Set in Southwestern France in June 1944 during the German occupation, Lacombe Lucien is a tense work digging into the pathos of the era. The French citizens go about their lives quietly trying not to bring any attention to themselves. No one seems to know where his or her neighbor’s and, sometimes, even family loyalties lie. Lacombe Lucien is the 1974 screenplay collaboration between renown French movie producer Louis Malle and Patrick Modiano, recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature. Translated into English by Sabine Destree, the screenplay is beautifully written and easily read.
Shelby is a small-town girl who has big dreams. Her daughter Miss Ann is her life and she has plans to get both of them out of their small town. But to do that, Shelby has to sacrifice: she has to move to Atlanta so she can receive training on how to be a chef. Her goal is to become a chef so that Miss Ann can come live with her and they can be done with small town life. But working at Grasso’s and taking classes on the side is a very slow way to make her dreams come true. However, along the way, she becomes close friends with Tracy and Clare, owners of Squash Blossom Farms. Tracy and Clare help her find herself and realize exactly what her priorities should be.
If you like character-driven, well-written books, then you have probably already read something by Sherryl Woods. I can’t think of anyone who does them better! All her books contain conflict, which is essential to any plot, but Mending Fences one has CONFLICT! Big-time conflict on so many levels I couldn’t begin to identify all of them.
Although it was originally published in 2007, this is a new edition, and could have been ripped out of today’s headlines. In the author’s own words from the preface, this is the story of . . .
What would happen between two families who’d shared so many important events, so many hopes and dreams and such a deep friendship, if something tragic occurred with the potential to split them apart?
Now in her early twenties, Brynn Seymour has always been around horses, which are, after all, her family’s main source of income. The family home is part of the Redwood Grove Stables, some forty or so miles north of San Francisco spread over grassy hills and valleys, perfect for the stabling and hunter/jumper training offered by her father. Beginning with smaller scale events, horses and riders gradually move up to the Gran Prix circuit with prizes of a million or so bucks. It’s big-time stuff!
An only child, Brynn has always wanted to be a veterinarian. She’s now just one year away from graduation when she accompanies her dad and their number one stableman Derek, to the biggest of them all — The Million Dollar Gold Cup Event in Canada. She is over-tired from studying and may have forgotten to securely latch the gate on the three horse trailer they’re towing.
When Evie Rosen is trapped in an avalanche during a ski trip, her husband fails to come her aid, and when she does escape, she decides to escape her life with him as well. Hiding out with her cousin and best friend, Molly, Evie discovers that she’s also pregnant—with twins. So she starts completely anew in upstate New York, as the substitute teacher for a high school history class in a strange little town. What Becomes Us, written from the perspective of Evie’s twin fetuses, is Micah Perks’ latest insightful and inventive novel.
As Evie learns how to live on her own, she also learns about the residents of Lonely Rincon, who rally around their newest addition with varying fervor. While parts of the book were definitely lacking, I immediately noticed the strength and definition of each character.
Publishing is heavily dependent on ‘what the other guy does’. If a certain theme from one of them is successful, then all of a sudden, they all want one ‘like that.’ This year’s theme seems to be a single Mom raising a young daughter, with no Dad anywhere to be found. Not even his identity. This leaves the daughter with a major gap in her history and even herself. True, some adjust better than others. Frequently Mom is an artist of some variety–otherwise known as a ‘free spirit’. Mom and daughter move a lot, maybe every year or so. With no roots and no stability, it’s hardly any wonder that so many of these daughters end up as a neurotic basket-case.
Regrets Only, M.J. Pullen’s second novel in a series about a group of friends living in Atlanta, is a charming and suspenseful read, keeping the reader guessing until the very end.
Suzanne is 33 years old, has a successful event planning business, an amazing group of best friends, a fabulous condo in Atlanta, and guys lining up to take her out on the town and attempt to win her heart. Not to mention, she has just booked an event that could take her career to a whole other level.
However, after meticulously planning this “event of the season,” a series of strange accidents send her life into a tailspin. Not only does it end with a huge blow to her career, but it also has her re-thinking her philosophy on life and love.
Six-year-old Kate Kindrick is not like most little girls. Born with the magical ability to read people’s hearts, Kate is tiny, but mighty in her awareness and blessed with many gifts. When Kate was born, her dear grandmother, Grammy Mer, gave her a beautiful angel doll named Etta Ebella, that only rarely leaves Kate’s sight, but the doll has magical qualities and at times is very much alive. Etta Ebella becomes a silent staple in the story as much of what transpires in Kate’s life and her families is closely connected to the angel. Author Sherry Maysonave builds a strong main character in a child, one that remains poised and strong, while still remaining a little girl, filled with trust, wonderment and belief.
The Regulars by Georgia Clark is a hilarious and a witty novel. A light and entertaining read, the book explores the society’s obsession with beauty and its unrealistic standards for women.
Evie, Krista, and Willow are best friends in their mid-twenties living in New York. They’re normal, everyday people with average lives and average looks. As many normal people do, the women experience crises pertaining to their love and work lives. Unlike normal people, however, they come across a magic potion called Pretty that can make them “beautiful.” The potion makes the three best friends gorgeous, tall, and curvy with beautiful hair.
Single mother Sian Bishop has just moved from the busy city to a quiet country town with her son Rory. Determined to create a new life for her son, Sian busies herself with organizing their small rented cottage. She soon meets her new neighbor Fiona, whom she immediately bonds with, and Fiona works to get Sian acquainted with her neighborhood and the characters within it.
Sian is shocked to encounter Rory’s father when he turns up at a dinner party, and it is announced that he is Fiona’s son. Having not seen him since their one night together several years ago, Sian agonizes over telling him and Fiona the truth about Rory’s connection to them. Will she tell them the truth? And if she does, will she lose them forever?