The Water Cure

By Sophie Mackintosh

The Water Cure: A Novel by [Mackintosh, Sophie]

4 out of 5 stars

Grace, Lia and Sky are raised on an island away from a world where men can hurt them. They live with their parents, parents who run them through a daily bunch of tests and actions to make them safe from whatever these men in the world can hurt them with. They are taught that just breathing the air from where the men are can kill them. Other women come to this island to be cured. No one else stays.

One day, King, their father, is gone. Their mother says he is dead and they begin a different kind of life. Their mother still adheres to all the old rules. Our story is told by Grace and Lia. Grace is pregnant. Yes, you read that right. That makes your brain go one hundred miles an hour. Lia is struggling with emotions. They aren’t supposed to feel them. Until the one day, two men and a boy wash up on their little utopia….

This has such a hazy, atmospheric quality to it. I felt the bones of the big old house they lived in. I felt their breaths as they played the drowning game. I felt the cuts Lia inflicted on herself. It is really harsh. Their mother was tough. It was hard to sympathize with her. There were truths that were revealed and I just was shocked. It is hard to put this book in any box . I have not read anything like it. The writing is superb.  I think I will think about this one for a long time.

Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin for an advance copy of this book.

Looker

By Laura Sims

Looker: A Novel by [Sims, Laura]

4 out of 5 stars

Looker is a deep, long trip into a mind that is slowly falling apart. Our woman, who is never named, is in the midst of a marriage breaking up. They had tried for a long time to get pregnant and unfortunately, they are never able to have a child. She becomes obsessed with an actress who lives in their neighborhood. And I mean obsessed! She has these fantasies of having sex with her husband, of them being friends. Her envy is palpable. She thinks about scenarios constantly. Her job as a teacher suffers and she also becomes involved with a student. At times, it is hard to know what is reality and what is in her mind. That is how wonderfully written this novel is. I hope it is the closest I get to a breakdown!

There is also a deep sadness in it all. I felt so sorry for her, even when she was at her meanest. She does some despicable things and the last being so very sad. It is hard to read at times but it is well worth the time put into reading on and on. It is marketed as a thriller but it is so much more than that. I don’t even know if I can categorize it properly. Isn’t that the kind of book you want to read?

Thanks to Netgalley and Scribner for a copy of this ARC.

Lift and Separate

By Marilyn Simon Rothstein

Lift and Separate: A Novel by [Rothstein, Marilyn Simon]

5 out of 5 stars

I chose the best book to start off 2019! I have had it for a while and I am sorry I didn’t pick it up sooner. I love Marcy Hammer! She is dealt a blow when her husband of 33 years tells her he has had an affair. (We also find out later into the book that there is a baby) She goes through all the emotions you would expect but on top of it all, her mother falls and is diagnosed with cancer. How much can one person take? Marcy handles it the way I think I would. She has that dose of humor that keeps her going. (I am friends with Marilyn on Facebook and I definitely see the Marcy/Marilyn connection in the funny category!)

You will be so entertained by this book. You will love Marcy like I do. You will love her friendships. You will love her relationships with her children. You will love Jon. You will love everything about this delightful gem. I look forward to diving into the next book.

And yes, I did get teary at the end. For a moment, I heard my mother too.

 

 

She Lies In Wait

By Gytha Lodge

She Lies in Wait: A Novel by [Lodge, Gytha]

3,5  out of 5 stars

Thirty years after Aurora Jackson has gone missing, her body is found at the campground she was last seen at. She had went that night with her sister Topaz and a group of her sister’s friends. We get the backstory as to what happened in Aurora’s eyes as we alternate with the investigation into her murder. This is the first in a series with Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens. I really look forward to reading more about him because he is a very interesting character. He grew up with the kids involved so he had a higher stake in it than most.

The story unfolds as each suspect is brought in for questioning and little by little, secrets are revealed. I really had no idea who the killer was. It could have been any of them. I loved Jonah’s process and his thinking as he slowly unfolded everything.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for a copy of this ARC.

