The premise is that Anna's 13 year old daughter Julie is taken in the middle of the night with the only witness being her younger sister Jane. Eight yThe premise is that Anna's 13 year old daughter Julie is taken in the middle of the night with the only witness being her younger sister Jane. Eight years later she returns or so it appears. Anna starts to have doubts that it's really her daughter after uncovering holes in the story.
There's nothing here that wouldn't have been resolved with a quick DNA test. The author instead goes through hoops to write as confusing a story as possible switching from first to third person point of view and back and forth in time between Anna's viewpoint and the views of girls with different names. The result of all this was the story was a mess.
I really can't go into more without revealing spoilers. The police, the press and the people involved all behaved in a cliched but still basically unrealistic manner. There was plot holes a plenty. This very much resembled a bad lifetime movie. If that that's your cup of tea then go for it but otherwise I wouldn't recommend. Although this had potential, I found the plot poorly written and executed.
Got this for free so there's that. The gimmick of them trying to meet cute just went on too long so the entire story felt forced and not natural. NotGot this for free so there's that. The gimmick of them trying to meet cute just went on too long so the entire story felt forced and not natural. Not one of her best. ...more
Started off with some interesting ideas and continued on to multiple other interesting ideas to the point it was hard to track all that was going on.Started off with some interesting ideas and continued on to multiple other interesting ideas to the point it was hard to track all that was going on. This was ok as an audio book as there was always a lot happening. But it's part of a trilogy and I don't think I have the energy to continue with this series....more
Considering the polarizing reviews I enjoyed this more than I was expecting. The cheating part didn't bother me as much since they were only in a LaveConsidering the polarizing reviews I enjoyed this more than I was expecting. The cheating part didn't bother me as much since they were only in a Lavender, almost green card marriage anyways with it almost being an open relationship except the wife was in deep denial of her sexuality.
Things take a turn after the first couple chapters and the story turns to one about Sol and the real reasons behind his intimacy issues as the focus becomes his relationship with Adam. Unlike some of the reviewers, I did end up liking both main characters and liked the little bits of humor interspersed throughout amongst all the drama and the tears. This was a nice free read from the Loves Landscape series. ...more
This had a slow and somewhat boring start but propelled by my need to find out how a little 'miracle' girl in a small Irish town could survive withoutThis had a slow and somewhat boring start but propelled by my need to find out how a little 'miracle' girl in a small Irish town could survive without food for months, it ultimately ended up really holding my interest.
Lib Wright, a very skeptical Nightingale nurse from England is hired, along with a Catholic nun, to monitor this little girl to see if she's really not eating as claimed. The story takes place in Mid nineteenth century Irish village right after the Great Potato famine and so issues of poverty and religion are explored as many look to this child as a symbol of hope in trying times.
It's interesting that, as the author pointed out, that these stories about fasting girls and sometimes boys, showed up with some regularity from around the 16th to the 20th century. Today we tend to hear more about the stories of people seeing things like the Virgin Mary and Jesus in their toast. It's all the same really as it's about looking for something to believe in.
The author has fashioned a truly compelling story out of these historical facts. I've never read her other popular novel, Room, but I sense that she's good with small spaces as this was a nice, compact and satisfying novel. ...more
This is a beautifully written story about a young, smart and attractive black girl/woman growing up in a small town in California. She's thrown off coThis is a beautifully written story about a young, smart and attractive black girl/woman growing up in a small town in California. She's thrown off course after her mother's suicide and her attempts to right herself leads to a relationship with the local pastor's son, Luke Sheppard and a friendship with a girl with a troublesome background of her own named Aubrey all of which has long term consequences for all their lives.
The reason for the title is pretty clear as the role of mothers and the roads taken and not taken and its effects is highlighted. Throughout the story we also periodically get the point of view of what can only be described as a sort of greek chorus of mothers in the town. The writing on this is so clear and evocative that you can't help but be drawn into the story. It's only afterwards that you question some things like the main plot. It's a little like I'd imagine a Tyler Perry movie would be if I'd actually ever seen a Tyler Perry movie. In other words, it's more soapy than realistic to believe that this one action would resonate so many years later.
It made me question a little if the author had a particular point of view or political motivation here. No matter though, despite some flaws and quibbles the author's obvious talent shines through on this debut novel. It's a story that holds you under its spell while you're reading it. ...more
This was a police procedural in the true sense of the word starring Detective Antoinette Conway as a rather bitter and sometimes paranoid officer inveThis was a police procedural in the true sense of the word starring Detective Antoinette Conway as a rather bitter and sometimes paranoid officer investigating what's supposed to be a by the book domestic murder case of a young woman named Aislinn Murray. Except that Antoinette has doubts about this being so basic and it doesn't help that her partner Stephen Moran keeps whispering her ears other what if scenarios.
