Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review/Highlight Round-Up and #Christmas #book #giftguide


The Dog Year

Dr. Lucy Peterman was not built for a messy life. A well-respected surgeon whose patients rely on her warmth, compassion, and fierce support, Lucy has always worked hard and trusted in the system. She’s not the sort of person who ends up in a twelve-step program after being caught stealing supplies from her hospital.

But that was Lucy before the accident—before her husband and unborn baby were ripped away from her in an instant, before her future felt like a broken promise. Caught red-handed in a senseless act that kept her demons at bay, she’s faced with a choice: get some help or lose her medical license.

Now she’s reluctantly sharing her deepest fears with a bunch of strangers, avoiding her loneliness by befriending a troubled girl, pinning her hopes on her husband’s last gift, and getting involved with a rugged cop from her past. It’s only when she is adopted by a stray mutt and moves her group to the dog park that she begins to truly bond with the ragtag dog-loving addicts—and discovers that a chaotic, unplanned life might be the sweetest of all . . .

Books affect us in all sorts of ways...some make us happy, others make us think, while others make us feel...The Dog Year made me feel.  Life is not perfect, we are not perfect.  There are things that happen that change us, make us do things we would not otherwise do.  We are human after all, right?  This is a book about loss, grief, moving and and coping the best we can.  There is something for everyone in this novel...4 stars!



The Winter Sea

Escaping an unhappy marriage and an unsatisfactory job, Cassie Holloway moves to the little Australian coastal town of Whitby Point. There she meets the Aquino family, whose fishing business was founded by their ancestor, Giuseppe, an Italian immigrant, some ninety years before. Life for Cassie on the south west coast is sweet as she sets up a successful restaurant and falls in love with Giuseppe's great grandson Michael. But when the family patriarch dies, a devastating family secret is revealed which threatens to destroy her dreams. Cassie's future happiness now rests with her quest for the truth.

It has been a while since I read a book like this is complex, spans throughout time and it filled with history.  The story is detailed with intriguing characters and is set in very interesting locations.  This is one of those books that you either connect with or you don't.  I did enjoy this novel and find the cover to be quite beautiful. 3.5 stars



The Truth About Suzie

Childhood neighbors Suzie and Cecily lost touch when Suzie moved away after fifth grade. Through social media, they rekindle their offbeat friendship when they find they are simultaneously fighting cancer.

But Cecily has just learned from a reality television show that Suzie has died—of complications due to alcohol and drug abuse. Did Suzie really have cancer at all? Or was she, as the Dr. Dick show makes it appear, a compulsive liar and an alcoholic living in denial to the end?

Their relationship, and the truth about Suzie, is revealed through Facebook updates, emails and prose. Technology is both a story-telling device and an accomplice, facilitating the relationships and complicating them.

The Truth About Suzie explores the threads that hold us together and asks the reader what makes a relationship real. Does the virtual mirror of social media distort us, or do we distort it to reflect what pleases us about ourselves and hide what doesn't?

I LOVED this book.  It was such a great novel.  I am still thinking about it.  It is serious and funny and original and such a great debut!  It is about so many things, but it does so in such a way that is causes the reader to connect to the be present in the story.  I really liked this book...4.5 stars


The Fragile World

From the author of publishing sensation The Mourning Hours comes a powerful new novel that explores every parent's worst nightmare. 


The Perfect Mother

When an American exchange student is accused of murder, her mother will stop at nothing to save her.

A midnight phone call shatters Jennifer Lewis’s carefully orchestrated life. Her daughter, Emma, who’s studying abroad in Spain, has been arrested after the brutal murder of another student. Jennifer rushes to her side, certain the arrest is a terrible mistake and determined to do whatever is necessary to bring Emma home. But as she begins to investigate the crime, she starts to wonder whether she ever really knew her daughter. The police charge Emma, and the press leaps on the story, exaggerating every sordid detail. One by one, Emma’s defense team, her father, and finally even Jennifer begin to have doubts.
A novel of harrowing emotional suspense, The Perfect Mother probes the dark side of parenthood and the complicated bond between mothers and daughters.

A book that feels ripped from the headlines highlights the lengths a mother would go for her daughter with stress, and suspense.  I found it to be interesting and engaging.  What is the truth? Did she do it?  Read and see for yourself...4 stars




Both of Me



The After House

Remy Galway and her daughter Olivia are rebuilding their life after a failed marriage in a 300 year old cottage in historic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Little do they know, another occupant is lurking in the haven of their own home. Will the After House be their shelter or their tomb?


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