Lucy Barton is hospitalized for weeks from complications after surgery. She is feeling lonely when her estranged mother travels to her bedside. AlthouLucy Barton is hospitalized for weeks from complications after surgery. She is feeling lonely when her estranged mother travels to her bedside. Although they mostly talk about the people in their family's hometown, there is a wealth of information about what is said and what they are unable to say. The family had lived in poverty, isolation, and without adequate heat in a very rural area. Lucy was a resilient person who had escaped from abuse, poverty, and the trauma of living with a father with PTSD. In spite of a difficult upbringing, there is still a strong mother-daughter bond. This is a beautifully written book about the complexity of relationships, imperfect love, and how the past influences Lucy's present life as a wife, mother, and writer....more
Blended families often have hidden secrets and resentments, and the adult Maynard and Whitman children are no exception. When Whit Whitman died, his wBlended families often have hidden secrets and resentments, and the adult Maynard and Whitman children are no exception. When Whit Whitman died, his widow (from his second marriage) and her two daughters were living in the shabby family mansion on a Connecticut lake. But the two Whitman brothers (from Whit's first marriage) now own the home. When Spin Whitman brings his fiancee to the historic lakeside home for a few weeks, buried feelings from the past come to the surface.
While some of the characters are not likable, they are interesting. We see the divide between the middle-class, and the "old money" residents of Litchfield County that send their children to private school and vacation in the Hamptons. Social media, where a person can take on a new personna or destroy lives, has an important part in this book. Ann Leary has a dark, quirky sense of humor, and she populated her book with unreliable narrators and eccentric, flawed individuals. Will this family survive when truths are revealed?...more
Katie, a book editor in New York, has been left by the man that she hoped to marry someday. Matt, a poet from Martha's Vineyard, drops off a diary byKatie, a book editor in New York, has been left by the man that she hoped to marry someday. Matt, a poet from Martha's Vineyard, drops off a diary by Katie's door to help her understand his actions. His first wife, Suzanne, wrote this diary to their son Nicholas, telling him about her move to Martha's Vineyard, falling in love with his father, and the happiness she found in motherhood.
When Suzanne had health problems, a friend told her a story about getting better balance in one's life. Life is a game in which you are juggling five balls--work, family, health, friends, and integrity. You're trying to keep them all in the air. But work is a rubber ball that will bounce if it is dropped. The other four balls are made of glass, and will be harmed or shattered if they are dropped.
The author had the experience of losing a woman he loved when she developed a brain tumor. Years later he married his present wife. In the book Patterson shows that a person can fear to love again, wondering if they are setting themselves up for more heartache.
The book had some good messages about love, and about keeping balance in one's life. But it was overly sweet with a predictable plot. The author seemed to follow a similar formula as Nicholas Sparks, so fans of Sparks' romance novels would probably enjoy this story....more
In this zany novel the centenarian Allan Karlsson climbs out the window of his nursing home to avoid his birthday party. Wearing bedroom slippers, heIn this zany novel the centenarian Allan Karlsson climbs out the window of his nursing home to avoid his birthday party. Wearing bedroom slippers, he heads to the nearby train station. One crazy event after another lands Allan and some new friends (with criminal backgrounds) heading through Sweden while avoiding the police.
Alternating chapters tell us about Allan's backstory as a munitions expert. Although he avoids talking about politics and religion, Allan found himself inadvertently meeting world leaders and influencing history for eighty years. Allan is an optimist who needs nothing more than a good meal and some vodka to make him happy.
The reader has to suspend disbelief that a 100-year-old man could be in such good shape physically and mentally as Allan is. Just go with the flow, and enjoy the escapades of this remarkable centenarian. I especially enjoyed the social commentary and the dry humor describing our world leaders. 3 1/2 stars, rounded up to 4 stars....more