THE ACCIDENTAL LIFE OF GREG MILLAR

THE ACCIDENTAL LIFE OF GREG MILLAR MOVED ME TO TEARS.  I WASN’T EXPECTING A ROMANCE AND I CERTAINLY WASN’T EXPECTING THAT GREG’S “HIGH” WAS ANYTHING BUT DRUGS.  WHEN I DISCOVER IT IS THE HIGH OF BIPOLAR DISEASE I AGAIN REALIZE HOW MENTAL ILLNESS AFFECTS SO MANY AND THAT SO MANY DON’T GET PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT.  IT TAKES A CARING AND LOVING INDIVIDUAL LIKE LUCY TO SUPPORT GREG AND GET HIM THE HELP HE NEEDS WHILE CARING FOR HIS CHILDREN WHO CAN’T STAND HER!  THE “NANNY” IS A HUGE PROBLEM WHO MAKES BOTH GREG AND LUCY FIGHT FOR EVERYTHING THAT IS IMPORTANT TO THEM IN A COURT OF LAW.

Jacket Cover Synopsis:

From the best selling author of Pause to Rewind comes this moving family drama about the lengths we go to for the people we love.

Lucy Arigho is not the sort of woman to be swept off her feet. She is sober, career-minded and numb since the death of her fiancé. So it’s completely out of character for her to race a man in traffic – and even more unusual when they meet again and she is irritated, intrigued and finally enraptured by the driver, writer Greg Millar. Within eight weeks, she is seriously considering his pleas to marry him and wondering if she can take on his two motherless children. But before she can make a decision about becoming part of Greg’s world, events plunge her right into it. Her careful existence is shattered as she has to figure out how to handle two vulnerable children and face the fact that she doesn’t really know the man whose life has so overwhelmed hers.

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A HANDFUL OF PEBBLES

A HANDFUL OF PEBBLES

JUST LOVE THE GREEK VILLAGE SERIES AND A HANDFUL OF PEBBLES DID NOT DISAPPOINT!  HOW WONDERFULLY SARA ALEXI SEWS THE TALE OF SARAH WHO  HAS TRAVELED TO GREECE FOR HER SON’S WEDDING.  WHEN SHE BEGINS TO MEET THE IN-LAWS AND HELPS WITH WEDDING PREPARATIONS, SHE BEGINS TO REALIZE HOW TRULY UNHAPPY SHE HAS BEEN.  SHE AND HER FRIEND LIZ PLOTTED TO MARRY FOR MONEY AND SECURITY AFTER SARAH’S TRUE LOVE, LIZ’S BROTHER, WAS KILLED.  THEIR PLAN WORKS BUT WHILE THEY HAVE MONEY AND SECURITY NEITHER HAVE HAPPINESS.

SARAH MEETS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE IN THIS GREEK VILLAGE AND FINDS ONE LINK AMONG THEM.  THEY ALL ARE SERENE AND HAPPY AND SEEM TO EXUDE WISDOM.  EACH DAY AS THE WEDDING APPROACHES SARAH ALSO BEGINS TO FEEL MOMENTS OF PEACE AND JOY FOR WHICH SHE STARTS TO CARRY  A PEBBLE AS A REMINDER.  SARAH ALSO DISCOVERS SEVERAL SECRETS ABOUT HER HUSBAND BUT ONE IS SO HORRIFIC IT CHANGES HER WORLD.  SARAH KNOWS SHE MUST LEAVE HIM AND DEVELOPS A PLAN WITH THE BRIDE’S GRANDMOTHER WHO CAN SENSE SARAH’S PAIN AND UNHAPPINESS.

HOW WILL SARAH EMBARK ON HER ROAD TO HAPPINESS?

PUBLISHER’S EXCERPT:

A Handful of Pebbles follows Sarah who travels to the village in Greece for the wedding of her youngest son.

But Sarah’s own marriage is strained, and now that her children have grown up and left home she finds herself questioning her role of wife and mother.

