Friday, July 3, 2015

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

Because I was so intrigued and even enthralled with the development of The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell, which I had read last fall - I knew I needed to get my hands on her most recent novel, The Third Wife.  And again - this novel was comprised of a completely unique plot and characters - some kinda weird, some likable, some lovable and even some despisable.  Throughout the entire time, I seriously could not for the life of me figure out who the heck had "done it".  It was so well written.  I admit because there was a lot of characters going on I got a bit confused now and then, but I actually didn't put it down long enough to lose my place in the narrative.  In fact I read it in 2 days - which is pretty quick for even me!

If you enjoy a story that will challenge your way of thinking or show you a different perspective to how some families live, I think you'll really enjoy this book.  I'm fast becoming a fan of Lisa Jewell and look forward to seeing what else she comes up with!

A massive thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for allowing me the chance to read an advanced copy!!  If you are interested in picking this one up, go here!   (*All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.)

Description: In the early hours of an April morning, Maya stumbles into the path of an oncoming bus.

A tragic accident? Or suicide?

Her grief-stricken husband, Adrian, is determined to find out.

Maya had a job she enjoyed; she had friends. They'd been in love.

She even got on with his two previous wives and their children. In fact, they'd all been one big happy family.

But before long Adrian starts to identify the dark cracks in his perfect life.
Because everyone has secrets.
And secrets have consequences.
Some of which can be devastating.

Rating: ****

Recommend:  Yes!  I thought it was refreshing to not read a cookie-cutter novel.  Lisa Jewell keeps her novels fresh & exciting!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Sound of Glass by Karen White

I LOOOOOVED THIS BOOK!  This is one of those books that you just immediately offer to anyone and everyone you come across.  In fact, I immediately loaned it to my mother-in-law, then my co-worker Debbie, and soon I'm going to send it off to my sister Kati back in Seattle.

Penguin Random House was generous enough to send me this copy of The Sound of Glass by Karen White and I couldn't have been giddier!  I really enjoyed both Sea Change and The Memory of Water, by Karen White which I've also reviewed on my blog.

There's just something about Karen's writing that sucks you in from page 1.  And I insanely appreciate the fact that she doesn't get all graphic and sexually explicit in her novels - I just can't pass on a great novel that happens to include a couple graphic sexual scenes and not feel weird about it.

Great, GREAT story and one that I would recommend to everyone.  It really takes you on a journey of laughter, joy, sadness, anger, compassion and so many genuine emotions.  Fantastic read!!   (*All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.)

Description: It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.

Rating: *****

Recommend: YES! YES! YES!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Why? Trusting God When You Don't Understand by Anne Graham Lotz

My mother-in-law had left this at our house to read because she thought it would really encourage us during the season we've been enduring.  And she honestly couldn't have been more right.  This book might be tiny, but holy cow does it pack a large punch!  I savored and yet devoured it at the same time.  Then I started reading it over again to my husband out loud before we went to bed at night.

I think a lot of us need reminding of the bigger picture of how God orchestrates things in our lives.  It's easy to get negative and depressed with hardships, but God knows the beginning from the end.  Anne's description of Martha & Mary and what they might have felt or did feel with the passing of Lazarus was brought into a whole new light and revelation to me.

This book was everything I needed right at that moment and I've even passed it on to a friend at work.  If you find yourself wondering "why do bad things happen to good people?", pick this baby up and prepare to have your mind renewed.

Description: Called "the best preacher in the family," by her father, Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz speaks around the globe with the wisdom and the authority of years spent studying God's Word. In her latest book, Anne shares her heart and God's teachings on the universal problem of suffering.

Drawing her characteristically keen insights from the familiar story of Lazarus in the ninth and eleventh chapters of the Gospel of John, Anne offers Jesus' reassuring answers to our heartfelt cries for understanding: Why doesn't God care? Why does He let these things happen? Why me? Why doesn't God answer my prayers? Why didn't He protect me? Why doesn't He perform a miracle?

Why? helps us understand and deal with suffering while guiding us to the ultimate answer-the Savior who shares our grief and our tears.

Rating: *****

Recommend: Without ANY hesitation! I look forward to checking out more from Anne Graham Lotz.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Coming Back to Me by Caroline Leavitt

I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I'd would.  I'm a cover snob and the dude peeking through the window kinda turned me off in one of those 'cheesey-romance' ways.  But my friend Debbie loaned me this one and I can always trust her judgment...usually.

It was a heart-wrenching love story, and I will admit that I enjoyed the entire story up until the very end - which left me with a WTF?   Authors, you just can't do that to people!  It was everything I usually enjoy in an easy read - and I tore through it pretty quick.  I'd recommend to anyone (except for maybe any pregnant ladies, cause it might freak you out a bit).  Just sayin.

Description: It can take a long time to build up a life, and only moments to destroy it. Gary and Molly met in the way couples do: after a long haul of being single, quickly becoming soulmates and rejoicing in that fact. Beautiful, red-haired Molly ignites a fire in Gary and he eases the pain she feels about her past. Starting a family is something they both want badly to do, and with great joy Molly finds herself pregnant.

When she leaves for the hospital that things start to go seriously wrong. Just a few weeks later Gary is alone with a newborn and a mountain of medical bills he has no means to pay for. Desperate for help, he calls on Molly's long estranged sister, Suzanne.

From Sue Miller to Elizabeth Berg, bestselling authors have tackled the challenges of love and marriage. Caroline Leavitt claims the turf in her own exciting way, twisting and turning a medical nightmare into an opportunity for redemption and hope.

Rating: ****

Recommend:  Sure, I thought it was a pretty great story!