The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

By Kim Michele Richardson

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel by [Richardson, Kim Michele]

4 out of 5 stars

This story really touched me and made me think of how much reading and books can change anyone’s life. Cussy Mary is one of my favorite characters that I have read this year. She is not going to let anything stop her from delivering books along her route as a Pack Horse Librarian. Her clients are all poor people in Kentucky who don’t have enough to eat, let alone read. Cussy is called Bluet by most people because she is the color blue. (I honestly had to look up the blue people of Kentucky and it is fascinating.) You will be rooting for her to find her happily ever after because she is the kindest person. She will give up food for herself to help others. I love how she could convince even the most stubborn person to get into reading something. There really is something for everyone. My hats are off to all those people who rode their horse, their donkey, or a stubborn mule like the delightful Junia, to deliver books, magazines. They expanded the minds of those who would otherwise not have it.

I was in tears throughout the book. You will feel everything that Cussy feels. There were a few stories that really got to me, especially Angelica and little Henry. The poverty and racism will hit you right in your soul.

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for a copy of this lovely book.

Nothing To See Here

By Kevin Wilson

Nothing to See Here by [Wilson, Kevin]

5 out of 5 stars

I loved this book! I mean what’s not to love about a woman who finds herself while taking care of two children who spontaneously combust ?!

When Lillian’s friend from school calls her and offers her a job, she is skeptic but she is really in nowhere land in her life so she accepts. Lillian and Melissa have a complicated past. Melissa is now the wife of a politician with big plans. What those plans probably don’t include are the two children, Bessie and Roland, from his previous marriage. The two kids catch fire when their emotions get away from them. Lillian’s job is to keep them occupied, away from the public eye and keep them from burning everything down. What Lillian doesn’t expect is to become attached to  these two kids.

I loved the relationship between Lillian and the kids. It was wonderful watching the three of them blossom into a family. They slowly figured each other out. They were more observant than they realized. It is a very quick read, hard to put down and totally different from anything I have read before.

We Met in December

By Rosie Curtis

We Met in December: A Novel by [Curtis, Rosie]

4 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love a sweet romantic comedy? This is one of those books that you sit somewhere comfortable with fuzzy socks, blanket, a warm beverage, and just breath in and enjoy. An added bonus, it is set in London. Who doesn’t love a romantic comedy set in London?!

Jess decides to move away from her home to the big city. She is lucky enough to have a friend who has inherited a big house and is renting rooms out for relatively cheap. There is one rule, no relationships between roommates. Jess is fine with that and then she meets Alex. He was a lawyer who decided to chuck it all and become a nurse after his father’s illness. Lucky for Jess, his fiance dumped him because of it. There is instant attraction and we all know there has to be a few bumpy times but we also count on that happy ending.

Did I cry a bit at the end? Is the Pope Catholic? I found myself smiling a whole lot while reading. Jess is a very lovable character and Alex wasn’t too bad himself. Jess’s circle of friends were great and it rounded out a wonderfully written story. This was just the book I needed to escape with and I will look forward to more joy from Rosie Curtis in the future.

Thanks to Netgalley and William Morrow for a copy of this delightful book.

 

The Stranger Inside

By Lisa Unger

The Stranger Inside: A Novel by [Unger, Lisa]

3.5 out of 5 stars

Rain Winter is adjusting to being a stay at home mom after a job as a journalist. When a murder catches her eye, she is thrown back into her past. Rain was a survivor of an awful attack when she was young. She wasn’t the only survivor though and she begins to suspect that Henry is involved in the murder. Are there more vigilante killings including the murder of their attacker?

Though it has very dark aspects to the story, there was also a kind of peaceful redemption, in a way. The push and pull of motherhood with wanting to also be back to doing what you love was a good plot point. The characters were believable and you totally understood where they were coming from, if not always doing things the acceptable way.  There is a reveal that I didn’t see coming at all. I enjoyed the story and the conclusion was very satisfying.

Thanks to Netgalley and Park Row for a copy of this book.

The Family Upstairs

By Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs: A Novel by [Jewell, Lisa]

5 out of 5 stars

Lisa Jewell gets better and better with each new book and that is saying a lot because every book has been great.

In this story, Libby finds out she has inherited a house, a rather large, expensive house, on her 25th birthday. Libby was adopted and this house belonged to her birth family. The house has a history as her parents and another man were found dead of an apparent suicide pact. They seemed to have been part of a cult. Libby was found in her crib. As Libby finds out more about her family and the house, we are also learning of the story in two other voices. Her brother Henry tells us how the people who came to live upstairs in their house  changed everything. Our other narrator Lucy is homeless with her two children and when she gets a message saying that “the baby is 25”, does everything to get back to England. Just when you think you have it figured out, oh no you don’t!

I sat reading this book with a feeling of dread. You know everything is leading up to what happened and how this is going to change everything, but you just don’t know how. I had to make myself stop from turning to the end to see what happened. You know that’s the sign of a great thriller when you just need to know! The characters are all compelling. Henry is especially complex. That ending! It still gives me chills.

You will want to pre-order this one right away. Ric Munoz, this has your name written all over it. I can’t wait for the next book and the next and the next….

Thanks to Goodreads for an advance copy of this wonderful book.

100 Days of Sunlight

By Abbie Emmons

100 Days of Sunlight by [Emmons, Abbie]

5 out of 5 stars

100 Days of Sunlight has to be one of the sweetest, most uplifting books I have read in a long time.  I found myself smiling throughout and crying happy tears at the end. If you are not a blubbering mess when you finish this book, I don’t want to know you.

Tessa is a teenage girl who, after being in a car accident, is temporarily blind. It is supposed to last close to 100 days, hopefully. She is resentful, sad, angry, all the things you can totally understand. She is a writer of poems which she blogs. Her loving grandfather thinks that finding her someone to help type out her blog would be a good thing for her so he puts an ad in the local paper for a young girl to come and help. Tessa is angered by it and has him not run it. When he calls the paper to cancel,  the owner’s son Weston finds out and he puts himself in the job. Tessa is unsure at first but there is something about Weston that she likes. Through the other senses, he opens up her world again. Weston falls in love and he is waiting for the day to come when she can see again, he is happy and yet he dreads it. He has his own secret that will be revealed.

This couple is one of the cutest couples ever. Weston is a kid with a lot going for him. He doesn’t let the word “can’t” into his vocabulary. Watching as Tessa opened up again was so joyful. There were just so many little things that added up to make this a very enjoyable read. I think I needed it in this world gone crazy.  A book with characters who are kind, love each other, and cherish life, what more could you want?

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this wonderful book.

 

 

If Only I Could Tell You

By Hannah Beckerman

If Only I Could Tell You: A Novel by [Beckerman, Hannah]

5 out of 5 stars

If you could only see my eyes this morning, you would know just how great this book is. I had to stay up to finish it into the wee hours. Things were finally unfolding and I could not put it down.

I have to say that through a lot of the book, I felt this strange dread. Jess was a hard nut to crack. Her anger was palpable.  We know as we read along that something devastating has happened to this family. Jess won’t talk at all to her sister Lily. Poor Audrey, their mother, wants nothing more than to see her daughters as close as sisters should be. She wants her granddaughters to know each other. Lily and Jess have been sitting on secrets for so very long. Once those secrets are revealed, my heart broke.

This is such a wonderful book. It is sad and yet redeeming. It is an emotional roller coaster. I am not a roller coaster fan but I buckled into this ride and I am so very glad I did. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Beckerman. I know I won’t be disappointed.

Thanks to Netgalley and William Morrow for a copy of this wonderful book. It is my humble opinion but I am pretty sure it will be yours too.