The Au Pair

By Emma Rous

The Au Pair by [Rous, Emma]

5 out of 5 stars

I think I entered into reading this book with a misconception. I was thinking it was a mystery/thriller. It definitely is a mystery but it is a lot more than that.

When Seraphine’s father dies suddenly of an accident, she stumbles upon s photograph that starts her down a path that will change everything she believes about her family.  It is a picture of her mother, father and a baby on the day she was born.  It is also right before her mother kills herself. The problem is, Seraphine is a twin. Why only one baby? As she searches for the truth, we are also given the backstory of Laura, the au pair who came to stay that year to watch the oldest son Edwin. The Summerbourne  manor holds lots of secrets and Laura is right in the middle of them all.

This is a wonderful book! It slowly unfolds to the reader in a very delectable way. As secrets are revealed, your mind will start spinning in a lot of directions. You might have it figured out, you might not. (I had some but there were some great surprises!) This is the author’s first novel and what a way to debut into the world. I look forward to many more!

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for an advanced copy of this wonderful book.

The Accidental Beauty Queen

By Teri Wilson

The Accidental Beauty Queen (Royals) by [Wilson, Teri]

4 out of 5 stars

While I was reading this story, I felt like I was in the middle of one of those wonderful little Hallmark films where you know where it’s going and you are happy to be on the journey. That comes as no surprise since the author has created a few of those movies that we all love to snuggle up and watch.

Charlotte Gorman’s sister Ginny is a pageant girl. She has big dreams to win Miss American Treasure, the same one their late mother won so many years before. Charlotte is the exact opposite. She loves books, reading, being a librarian. She is more than happy to fly to Orlando to support her sister, especially since it means spending days at Harry Potter World. What Charlotte didn’t count on was Ginny having a severe allergic reaction to something she ate. What she didn’t plan on was Ginny asking her to stand in for her at the pageant. (They are identical twins!) And she really didn’t plan on meeting Grey Beckham. Can you say complications galore?!

I love how the sisters really got to know about each other. They were so opposite but really, they were not that far apart. There is a great sisterly bond that gets stronger. I also love that Charlotte’s ideas of what pageant women were are changed immensely. This is such a cute story. There is a lot of fun humor.  It is one that you will probably read really quickly and honestly, you will be as satisfied as we all are at the end of a wonderfully sappy Hallmark movie.

Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for a review copy.

Watching You

By Lisa Jewell

Watching You: A Novel by [Jewell, Lisa]

5 out of 5 stars

This beauty comes out at the end of December and you are going to want to read it! This is my second Lisa Jewell book and like I said after the first one, Then She Was Gone, I don’t know why I am so late to the party!

There is a dead body in one of the houses in Melville Heights. (And I have to admit I thought it was one person but was so wrong) The story takes us between the police questioning a few people, to the stories of the people living there. They all seem to revolve around Tom Fitzwilliam, the headmaster at a local school. There is Joey, who recently moved in with her brother and pregnant wife. She feels a connection to him. There is Jenna, who’s mother has some serious mental issues and believes that Tom is watching her ever since a vacation they took. Jenna also has serious doubts about Tom’s character around female students. Tom’s son, Freddie, who keeps an eye on the comings and goings of the street, feels like he both loves and hates his father. Then there is Nicola, Tom’s wife, who seems to try to be something she’s not for him. It all swirls and ebbs around and around until you start to not trust everyone and isn’t that the most delicious part of reading?!

This is such a page-turning read and I could not wait to see how it all played out. Each of the main characters are written with such clarity and you really could feel what they were all about. I really loved the progression in Freddie. And who doesn’t love that little tidbit at an ending that makes you go AHA! I will read more and more from this wonderful writer, at least until I finish her library, and wait for more.

Thanks to Netgalley and Atria for this fantastic book.