Two young women travel from their southern college back to Minnesota in the dead of winter when they have a tragic accident and their car is nudged into a frigid river leaving only one girl alive. The survivor makes her way only to find herself dealing with the death of her ex-Sheriff dad and her drowned friend. The town is mourning with her but this latest incident brings up a lot of hate and suspicion over an unsolved murder of a young girl years before. This is a slow burn - a frigid conservative Minnesotan town that is suffering from reopened wounds and more questions. There is violence but also great compassion and understanding. Just like the title the swift current carries you along, leaving you no time to take in the scenery because you are too busy looking for something in the river that will drag you under.
Rebecca and Paul have the perfect marriage or did before Paul's construction business went sideways, Rebecca's Pharmaceutical Reps career and her sampling went off kilter and Paul's eyes began to stray - you get the idea. So now after almost twenty years we have the perfect disaster for the perfect marriage. Each spouse is holding back key secrets, each is far from being the perfect partner and each may have a good reason to eliminate the other. Throw in a psychotic jilted lover and a murder or two and you have the perfect plot for an edge of your seat thriller. You won't know what the heck is going on right up until the unusual, but oddly fitting, ending and you can start to breathe again. Perfect for anyone who loves their thrillers full of unreliable witnesses.
Jennie Churchill was a force to reckoned with - a brazen American who could not be tamed by her less than romantic husband nor the British aristocracy. She captivated and shocked people in equal measure and was not the model mother to Winston Churchill or his brother. Stephanie Barron paints a no holds bar portrait of a fascinating woman who may have broken every rule but was fiercely loyal and inspired her wimpy son to achieve greatness. The one thing she craved was the love and attention of the one man she could never have. This should be your next read if you enjoy stories of women whose energy and spirit could not be dampened by convention.
The second book in the trilogy is just as magical and clever as the first. Welcome to a world of magic carpet rides, assassins and political backstabbing between magical beings and humans. The adventure awaits, the pace is frenetic, the danger is so real you can taste it. The world is in unrest and Nahri, forced to marry a prince to save her people must now try to heal political wounds as much as the physical ones inflicted on her friends and people. Fantastic world building with its roots in ancient middle eastern folklore and wings of imagination and some ferocious female characters.
Dorothea Lange, the famous photographer, was lucky her money got stolen that day and she and her friend ended up staying in San Francisco. She went from starting as a portrait photographer to pay the rent to become one of this country's leading artistic activists of the Depression Era and beyond. She wasn't the greatest wife, mother or possible friend but she made up for it in her determination to show the world the injustice in front of them through her stark photos. This is a riveting portrait of a woman ahead of her time, who refused to sit by and make pretty pictures when the poor and ill-treated had nowhere to turn and no one to speak for them.
Not many people are familiar with the brave Night Witches, a group of pilots who flew countless bombing missions during WWII. This is most likely due to these reasons - they were all women, Russian and they were told not to discuss what they did during the war and the pivotal role they played. Stalin needed pilots and agreed to a risky plan to train a select group of young women who would fly into enemy Germany and run nightly bombing missions. The work was difficult, required great aviation skill as many times they could add fog to the already dangerous night flying and was extremely dangerous. Stalin was also clear on something else - you could not be captured nor could you retreat or your family would suffer the consequences. As with all of Elizabeth Wein's books you are completely immersed into what these almost unheard of inexperienced women went through. In a world filled with and run by men, the 588th Night Bomber Regiment outperformed their male counterparts without complaint. This makes a great companion book to Kate Quinn's THE HUNTRESS coming out in February.
Sisters Militza and Stana fight their way through the Russian court using spiritualism, charm, black magic and manipulation of the Tsar and Tsarina. They married into the court but learn quickly that the way to power is to control Tsarina Alexandra. With every daughter born, Alexandra becomes more despondent and willing to try any magic or listen to any religious charlatan that the sisters send to her.
This is a different side of the Romanov court where incredible waste and riches gave way to superstition and desperation. When the sisters discover Rasputin they unknowingly unleash a monster that could mean their downfall. Politics, history, court gossip and the incredible sexual escapades of Rasputin are all shared in great detail. The author has spent time doing her research but there were times I wanted to skim to get to the action.
Ruth and Millie don't get along. As they were growing up the insecurities and jealousies that almost all sisters experience drove a wedge between them. When younger sister Millie is forced to come live with Ruth and her family on base both sisters learn what it means to be a family and what is important. Another amazing story of the impact that women had on the World War II war effort and tackling challenges on the homefront that no other women before them had to deal with. Fear, bigotry, family, and friendship - these tough women had what it takes. Fans of women's historical fiction and friendship stories will love this.
Virginia was adopted as a young girl by a quiet couple and goes to live with them in a remote manor house on the outskirts of a huge marsh. It is a solitary upbringing since the only neighbors were the well-off Deering family and both her parents weren't too keen on Mr. Deering and his loud demanding ways. Virginia just didn't like nor trust him. When a German plane crashes in the marsh, Virginia's dad goes to save him never to return. In his place, a secretly forbidden visitor joins Virginia and her mother at Salt Winds. This creates as many problems as it does joy. Told in alternating time periods by Virginia, this classic Gothic tale is as dark and mysterious as the landscape of the marsh.
A college town is suddenly in the middle of a plague which literally makes people lay down wherever they are and go to sleep. Ground zero looks to be one of the college dorms but soon the whole town is affected and infected. Students, families, faculty, the elderly and the young - all will be touched and their lives affected. This is a subtle coming-of-age, horror, love story with a moral message about the haves and have-nots. The characters are meaningful and normal enough that we identify with them but their situation is so horrific you can't help but ask yourself what you would do in their place. Who would you save and what lengths you would go to keep your family safe. COMA meets THE ROAD, this is one thriller you should not miss but you will miss sleep.
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