A set of twins arrive at Auschwitz and are taken to what is referred to as "The Zoo". It is there that Pearl and Stasha meet the zookeeper, the evil Dr. Mengele and all the other multiples who inhabit the zoo. Endless tests, painful injections, endless procedures later as they are studied and manipulated as they survive for the sweet promise that their family is being taken care of and for each other. The first rule you learn is that if your other half doesn't make it then you won't either because Dr. Mengele only is interested in you if you are a twin. This is not an easy story - it is full of evil and survival under brutal conditions in a world where you have nothing but your body and mind and still they take that away too. It is innocence lost and childhoods that have been stolen but there is still love and bits of tenderness and heroes. Powerful and moving - this is a story that needs telling.
This one has an intriguing legal case, a historical battle of epic Wall Street proportions and a bit of romance. Green attorney Paul Cravath walks into the office of one of the giants of the Industrial Age and walks out with one huge client and a case nobody wants - George Westinghouse vs. Thomas Edison. What starts out as the battle of the light bulb escalates to the future of electrical power. Before it is finished morals will be tested, laws will be rewritten and a giant will fall. With more than a little luck, daring and playing the game better than the players, Paul might be able to pull off the biggest legal case of the decade and slay Goliath or he will end up much as he started, an untested attorney holding a rock. Graham Moore gives us the perfect combination of larger-than-life characters in an exciting period of time where fortunes were made and lost in an instant and dreamers sat and invented what we have come to take for granted. Fans of Eric Larsen will devour this.
They were a young couple with a new baby spending the evening next door with friends while the baby slept peacefully in her crib until the unthinkable happens - someone takes the baby. Lies upon lies upon lies - Fragile Anne is driven to new stress levels trying anything to get her baby back. Her husband Margo is trying to keep Anne sane and get the baby back but evidence could be stacking up against him and Anne's parents don't like Marco but they will pay any amount of money to see that the baby is back home safe. Their friends next door are concerned but is it only about the baby's disappearance? Twists and turns at every page - you love them, you hate them and you cry with them. You try to play detective and separate the truth from the lies but sometimes all you see are the lies. This book messes with your mind and you will enjoy it right up to the shocking ending.
In the 50's there weren't many safe places for young women to stay alone in New York City but one place was the Barbizon Hotel. Nicknamed "The Dollhouse", this is where Darby comes to stay wide-eyed and innocent of what dangers the city has to offer. She doesn't fit in with the glamorous society wannabees but does make friends with a young elevator girl who introduces her to singing and nightclubs. Fast forward to modern day where the Barbizon is now an expensive apartment building for men and women except for one floor which is reserved for the few matrons from its past. Rose has just been booted out of her boyfriend's apartment in the Barbizon and committed to dog walking while one of the elderly ladies upstairs is out of town. While squatting in her apartment she uncovers the history of the hotel and a mystery of a tragic accident. She begins researching the story for an article only to drag herself into the thick of it as if solving the mystery will heal her own broken heart. The story flips back and forth as we follow the lives of these young women looking for love and adventure that usually ended in heartache and the search for the truth about what happened that night on the roof. The search for love and happiness knows no timeline nor does survival in the big bad city of New York.
This is a lazy Sunday kind of book that pulls you into the mystery as perfectly as a cool drink on a hot summer day. Ava's husband has left her, her children grown and she is adrift so her friend suggests that she join her book club. The theme this year is "the book that matters most" and she chooses one from her childhood. A mystery surrounds the disappearance of the author as well as any available copies of the book. Soon solving it and finding the author consume Ava. Meanwhile, her daughter Maggie is adrift herself after leaving school in Florence and finding herself in a heap of trouble. A delicious story that blends our love of good books with life's lessons.
For those of us who have wished for our lives to slow down or time to stop, "Valley of the Moon" is the book for you. Lux is lost - she is a young single mom, burning the candle at both ends trying to make her young son and everyone else happy and always running late. When a friend suggests that she get away on a weekend camping trip near San Francisco, it sounds just what Lux needs. When Lux wakes in the middle of the night to find a strange fog surrounding the campsite she wades through it to find herself going back in time to 1906 and Greengage Farm. The inhabitants of Greengage are wary of Lux and her strange ways at first but soon she is traveling back and forth at every full moon foggy night. Years go by in San Fransisco while months go by in the Valley of the Moon and soon they are as much her family as the ones she left behind. The book is full of time references and they work so well - life is slower, peaceful at Greengage Farms compared to the modern hustle and bustle. New technology just makes things speed up so we are doing more, faster and enjoying it less. Settle back in a comfortable chair, slow down and savor the peace of "Valley of the Moon".
Grace waited a long time to find the perfect man - one that would accept the fact that Grace did not come alone but with her young adult sister with Down's Syndrome. When she met Jack she knew it was perfect until they married and Grace became a prisoner in her own home, controlled by Jack who dangled Millie's well being over Grace's head. Their friends only saw the perfect couple, the successful attorney and his beautiful perfect wife living their perfect life. Warning - this is a one sitting book as the suspense and danger increase with every page. It is easy to see why this is already a best seller in Europe and soon it will be on everyone's lips in the US. It will make you take a whole new interest in those perfect power couples as you wonder if you really ever know what happens behind closed doors.
Cora has grown up in slavery,been torn from her mother's side and gone through more torment at the hands of the white masters so it is no wonder that she is eager and hesitant at the same time at the thought of freedom. With the help of Caesar, Cora takes a chance and they run to the underground railroad. This begins the long road towards what seems like the unattainable - freedom. At every stop on this journey she will be tested and have the prospect of freedom ripped from her hands. The author gives us a glimpse not just of the brutality suffered by those in chains but also the fate of those that helped the slaves escape, the misguided who held out the carrot of freedom but still wanted something from them and those that made a living by dragging them back into slavery. The perfect read now that the big anniversary of "Roots" and the new tv miniseries is airing. Cora does not sit and let freedom be taken away but instead showed exceptional courage in fighting for what we accept without thought. Even when the former slaves are told they are free it was often just a word. As long as there was a price for your return or someone who did not believe in that freedom was out there, you were always on the run.
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