The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

The Idea of You by [Prowse, Amanda]

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…

This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?  

Lucy has it all. Great career. Great apartment. Great wardrobe. But the one thing Lucy wants is a baby. And time is running out, when she meets and marries Jonah.As they try time and again to have a baby, it is just hearbreaking.

As Lucy struggles with miscarriages and with the strain on them as a couple she hopes that she and Jonah have a strong love that can  withstand the pain, frustration and feelings of failure she deals with.

As Jonah’s teenaged daughter comes to stay, things get tense. She isn’t nice to Lucy and as hard as Lucy tries, she can’t get through.

I did enjoy the questions that arose on having it all.

Always a pleasure to read Amanda’s books!  Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Lake Union Publishing!

The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman

The Hope Chest

The most recent book from Shipman, following close behind the best selling The Charm Bracelet is as brilliantly done as The Charm Bracelet was.

Shipman is so good at weaving themes into his writing. Hope, Love, Faith, Kindness  and Family. This particular story was beautiful. And sad. And hearbreaking. It was also full of hope and love and family and how important they are to us all.

We begin in the present with Don and Mattie Tice packing up all of their belongings from their home on the lake in Michigan and getting ready to move into town. Mattie has ALS and has advanced to the point where she is wheelchair dependant. As Don packs everything up, Mattie relives all of the wonderful memories she had in this house. With her parents, and then Don. It’s where her heart is. She never thought she would leave it. Hope Dunes is in her heart and soul.

As they settle into the house in town, Don is to the point where he knows he needs help with Mattie and here we meet Rose and her young daughter Jeri. Rose has her own problems and one is keeping her family home from being sold. She needs a job now.

When Don and Mattie meet Rose and Jeri they all know it’s a perfect match. And the book bounces between the past and the present, as they go through all the memories in Mattie’s hope chest.

All the special things that would have gone to Mattie and Don’s daughter if they had been blessed with children are taken out and stories told and new memories are made.

What a moving and lovely story this was. This is a book with a lot of feeling. And yes, there was some crying, but laughing too.

Thank you Netgalley and St.Martin’s Press for this early copy. The book is available on March 21, 2017.

Books,Books and More Books Reviews

Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World by Nell Stevens *Release Day*

Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World

Ms. Stevens does have a way with words! The descriptions of the Falklands was very well done.

This was rather a cross between a memoir and a travel journal in my opinion. The story of a woman who wants to write a novel. Nothing to date has worked so when offered the opportunity to go anywhere she would like for 6 weeks to focus solely on her writing, she chooses the Falklands, thinking the solitude will force her to put ink to paper and return home with a completed novel.

She rations everything. Even counting raisins. I’m not sure if she finished the novel or not. I’m thinking not. There were a few short stories that were put in and I’m not sure why. I didn’t feel as if I knew what was going on during those times. This may have been deliberate as the writer wasn’t clear on what she was doing either.

A good read for writers. They should be able to identify with the difficulties, excuses, joys, frustration and utter nonsense that they go through to write a novel.

Thank you To Netgalley for this early copy.This novel is set for release on March 14, 2017

IF I RUN ( If I Run Book 1 ) by Terri Blackstock

If I Run (If I Run, #1)

Casey Cox was only 12 years old when she found her father dead from what the local police called a suicide. Casey and her mother have never believed that. Casey knows what she saw. When her friend Brent, a journalist starts digging, he hits gold but when Casey goes to his house she finds him dead.

She knows if she stays the police will arrest her. Her footprints in Brent’s blood are all over. She knows he was killed because someone found out what he was doing and what he knew. She can’t trust anyone in the police department, so she runs.

Meanwhile Brent’s family has asked his friend, Dylan, to investigate and find Casey. Dylan is a war veteran who is still trying to get a handle on his own PTSD and as he begins the hunt for Casey, he also begins the hunt for the truth. Even he doesn’t believe what the police are saying.

Along this journey, Casey meets some really great people. People who have been through hard times, bad times, and have found comfort and guidance through their faith in God.

This was the first book I have read by this author. It won’t be the last. Very well written and the characters were well rounded.

 

Fatality By Firelight (A Cat Latimer Mystery) by Lynn Cahoon Release Day!!

Fatality by Firelight by Lynn Cahoon
Back into the world of the Warm Springs Writers’ retreat, housed in the old Victorian that was left to Cat Latimer. She is a writer of a YA witchy series and when her ex-husband died, leaving her the house, it’s what she wants to do. Provide a place where writers can enjoy the Colorado scenery and be inspired to write.
The group this week is a diverse bunch. A poet, a nonficton author, a romance writer and a history writer. With the local college providing library resources and the ski slopes just up the hill, it’s the perfect spot for inspiration.

 

Our story begins with the theft of a rare Hemingway book from the library. Cat’s Uncle Pete, the local law, is keeping an eye on the houseguests, as he should because some of them are just a bit off.

When a body is found at the ski lodge and the last person seen with him is one of the guests, Cat puts on her detective hat and tries to get to the bottom of the crime. While at the same time, getting her own book written and still trying to figure out if there was more to her ex-husbands’ death than meets the eye. And also who is this new handsome stranger showing up in town knowing her name?

Between Cat, Shauna and Seth they are sure to come up with some wild speculations and probably solve a crime!

We are loving the Cat Latimer mystery series. There are strong women here. They are just really interesting and good characters, well thought out.

In Book Club this is one of our favorite series and one of our favorite cosy mystery writers! And it’s not just the amazingly well described food, although that Shauna can cook something fierce. We always learn a little something too. The books leave us feeling warm and satisfied! Good Job Ms. Cahoon!

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington for this early copy. Release Date is Today!

Every Thing Belongs To Us By Yoojin Grace Wuertz Book Release Day!!

Everything Belongs to Us

Seoul, 1978. At South Korea s top university, the nation s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind.

For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty.

But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever.

In this sweeping yet intimate debut, Yoojin Grace Wuertz details four intertwining lives that are rife with turmoil and desire, private anxieties and public betrayals, dashed hopes and broken dreams while a nation moves toward prosperity at any cost.

Set in a time of great upheaval and change, protests and women living at the bottom rung of society, this book explores the relationships between the haves and the have nots as well as family structures in this time and place.

Jisun and Namin are total opposites socially but they both know they want more.

Everything Namin does is to further her goal of becoming a doctor and getting her family out of poverty. She is exceptionally bright, which affords her more access to education than most in her town.

Jisun is rebelling against her father and his wealth and power not only in businesss but over her as well.

I would like to have heard more in the end from Namin’s point of view.

I really liked the look at the part Americans have played in this country for years and the animosity towards them and the women who dared to love them.

It was a good story.

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for this one! Release is Today!

A Gentleman In Moscow By Author Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman In Moscow takes us deep into the 1920’s and Count Alexander Rostov.  A man who has been found guilty of writing a poem the government deems seditious. He has a wonderful sense of humor and is not afraid to stand up to the tribunal at all, though it could mean he will be shot.

At 30,  he is looked at as an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across from the Kremlin.

He will now reside in the attic room and watch as the decades unfold around him. Avoiding the outside world, he turns to the one smaller one he is  in and discovers much about himself and his fellow guests.

Over the span of 30 years, we watch as he loses his worldly possessions but gains a whole new perspective on his world and the people in it.

The characters are all rich and complex. The language is the descriptive lushness we expect from Towles. This book made me laugh, cry and towards the end I read slower and  slower because I didn’t want it to end. My favorite paragraph was the final one.

What a great book and a great writer.