Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin





What They Say.....Here is a truth that can't be escaped: for Mia "Rabbit" Hayes, life is coming to an end . . .

Rabbit Hayes loves her life, ordinary as it is, and the extraordinary people in it. She loves her spirited daughter, Juliet; her colorful, unruly family; the only man in her big heart, Johnny Faye. But it turns out the world has other plans for Rabbit, and she's okay with that. Because she has plans for the world too, an only a handful of days left to make them happen. 

Here is a truth that won't be forgotten: this is a story about laughing through life's surprises and finding the joy in every moment.


What I Say.....So I have had this on my shelf for a loooonng time.  And it just kept getting put aside for other books, not because I didn't want to read it, but because it just didn't seem to be the right time.

But I have recently joined a book club and December was my month to choose the book.  As I looked through my TBR shelf, The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes jumped out at me.  I chose it and we will be discussing it on December 16, so I can't publish this review until after then.

I will say straight off, there were a lot a tears shed reading this book.  I thought it was going to be more uplifting, and it was in many ways, but there was no escaping that a daughter, sister and mother was ending her life way too soon.

And as we begin to go back over Rabbit's life, we learn that her relationships are solid and loving and utterly ordinary but no less important.  

I don't want to offer any spoilers, and it turns out about as you expect even though I had moments where I thought this is one of the perks of writing a book, the ability to change the story, creating a happy ending where there isn't one possible in real life, but it wasn't to be.

It ended as happily as it could and I shed a lot of therapeutic tears for Rabbit.

Current Goodreads Rating 4.25

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Weekly Book Haul......December 31, 2017








Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, The Sunday Post is another great site hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  The Sunday Salon is a Facebook page where great readers share what they've read this week and Mailbox Monday is a weekly roundup of the new books people have received.

I always struggle with blogging in December.  There just seems to be so much that needs to be done between end of year work and then getting ready for the holidays.  So I didn't add to much to my TBR file, but I read a TON and now I'm devoting today to catching up on all the blogging.  So I'm on the couch, tucked into a blanket, with my laptop fired up.

2018 will be a year of change.  One of my best friends moved to Utah, my daughter and son in law are relocating to Texas, and I'm trying hard to deny both of these facts.  But February will feel very different to me.  And I think I'll be flying a lot more next year.

On a positive note, I was chosen to be a Karen White ambassador - which I probably got a little too excited about since I got the email at work during a long meeting.  Oops.  I'll get more information about what exactly that means in the new year but as a devoted fan, I'll do whatever I can!  Have you read The Night the Lights Went Out?  It was one of my favorites of 2017.

Fittingly, my only add these past few weeks was.....

Dreams of Falling by Karen White.....From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night the Lights Went Out comes an exquisite new novel about best friends, family ties and the love that can both strengthen and break those bonds.

New York Times bestselling author Karen White crafts evocative relationships in this new contemporary women's fiction novel about best friends who share a devastating secret, set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

It's been nine years since Larkin fled Georgetown, South Carolina, vowing never to go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she knows she has no choice but to return to the place that she both loves and dreads--and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home. Ivy, Larkin's mother, is discovered in the burned out wreckage of her family's ancestral rice plantation, badly injured and unconscious. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly 50 years. Secrets that lead back to the past, to the friendship between three girls on the brink of womanhood who swore that they would be friends forever, but who found that vow tested in heartbreaking ways.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner




What They Say....Wartime intrigue spans the lives of three women—past and present—in the latest novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life.

February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Resistance spy.

Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark...

Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides—and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.


What I Say....I started this book on vacation, and I thought it was something else.  I was about a quarter way in when I realized it wasn't the book I thought I had chosen and then I realized I didn't care.

Brette has always known that she has a gift, she sees and hears people that others don't.  However, she's spent her whole life trying to hide her abilities in an effort to have a "normal" life.  But she is asked to visit the Queen Mary in an effort to help a young child who has lost their mother, so she puts her own concerns aside in an effort to help.

