Time for another round of “big name” books that have hit the stacks lately! How many have you read?!
Maestra by L.S. Hinton is probably the buzziest title on this list. Everyone is chasing the elusive “next Gone Girl“, and this one is a close contender. A ruthless protagonist with few morals, international locations, the art world, murder, deception and a lot of brand-name name dropping fill the pages of this first in a planned trilogy. If you dig the novels of Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley), Gone Girl, Girl on the Train and so forth, you’ll probably dig this. Fair warning: if graphic sex or gruesome murder bug you, steer clear – it’s been getting a lot of publicity for those two things…
Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson is a cute and endearing debut novel. Mimi Banning is a reclusive writer who is broke and needs to write a new novel, so her editor sends her Alice as an assistant. Rather than helping with the writing, Alice is tasked with watching Mimi’s VERY precocious son, Frank, who dresses like Clark Gable and talks like a Hollywood leading man of the 40s. Naturally, hilarity – and some heartfelt moments – ensue. A cute and quirkly debut novel!
The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah features Ivo, a 40-something man who is dying in a hospice center. To keep his mind occupied, his nurse suggests he think of stories to match body parts…Adam’s apple, ankle, and so forth. The story is then told in flashbacks on how Ivo got to where he is, the woman he loved, his best friend, and his overall story. I wanted to like this more than I did…the author dances all over the place trying to make the reader put the pieces of the puzzle together, but there wasn’t enough emotional punch to make this moving. I give this an ‘eh’.
I also read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, which I missed when it came out originally, but we read and talked about for a recent book discussion. Well written and thought provoking!