4 1/2 stars
Irene Foster meets aviator Sam Mallory while surfing and so begins a mentorship, partnership and great love affair. Beatriz Williams excels at shining the spotlight on fiesty uncompromising women who play by their own rules and are not without heart. Janey is a no nonsense photojournalist bent on finding the elusive aviatrix Irene Foster and getting out of her the real story of what happened between her and Sam Mallory. After she finds her in remote Hawaii armed with some information she mistakenly thinks that she can get answers but will get more than she bargained for. Told in alternating chapters between Janey's future book chapters about Irene and Sam and those of her own search for truth. The character is a montage of various female pilots but it is an homage to every gutsy , adventure junkie aviatrix who fell in love with the sky and was told by a man that she couldn't fly. Fans of well rounded historical fiction featuring gutsy women will fly a loop de loop for this book. One of her best!
Noemi is a young beautiful socialite whose biggest worry is what dress to wear or who to attend a social gathering with until her father asks her to travel to a remote mountain mansion where her cousin is very ill and acting strange. The house and family are old, dark, strange and distinctly unfriendly and her cousin is acting really odd. Even the walls of the old home feel covered in mold, books in the library are full of mildew and most days a cold thick fog prevents whatever warmth outside could offer. The situation goes from bad to worse and Noemi begins to feel a terrifying presence in the house. It contains everything a good gothic novel must have- a remote moody setting, a young heroine, danger lurking and we don't know who to trust. Creepy and mystical, filled with horror reminiscent of Dracula and set in an unusual gothic setting, this is one to make any gothic romance fan who like their stories on the dark side happy. 4 scary stars!
In 1947 an alien spaceship sighting is the foundation for a cult calling themselves the Seekers. They have a vision of a community free of hatred, racial borders, religion and narrow minded thinking believing that this was what the visitors were trying to teach. When the group moves across country to New York there are disastrous results and we are left to see how the next generation handles their parent's mistakes. Quietly speaking about racism, fear, sexual awakening and political conspiracies, this novel gives us a weird glimpse of America from the Korean War to Nixon's Watergate.
Livie is having the giant 4oth birthday party she always dreamed of and it would be perfect except her oldest daughter is in Hong Kong and can't make it home. Adam, her husband gets a call from Marnie who is flying multiple connections to get to the party in time but something horrible is about to happen. The story is told in alternating chapters between Livie and Adam who are dealing with way too many secrets. Their younger son is just trying to keep his parents and his own life on some sort of normal. What should be a day of celebration ends up everyone's worst nightmare. While I was all in on the surprise trip gone wrong and the family dealing with the worst kind of grief, I had a hard time connecting with the characters. There were so many horrible secrets that were being glossed over and not one solid marriage in their whole friend group.
A slim book about a small town in Alaska and one woman's journey in public office. She had been an advocate to the community for as long as anyone could remember and decided to run for Assemblywoman for the Haines borough. Once in office she discovered a mountain of paperwork, an avalanche of meetings and one incredible democracy in action. Plain spoken memoir that is full of heart and hope. The author includes many a funny story that could only happen in Alaska and points out the incredible natural beauty. Fresh, uplifting and well said, her words will bring out the conservationist and small town activist in all of us.
In a world far away and yet very much like our own, women are given a ticket as soon as they reach maturity. A white ticket proclaims that you are wife/mother material and a blue ticket sets you out into the world to work, drink, smoke and sleep around as much as you like never forming any lasting relationships. Calla got a blue ticket but wants much more so she takes matters into her own hands. Once she becomes pregnant she knows they will come for her and it can only end badly so she goes on the run. While out there she meets a couple of women in much the same boat as she is in and they help each other to stay free and somehow reach the border to safety. As with THE WATER CURE, Mackintosh gives us a subtle version of horror and the power of men. She instills in us the same fear, desperation and anger that Calla feels towards the system as well as the promise of new life, the magic that is taking place within her body and the common reactions of all pregnant women. Magical and powerful this is a must if you loved HANDMAIDS TALE and survival stories of militant women. 4 stars
The stunning conclusion to the fantastic world of Daevabad. It is a world of djinn, magic, ruthless rulers, political unrest and mythical creatures brought to life. Based on Persian mythology, this is an "Aladdin on steroids" story and for readers who look for strong female characters, Nahri is your kind of heroine. This is the third and last book of the series and you will need to read the other two to truly appreciate and become immersed in this world. Her writing is lush and moves at a frantic pace through this vast world so I did appreciate the glossary and cast of characters included and referenced them often. 4 stars
Game Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch thinks his life is full of excitement and then he gets the call asking for help in finding his old boss and mentor who has gone awol. Dropping everything he takes off North certain that his mentor is chasing down a lead to the one case and death that he feels responsible for. From trapping pythons with his old girlfriend in the Everglades to fighting off unknown assailants, giant moose and monster trucks in Canada - this game warden's job is never done and never boring. Wonderful real characters, great wit and nonstop action from the wildlife and lowlife of Maine to the Canadian border. Part of a series but you will have no problem enjoying it on its own. Readers of C.J. Box , Carl Hiaasen and of course other Paul Doiron books will jump into this one with both feet.
An alternate look at Victorian London that gives plenty of odes to the famous cases of Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It is balanced by an invented London littered with werewolves, named angels who partner with authorities to keep the peace, vampires, and the vicious un- named angels who, having fallen, wreak havoc upon the humans. Crow, the Angel of London, is rooming with Dr. Doyle (think Dr. Watson) who has just returned from the war injured. They begin working as the dynamic duo solving various crimes that have the police baffled. Katherine Addison has created a multi-layer, non gender specific rethinking of sleuthing in the 1880's. The wit is spot on, the characters familiar yet fresh and I hope there will be more. You think you know the characters, you think you know the stories - think again and be thoroughly entertained. Readers of Caleb Carr and Natasha Pulley will eat this up. 4 fun stars!
Claire is running from her life and an abusive wealthy husband. Eva is running away from mistakes. When they meet at the airport it only seems the perfect solution is to swap plane tickets. A plane crash killing all survivors on its way to Puerto Rico makes the world aware that Claire is dead but really she is in California assuming Eve's identity. She is leaving one set of problems for another. In a world of female driven thrillers this is one plot I don't think we have seen reworked a dozen times. Clever and full of unexpected twists, this is a thriller for readers who love smart women exacting justice. 4 stars for a great summer thriller.
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