Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline

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The Way Life Should Be


Christina Baker Kline

William Morrow
Pages:  320

Christina Kline, the author of the Orphan Train, takes us to Maine.  We follow Angela as she is trying to "find herself".  Angela is looking for love and decides that the Internet may be the best place to look. After losing her job, she wonders if going to Maine where a handsome sailor awaits may be the best answer for her. Thinking "Yes", she  loads up her old car and heads to Maine for the next adventure in her life.

She finds Maine to be a lovely place but her adventure does not take the same road as she had planned.   Like in life, Angela is finding out that all roads do not lead where your expect and sometimes detours are life changing.

I enjoyed this book, it was light reading but a good story.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

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The Girl You Left Behind
Jojo Moyes

Penguin Books
Pages:  369

This novel is two stories in one written around the Edouard Lefevre's portrait of Sophie.

World War I in France is the setting for the beginning of this novel about Sophie's fight to save her family from the Germans who have taken over their city.  Edouard, Sophie's husband has gone to fight the German and becomes a POW.  Sophie struggles to keep the family hotel open by serving meals to their German captors.  Food is always in short supply and with the German's eating at the hotel, they are supplied with some extra food and fuel to survive.

Edouard, a known artist, painted Sophie's portrait before their marriage and it catches the eye of the local Kommandant.  Sophie wants to find Edouard and she hopes that the portrait may help her find Edouard with the Kommandant's assistance.  Sophie's world is turned upside down by the war.  How will she save her family?

Liv Halston is given Sophie's portrait as a wedding present from her dead husband.  Liv is attached to this portrait and it becomes that central element of a trial to return stolen art to the rightful owners.

Who truly owns the portrait?  Will the real story be told?

Some Luck by Jane Smiley

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Some Luck


Jane Smiley

Pages:  416

Some Luck begins in the 1920's on Walter Langdon's 25th birthday in Denby, Iowa.  Walter and Rosanne and their son Frank are just beginning the life as a Midwestern farm family.  They have purchased a home near their families and here they will raise their family.  The story follows the family through the depression, the Dust Bowls days, World War II and modernization of the family farm.

We see Frankie, Joe, Mary Elizabeth, Lillian, Henry, & Claire as they grow from babies to adults.  As in most families, each child is his own person and we learn how they all are important in the parts of this farm family.  With the birth of each child a new chapter is written and each child brings a unique aspect to the family.

This is the first novel in a proposed trilogy that will follow the Langdon family.

I enjoyed this book, I have enjoyed other Jane Smiley novels and this one did not disappoint.  I was fun to follow the Langdon family as they go through life. It will be interesting to see how the second generation of Langdon children fare in the next volume of the trilogy.

Mrs. SInclair's Suitcase by Louise Walters

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Mrs. Sinclair's Suitcase
Louise Walters

G. P. Putnam's & Sons
Pages:  288

Roberta, a 34 year old salesperson working in a used book store, is given a suitcase that was her grandmother's. In the suitcase she finds a mysterious letter that hints at things she knows nothing about and she thinks that the letter may shed some light on her family history.   The story of Roberta's grandmother, Dorothy is set in England during the Second World War.  

Dorothy marries beneath her class ends up estranged from her family and eventually is left by her husband when he goes off to war without a word to her about his whereabouts. Having to fend for herself, Dorothy  takes in two girls from London and also meets a handsome Polish pilot.  Dorothy must make some life altering decisions that will live with her through life.  Will she make the right ones?

From the  book jacket:  Gripping and utterly absorbing, Mrs. Sinclair's Suitcase is a spellbinding tale of two worlds, one shattered by secrets and the other by the truth.

I enjoyed the book very much.  Dorothy's story based in England before and after World War II was wonderful and Roberta's search for the truth was fulfilling.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

"Go set a watchman" by Harper Lee

Product DetailsTwenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—"Scout"—returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt.


Somehow I kept waiting for the story to happen. 

"The Marriage Season" by Linda Lael Miller

Product DetailsWill the marriage pact be fulfilled? Return to Mustang Creek, Wyoming, with #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller for more Brides of Bliss County! Since Hadleigh, Melody and Bex-the best of best friends-entered into a marriage pact, two of them have found (and married) the men of their hearts. But Bex doesn't think she'll be as fortunate as the others. Her own first love died years ago in a faraway war, and Bex has lost hope for a happy marriage of her own. She concentrates on her business, a successful chain of fitness clubs, instead. Then, when single father Tate Calder comes to Mustang Creek with his two sons in tow, who befriend Bex's eight-year-old nephew, she and the handsome, aloof newcomer are constantly thrown together. But is the marriage season over? Or can a man with doubts about love be the right husband for a woman who wants it all?

334 pages