I've read many of Karen White's novels, but this one was not my favorite. White seemed to flounder in the beginning, and I had a difficult time gettinI've read many of Karen White's novels, but this one was not my favorite. White seemed to flounder in the beginning, and I had a difficult time getting engaged. ...more
You know the type—the drama seekers hanging onto your every word, hoping for a tidbit of gossip to spread to their husbands, their sisters, their bestYou know the type—the drama seekers hanging onto your every word, hoping for a tidbit of gossip to spread to their husbands, their sisters, their best friends. Nantucket is full of them this summer. And all of the rumors revolved around the Pancik family. Allegra, the self-centered teenager whose behavior has spiraled out of control. Her father, a successful realtor known around Nantucket as Fast Eddie. His wife, Grace, a lonely stay-at-home mom with only her garden to occupy her time. And her best friend, Madeline, a novelist determined to write a love story based on Grace’s affairs with the gardener. The narrator, Kathleen McInerney, does a commendable job of presenting this fast-paced, entertaining story. Hildebrand delivers something for everyone—romance and action, parenting, friendship and family drama. While the subject matter is serious at times, the author’s humor makes this a lighthearted read....more
Jo has a secret that has kept her emotions hostage for sixteen years. When seven-year-old Sara goes missing, presumably drowned, the3.5 stars for me.
Jo has a secret that has kept her emotions hostage for sixteen years. When seven-year-old Sara goes missing, presumably drowned, the hidden details involving the death of Jo’s high school boyfriend, Billy, surface, threatening everything Jo holds dear.
Jo’s daughter, Caroline, is on the cusp of adolescence, torn between fishing and playing baseball with her younger friends, activities she’s always enjoyed, and hanging out with Megan, whose newfound interests include nail polish, fashion magazines, and kissing boys.
Patricia Starr hasn’t been back to the lake since she was ten years old, the traumatic summer her parents decided to divorce. With her own marriage in jeopardy, Pattie plans a vacation with her daughter, Sara, in the hopes of reconnecting with the happiness she felt those summers so long ago.
Told predominately from alternating third-person points of view of these three females, Karen Katchur weaves a dark tale of suspense and heartache. Make no mistake, this is not a lighthearted read. The Secrets of Lake Road is a story of broken souls. With the exception of Caroline, who charmed me with her innocent yet righteous indignation, I had a hard time feeling sympathy for any of the characters, although that didn’t stop me from racing to the finish line. Jo and Kevin are shallow and self-centered, concerned only with themselves with little consideration for their children. While Patti has good reason to be traumatized, with her daughter missing and presumably dead, I found her constant crying into Sara’s ragdoll pitiful. Seriously, Patti, did you ever think to ask the sheriff why he never considered your daughter might’ve been kidnapped? And Dee Dee, Billy’s sister, is just down-right mean.
Secrets is packed with twists and turns—some expected, others surprising, and one I thought would materialize but never did. Aside from the one-dimensional characters, this is a solid choice for your Labor Day getaway....more
It took me forever to finish The Sound of Glass. Not because I didn’t love the book, but because this time of year is so busy. I n3 1/2 stars really.
It took me forever to finish The Sound of Glass. Not because I didn’t love the book, but because this time of year is so busy. I never found time to read during the day and I fell asleep after only a page or two at night. I long for the lazy days of summer, when all the end-of-the-year social functions are over and I can spend my afternoons curled up with a book.
The Sound of Glass is my first Karen White novel. And she didn’t disappoint me. The cast of true Southern characters held me captive even when the plot went somewhat astray.
Merritt Heyward, a born and bred northerner, moves to Beaufort, South Carolina when she inherits a waterfront estate from her recently-deceased’s husband’s grandmother. Merritt is a loner and an introvert who has never traveled across the Maine state lines. Imagine her surprise when she experiences Southern hospitality and 100 percent humidity for the first time. Imagine her surprise even more when her stepmother shows up on her doorstep with Merritt’s ten-year-old brother in tow.
Merritt resents her father’s marriage to Loralee for more reasons than one, not the least of which is the age difference between her father—now deceased—and this much-younger woman. Irritated at the sudden intrusion, Merritt is furious when she finds out Loralee intends to stay indefinitely. Events unfold and the two women form an unlikely friendship.
