the world is changing. Her dad has left home, the crawdads don't speak to her like they used to and then there are the bad times with the neighbor boy. Things are changing and Misty feels like she has no way to control them and just like the strange statues that have appeared in her cranky neighbors garden, life doesn't make sense. A blend of coming of age in the Appalachian mountains and a tiny bit of horror and loss of self worth. Misty's ability to speak to the natural world is a wondrous thing but is it enough to protect her from the fear and loss of control. This is a quiet but troubling story and one that will have you hoping Misty will find her voice. Fans of WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING , THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK and ECHO MOUNTAIN will find nature's voice here. 4 stars
3 1/2 stars
Four older women friends have been coming together at this Australian beach house for years. This time is very different because Sylvie isn't with them and they are there to sort through her things, tidy the house and grieve. Jude arrives with her ancient deaf dog who is barely hanging on with a thread but he is Jude's lifeline and she can't let him go. Wendy is a bit of a mess and Adele seems to be hoping to reclaim some of the celebrity of her youth. Too much wine, too much drama and too many dog accidents as well as unwelcome guests make for a week of truth none of them want. While not a happy book it does feel very genuine about long time female friendships and growing old.
A riveting story of the unintended masterminds behind the creation of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos and what working on this did to them. Charlie Fish was not Brenda Dubie's idea of a boyfriend but there was something endearing about him. Their relationship began in Chicago and continued in New Mexico where Brenda followed Charlie. The emotional toll that creating this ultimate destruction is evident on every page not to mention how it affected every relationship they were in during and after the war. First rate historical fiction that will appeal to war and history buffs as well as those who love a good old-fashioned romance thrown in for good measure. 4 stars
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