Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Mini-Reviews: Fiction Reading

I had a chance to read a lot of great fiction over my Christmas break.  Several of the books I read are 2019 releases, and I found myself looking forward to all the new books soon to be published, and of course, I haven't run out of 2018 releases and am still attempting to catch up on a few of those.

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick- Patrick is probably best known for her novel The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper (still sitting on my TBR pile).  Martha is a volunteer librarian and has always loved books.  Despite trying to get a job at the library she is overlooked every time, and she is often treated as though she is invisible.  When a book is left at the library with an inscription for her from her grandmother she believed was dead, Martha goes searching for some answers and ends up uncovering some family secrets - and the ability to stand up for herself.

Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner- Emma is a single mom, trying her best to deal with her teenage daughter Penny.  When Penny inherits a house from a wealthy gentleman she was taking art lessons from, it seems the financial struggle Emma has always had will end. Except Bea Winstead, a life-long friend to Henry Wyatt, the now deceased artist, arrives in town intent to take his home and artwork for herself.  And then Penny's dad shows up after years of being absent, showing an interest in his daughter which might have more to do with the acquisition of a house than his desire to really be a father.  I loved this book, all three of the main characters, and the way Brenner resolved the story.

Unmarriageable by Sonia Kamal- I've never read Pride or Prejudice, yet I have read a few retellings, which I've enjoyed. This present day Pakistani take on the Jane Austen classic is delightful and entertaining.  The five Binat daughters are all single, looking for a husband- or rather, their mother is looking for them.  Financial problems have led the girls to have few suitable marriage options, but with an invitation to one of the biggest weddings in recent history, Mrs. Binat goes about setting her oldest two daughters up for success in finding a husband.  There were parts of this where I wanted to laugh out loud, and although I wanted the girls to find a husband, I was also hoping that true love would win in the end.

The Adults by Caroline Hulse - this book has an interesting premise that really sucked me in. Matt and Claire are divorced, but wanting to give their daughter a "normal" Christmas, they decide to go away together with their new partners and daughter for the holiday. There is tension as one would expect, that continue to rise as the time they spend together increases.  A dramatic ending that is resolved with a little suspense, makes this a perfect domestic noir novel.  

All four of these novels were great to curl up with over break. I felt like I hadn't read much adult fiction prior to this, but for a few days I was on a book-a-day schedule and really appreciated having some great stories to get lost in.

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