On her way home from a visit with her elderly father, Ella Fitzwilliam is feeling stressed and troubled, as her only son Harry is struggling to make choices for his future, and his exacting, perfectionist father Felix is not making things easier. Harry is brilliant, so Felix sees an Ivy League college in his future; however, Harry’s Tourette’s syndrome and other neurological challenges render him uncontrollable at times. Stress makes everything harder for him, too.

Suddenly Ella is racked with gripping pain and an inability to breathe, and when the plane lands, she is whisked off to the hospital, where she is diagnosed with a severe heart attack.

In the weeks that follow, Ella will struggle to recover, and needs a transplant, while Felix struggles to be the father he has never been…due to his own fear of becoming like his abusive father. He begins to look at his own flaws, and realizes that his obsessiveness is likely part of a larger disorder, like Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.

Alternating narratives carry The Perfect Son, and while both Felix and Harry are deeply flawed, I rooted for them as they tried to connect with one another. Felix’s need for order is in direct opposition to what Harry brings to the table…Harry’s tics make him a walking disaster area. But as they each try to adapt, they find a way to cohabit…and even bond.

There were some very difficult moments in this father/son journey, and I found myself tearing up as each one had to find a way to move past his fears.

What would happen to Ella? Would she recover? If not, how would Felix and Harry manage? And would they finally discover that elusive bond that should have happened years before?

I loved how each character’s narrative told us a little more about them individually, back to how they began, and how the secrets they kept from one another would gradually come to light and shed hope on their future.

Other interesting characters: Eudora, the 75-year-old woman next door who is supportive and wise; and Katherine, Ella’s friend, who begins to see something good in Felix, and he in her, too.

Set in Durham, NC, the author showed the reader the beauty of the world around the characters, even as she drew us so deeply into that world until the characters felt like people we could care about. 5 stars.


wow logo on march 25

Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday event, hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

Every week, we gather around the blogosphere and search out the upcoming book releases, sharing our thoughts and blurbs. 

Today’s featured book is from an author I always enjoy:   Lisa Gardner’s Find Her will be released on 2/9/16.




Blurb:  Flora Dane is a victim. 

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.Flora Dane is a survivor.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.

Flora Dane is reckless. 

. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

I love the D. D. Warren series, and eagerly await each new book long before it arrives.  What do you think?  Are you also waiting for it?




Good morning, and welcome to my Office Nook, where I spend most of my mornings.

Today is my eldest son’s birthday…and I wish he were here!  But he and my lovely DIL Gabi spent more than a month with us in the summer, and we keep up nowadays via Facebook, etc.



Craig & Gabi -Old Town Hotel


We won’t mention his age, because then you might figure out mine!  LOL.  Here is a photo of him in 1987…Yikes!  That spiky hair.  We enjoyed sharing some of these photos with his wife Gabi…she met him long after these days….



Craig - 1987



As I searched through various blog posts, I realized that October was the last time I purged…and then there was the carpet cleaning, as well as the office reorganization.

So is it time again?  Should I do more?

Well, I don’t want to cut too deep, as today’s Intros from Diane, at Bibliophile by the Sea, reminded me of a book that I hoped was still on my shelves…and it was!  Yay!

Family Tree, by Barbara Delinsky, is one I loved.  I read it back in 2008, before I really immersed myself in blogging.  So it deserves a reread, don’t you think?  And a proper review?





I love this cover!  Here’s the blurb:


Dana Clarke has always longed for the stability of home and family—her own childhood was not an easy one. Now she has married a man she adores who is from a prominent New England family, and she is about to give birth to their first child. But what should be the happiest day of her life becomes the day her world falls apart. Her daughter is born beautiful and healthy, but no one can help noticing the African American traits in her appearance. Dana’s husband, to her great shock and dismay, begins to worry that people will think Dana has had an affair.
The only way to repair the damage done is for Dana to track down the father she never knew and to explore the possibility of African American lineage in his family history. Dana’s determination to discover the truth becomes a poignant journey back through her past and her husband’s heritage that unearths secrets rooted in prejudice and fear.
Barbara Delinsky’s Family Tree is an utterly unforgettable novel that asks penetrating questions about race, family, and the choices people make in times of crisis—choices that have profound consequences that can last for generations.


In my post-purging weeks, I have busied myself with new headers and themes, and here’s what I’ve done at my website –  here’s the newest header:



PicMonkey Collage-nov 15 website - 3


And a screenshot showing the background:





So…perhaps I can focus on other things for a while.  No more purging through the holidays?  I still have two bookcases full of donations to take to the library.





Meanwhile, I’ve been curling up with The Perfect Son, by Barbara Claypole White…and I’m enjoying it!






Let’s curl up and immerse ourselves in our books!  What are you reading today?









The three girls met in 1993, at Silver Beach, Massachusetts. Lizzie Linwood, as the only child of an only child, was improbably now related to these two girls because of her mother’s marriage to Jim when she was seven years old.

