The Child by Fiona Barton

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An unsolved mystery resurfaced when a baby’s skeleton was found at a building site.

Along with the skeleton, three main characters emerge too.  Kate is a reporter investigating the story.  Emma is a nervous adult who became intrigued as well as possessed when she sees the story of the baby.  Angela is the mother whose baby disappeared more than 40 years ago never to be found.

THE CHILD took a while to get interesting simply because it was a bit slow, and there were too many characters thrown in. I was lost with so many different characters and couldn’t seem to figure out the connection until around half way through the book so don’t give up because it is worth the wait.

As the pages turned and I reached the halfway point, the book started making a connection for me and kept my attention.  The mystery became intriguing.

The characters seemed genuine for their roles, but something was odd and different about each of them.

This was my first book by Ms. Barton so I imagine I needed to get used to her writing style and her attention to detail.

There are some good twists to the story as well as some disturbing subjects that are addressed.

All in all, THE CHILD is a good read that will keep you guessing. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Bookshop at Water’s End by Patti Callahan Henry

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A summer home that has been left abandoned for years, but a summer home that Bonny now desperately needs to return to regardless of the pain and memories it holds.

The town of Watersend, South Carolina, was quaint, a treasure from childhood, and had the best bookstore with a marvelous bookstore owner that could pick out a book you “need” not a book that you want. 

We meet many likable and believable characters except one in THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER’S END. You are able to empathize with the characters as well as want everything to turn out for them.

The main character, Bonny, was a successful doctor, but a tragic mistake in the emergency room one night caused Bonny to be put on sabbatical and has her deciding to return to the childhood summer home that contains secrets and some happy and not so happy memories.

A happy memory was the friendship between Bonny and Lainey. They were labeled the “summer sisters.” 

They had made a pact to always be there for each other. Bonny needed Lainey now, and Lainey came back to the house with her two children even though she also had some bad summer memories and really didn’t want to.

The bookstore and its owner were definitely a happy memory.  Mimi, the bookstore owner was marvelous.   Any book that has a bookstore and a book club in it definitely makes the story line even more appealing.

Two not-so-happy memories and ones that were difficult to forget gnawed at both women. The disappearance of Lainey’s mother and Bonny’s love for Lainey’s brother, Owen, who was the love of her life, but a love she could never get to stay were memories difficult to get over.

The book’s setting was perfect, and the descriptions of the house, the town, the beach, and the ocean put you there with the characters sharing their days and their feelings both good and bad.

THE BOOK SHOP AT WATER’S END was a warm, inviting read bringing women together for what we do best – support each other.

This was my first book by Ms. Henry, and it was a delightful, summer treat.

ENJOY!!  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave

 

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“Hello Sunshine” normally meant someone was leaving a compliment on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

The day of Sunshine Stephens’ 35th birthday didn’t bode well for the “hello sunshine” greeting.

Everything she had made up about herself was being made public by a hacker, and no one knew who the hacker was.

Sunshine’s life was turned upside down personally and professionally.  Not telling the truth from the start backfired on her.

When Sunshine started her career as a TV chef, she should have been truthful and said she was from the Hamptons and not from a Georgia farm town. 

Telling the truth was something she hadn’t done for years, and telling the truth now had no credence.  No one believed anything she said.

Where could the real Sunny Stephens go except back home? When she got home she had a big surprise too.

The characters in HELLO SUNSHINE were for the most part likable, but they also were on the side of deceitful.

HELLO SUNSHINE was an easy, breezy read for me. I loved the cooking theme, and I loved the glimpse into the life in the Hamptons even though it was on the wrong side of town.

If you enjoy people watching, family situations, and food, HELLO SUNSHINE fits the bill.

I enjoyed HELLO SUNSHINE  and the wisdom of life decisions which was a major theme.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

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A successful career, an ailing grandmother, a one-night stand, and a Southern family with untold secrets.

Leia had always been close to her grandmother, but did she really know her grandmother?  After finding out her grandmother has been suffering with dementia for over 10 years, Leia puts the job she loves on hold and goes to Alabama to see what actually is going on.

What Leia finds at her grandmother’s home isn’t what she had expected, and coupled with her unexpected pregnancy was a bit overwhelmed.

Grandmother  Birchie and her life-long friend, Wittie, are delightful characters and characters that can no longer live alone, but are putting up a fight.  When the secret in their attic is found, they get a reprieve from having to leave their home because the Sheriff ordered them to stay in the state.

THE ALMOST SISTERS had a lot of drama and a lot of love.  I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline, the Southern charm, and especially the characters. They all were lovable, authentic, and sweet in their own way. 

THE ALMOST SISTERS was a very enjoyable first book I have read by Ms. Jackson.  She has a marvelous writing style and  a women’sfictiontheme-based story with some characters having unusual problems and others with normal, everyday problems that the reader can relate to.

