This coming-of-age novel combines the best of true Southern stories and dysfunctional families like that of Jeanette Wall's "Glass Castle". Tallulah and her brothers have the full run of their small Mississippi town in the 60's unless their Grandmother reins them in.
Their Dad is manic-depressive and has unpredictable mood swings and Mom (who prefers for her children to call her Margo), is off crusading for civil rights or any other cause that will take her away from parenting. It is no wonder that each of the kids has issues and is an emotional mess. I loved the quiet and steady neighbor Ross who is Tallulah's savior and protector in addition to being her big brother Griff's best friend. Tallulah tries to manage the family and fix every crisis that happens and somehow finds her own strength.
As is with any Southern gothic masterpiece, there are plenty of skeletons in the closet for Talulah to uncover. Pour yourself some sweet tea and settle down on the porch to enjoy this touching and heartfelt book.
Finn and Layla were happy and they were going to be married until Layla disappeared from a rest area during an argument. Fast forward ten years and Finn and Ellen are happy and going to be married. Two things got in the way - first, Ellen is Layla's sister and second, Layla might be back. Out of nowhere the little Russian stacking dolls that the two sisters had growing up begin to turn up in strange places. Is Layla back or is someone messing with Finn's head? That same person starts bringing up things that Finn would like to keep in the past. Twisty with a completely captivating plot. Cancel all your plans because you will want to read this start to finish in one sitting. B.A. Paris shows us once again that she likes to make us squirm.
Jasper lives in a world of color. He does not recognize faces and he does not have the social filters we have so every thought tumbles out of his mouth in a description of harsh or soft color. Jasper is autistic. He paints his feelings and memories of what he sees, especially the colorful parakeets that live in the trees outside his home and his neighbors. When a new woman returns to her childhood home and takes an interest in the birds, Jasper is thrilled and considers her a friend. Not everyone in the neighborhood is excited about Bee's behavior. Then something happens and life changes drastically for Jasper and his Dad. The police are involved and everyone in the neighborhood could be suspect. This is a well-paced mystery that treats a very sensitive subject with a soft touch. We see first hand how difficult and overwhelming life must be for this thirteen-year-old.
We don't always make good choices at sixteen. Karma is not much fun either which Geo, as Georgina is known, finds out the hard way.
Geo's involvement in the murder of her best friend comes to light years later and even though she goes to prison and pays her dues, the past has a way of always coming back to haunt you. Now the old killer boyfriend is loose and the murders have started up again. Geo won't be safe until he is found. There is also a twisty ending that will take you by surprise. This is a solid page-turner about a naive girl who made a mistake and turned into a woman you want to hate but can't.
Picture the happy suburban family - mom is at home with the kids when she gets a call from her loving husband who tells her that he will be late for dinner because the train station is jammed. Two I love yous later and tragedy strikes. As Julia learns of a bomb going off a man staggers away from the blast clutching a briefcase with no memory of who he is until he sees his wallet says, Michael Swann. Julia knows in her gut that Michael is alive and avoids the police, barricades, and well-wishers to search for her husband. Julia and Michael take turns narrating chapters as they just miss each other with a good portion going back to the early years together. Julia's fear and shock that she is not the only one hunting for Michael adds to the intensity and sheer panic she feels. Twisty cat and mouse car chases, unreliable witnesses and the unbelievable lengths that Julia will go to in order to find her husband await the lucky reader.
Imagine a reality show where a preacher and his family's whole life is on tv 24/7. The children have been brought up sharing their fragile private moments, all of them scripted, photographed, documented and shared with millions. 17-year-old Essie finds herself in an awkward predicament - she is pregnant and the congregation officials along with her parents decide what is best for their ratings, not what is best for Essie. Thier solution is for Essie to marry a nice kid from the high school whose family would benefit greatly from a generous financial agreement. Essie has other ideas and happily, Roarke agrees. I haven't read this ingenious plot twist before - combining coming-of-age, evangelicalism, family secrets and a great wit. You will get upset, laugh and shake your head in wonderment at how anyone can live like this or treat their family this way.
Annaleigh must leave her adopted family in London and fend for herself as a housekeeper in the remote Yorkshire moors. The household position entails taking care of Master Marcus Twentyman, an eccentric noble and his spinster sister, Hester. There are just a couple of servants, the house is deep and out of reach and the townspeople don't trust the Twentymans because people tend to vanish.
Sounds like trouble for Annaleigh. Soon enough, Marcus is making advances and Hester is doing her best to cover for her brother's eccentricities. Annaleigh doesn't fit in, she is anything but docile and meek and she is attracted to the master - oh no! swoon. The writing is atmospheric and true to Gothic romance/horror stories and while there isn't anything new here for readers new to the genre , fans will love Annaleigh and her predicament.
Lavinia is just the kind of girl you don't want your daughter or son to glam onto but Louise is broke and will do just about anything to break into a higher social circle and Lavinia's world is so tempting. She latches onto Lavinia and her entourage and before you can blink Lulu and Vinny are besties and she is moving into Lavinia's upper east side apartment. Sure, all Lavinia wants to do is party hard, use up her wealthy parents' money and pretend to be original and everyone's darling. Louise soon finds herself in trouble or is she? Maybe there is more to Louise than meets the eye. This book pulls you in like a well placed spiderweb with a hungry spider drawing you into the topsy-turvy glittery New York social scene as unsteady as those who have had too much to drink. Prepare yourself for a roller coaster thrill ride - like, emoticon smiley face gasp!, 2muchfun.
Allison Pearson gives us a crushing, soul searching, belly laughs at "Women Returners" - women who find themselves back in the chaotic workforce after the kids are grown & husbands are gone or unemployed or both. Kate has it all or had most of it but now her husband is out of work and the two kids don't need her as much as they used to so she decides that it is back to the fast pace financial world she left so many years before. It is not easy to deal with office politics, her husband's male menopause, and their teenage daughter's teenage behavior but she manages to keep it all together and look years younger (or attempt to look years younger and not be exhausted). This is just the book you need if you have a chaotic life, job, out of touch spouse, children or college reunion coming up or just need someone else share that you are not crazy and you are not alone. Two thumbs up for this one!
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