Meeting up with her best friend Michelle, who is also over for the wedding, and whom she has not seen for years adds a further dimension, and why does Sarah feel so unsettled in the presence of Nicolaos, the shepherd who she seems to keep bumping into ..?

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LANDLINE

LANDLINE

I THINK I WAS EXPECTING A SUPER GREAT STORY SINCE LANDLINE WAS THE GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD WINNER FOR BEST FICTION IN 2014.  IT REALLY LET ME DOWN.  IT WAS AN EASY READ AND FUN ENOUGH BUT THE PLOT WAS SUPERFICIAL – A MARRIAGE IN TROUBLE, WORK OBLIGATIONS THAT GET IN THE WAY OF CHRISTMAS WITH FAMILY AND TOTAL LACK OF COMMUNICATION:  UNLESS YOU USE THE LANDLINE.  IF IT WERE A MAN WHO WAS MISSING CHRISTMAS WITH THE FAMILY THERE WOULD BE NO PLOT AT ALL.  BUT GEORGIE IS THE BREADWINNER IN THE FAMILY AND THINGS ARE GETTING EXCITING IN HER CAREER.  NEAL IS REALLY MORE AT FAULT FOR NOT SUPPORTING GEORGIE’S LIFE CHOICES, FOR NOT ANSWERING GEORGIE’S CALLS AND FOR JUST BEING A MAN!  OF COURSE, IT TAKES TWO TO MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK AND GEORGIE MAKES THE SACRIFICES SHE NEEDS TO.  A “CHICK FLICK” OF A BOOK.

PUBLISHER’S EXCERPT:

A New York Times Best Seller! Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Fiction of 2014! An Indie Next Pick!
From New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell, comes a hilarious, heart-wrenching take on love, marriage, and magic phones.

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply—but that almost seems beside the point now.
Maybe that was always beside the point.
Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her—Neal is always a little upset with Georgie—but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go without her.
When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.
That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts. . . .
Is that what she’s supposed to do?
Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

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IS THIS ALL THERE IS?

Is THIS ALL THERE IS

IS THIS ALL THERE IS? IS A SAD STORY WITH A HOPEFUL ENDING.  IN THIS DAY WHEN SO MANY PEOPLE JUST GIVE UP ON MARRIAGE AND GIVE IN TO THEIR TEMPTATIONS, IT WAS REFRESHING TO READ ABOUT A COUPLE WILLING TO FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES!  BETH IS DEFINITELY TEMPTED BY A HANDSOME YOUNG STUDENT WHO SHOWS HER SOME INTEREST BUT HER SENSE OF WHAT IF RIGHT WINS OUT.  WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO GIVE UP ON THEIR “PERFECT” LIFE FOR NONE ARE TRULY PERFECT.  WORKING THROUGH THE CHALLENGES LIFE THROWS US MAKES US STRONGER AND RICHER PEOPLE.

 PUBLISHER’S EXCERPT:

Beth Thomas’ seemingly perfect life is about to take a detour. At thirty-five, she’s married to her college sweetheart, has two adorable kids, and finds fulfillment teaching part time at the local university.

But when a friend persuades her to go dancing on a rare night out, a chance meeting with a handsome former student changes the course of her life. Loud music, too much to drink, and the thrill of feeling young again lead to an unforgettable kiss that was never supposed to happen. Beth feels wanted again, listened to, cared for, but she knows it’s wrong.

She tries to put the memory behind her, but he pursues her, drawing Beth back to temptation. As she travels deeper into Dave’s world, Beth struggles to choose between what her mind says is right and what she truly craves.

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THE RESURRECTION OF TESS BLESSING

THE RESURRECTION OF TESS BLESSING

A GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD 2014!