Loralee is a true Southern lady who would never be caught dead without lipstick, who responds to rudeness with sugary-sweet kindness. A woman of wisdom, she’s full of advice. Her pink journal is nearly full with her profound one-line sentiments. I’ve included some of my favorites below. Some might call them clichés. I call them words to live by.
Sound of Glass would’ve ranked higher for me if not for the secondary plot, which seemed awkward and forced. While it incorporated the necessary backstory, I don’t think it added value to Merritt and Loralee’s story....more
When Hannah Morgan goes for a pre-dawn walk with her Irish Setter Harvey, she stumbles upon a scene that will change her life forever. She discovers tWhen Hannah Morgan goes for a pre-dawn walk with her Irish Setter Harvey, she stumbles upon a scene that will change her life forever. She discovers two young children hidden in the bushes outside their home, and their mama lying in a pool of her own blood on the kitchen floor. Hannah takes Katie and Ty under her wing, vowing to protect them from the madman who nearly killed their mother. Hannah enlists the support of her husband and friends and others in the community—including the local police lieutenant—to come to the aid of this family in need.
Using themes of motherhood and love of family, Normandie Fischer presents a beautiful story of heartbreak, survival, and the importance of community. Well-written with fully developed characters, Heavy Weather is a #mustread for your summer TBR list. The setting of Beaufort, North Carolina—a small coastal town in the outer banks—reminded me so much of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, my second hometown. I envisioned the marsh and docks and moss-draped trees. I tasted the sweet tea and heard the lazy southern drawls.
I got bogged down at times in conversation that carried on a little too long and character action that did little to enhance the story. But all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Heavy Weather and look forward to more from this indie author in the future....more
I met Dana Perino once. Admittedly, I’m using the term “met” loosely. It’s more accurate to say I came in close proximity to her when I took a group oI met Dana Perino once. Admittedly, I’m using the term “met” loosely. It’s more accurate to say I came in close proximity to her when I took a group of students to interview Brit Hume at the Fox Studios in Washington several years ago. Britt Hume made it clear to our group how much the folks at Fox News respected Dana. And I can see why. Although she’s a tiny woman, barely 5’2”, her stunning beauty, kilowatt smile, and dynamic personality make up for what she lacks in height.
Dana Perino is the former White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush and current co-host on the Fox News program The Five, but she’s so much more than that. Not only is she intelligent and funny, she’s determined and full of hope, which I find refreshing in today’s society.
Perino tells many poignant stories of her time with George W. Bush, behind the scenes stories of the man she respected and admired. She brought more than one tear to my eye in her first chapter when she speaks of Bush’s last visit with the Navy SEALS, and how much the 43rd president loved the SEALS and appreciated their bravery and service to their country.
Perino shares lessons learned from growing up on a ranch in Wyoming. She talks with admiration about her immigrant great grandparents and her grandfathers who served in World War II. She speaks openly about her quarter-life crisis, when she was twenty-five and uncertain of her future, and the anxiety she often faces. She tells her readers about how she met her British husband on an airplane and their long distance romance. And she speaks with love about her dogs—Henry, God rest his soul, and Jasper who makes frequent appearances on The Five.
What I didn't expect from Perino’s memoir is the advice she gives young professionals. My daughter, a rising senior in college, is reading And the Good News Is, and very much enjoying it. Through her Minute Mentoring program, Perino offers great advice and support to young people starting out in the work force. Dos and Donts of networking. The importance of manners and civility. How to interact with authority figures, and how to get ahead.
And the Good News Is offers something for everyone, men and women alike, young and old. Dana Perino’s memoir is a primer on how to handle the world with grace and dignity....more
If you only read one historical fiction this summer, let Circling the Sun be the one. Acclaimed author of The Paris Wife, Paula McLain, takes her readIf you only read one historical fiction this summer, let Circling the Sun be the one. Acclaimed author of The Paris Wife, Paula McLain, takes her readers back to Kenya to the 1920s to unspoiled Africa. Although Isak Dinesen never mentioned our protagonist in her memoir, Beryl Markham was very much a member of the Out of Africa social set. Raised by her father, Beryl was allowed to run wild during her childhood days in the bush. A feminist before her time, headstrong and fearless, she never let anything get in her way of accomplishing her goals. A player in a man’s world, she overcame insurmountable obstacles to achieve success as a racehorse trainer and aviator. Circling the Sun is a captivating novel that left me longing to return to Africa. ...more