Some novels just defy easy labels – not every book is a straight mystery, romance, science fiction or western (but some are!). I love a genre-buster, a literary fiction novel, or just a darn good story. Here are some of my latest reads…
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans is SO good. It’s sort of a dark comedy but with genuine emotion – and humor. Noel is mourning the loss of his guardian during the early days of the Blitz in London during World War II; his family doesn’t really want him, so he is shipped off “to the country” to the care of Vera, a woman with debts, a lay-about son, and no plan for how to turn her life around. Enter Noel. This is a hard novel to summarize or categorize, but no matter – I loved it. A great, quick, absorbing read!
The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand was actually an audiobook listen for me, but a good one! On Nantucket, Madeline and Grace are best friends, and their kids are even dating. Madeline is an author with major writer’s block…Grace is hard at work transforming her back garden with the help of a good looking garden contractor…Eddie (Grace’s husband) is trying to keep financially afloat with a new business venture. The actual truth and island gossip get twined together in this easy reading novel about how appearances can be deceiving and not everything is “coming up roses”. An entertaining summer story!
How to Be a Grown Up by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus is, in my opinion, better than the last few novels put out by this Nanny Diaries duo. Rory McGovern is married to a former teen hearthrob, and they have settled into a “normal” life. When he has a crisis of confidence and moves out, Rory has to fend for herself and her children. She joins a totally shallow internet startup, takes a lover (or two), cares for her family, and tries to figure out what to do about her marriage. Though there are definitely times you can tell this was written by two people, it was fairly cohesive and engaging!
I also read Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller. It was…deeply strange. The father kidnaps the young daughter, tells her the world has ended and they are the only survivors, living in a cabin deep in rural Germany. When she sees someone one day, things change for her and her father. Weird, weird, weird (and boring)…and not in a good way.
I also reread The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan – definitely a through-and-through fantasy novel, part of the series I’m rereading (The Wheel of Time) for the first time since my undergrad days!