How do you love a legend especially one that is in the sunset of his career, is married to another legend and it does not help your reputation to be involved with him? Sheilah Graham came from humble roots and rose to become a respected gossip columnist in the golden age of Hollywood even when what she saw was anything but golden. She falls hard for the dashing F. Scott Fitzgerald while he is busy trying to write screenplays for all the major studios and jump-start his failing novel writing.
Knowing that his southern charm and boyish good looks are just a veneer for the fragile mess underneath she tries to keep him lifted up. Still very attached to Zelda even though she has been institutionalized, Scott is crippled by alcohol, a fear of failure and of being forgotten so he lashes out at the one person who will stand by him no matter how ugly it gets. Sally Koslow gives us a glimpse of the magic and a "Great Gatsby"/"Tender is the Night" look at a love story not many knew about.
Ellis and Michael were best friends and then came Alice and when Ellis and Alice became a couple the twosome became three until eventually Michael drew away. The story is told from Ellis and then Michael's point of view and follows them through the younger years to present. It also loosely revolves around a painting of sunflowers that Ellis's mom adored ever since winning it years ago that has been hidden, like many other things, since she died. Like a sunflower always turning to face the sun, "Tin Man" gives us a feeling of hope in the wake of despair and loss. There is intense pain and loss in this book but also great love. Poetic and exquisite writing - Winman tugs at your heartstrings while she paints a vivid portrait of real people.
Shelley is today's modern woman - CEO of a tech company, husband and two kids with a full-time staff at her elbow she makes it happen with time to spare, even if it is only five minutes with her family. When her daughter disappears before her eyes at the beach and is mysteriously found by a wannabe tech inventor, Shelley's world is turned upside down. Suddenly he pops up wanting a favor and to get in on the action with her "Fitbit" type device and then her doppelganger gets in the picture. Does this shut down Super Shelley? No, but it does rattle her quite a bit. Funny and frightening all at the same time it is a look at where our world may be headed. Every up and coming exec should read this and this is a great opportunity to move around and hydrate. Despite the too perfect ending, there is plenty to admire or be terrified of the Silicon Valley Elisabeth Cohen portrays.
The Orient isn't the Hamptons and that is how the residents would like to keep it until Adeline rents out Ruthie's house for the summer.
She has to rent out the house because that is the only way that she and her soon-to-be ex can keep it. The added income from a few weeks in summer and they can just about squeak by for another year and the whole summer feels like a goldmine. Adeline brings money and fame along with her stepson and this kicks up a fever to grab those patrons of the arts dollars for Ruthie's museum. Things go from bad to worse in every aspect of her life, work, and friends. Summer in this quaint little neck of the beach will never be the same. Ruthie keeps treading water hoping someone will throw her a life preserver before the hurricane hits. Classic beach read with all the best backstabbing, gossip, and a juicy love interest - all the best of how the have and have-nots spend the summer in New York.
The Pony Express was a doomed idea from the start but some how this hair brained scheme connected the country from St. Joseph Missouri to Sacramento California in record time. In 1860 it could take six months or longer for a letter to make it from one coast to the other. The Pony Express riders rode a long day at top speed with minimal stops in any kind of weather to deliver not only personal and business mail but also national news. Jim DeFelice has done his homework and gives us a blow by blow account of the characters that rode for the express as well as the obstacles they faced. These young daring men risked bad weather, Indian attacks, bandits, angry Mormons and other dangers and as soon as they got off a horse and got a hot meal, they were off again. This is not only the history of the Pony Express but a frank account of some of the West's most colorful characters. The author shares the myth and over the top stories of Billy the Kid, Wild Bill Hickok and Kit Carson as well as the toned down version of what most likely happened. This is a fascinating look at the Wild West before it was tame.
Sal and her younger sister, Peppa are on the run because staying in the same house with their alcoholic mother's abusive boyfriend was bad enough but when he set his sights on Peppa she knew they had to go. This is the story of a brave young girl who takes matters into her own hands to protect herself and her sister from abuse. She studied survival and had spent months thinking this plan through gathering all that they would need to live off the land in very rural Scotland. It is a story of a damaged childhood with little hope except for the one chance they have to leave it behind and survive. I have to admit this story was so upsetting that I almost didn't finish it but then I was very glad I did. There are good people in the world. People who will find you and take care of you like Ingrid found and helped Sal and Peppa. Peppa's incredible good nature and the strength of Sal's character carry you along like the beautiful descriptions of this wild and beautiful landscape.
This coming of age story follows the life and career of the four members of the Van Ness String Quartet. These young driven classically trained music students begin in college and we follow their lyrical story stopping at brief intermissions broken into important concerts in their lives. With lyrical magic their stories read like the music they play and the reader is introduced to the competitive, sometimes brutal life of a classical musician. From their first disaster of a concert to getting ready to pass the baton onto others, the four are hopelessly attached to each other. They love each other, envy their talent, fear their betrayal and feed off each other to produce magical music. Four individuals whose instrument speaks a language all their own, sometimes playing only for themselves but in the end they learn to act and play as one voice- the song of the heart. A literary "Mozart of the Jungle". Stunning debut, a virtuoso performance by a new talent that I am looking forward to hearing more of.
Identical twins Hana and Kei share everything as children especially trying to deal with their mentally ill mom. After a horrible accident, Hana runs from Hawaii to New York where she tries to start a new life. Her sister after years of not seeing each other, suddenly shows up for a visit and something tragic happens. The story jumps from childhood to present day and it reads a bit like the madness and their unstable childhood. Just as the tide pulls the sand away to erase the footprint, the reader is never really sure what is madness and what is reality.
All the fairy tales warn children of going into the woods alone. Nothing good ever comes out of it. "What Should Be Wild" has the eerie quality of all those lovely Grimm fairy tales and an off kilter feel to it. A child is born, the mother dies leaving the father to raise her alone in the old secluded family home. He keeps her and her secret hidden so her only companions are her dad and the housekeeper.
Her touch can kill and a retouch can bring back life. Maisie hungers for the touch of another human - a hug from her father and later, the same from the young man who will help her. Meanwhile, deep in the hidden realm of the wood, all the women in Maisie's family exist waiting to be freed. Classic Gothic fairy tale blended with a fantasy world that borders on horror and a mysterious curse. Beware your next walk in the woods alone.
Obsessive love leads to many things and none of them good. Verity "V" and Mike are a bit of a wild couple. They love to play a game called crave where V will flirt and attract the attention of some poor soul in a bar and then the hulking Mike with the six-pack abs will swoop in and frighten the poor guy off. Crave is exciting for both of them but then it is time to grow up and Mike leaves for a great offer in New York. When he returns to London he expects things to pick up right where they left off but Verity newly engaged has put an end to the relationship. Is this just another dimension to the game or is Verity really finished with him? Suspenseful and tricky, this madman's diary will have you craving more!
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