Brette's story was interwoven, but as it so often happens with novels that go back and forth in time, I was much more interested in the story set during the end of WWII.

There are two women who appear to be on very different paths collide on the Queen Mary in order to come to America to join their husbands.  Not everyone is who they appear to be, and I found myself irritated when the storyline would switch time periods, but that's a good thing because I was so interested in the storyline.

This was a great read, and the way the stories all came together at the end was entirely satisfying.  Highly recommend this book.

Current Goodreads Rating 3.81
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan





What They Say....No one knows why Teddi Lerner left her hometown, but everyone knows why she’s back.


Twelve-year-old Shayna— talented, persistent, and adorable—persuaded "Aunt Tee" to return to Chance, Ohio, to photograph her father’s wedding. Even though it's been six years since Shay's mother, Celia, died, Teddi can hardly bear the thought of her best friend's husband marrying someone else. But Teddi’s bond with Shay is stronger than the hurt.
Teddi knows it’s time to face the consequences of her hasty retreat from family, friends, and, her old flame, but when she looks through her viewfinder, nothing in her small town looks the same. That’s when she truly sees the hurt she's caused and—maybe—how to fix it. 
After the man she once loved accuses Teddi of forgetting Celia, Teddi finally admits why she ran away, and the guilt she’s carried with her. As Teddi relinquishes the distance that kept her safe, she’ll discover surprising truths about the people she left behind, and herself. And she'll finally see what she overlooked all along in Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan.


What I Say.....Okay, the idea of coming back to photograph my dead best friends husband's second wedding is completely disturbing.

But Teddi has come back at her goddaughters request, wanting to support her through the wedding.  Although it doesn't seem like much support is needed.  Shayna is obviously happy and loved by her soon to be step mother.

Teddi had beat a hasty retreat from her hometown, and isn't excited about being back.  However, she is a little surprised to find out that not all the people she left behind are happy to have her back, even for a visit.

The good was the variety of characters, all realistically drawn, the bad was there was a bit of melancholy that at times felt a little forced, but not in a bad way.  It's hard to talk abut losing your best friends, watching kids grow up or missed opportunity for love without become a little emotional.














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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch




What They Say.....From New York Times bestselling author Allison Winn Scotch comes an honest, touching, and funny exploration of falling in and out of love, told from two perspectives—one rewinding history, one moving it forward—and each with bias and regret.
When their paths first cross, Ben Livingston is a fledgling screenwriter on the brink of success; Tatum Connelly is a struggling actress tending bar in a New York City dive. They fall in love, they marry, they become parents, and they think only of the future. But as the years go by, Tatum’s stardom rises while Ben’s fades. In a marriage that bears the fallout of ambition and fame, Ben and Tatum are at a crossroads. Now all they can do is think back…
A life of passion, joy, tragedy, and loss—once shared—becomes one as shifting and unpredictable as a memory. As the pieces of their past come together, as they explore the ways love can bend and break, Ben and Tatum come to see how it all went wrong—and wonder what they can do now to make it all right.


What I Say....This was an interesting book.  It's written from two different points of view, Tatum's and Ben's, and just like in their life, they don't ever seem to be in the same place at the same time.  

When they start off, Ben is the successful one and Tatum is struggling professionally.  But they are both struggling personally with families that are dealing with death and addiction on both sides.

Tatum is definitely the driver of the relationship and Ben is dragged along for quite a while, into a dog he didn't want, and then a baby he wasn't sure he was ready for.  But you can only push someone so far before they will start to chafe and rebel in ways you may not even be aware of.

The marriage falls apart, and you are getting both a fast forward and a rear view of how it happened.  But neither of them seem to be very outcome with the outcome.

A portrait of a marriage with all it's ups and downs, which doesn't seem to be that different even with career success and Hollywood fame.

Current Goodreads Rating 4.45

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