Winter Garden

For many of my readers currently stuck indoors due to the severe snow storms up north, here is another one of my book reviews that I think you will definitely enjoy…

Winter Garden is another magnificent story from one of my favorite authors, NY Times best selling author, Kristin Hannah. As some of you may already know I have read all of her books and have reviewed a few of them before on the blog (Firefly Lane, Night Road).  I promise, here’s another one that will not disappoint.  And make sure you give it a chance, as this is the type of story where you may find yourself a bit frustrated at first (I did), finding the book a little slow and maybe even disliking the characters. Don’t let that worry you, it is necessary for the story to be told this way, and as it evolves, you find yourself yearning to find out what happens, as it starts to reveal many interesting secrets from the character’s past. Truly beautifully written.

Winter Garden, photo courtesy of Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden, photo courtesy of Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (synopsis)

From the author of acclaimed national bestseller Firefly Lane comes a haunting, heartbreakingly beautiful novel that illuminates the intricate mother-daughter bond and explores the enduring links between past and present.

Sometimes when you open the door to your mother’s past, you find your own future…

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, these two estranged women will find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. On his deathbed, their father extracts one last promise from the women in his life.

It begins with a story that is unlike anything the sisters have heard before—a captivating, mysterious love story that spans sixty-five years and moves from frozen, war torn Leningrad to modern-day Alaska.  The vividly imagined tale brings these three women together in a way that none could have expected.  Meredith and Nina will finally learn the secret of their mother’s past and uncover a truth so terrible it will shake the foundation of their family and change who they think they are.

Every once in a while a writer comes along who navigates the complex and layered landscape of the human heart.  For this generation, it’s Kristin Hannah.  Mesmerizing from the first page to the last, Winter Garden is an evocative, lyrically-written novel that will long be remembered.

So, pickup a copy of  Winter Garden and grab a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoy a great read.
Have you read any good books lately?  I love suggestions!

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Beautiful Ruins

Continuing with my book reviews, here’s my next pick…

Beautiful Ruins, a New York Times Bestseller, immediately caught my eye (I was judging a book by its cover, literally.) But who can blame me with that magnificent photo of the Italian coastline. I figured this was something I would be interested in as I have a slight obsession with Italy. This was the first novel I’ve read by Jess Walter, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I must say I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading a few more of his books. Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962…and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later. This book has romance, drama, a beautiful setting, and tells a great story.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (synopsis from Goodreads)

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.

Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

Well, there you have it…so, pickup a copy of Beautiful Ruins or download it to your e-reader, and enjoy this great story.

Have you read any good books lately?  I love suggestions!

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Leaving Time

To continue with my summer book reviews, here’s my next pick…

Leaving Time, the latest book from NY Times Bestselling author, Jodi Picoult, has to be one of the books that has surprised me the most with its ending. I must admit I have a sort of love/hate relationship with Jodi Picoult.  I have read many of her books, because I think she is an amazing writer (I loved My Sister’s Keeper), and I would love to meet her at a book signing. However, I haven’t loved all of her stories, they’re not for everyone. After a few chapters I thought I was in for another disappointment…and then suddenly, I could not put it down.  And the ending was completely unexpected, there is a reason it debuted at #1 on the NY Times bestseller list.

Leaving Time. Photo courtesy of Jodi Piccoult.

Leaving Time, photo courtesy of Jodi Picoult.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult (synopsis)

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.

Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest. The first is Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons—only to later doubt her gifts. The second is Virgil Stanhope, a jaded private detective who originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.

So, pickup a copy of Leaving Time or download it to your e-reader, and enjoy a great summer read.
Have you read any good books lately?  I love suggestions!

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Night Road

To continue with my summer book reviews, here’s my next pick…

Night Road is one of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors, Kristin Hannah, a NY Times Bestselling author, whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at a few book signings. The first novel of hers that I read was Firefly Lane (click here for my review), which was fantastic.  I quickly became hooked on her books and have read many more.  But I have to say that as the helicopter mom that I am, this book really touched my heart, because it was beautifully written.

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Night Road, photo courtesy of Kristin Hannah

Night Road by Kristin Hannah (synopsis)

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It has always been easy– until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them.

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, Night Road raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

So, pickup a copy of Night Road or download it to your e-reader, and enjoy a great summer read.
Have you read any good books lately?  I love suggestions!

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The Friday Night Knitting Club

To continue with my summer book reviews, here’s my next pick…

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs (click here for synopsis)

I’m not sure why I usually end up reading books that are part of a trilogy or series, but I seem to be drawn to them.  This next book that I am recommending is by Kate Jacobs, the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, and its sequels, Knit Two, and Knit the Season. I’ve had the pleasure of reading all three books, and I recommend you read them in order.

Here’s an excerpt from Google Books:  It starts almost by accident: the women who buy their knitting needles and wool from Georgia’s store linger for advice, for a coffee, for a chat and before they know it, every Friday night is knitting night. As the needles clack, and the garments grow, the conversation moves on from patterns and yarn to life, love and everything. These women are of different ages and backgrounds, and face different problems, but they are drawn together by threads of affection that prove as durable as the sweaters they knit.

FNKCCollage

I guarantee you’ll really enjoy these books, so as usual, pickup a copy or download it to your e-reader, and enjoy a great summer read!

What have you been reading this summer?

 

Firefly Lane

To continue with my summer book reviews, here’s my next pick…

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (click here for synopsis)

Kristin Hannah, the New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels, is another one of my favorite storytellers.  I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting her at a few book signings. The first of her books that I read, Firefly Lane, happens to be her most popular novel. She herself calls it the book the changed her career.  I’ll admit, I’m the kind of person that sometimes does judge a book by its cover (shame on me), and I first picked up this book because I loved the name and was intrigued by what kind of story this would be.  It is a wonderful tale of friendship and life as seen through the eyes of two women who’ve been lifelong friends.  Truly, one of my all time favorite books to date, and the only one of her novels that has produced a sequel…Fly Away.  I have not read Fly Away yet, as I’m planning to read it on a very long flight this summer.  But I’m sure it will be as amazing as its prequel. So, pickup a copy of Firefly Lane or download it to your e-reader, and enjoy a great summer read!

FIrefly Lane

Are there any good books you’ve read recently? I love suggestions!