THE RESURRECTION OF TESS BLESSING MADE ME FEEL GOOD ABOUT MY LIFE AND MY FAMILY.  TESS COMES FROM A DISFUNCTIONAL FAMILY – WHO DOESN’T?!  BUT SHE AND HER SISTER BOTH HAVE IMAGINARY FRIENDS (EVEN IN ADULTHOOD), SEE SHRINKS, HAVE PANIC ATTACKS, PARANOIA, PHOBIAS AND OBSESSIONS/COMPULSIONS.  TESS’S DAUGHTER HAS ANOREXIA AND TESS IS SURE HER HUSBAND IS CHEATING ON HER WITH HIS COWORKER/HOSTESS WHO HE LEFT AT THE ALTER TO MARRY TESS.  CAN LIFE REALLY GET SO SCREWED UP?! 

WHEN TESS FINDS OUT SHE HAS BREAST CANCER AND BEGINS THE JOURNEY TO RECOVERY, SHE WRITES A BUCKET LIST OF THINGS SHE MUST “RIGHT” BEFORE SHE DIES INCLUDING GETTING HER DAUGHTER A BETTER THERAPIST, GETTING HER SON VOCATIONAL COUNSELING, CONVINCING HER HUSBAND TO LOVE HER AGAIN AND BURYING HER MOTHER ONCE AND FOR ALL!  DANCE THE TANGO WITH TESS TO SEE HOW MUCH IN HER LIFE SHE CAN “RIGHT” BEFORE SHE REACHES #8 ON HER LIST – DIE.  YOU WILL BE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WITH HOW MUCH THIS WOMAN CAN ACCOMPLISH!

PUBLISHER’S EXCERPT:

After she’s diagnosed with breast cancer, forty-nine-year old Tess sets forth on a mission to complete her TO-DO List before, what she’s sure is, her impending death. She needs to make peace with her estranged sister, Birdie, scatter her mother’s long-kept ashes, rescue her daughter, Haddie, from the grip of an eating disorder, guide her teenage son, Henry, through a bumpy adolescence, and reignite the spark in her almost thirty-year marriage to her husband, Will.

Tess is aided on her quest by narrator, Grace, who lends the story its most brilliant elements: subtle magical realism and deep psychological complexity. Is Grace an imaginary friend, guardian angel, or a part of Tess that knows better than she? The Resurrection of Tess Blessing is by turns poignant, gritty, spiritually uplifting, and hilarious as hell.

Lesley Kagen has created an unforgettable, redemptive story about a middle-aged woman with the odds stacked against her, who discovers that in the end, love really does conquer all.

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THE POISONWOOD BIBLE

THE POISONWOOD BIBLE

THIS IS A WONDERFUL STORY ABOUT LIFE AND LIFE CHOICES.  IT DOES NOT ONLY DEPICT THE AFRICAN CONGO OVER A 30 YEAR STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE BUT HOW OUR FAITH IS SHAPED; HOW ONE MAN’S CHOICES AFFECTED THE LIVES OF HIS WIFE AND FOUR CHILDREN.  IT IS ABOUT FAMILY, LOVE AND LOSS, SURVIVAL!  IT MADE ME APPRECIATE THE LIFE I HAVE – UNDERSTANDING IT IS NOT THE POSSESSIONS OR MONEY OR STATUS THAT IS IMPORTANT BUT THE PERSON I HAVE BECOME AND THOSE I CHOOSE TO LOVE AND SHARE LIFE WITH.  AS ZAK BROWN PUT IT “FORGET THE THINGS THAT YOU CAN’T CHANGE, FORGIVE THE ONES YOU CAN…YOU GOTTA LET IT GO!”