The problem with this story is that not much happens for the first 200 to 300 pages as everything seems to point towards a standard case with an obvious culprit. We also spend the majority of the time in the mind of Antoinette and lets face it, she's so bitter and angry that's it's not always a pleasant place to be.
Still I ended up being satisfied with how everything culminated in the case. This one requires patience due to its slow moving storyline. If you don't have it you may want to pass on this.
Awful characters doing preposterous things isn't usually my cup of tea but this was a page turner involving a missing baby and a troubled couple. If yAwful characters doing preposterous things isn't usually my cup of tea but this was a page turner involving a missing baby and a troubled couple. If you read this one be prepared for one of those endings that can either make or break your enjoyment of a story....more
I've been reading too many books like this lately. Something dramatic happens in the beginning but instead of carrying that momentum, the book seguesI've been reading too many books like this lately. Something dramatic happens in the beginning but instead of carrying that momentum, the book segues into tedium that covers at least over 150 pages. Then we finally get the twist we've been waiting for, the story speeds to a swift conclusion, problem solved. Or is it! Because inevitably it has to end with some kind of ambiguity.
I'm not sure what to call this. Gone Girl Syndrome? It's not like this is some kind of horrible story but I came away thinking there really wasn't that much to it. Perhaps that's why the story was padded to include a storyline involving the lead detective and his wife and their troubled teenage son--none of which had anything really to do with the outcome of the story.
Even the twist was a product of obvious author manipulation than anything else. Without it though, I bet you wouldn't be seeing all these 4 and 5 star ratings. Let's face it, without the twist, a lot of this was just plain boring. I'm also not a fan of weak and passive protagonists. I also didn't care about the lead detective Ray's personal life.
I was going to give this a 3 stars but considering the weaknesses of the storyline I have to lean more towards this being a 2 star reading, meaning I don't recommend it. ...more
A little too overly sweet and preachy for my taste but it wasn't too bad a story. It did involve a couple of 18 year old college freshman so it did haA little too overly sweet and preachy for my taste but it wasn't too bad a story. It did involve a couple of 18 year old college freshman so it did have a YA feel to the storyline. There was also some subplot involving some truly awful parents. it does happen but it was spread out to too many of the characters which made it feel unrealistic.
This was also like a Glee storyline come to life so depending on how you feel about that would probably determine if you're going to love this or not. ...more
While I've enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, I'm not a super fan so going in I don't find the retelling of its storyline sacrilegious. (I hear they're zombWhile I've enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, I'm not a super fan so going in I don't find the retelling of its storyline sacrilegious. (I hear they're zombie versions out there) This time around, the author created a fun and engrossing storyline and did a decent job of updating the very stodgy premise of a mother trying to marry off her 5 eligible daughters.
The story is set in Cincinnati where the two eldest daugters, Jane and Liz, return home after their father suffers a heart attack. Their mom, Mrs. Bennet has set her sites on Chip Bingley a bachelor type reality star. In this version, the Darcy character is a hotshot surgeon and Mrs. Bennet is beset by shopping addictions and is also a little bit racist, homophobic and transphobic.
This is a sometimes crude and funny retelling that probably sometimes misses the mark for the superfans. But if you're not too busy comparing and contrasting the two versions, you'll find a fun, lighthearted and engrossing story here....more
3.5 Stars The synopsis of the story is that Jason Dessen is abducted and wakes up to a world he doesn't know with his life completely changed. I wish3.5 Stars The synopsis of the story is that Jason Dessen is abducted and wakes up to a world he doesn't know with his life completely changed. I wish that the story had stayed focused on him functioning in that new world. Alas, the author decided to go in a different direction which I'll forego mentioning to avoid spoilers. Some of this was unsurprising but there were also a few unexpected twists and turns that kept the momentum going on this taut and thrilling sci fi story.
I did enjoy the ride but I didn't feel like the story went as deep and as sciencey as your average Michael Crichton novel. This was a little light on the science part of the science fiction novel. Some of the characters could have also been fleshed out a little bit more as they seemed to be reduced to a type like the handsome nerd and the beautiful Latina. So much so that I'd sometimes drift into playing casting director thinking of who would play each character in the inevitable movie.
No surprise then that this story was written by a screenwriter. I'd go see the movie. As for the book, it's very entertaining quick and easy read ( I read it in 1 day) perfect for the beach, or considering the time of year, a snow day....more