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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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25 03, 2017

Review: The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

By | March 25th, 2017|Categories: Contemporary, Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Series, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

last chance matinee book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

‘Blended’ families – you know, the ‘hers’, ‘his’, and ‘ours’ type of familial organization is a fairly recent invention in this country. Especially during the last 50 years or so. But in this story you get a different kind of ‘blended’ family – three daughters of one man, with two different women, and no divorce in the middle. The three daughters meet for the first time as 30-somethings after both Moms and the Dad are all deceased. Talk about a surprise!

Allie and Des are full sisters, Cara is the singleton in the batch. Allie and Cara both had unhappy marriages; Des is still single. They meet in the attorney’s office to go over the terms of the will. All three women did know the attorney as Uncle Pete, however. It seems that Dad (Fritz Hudson) came from a wealthy family in the small town of Hidden Falls, Pennsylvania.

23 03, 2017

Review: The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

By | March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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the housekeeper book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

After a humiliating breakup, Anne Morgan disappears into herself and separates from the culinary world that she has worked in her entire adult life. Finding comfort in the words of celebrity blogger Emma Helmsley, Anne sees an ad that Emma is looking for a housekeeper. Though overqualified, Anne applies for the position and is welcomed into the private life of the Helmsley family.

Anne becomes intimately immersed in the private lives of each member of the Helmsley family, from having deep morning conversations with Rob that grow a little too friendly, to impersonating Emma at their son Jake’s school. The deeper that Anne falls, the more secrets that she uncovers—including some that hit a little close to home.

14 03, 2017

Review: Sweet Lake by Christine Nolfi

By | March 14th, 2017|Categories: Comedy, Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Series, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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sweet lake book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Hold on to your hats! If you don’t, it’ll surely be blown away by the eccentric batch of nutty older ladies known as the Sirens. (Nothing wrong with being a nutty older lady – I am one myself, after all) but this batch is particularly concerned (read: nosy) and active (read: fantasy-oriented), although their intentions are always good. Their motto is ‘Do kindness in secret’.

The Wayfair is a resort hotel on a lake in Mid-Southern Ohio, having been in the same family since its inception in the previous century. It has been handed down to the only child throughout its history and always a son, as the family was not very prolific until the most recent generation, which has produced a son Freddie, and a daughter Linnie.

27 02, 2017

Review: Moonglow by Michael Chabon

By | February 27th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Urban Life|Tags: , , |9 Comments

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moonglow book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Chabon’s newest book, Moonglow is a literary treat. It’s a departure from a regular novel in that it is, at least in part, biographical. The novel follows Chabon as he sits with his grandfather during his grandfather’s last days. His grandfather tells him stories about his life and Chabon is able to piece together the past based on stories he’s heard and the new stories and retellings his grandfather tells him during these final moments. The book begins with an Author’s Note that is fitting for a memoir that isn’t necessarily a memoir, but one that reads more like a novel, “I have stuck to the facts except when facts refused to conform with memory, narrative purpose, or the truth as I prefer to understand it. Wherever liberties have been taken with names, dates, places, events, and conversations, or with identities, motivations, and interrelationships of family members and historical personages, the reader is assured that they have been taken with due abandon.” This declaimer of sorts sets the reader up for one very engaging novel.

10 02, 2017

Review: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

By | February 10th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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madwoman upstairs book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

Samantha Whipple is a twenty-year-old first year student at Old College, Oxford. She enters school as something of a celebrity being the final descendant of the famed Bronte family line. Her first year at Oxford proves troubling since she doesn’t work well with others, tends towards her famous father’s reclusiveness, and is charged with solving a family mystery involving her father and his ancestors.

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell is, in a sense, a late bloomer’s coming of age tale. Samantha Whipple has an attitude that is flippant, fun, annoying, and back to fun. Her cynical nature is difficult to take at times, but it becomes apparent that this is her protection.

26 01, 2017

Review: The Road to Enchantment by Kaya McLaren

By | January 26th, 2017|Categories: Coming of Age, Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |7 Comments

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road to enchantment book coverReviewed by Meg Massey

When she was a child, Willow’s father cheated on her mother and left their family in shambles. She and her mother moved to New Mexico, where she felt like an outsider among the Apache people. Her only saving grace in her mother’s strange and eccentric new life was Darrel, a young Apache boy who would become her best friend in the world.

Fast forward many years, and Willow is a musician living in Los Angeles. She finds out she’s been dumped, and that her mother has died in a tragic accident on the same horrible day. And when she returns to New Mexico to settle her mother’s affairs and sees Darrel for the first time in years, he realizes before she does that she is pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s child.

28 12, 2016

Review: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

By | December 28th, 2016|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |4 Comments

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my name is lucy barton book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout is a novel that begins in reflection. The main character, Lucy, is looking back at a time “many years ago” in which she was hospitalized for nine weeks with a mysterious illness. At that time, she was weak and growing weaker. Her one constant was the view from her hospital bed of the Chrysler Building. In the daytime, the building seemed to recede, another gray silhouette surround by gray, but at night, it shown bright giving Lucy hope in her darkness.

Lucy’s story is about loneliness and isolation. Even surrounded by family, she seems to be alone. Lucy wakes in her hospital room some days after being admitted to find her mother sitting in the chair at the foot of her bed.

17 12, 2016

Review: The Promise Kitchen by Peggy Lampman

By | December 17th, 2016|Categories: Contemporary, Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

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the promise kitchen book coverReviewed by Amanda Schafer

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.

12 12, 2016

Review: Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell

By | December 12th, 2016|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Short Stories, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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mothers tell your daughters book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Bonnie Jo Campbell’s short story collection, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters is honest, bitter, sad and powerful. The book consists of sixteen short stories, two of which run only about a page. The collection of stories centers around women, many about motherhood and the complicated relationships between mothers and daughter. The stories will remind you of your own mistakes. Many of the stories have been published in other publications prior to this collection.

The stories are far from happy tales of weddings and grandchildren, the stories are centered around the effects of relationships with men, the effect of life-altering decisions and how mothers and daughters cope with each other and the mistakes that are made. Campbell illuminates what its like to be a mother and how to cope as a daughter.

22 11, 2016

Review: A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi

By | November 22nd, 2016|Categories: Cultural Heritage, Family Life, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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house without windows book coverReviewed by Benish Khan

A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi revolves around the lives of modern Afghan women. The character Zeba used to be a wife, mother, and a peaceful villager. Her husband Kamal is found murdered outside the courtyard of their house and as anyone sane would be, Zeba is overcome with grief and shock. Unfortunately, due to her altered state, she cannot recall where she was at the time of the murder leading her husband’s family to believe that she has murdered her own husband.

Zeba is arrested and jailed. While awaiting trial, she bonds with a group of other Afghan women who share their stories with her. She meets Nafisa, a teenager who was imprisoned to protect her from an honor killing.