Paula McLain is the author of several historical fiction books, including The Paris Wife. In Love and Ruin, McLain explores the relationship between Ernest Hemingway and his third wife, journalist Martha Gellhorn.
While McLain is quick to point out that her books are fiction, she immerses herself in research beforehand and as a reader, you feel as if you are getting the real story, emotions and all.
Like all of Hemingway’s relationships, his marriage to Gellhorn was tumultuous. Martha was, more than any other of his wives, her own person and a professional in her own rite. She was a war correspondent and novelist, and her very independence challenged Hemingway’s sense of masculinity, even as he professed to love her for it.
McLain takes the reader right into the stormy war years with the famous couple. Her novel is very sure footed and is an informative and pleasurable read. It’s just right.
Nightmare! Sloane, Ardie, and Grace work as lowyers for Truviv, an athletic equipment company. For years, they've suffered under their department head Ames, who is now trying his sexual harassment game on the new hire. Worse, he's poised to become their new CEO. So, the women decide to sue. But when Ames turns up dead, they are the primes suspects. Whisper Network is obviously inspired by the #MeToo movement, but I have to say that I haven't felt this strength of solidarity with other women since the march in D.C. I closed this book with a resounding "Oh. Hell. Yes."
Alicia is a famous painter with a dream life in London-she lives in a gorgeous house with her renowned photographic husband, Gabriel.
And it was all going so well until the day Alicia shot Gabriel and then quit speaking- forever.
Now Alicia lives in a psychiatric facility and her new therapist, Theo Faber, is determined to find out why she is now the notorious Silent Patient.
This all sounds tame enough, as thrillers go, so let me tempt you with the idea that this debut will absolutely floor you with “I didn’t see that coming.” The rights have sold all over the world and film rights were scooped up by some heavy hitting studios and producers.
No further clues here- you have to read this one!
Acclaimed author Miriam Toews has taken real events from a Bolivian Mennonite Community that claimed the women, who were waking up bruised and bleeding, were being punished by God or Satan for their sins. It turns out, though, that eight men from their colony were using animal anesthetic to knock their victims unconscious and rape them.
Women Talking has been compared to Greek tragedy.
Eight women are convened in a barn to debate what to do: stay and fight or leave the only lives they’ve ever known.
The narrator in this tragedy is a man who’s been excommunicated as a child and returned as a teacher. They ask him to take minutes of their secret meeting.
The women’s debate ranges from the meaning of sin and forgiveness to truth and justice. With wry voices that convey that these women, although unworldly, are wise in the ways of all things, Women Talking makes the reader privy to debates as old as mankind in a novel that feels refreshing.
This is one for the literature lovers.
Kate Morton, who divides her time between Australia and London, has a voice all of her own, and in this case - many voices.
The Clockmaker’s Daughter tells the tale of Birchwood Manor. Nestled in a bend in the river, it is paid to provide safe haven to all who enter her grounds.
It’s the story of Edward, a sensitive soul who, frightened at night in the woods, stumbles there and is saved. Edward grows up to be a famous painter. His love story, an awful robbery gone bad, and a missing gemstone all set the scene.
It’s the story of Elodie, an architect who is unhappily engaged and stumbles upon the story of Edward’s muse.
And it’s also the story of Ada, growing up in India until one day her parents decide she needs to be educated in England...
It is all of these stories and so much more.
As the book jumps around in time between storylines, the reader starts to follow the threads that lead, inexorably, to Birchwood Manor. It’s a fascinating story and very well-told.
The promise of great writing is what is what drew me to read this novel, which took Larison eight years to complete.
The story is set out west in the late 1800s. Jessilyn and Noah’s Pa was all they had on their hardscrabble homestead. But Pa was haunted by ghosts from the war and his beloved wife’s death, and he fell under the spell of a magic elixir that left him without pain, but his children in a world of hurt.
As Noah grew older, he challenged his father’s power, and one day, after an epic fight, left for good. Jessilyn was not fit to run the ranch by herself but found no alternative until the day her Pa died. She set out, dressed as a boy, to find Noah, who had become a notorious outlaw with a bounty on his head.
This is her story.
This is not my usual genre, but Whiskey When We’re Dry delivers on the promise of fantastic storytelling and I was sucked right in until the very last page.
Imagine your baby wished you harm.
As Suzette and Alex raise their daughter, Hanna, with all the care and privilege they can muster, it’s baffling to them that Hanna can’t or won’t talk.
They’ve tried several schools, and Hanna is always asked to leave. But only Suzette gets to see the real Hanna that is emerging- a dangerous, vengeful seven-year-old who wishes her mommy would just go away. Whenever Alex comes home, Hanna is his perfect mute angel, and he just can’t understand Suzette’s growing distrust and distaste for their own darling daughter.
Soon, Suzette is even doubting herself - her parenting, her memory, and her interpretation of the events that happen during her long days alone with her daughter.
By turns creepy and mesmerizing, author Zoje Stage takes us down a rabbit hole of dysfunction and mental illness. This one will stay with you for a long time to come.
Downing has written this novel as if it’s a diary of a Russian agent in Nazi Germany before the beginning of World War II.
Sent back into his German homeland, Josef Hofman was to ascertain whether men thought to be true to the Communist cause had been turned by the Nazis or if they could be counted upon to form a cell to subvert the plans of expansionist Germany.
To do this Josef has taken lodging in a rooming house and a job at the railway. What he hasn’t planned for, however, was becoming emotionally involved with the family with which he lodged - or questioning the validity of Mother Russia’s methods in a rapidly changing world.
Both the peek into the pre-war Germany and the sometimes eerie parallels to current events make this book a compelling read.
I can’t help but hear my friend Wade Rouse’s voice behind every line in his Viola Shipman novels.
In this novel, Addie Lou’s beloved parents have died, her marriage has fallen apart, and her soon to be ex-husband is pushing for her to hurry up and sell the cottage that has been in her family for generations. She finds that she can’t let go of the past that easily and it might just be a new life in her old cottage in Saugatuck that can save her.
This is a novel about hope and following your heart, and once again Wade, aka Viola, tugs the heartstrings with a story and setting familiar to us all.
It's difficult to believe that this gritty, complex crime novel is Joseph Knox's first.
Sirens is the story of Aiden Waits. Waits is given the choice to go undercover or be prosecuted for lifting some drugs taken from evidence. Waits, disgraced, an emotional wreck, and a big partier, elects the mission to infiltrate the command center of drug lord Zain Carver.
Carver has a certain mystique and a reputation as more of a plotter and a thinker than as a violent man, and yet the women in his circle have a way of turning up dead.
As Aiden befriends the women in Carver's circle to gain entry into their world, he finds that setting a sting against the drug lord and keeping the girls - and himself - safe is next to impossible.
I liked the sure-footed way that Knox was able to portray both the good and the bad guys and make everyone seem a little bit of both. He's a born storyteller and his first novel tells a very good one.