When I logged on to Goodreads to see what books I’d added since my last recap, I was surprised there weren’t more. You’d think with all my hibernating I would have read a library’s worth but that just isn’t the case. Luckily, the ones I have read are definitely worth recommending. Although, don’t you sometimes value the “don’t read” reviews more than the “definitely read?”
My three favorites recently were The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant and The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery. I didn’t realize until typing this out that all three had the word ‘girl’ in the title. Go figure.
The Girl on the Train had me absolutely hooked. I know a lot of people have compared it to Gone Girl and while I see why, I think it has a big draw all on its own. From Goodreads: Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
The Boston Girl was written by the same author who wrote The Red Tent so I was excited to see if it lived up to my expectations. I’m happy to say that it did. I loved it. From Goodreads: Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine – a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.
Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her “How did you get to be the woman you are today.” She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naïve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.
The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery was a lighter read than the others but perfect for those hopefully soon approaching beach days. From Goodreads: Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there’s a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she’s never seen. He won’t even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time at her Mischief Bay Pilates studio. Can she say enough is enough without losing the man she loves?
Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg rose to become vice president in her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she can have it all. And if she can, does she want it?
Although Pam Eiland has a beautiful house and a husband she adores, she feels… restless. She wonders who a stay-at-home mom becomes after the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise her husband brings the heat and the humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she’ll have to redefine herself. Again.
Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, three very different women will discover that friends can become family, and that life is richer with sisters at your side.
These other four deserve to be read as well, just not as immediately as my first three (at least in my humble opinion).
War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen is about what happens when two woman find out they were married to the same man… at his funeral.
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert is a light read sharing the love story between a restaurant owner and a food critic.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was a beautifully written but sometimes but almost too descriptive story of the Nazi occupation in Paris and its effects on two very different people.
And Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline, while definitely a great read, seemed from the description to be about a woman who is in a tragic car accident but turned out to be more about the complications of marriage.
So, there you have them… my recent reads.