HERE IS THE LIBRARY SYNOPSIS OF THE BOOK:

  • The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it–from garden seeds to Scripture–is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa. The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Against this backdrop, Orleanna Price reconstructs the story of her evangelist husband’s part in the Western assault on Africa, a tale indelibly darkened by her own losses and unanswerable questions about her own culpability. Also narrating the story, by turns, are her four daughters–the self-centered, teenaged Rachel; shrewd adolescent twins Leah and Adah; and Ruth May, a prescient five-year-old. These sharply observant girls, who arrive in the Congo with racial preconceptions forged in 1950s Georgia, will be marked in surprisingly different ways by their father’s intractable mission, and by Africa itself. Ultimately each must strike her own separate path to salvation. Their passionately intertwined stories become a compelling exploration of moral risk and personal responsibility.Dancing between the dark comedy of human failings and the breathtaking possibilities of human hope, The Poisonwood Bible possesses all that has distinguished Barbara Kingsolver’s previous work, and extends this beloved writer’s vision to an entirely new level. Taking its place alongside the classic works of postcolonial literature, this ambitious novel establishes Kingsolver as one of the most thoughtful and daring of modern writers.
WHILE I WAS READING THIS STORY, MY HUSBAND AND I WATCHED AN OLD BOB HOPE MOVIE (Call Me Bwana
1963 Film) WHERE HE WAS SENT ON A MISSION IN AFRICA.  TWO THINGS STRUCK ME – HOW SIMPLISTIC MOVIES WERE BACK THEN AND EVEN THOUGH IT WAS MEANT TO BE A COMEDY, HOW RIDICULOUS THEIR DEPICTION OF AFRICA WAS!

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NOT JUST A LOVE STORY – OFF SEASON

OFF SEASON

This was not only a love story but also the story of a woman’s life and the challenges she has overcome from a young age onward.  Another story that brings out women’s passions and strengths!  A very enjoyable read!

Here is the library synopsis:

Acclaimed novelist Anne Rivers Siddons’s new novel is a stunning tale of love and loss.

For as long as she can remember, they were Cam and Lilly–happily married, totally in love with each other, parents of a beautiful family, and partners in life. Then, after decades of marriage, it ended as every great love story does…in loss. After Cam’s death, Lilly takes a lone road trip to her and Cam’s favorite spot on the remote coast of Maine, the place where they fell in love over and over again, where their ghosts still dance. There, she looks hard to her past–to a first love that ended in tragedy; to falling in love with Cam; to a marriage filled with exuberance, sheer life, and safety– to try to figure out her future.

It is a journey begun with tender memories and culminating in a revelation that will make Lilly re-evaluate everything she thought was true about her husband and her marriage.

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LOGGERHEAD MEANS MORE THAN “YOU DUMB ASS”

FIND OUT MORE BY READING THE BEACH HOUSE BY MARY ALICE MONROE!

THE BEACH HOUSE

THIS WAS A HEARTWARMING TALE ABOUT A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER COMING TO TERMS WITH EACH OTHER AT THE END OF THE MOTHER’S LIFE.  They begin to repair a long-suffering relationship based upon misunderstandings, for no one really knows the road another has walked or the reasons for the choices made until they are brought to light.  Saving the Loggerhead Turtles becomes a shared passion along with others along the Isle of Palms who help form a cohesive community.  This is also the tale of an unlikely romance for the daughter who avoided the institution of marriage because of her mother’s and father’s seemingly loveless relationship.

HERE IS THE SYNOPSIS FROM THE LIBRARY:

Known for her moving characters and emotional honesty, Mary Alice Monroe brings readers a beautifully rendered story that explores the fragile yet enduring bond between mothers and daughters.

Caretta Rutledge thought she’d left her Southern roots and troubled family far behind. But an unusual request from her mother–coming just as her own life is spinning out of control–has Cara heading back to the scenic Lowcountry of her childhood summers. Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart in wonderful ways as she repairs the family beach house, becomes a bona fide “turtle lady” and renews old acquaintances long thought lost. But it is in reconnecting with her mother that she will learn life’s most precious lessons–true love involves sacrifice, family is forever and the mistakes of the past can be forgiven.

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GONE GIRL

GONE GIRL

I LOVED THIS BOOK FOR THE SECOND TIME AROUND!  Didn’t realize I read it before until I started remembering the Amazing Amy Books and other small things.  But then the book took a turn I didn’t remember and I just had to keep reading – you will too!!

Here is what the library has to say:

Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl‘s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

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