Monday, April 13, 2020

Monday Mini-Reviews: A Nearly Normal Reading Week

Life has certainly not returned to normal, but my concentration and ability to read has returned somewhat.  That has helped pass time this past week and I've enjoyed the books I've read.

These three are worth sharing.

Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin - I've heard about this book for a while, and found that it did conjure up a very loose connection to the Natalee Holloway disappearance in 2005.  Claire is seven years old when her family takes a tropical vacation.  On the last night of the trip her older sister Alison sneaks out and later her body is recovered.  Now years later, Claire is an adult and finds herself in a cab driven by one of the suspects in her sister's death.  Claire starts thinking about the events that happened years ago - when she was quite young- and also develops a preoccupation with Clive, the cab driver. Claire is desperate to know what happened to her sister, but in the process discovers who her sister really was.  

Hid From Our Eyes by Julia Spencer Fleming - I have been waiting for this next installment in the Claire Ferguson/Russ Van Alstyne series for six years. Although it was an awfully long wait, it was worth it.  There are some series that would necessitate me re-reading the last installment before devouring the latest book, but I was able to pick this novel up without a problem.  When a young woman's body is found with no visible reason for her death, a similar case from 1972 is revisited.  When the young woman's body is found back then, it is Russ Van Alstyne who is on the short list of suspects.  I liked the way we learned more about Russ as a young man, the development of the Hadley Knox and Kevin Flynn storyline, and the suspense.  And Fleming left plenty of loose ends that is leaving me already anxious for the next book in this series.

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore is the latest Jenna Bush Hager book club pick.  She has become my go-to for book selections because she has yet to pick a book I haven't enjoyed.  This novel is set in 1970s Texas, narrated by women whose stories are all connected.  These women are strong and resilient despite the fact that the times they are living in put them at a disadvantage, always submissive to the men in their lives.  When Glory is just fourteen she is raped by a young man after getting into his pickup truck one night at a fast food restaurant. She runs away from him the next morning, finding a ranch where she goes for help.  Mary Rose Whitehead tries to get help for Glory, but it seems that everyone has an opinion about what happened.  Despite what Mary Rose knows happens, she is forced to listen to the views of men who believe that it is Glory who can't be trusted, not the man who savagely beat her and raped her.  There is such fantastic character development in this novel and I felt myself transported to Odessa in the 1970s, could feel the heat, the dust, the wind as though I were there.  Bush Hager picked another winner!

I'm hoping you found some time to read and relax this past week.  Stay safe.  Stay home.  Let me know what you're reading.  

2 comments: said...

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Kay said...

Glad your reading has gotten sort of back to normal. Mine is getting there. I have Julia Spencer-Fleming's book to read and have been considering reading the whole series again. I'll keep the other two in mind. The one set in West Texas sounds pretty grim, but I know a bit about that area and so it might work for me. Hang in there and take care.