The bad news? I’m still recovering from a nasty case of the flu. The silver lining? My malady gave me the perfect excuse to lay around and read! During my convalescence, I ripped through – and enjoyed – the following books…
“We don’t know anyone as well as we think we do. Especially the people we love.”
Wow. Just wow. This novel stands out as one of my favorite reads of the past year. When one friend recommended it to me, she said, “I can’t really tell you what it’s about. That would give away the story.” And now I understand what she meant…
A collaboration between two bestselling authors, this gripping novel is told in alternating voices. Each author wrote a character but won’t admit which one.
After a rough divorce, Olivia and her son, Asher, move to Adams, NH. She’s ready for a fresh start and takes over her father’s beekeeping business. Looking for new friends and beginnings, Lily and her mom land in Adams for Lily’s final year of high school. Asher and Lily enjoy life as boyfriend/girlfriend until Asher finds her dead. And he’s the suspect.
I thought about this book long after I finished reading it. As a good book always does, it opened my eyes and expanded my world.
It’s 1950s Philadelphia. Ruby attends enrichment classes in hopes of winning the coveted scholarship that will make her the first college attendee in her family. Unlike her mother, Ruby doesn’t want to depend on a man to make ends meet. But a love affair with a white Jewish man threatens all she’s worked toward.
In Washington, DC, Eleanor’s parents had scrapped and saved for her to attend college. She falls in love with a promising Black medical student from a wealthy and prominent DC family. The parents don’t feel Eleanor belongs with their crowd. Perhaps if she has a baby someday, they might accept her.
Gripping, at times heart-wrenching and tough to read, this book reveals a cross-section of women who gave up babies – willingly or not – for other Blacks who could not conceive. Readers discover stories of Black women and their difficulties with unplanned pregnancies and poverty.
The author drew inspiration from her grandmother, with many of the book’s facts based on real people.
“There was only so much shock, heartbreak, and upheaval a person could take before she eventually cracked up, and Melinda had cracked.”
My inaugural podcast guest recommended this book, and I’m so glad she did.
This novel checks the boxes for readers craving a funny, sweet, heartwarming family drama.
In Greenwich Village, Lauren, Olivia, and Melinda connect via a baby – who doesn’t belong to any of them. With the novel’s array of quirky characters and numerous plot lines, it is sometimes difficult to keep track of who is doing what. But, as the story comes together in a delightful way, we’re reminded our paths take us down unforeseen roads and connect us with unexpected people. And revenge isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
This equal parts historical fiction and cozy mystery read offers short chapters and quick pacing. I enjoyed the World War II era Pacific Northwest and aviation backdrops in this well-researched novel.
Reminiscent of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, Max Ellis, the child of a wealthy banking family, goes missing. When her husband heads to the Pacific for the war effort, Vera Chandler takes over his duties as the Ellis family’s private pilot. Vera soon finds herself pulled into a web of deceit and confusion as the family attempts to locate their son.
After reading this book, I look forward to checking out The Pilot’s Daughter, another novel by this author.
For fans of The Crown, The Gilded Age, or tales of the families who summered in Newport, I bring you this historical fiction novel. Told from the viewpoint of the governess to young princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, this book is an interesting take on life inside Buckingham Palace.
Marion Crawford educated, guided, and nurtured the princesses for 16 years. They were like her own daughters. At the expense of her love and life, Marion chose duty over self and devoted her life to another family. Royal fans will enjoy the anecdotes surrounding palace life, a royal upbringing, and the various family members.
Although Marion (“Crawfie”) lived with the royals all those years, the family later shunned her.
“Even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment of every day, no matter how flawed.”
When the author heard about an Italian who helped Jews escape during the war, he placed a call overseas. “I hear you are a hero,” Mark Sullivan said to Pino Lella. Sullivan spent the next decade traveling back and forth to Italy and listening to Pino’s stories.
I read this book, based on a remarkable true story, when it came out a few years ago. I recently re-read it for my Nashville book club. It was as moving, heart-wrenching, and inspiring the second time.
Pino was a Milan teenager when his parents forced him to enlist and join the Nazis. They hoped to protect him. He became the personal driver for one of the highest-ranking Nazi commanders. And a spy.
According to the author, 90 percent of the stories in the book are true. It’s one of the few books my husband and I both read, enjoyed, and discussed.
What’s the last book you read in one sitting? What is your favorite genre? Do you prefer audiobooks or the real thing?