Monday, October 12, 2020

Monday Mini-Reviews: Fantastic Fiction

 I've read some fantastic books lately.  I've been saying that a lot, but that's just because it's true.  I'm not sure how many more really good books I can read back to back without finding one that just doesn't live up to the one before.  But, I'm sure enjoying it while it lasts.

Always the Last To Know by Kristan Higgins- this is my second reading experience with Higgins and I'm completely sold.  I love a good family drama, and there's plenty of drama in this book. John and Barb have been married for nearly fifty years, but Barb will be the first to tell you that there's no real companionship between her and her husband any more.  Their oldest daughter has always been the perfect over-achiever but she's struggling a little at work as a younger woman tries to take her position, and she's feeling pressure to be the perfect mom and wife.  And younger sister, Sadie, feels like she doesn't quite live up to her mom's expectations.  When John suffers a stroke and Sadie reluctantly returns home to help out, she runs into her ex-boyfriend who is now raising an infant son on his own. I loved that there were multiple narrators which allowed me to see the various perspectives in this story, and Higgins does a great job wrapping things up neatly.  I'm so going to look into her backlist of titles.

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis - Davis writes great books set in NYC, and this may be my favorite. Dual time lines- 1913 and 1993- are also Davis' forte and I loved the New York Public Library setting.  There is a little mystery with some missing first editions of novels gone missing back in 1913 that are still being searched for - along with some newly missing books.  As a library person I loved all the details about the NYPL- especially the fact that there was an apartment in the library where the superintendent lived.  For me these details about the innerworkings of the library were even more interesting than the plot, but the plot is also compelling and I can't wait to see where Davis' next book is set.

Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel - Poeppel is another author that's becoming a go-to for me.  This novel is her latest, and as with Always The Last To Know I absolutely love a family drama. This dysfunctional family story centers around Bridget and her adult children who have come to spend the summer with her at her run-down country home in Connecticut.  Bridget is at a crossroads in her career as part of the Forsyth Trio, a music group of some renown that is in need of a third member.  Will, a member of the trio and her best friend for three decades, is undergoing some struggles as well, and there are plenty more issues when both of Bridget's adult children show up unexpectedly to spend the summer in Connecticut. I love Poeppel's writing.  I love her characters. And I am so hoping that we hear more from her.  

Have you read any of these fantastic stories? What books do I need to add to my TBR?