The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
Polygamy and mental illness plus a very unreliable witness make for one heck of a roller coaster ride.
Thursday is happy in her "some days" marriage to Seth but the seed of doubt works its way into her brain and she becomes obsessed with the other wives. She looks for more information about them and begins to stalk them believing that Seth is abusive but is Thursday seeing the whole picture. The first half of the book had me balancing the pros and cons of this very different type of marriage agreement and then the second half turned the tables. A very fast-moving and clever plot draws you in and keeps you reading until you realize that you have been reading for hours and you don't want to put the book down.
Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
At first, I thought this would be another story about racial differences between a nanny and employer but SUCH A FUN AGE is so much more. Emira is young, smart and doesn't really know what she wants from her life. She works several jobs all without benefits but her favorite is as a part-time nanny to a wonderfully goofy little girl while her self-absorbed mom writes a book, social media platform and handles her newborn. After a strange racial incident, Emira meets a good looking white guy who is as different from anyone else she has dated or known. Life is good for Emira until the Thanksgiving dinner she and her boyfriend are invited to and it is discovered that her boyfriend and her boss dated badly in high school. Emira doesn't know who to trust or telling the truth except for Briar, her young charge. This book is about race and all its misconceptions but it is also about searching to find yourself and live up to everyone else's expectations. It will make you think about how we see people, especially those who work for us and who we work for. Stereotypes, misconceptions and pure magic! Perfect for fans of LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE and NINE PERFECT STRANGERS.
Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison
A very posh boarding school becomes a crime scene in this very twisty thriller. Mean girls and secret societies are not the only challenges for Ash as she tries to adjust to her life in the states after finding her parents dead at home. When the deaths start happening everyone is ready to blame the new girl and Goode girls wouldn't lie would they? As the dean, detectives and others find out they do lie and often. Intense pacing and a bit of a shocker ending so be ready to pull an all-nighter once you begin. Obviously, young adults will find this as appealing as their parents.
Daisy Jones & The Six Reid, Taylor Jenkins
Red, White & Royal Blue McQuiston, Casey
Evvie Drake Starts Over Holmes, Linda
Nickel Boys Whitehead, Colson
Starless Sea, The Morgenstern, Erin
Gideon the Ninth Muir, Tamsyn
Good Talk Jacob, Mira
Dutch House, The Patchett, Ann
Flatshare, The O'Leary, Beth
Recursion Crouch, Blake
The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
A wild debutante who doesn't mean to rock the society boat but always does meets the man of her dreams even if those dreams can't be the reality. Selina is one of the "bright young things" who party every night and usually have no memory of it the next morning. Lawrence is a struggling portrait artist whose heart belongs to the camera. Jump ahead ten years and Selina's young daughter is spending time at her upper-crust grandparent's manor home. Their "children should be seen and not heard" attitude and a mean spirited governess is making time stand still until her parents return from a business journey to Southeast Asia. Alice is miserable and lives for secret letters from her mother that give her clues for a treasure hunt that will enlighten Alice about her mother's youth and how Alice came to be. A beautifully written historical novel that pairs a secret love story with a lonely little girl's chance at happiness. Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Beatriz Williams.
Aoife is a precocious six-year-old caught in an adult world she doesn't understand but with the help of her imaginary friend Teddy, her kind uncle and others she is trying to make sense of it. Her mother has gone away because she has been sad ever since Aoife's older brother left. The way Aoife sees the world is that if she can solve her brother's murder, her mom will be happy and she will come home.
Narrated by a six-year-old who is every bit her age and as wise as a sixty-year-old this is a touching story of a family learning to deal with what life has thrown at them and trying to stay together when everything seems to be pulling them apart. The characters feel real and the situation they find themselves in is all too real for many families.
Africaville by Jeffrey Colvin
This family saga originates in a little known black community in Nova Scotia called Africaville. Former slaves from Jamaica were transported there where they learned French, farmed and dug in to create a unique town out of a very inhospitable landscape. This is the chronicle of the Sebolt family, three generations from the late 1800s through the tumultuous 1960s in Alabama and Mississippi to the end of the century. Culture and race relations play important roles in this story but it is really about family and finding your way through your family history. This debut is quietly told but with great purpose. The story and characters dig away at you with a slow burn of smoldering coals but there is always the tension in the background that warns of a blazing fire. Readers who enjoy books that outline black history or family sagas will find this community and its history fascinating.
The Wicked Redhead by Beatriz Williams
Gin Kelly is back in the follow up to THE WICKED CITY. Once again we follow Gin and her dashing prohibition agent lover as they try to stay one step ahead of the authorities, rum runners and Gin's horrific past. Gin now has care of her very young sister since the demise of her mother and stepfather. The parallel story is that of a young woman in modern-day New York who finds herself pregnant with her ex-husband's child but in love with someone else. She discovers a photo of the risque Gin Kelly and is fascinated with her story which allows her to find the courage to be a little bit wicked for love. Fun, witty writing and very dangerous as only Beatriz Williams can write.
Four young girls have a secret club telling ghost stories and all the scary stuff that kids do to entertain and creep themselves out. The problem is that for one of the girls the scary stuff was her demise and for another, a guilty secret. Worse yet, someone knows the truth and years later is coming after Heather. A taunt, controlled nail-biter that will have you hoping for a happy ending and trying to guess who is behind it all. A perfect book to keep you up at night checking your windows and door locks. I believe in the Red Lady.
Anahera has come home to a small town on New Zealand's coast to escape a bad marriage and death of a cheating husband but being home is bringing up old memories of what and why she left home to start with. A new hunky cop will offer some distraction but soon they are all caught up in the disappearance of a young woman and the violence that is just lying under the careful veneer of the town. A different kind of remote landscape, ethnic viewpoint, and culture but the universal message of fear that something or someone you thought you knew is not alright. A solid thriller for fans of Jane Harper and Laura Lippman.
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