THE ALMOST SISTERS is a touching, endearing book about family.

I would recommend THE ALMOST SISTERS to readers who enjoy Southern living and adorable characters you wish you could spend some time with and will miss once you turn the last page.

THE ALMOST SISTERS is a book that will bring you closer to your own loved ones.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for a honest review.

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Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

Nick?  My Nick?  It can’t be.

Nick wouldn’t hurt a fly or tell a lie… EVER.

Did Clara really know her Nick?

Nick’s life kept spinning and spiraling out of control as debts mounted and his savings was depleted, and then the unthinkable happened.

Clara couldn’t believe her husband was talking on the phone while driving, driving too fast around a curve when he had their daughter in the car, and having an affair.

When the police came to Clara’s door and said there had been an accident, Clara didn’t want to believe it was Nick until she saw him lifeless on the table in the emergency room . The only saving grace was that Maisie miraculously hadn’t been harmed.

As the days after Nick’s death turned into weeks and Clara still hadn’t told her daughter her father had died, Maisie began to scream about a bad man and continually asked when her daddy would be home. This made a sleep-deprived and grieving Clara believe someone had killed Nick and that it wasn’t his speeding that had killed him.

EVERY LAST LIE begins with a car crash that turned Clara’s life upside down for more than one reason and turns worse every day as things about her husband are revealed.  Nick lied about their finances and who knows what else.  Clara just couldn’t believe it.

Clara was an annoying character for me because she had no clue about what was going on in her household, and her parenting skills were awful.  She left children in a running car and didn’t know how to handle crying children.  She didn’t even know how to take care of herself.

Nick seemed to be a good father and husband on the surface but a sleaze bag in every other way.

There actually were not too many trustworthy characters in this book, but oh did they all make EVERY LAST LIE an excellent read.

Ms. Kubica cleverly moves from past to present with chapters headed CLARA and chapters headed NICK – BEFORE And AFTER as she takes us on a secret-revealing ride with the secrets having been better left unknown.

This was my first book by Mary Kubica, and it grabbed me the minute I read the suspenseful, attention-grabbing opening lines.

EVERY LAST LIE is a book every reader of psychological thrillers won’t want to miss. 

EVERY LAST LIE is marvelous from the first word to the last even though the ending was a bit flat.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon

Flossy Merrill’s children, her husband, and The Summer House have always been her first loves.

Nothing mattered to her as much as her family.  The family wasn’t together for a few summers in a row because of commitments, but this summer Flossy managed to get everyone together to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday party.

Flossy also had another reason to get the family together, but she and Richard couldn’t bring themselves to tell their children even though they knew they had to sooner than later.

Getting together was easy this year, but wasn’t easy once everyone arrived.  Sibling rivalry still continued into adulthood, and each of Flossy and Richard’s children had some issue with each other and in their lives.

Paige still seemed bossy, Sam still liked to pick on Clem, and Clem was still mourning the loss of her husband.

The characters will grow on you and bring you into their problems and their heartaches as well as their joys.  I enjoyed the sibling and parental interactions with some being comical, some being emotional, and some being serious.

THE SUMMER HOUSE is a perfect read for anyone who has a tradition of spending family vacations together.  We never did that, but it would be fun to compare what your family vacations were like and how they might be compared to the family vacations of the Merrills.  It would be interesting to see any similarities and differences.

This was my first book by Ms. McKinnon, and I truly enjoyed THE SUMMER HOUSE.  I would love to spend some time in that gorgeous house.  🙂    

THE SUMMER HOUSE was a heartfelt, lovely read about a family I think most readers could identify with.

If you know this author’s work and have enjoyed it, you will not be disappointed in THE SUMMER HOUSE as you become involved in the lives of the characters and feel the emotions they are experiencing.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall

Willow has an older mother and never knew her father. Willow is paranoid that her mother is going to die soon because of her smoking, drinking, and her age. Polly became pregnant at 50 years of age.

Willow wants to know about her mother’s life before she married her father who passed away before Willow was born. Willow also wants to know the secret her mother won’t reveal about something that happened in Louisiana.

Willow makes it her mission to find out the secret as she continues worrying about her mother and her longevity. Willow is a precocious, rule-following child. I really enjoyed Willow for her spunk. I enjoyed Polly because she was fearless and didn’t really care what anyone thought of her.

THE BOOK OF POLLY made me laugh out loud. I loved Willow and Polly and loved their relationship even though it is a strained one because Willow is always challenging her mother and Polly is always manipulating Willow.

THE BOOK OF POLLY was a delightful read because of the funny circumstances and situations the characters got themselves in.

All of the characters were comical and lovable. You will be laughing as well as crying but mostly laughing.

If you need a break from murders and serious story lines, THE BOOK OF POLLY fits the bill.

I just loved this book. ENJOY!! 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.