I always love getting book recommendations from friends, so I’ve decided to pass along the book love (or hate!). I actually had quite a bit of time to read this summer due to my kids being a little older, not being at work every day, and spending a decent amount of time with my kids’ Abuelita & Tia (and therefore having them occupied by others- life changing!).
(click the book for an Amazon link)
A (mostly) stay at home mama gets thrust back into the full time work world due to family circumstances. This book lover finds seemingly the perfect job for her, but deals with the conflicting emotions of dividing her time between family and work and also ‘competing’ with her best friend’s small business vs. loyalty to her large company, all while redefining herself as a wife, mother, and friend.
Much more than a “You’ve Got Mail” lookalike, this book was ever so relatable as a woman who strives to be the best wife, mother, and educator possible. A quick and enjoyable read, I give this one 4/5 stars.
This was my first read over the summer, and I could NOT put it down. I’m not usually one for a mystery novel, and I haven’t read any other Kate Morton books, but this one came well recommended by a friend, and I really enjoyed it.
Moving forward and backward in time, you meet a family with a dark secret, and a detective avoiding fighting her own demons by attempting to solve a decades-old cold case. Though the ending is a little too perfectly coincidental/overkill on the ‘happy ending’, I enjoyed this read, and spent several nights staying up way too late to finish this one.
This one was recommended to me by Amazon and the Washington Post said it was “the dog book you must read this summer…”. As a dog lover who greatly enjoyed the book The Art of Racing in the Rain, I really wanted to enjoy this one, but I just couldn’t.
A middle aged man struggles with singleness along with a host of other issues, all while dealing with (or avoiding actually) the fact that his beloved pet has a tumor. The trio (man, dog, ‘octopus’ AKA tumor) go on a journey together of love, discovery, and growth.
This was another one of my summer favorites. Set during WW2, the story switches back and forth between two main characters. We watch the characters grow-up, one in foster care with little support for his high aptitude, the other a blind daughter of a single father. The war changes the course of both of their lives, and somehow, intersects them as well.
Beautifully written, with poignant, moving storylines and soulful phrases, if you haven’t read this one, you should grab it as soon as you can. “Time is a slippery thing: lose hold of it once, and its string might sail out of your hands forever.” -Anthony Doerr
“On the day of the miracle, Isabel was kneeling at the cliff’s edge, tending the small, newly made driftwood cross.”
The first line of this book sucks you in, and the story does not disappoint. Tom and Isabel live on a remote island off the coast of Australia that is found ‘between two oceans’. As I watched their story unfold, I found myself constantly asking, “What would I have done in the situation.” I must warn you, this is not a happy book, but instead a deeply moving story of love, loss, and what a lie in desperation can do to an otherwise happily married couple.*
“Each memory, good and bad, was another invisible thread that bound them together…It was as simple and complicated as that. Love after children, after you’ve hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you’ve seen the worst and the best…-well, that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word.”
Marriage after kids is, well, different. It can not longer be the same. It just can’t. And it’s a hard transition.
Alice hits her head and wakes up forgetting the last 10 years of her life. Along with forgetting her three children (well, she remembers being pregnant with the first), she’s also forgotten that her wonderful relationship with her husband has somehow soured to the point that they are engaged in a bitter divorce. As Alice moves through her “new” life, she realizes many simply, but profound truths about marriage, family, and what is really important.
I identified a lot with Alice’s character, and found it to be a simple reminder to live who I truly am, and not lose myself in creating a life where “mama” is my only lingering identifier.*
*Please note, the final two books I would not recommend for anyone struggling with fertility issues, unless they are fully aware that this will be a theme in the books, and may hit too close to home.
What’s on your bookshelf? What should I read next? I’m currently beginning Behold the Dreamers, but after that I’ve got nothin’! I’d love to hear your recommendations.