They formed a unique connection, these three unexpected cousins, all born during the same month and year. Elyse and Isobel were full of questions for Lizzie, about her life and her dad. But Lizzie, who had lived only with her mother and grandmother in her Grandmother Mellie’s house in Memphis, had no knowledge of her father. Not his name, who he was, or what had happened to him. This fact of her life would haunt her.

Fast forward to November 2011, in Los Angeles, where Lizzie and Isobel have been living in their adulthood, and to a phone call that will take the two of them, joined also by Elyse, back to Memphis and a crumbling, condemned house. The three story house that had been home to Lizzie, and which needed major repairs, rested on a hill overlooking the Mississippi River, and would take them out of their real lives during its restoration. During the process, the house would come to symbolize all of their own failings. Struggling to overcome the challenges they will each discover truths about themselves and what they must do next.

Isobel had starred in a TV show in childhood, and now seeks to find her place in the industry via a reality show during the restoration. Elyse is trying to overcome her obsession with her old lover who is now going to marry her sister. And Lizzie, an athlete, is recovering from her third knee surgery, and wondering if she can ever play soccer again.

Three Story House took place mostly in Memphis during the restoration, but also flipped back and forth in time, revealing significant moments in the lives of the women, now almost thirty.

Divided into three sections, the story focused on each young woman, and I found parts of it fascinating. Within the walls of the old house were clues that could be sorted and assembled to point to some of the answers.

Strange and somewhat disconnected characters filled out the canvas, all having something to do with the past, or with the restoration. While the story dragged for me at times, in the end, there was a satisfactory resolution for each of them, in a sense; however, the revelations felt a little like a balloon that has gone flat. A lot of furor over nothing much. 3.5 stars.



It’s goodbye time for October, and my reading numbers are the best they’ve been since before my house guests came along!  And what a lot of great books were devoured this month.

Click on the titles to read my reviews.

Enjoy November!




1.   Catching Air, by Sarah Pekkanen – 328 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 10/16/15

2.    Cop Town (e-book), by Karin Slaughter – 398 pages – (suspense thriller) – 10/31/15

3.   Corrupted (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline – 432 pages – (legal thriller) – 10/21/15

4.   Forever (e-book), by Judy Blume, 203 pages – (YA Fiction) –  (for Banned Book Week) – 10/3/15

5.  Good Goodbye, The, by Carla Buckley – 342 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 10/9/15

6.  House of Memories, The (e-book), by Monica McInerney – 472 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 10/7/15

7.   Lake House, The (e-book), by Kate Morton – 512 pages – (historical fiction) – 10/14/15

8.  Nesting Place, The, by Myquillyn Smith – 189 pages – (Nonfiction) – 10/5/15

9.  Perfect Stranger, The (e-book), by Wendy Corsi Staub – 383 pages – (suspense thriller) – 10/29/15

10. Place We Knew Well, A, by Susan Carol McCarthy – 272 pages – (historical fiction) – 10/27/15

11. Rainy Day Sisters (e-book), by Kate Hewitt – 368 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 10/4/15

12. Smoke (e-book), by Catherine McKenzie – 370 page – (contemporary fiction) – 10/20/15

13.  Snow Deer & Cocoa Cheer, by Joanne DeMaio – 292 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 10/19/15

14.   Who Do You Love (e-book), by Jennifer Weiner – 380 pages- (contemporary fiction) – 10/24/15







Check in at The Book Date to link up your post!




Even as I clear my bookshelves, and while I’m feeling virtuous about that, my eyes are glomming onto books I see on blogs…books I want.

My goal this year was to request most of my new additions from NetGalley or Vine…and I’ve done that.  But there is still that lingering need to download an e-book I see somewhere…or even pick up a physical book.

Below are the books I purchased in October.  Yes, most are e-books, yay me!  But there are three physical books.  How can I justify these additions to my shelves, especially when they are finally looking…well, almost normal.  (See one of my bedroom shelves above, after the purge).

I have no justification.

I just wanted them.  So it goes on…books out, books in.  Perhaps I can send more books out than I bring in?  What would you do, in the face of all the bookish temptation out there?

Ah, yes, you say…there is always the library.  And I should do that.  But then I say I can’t wait…delayed gratification is not my thing.

Child of the Sixties, bite your tongue!

But behold the lovely books I acquired…and tell me you would not be tempted.  LOL



1.    Admissions, The (e-book), by Meg Mitchell Moore

2.    Cherry, by Mary Karr

3.    Deep End, The (e-book), by Julie Mulhern

4.    Girl with No Past, The (e-book), by Kathryn Croft

5.   Jane Fonda, The Private Life of a Public Woman, by Patricia Bosworth

6.    Liar’s Club, The: A Memoir, by Mary Karr

7.     Lucky Us (e-book), by Amy Bloom

8.    Shadow Year, The (e-book), by Hannah Richell

9.     Truth Be Told (e-book), by Hank Phillippi Ryan


We have known for a while that I suffer from this disorder:


compulsive book buying