REVIEW: MY LIES, YOUR LIES, BY SUSAN LEWIS

She’s rewriting history, but which version of the truth will she tell?

Joely tells other people’s secrets for a living. As a ghost writer, she’s used to scandal—but this just might be her strangest assignment yet. Freda has never told her story to anyone before. But now she’s ready to set the record straight and right a wrong that’s haunted her for forty years.

Freda’s memoir begins with a 15-year-old girl falling madly in love with her male teacher. As Joely sets out to write this troubling love story, she is spun into a world of secrets and lies she could never have imagined, causing her to question everything she thought she knew about her own family.

Delving further into Freda’s past, Joely’s sure she can uncover the truth—but at what cost?

Breathlessly intriguing from the first page to the last, My Lies, Your Lies is a gripping novel that intertwines the tumultuous past of one mysterious woman to the present of another with a harrowing, unexpected twist.
 
 
 
 
curl up and read thoughts

As we begin My Lies, Your Lies, we are thrust into the story of a ghostwriter contemplating a new assignment. And interspersed with her story is a narrative from 1968 that slowly unfolds to reveal another story. Whose story is it, and what will be revealed?

There were so many layers and so many leaps between the past and the present that I had to keep myself alert for the twists and turns. Just when I thought I knew what would happen, I was surprised.

The characters were connected in many unexpected ways, so I did enjoy discovering how they were linked as I kept reading.

By the end, I wasn’t sure who to trust or who to believe, but I did love learning about them all. A 4.5 star read.
 
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AN UNREMEMBERED BOOK…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

I found another neglected book today, purchased in October 2017:  The Unremembered Girl, by Eliza Maxwell.

I am not sure why I bought it, but I must have seen it on a blog.  Here is the description that reminds me of why I might need to read it now.

In the deep woods of East Texas, Henry supports his family by selling bootleg liquor. It’s all he can do to keep his compassionate but ailing mother and his stepfather—a fanatical grassroots minister with a bruising rhetoric—from ruin. But they have no idea they’ve become the obsession of the girl in the woods.

Abandoned and nearly feral, Eve has been watching them, seduced by the notion of family—something she’s known only in the most brutal sense. Soon she can’t resist the temptation to get close. Where Henry’s mother sees a poor girl in need, his father sees only wickedness. When Henry forges an unexpected bond with Eve, he believes he might be able to save her. He doesn’t know how wrong he is.

Eve is about to take charge of her own destiny—and that of Henry’s family. As both their worlds spin violently out of control, Henry must make an impossible choice: protect the broken woman who’s claimed a piece of his soul, or put everyone he loves at risk in order to do the right thing.

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What books have you rediscovered today?

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REVIEW: THE PHOTOGRAPHER, BY MARY DIXIE CARTER

WHEN PERFECT IMAGES

As a photographer, Delta Dawn observes the seemingly perfect lives of New York City’s elite: snapping photos of their children’s birthday parties, transforming images of stiff hugs and tearstained faces into visions of pure joy, and creating moments these parents long for.

ARE MADE OF BEAUTIFUL LIES

But when Delta is hired for Natalie Straub’s eleventh birthday, she finds herself wishing she wasn’t behind the lens but a part of the scene—in the Straub family’s gorgeous home and elegant life.

THE TRUTH WILL BE EXPOSED

That’s when Delta puts her plan in place, by babysitting for Natalie; befriending her mother, Amelia; finding chances to listen to her father, Fritz. Soon she’s bathing in the master bathtub, drinking their expensive wine, and eyeing the beautifully finished garden apartment in their townhouse. It seems she can never get close enough, until she discovers that photos aren’t all she can manipulate.

 

curl up and read thoughts

The Photographer pulls the reader into the mind of our narrator, Delta Dawn. Almost immediately, we realize that she is living in some alternate reality in which she can manipulate events, not just the photos she edits. Her mind takes her on imaginary journeys as she plots out how she hopes the world will turn out for her.

Her obsession with the Straub family seems innocent enough in the beginning, but soon she has taken a dark turn.

I couldn’t stop turning the pages as I waited to see what Delta would do, and how she would upend the lives of those she was trying to emulate. A 5 star read.

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REVIEW: BRAT: AN 80S STORY, BY ANDREW MCCARTHY

 
 
Most people know Andrew McCarthy from his movie roles in Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Less than Zero, and as a charter member of Hollywood’s Brat Pack. That iconic group of ingenues and heartthrobs included Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, and Demi Moore, and has come to represent both a genre of film and an era of pop culture. In his memoir Brat: An ’80s Story, McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time. The result is a revealing look at coming of age in a maelstrom, reckoning with conflicted ambition, innocence, addiction, and masculinity. New York City of the 1980s is brought to vivid life in these pages, from scoring loose joints in Washington Square Park to skipping school in favor of the dark revival houses of the Village where he fell in love with the movies that would change his life. Filled with personal revelations of innocence lost to heady days in Hollywood with John Hughes and an iconic cast of characters, Brat is a surprising and intimate story of an outsider caught up in a most unwitting success.
 
 
 
curl up and read thoughts

 

When I think of 1980s movies, I immediately recall Andrew McCarthy and the other iconic members of the group dubbed “the Brat Pack,” so reading Brat: An 80s Story took me back to those times.

My favorite film from that era was probably St. Elmo’s Fire, followed by Pretty in Pink. The author’s journey through his life toward a career in acting and how he overcame his issues of body image, insecurity, and all the things that plague young people, I felt a connection to him. Even now I will pick up a movie or show in which he starred and smile at the nostalgia I feel.

I also enjoyed following along in his story of overcoming addictions and turning to directing, another aspect of movie making.

I read the book in a day and couldn’t set it down. For me, it earned 5 stars..#2021ReadNonFic

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NEGLECTED BOOK…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Another sad and neglected book from May 2017:  Same Beach, Next Year, by Dorothea Benton Frank.

I have loved several books from this author…so why is it still unread?  I think the numerous books competing for attention have drowned me!

Here’s the description:

One enchanted summer, two couples begin a friendship that will last more than twenty years and transform their lives.

A chance meeting on the Isle of Palms, one of Charleston’s most stunning barrier islands, brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy flaring from their imagined rekindling of old flames. As Adam and Eve get caught up on their lives, their partners strike up a deep friendship—and flirt with an unexpected attraction—of their own.

Year after year, Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl eagerly await their reunion at Wild Dunes, a condominium complex at the island’s tip end, where they grow closer with each passing day, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak. The devotion and love they share will help them weather the vagaries of time and enrich their lives as circumstances change, their children grow up and leave home, and their twilight years approach.

Bursting with the intoxicating richness of Dorothea Benton Frank’s beloved Lowcountry—the sultry sunshine, cool ocean breezes, icy cocktails, and starry velvet skies—Same Beach, Next Year is a dazzling celebration of the infrangible power of friendship, the enduring promise of summer, and the indelible bonds of love.

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What did you discover today?

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REDISCOVERING NEGLECTED BOOKS…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today I rediscovered a book I purchased in January 2019:  Come Find Me, by Megan Miranda.

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Why did I buy it?  I always love this author’s books.  Did I simply overlook it?  Here’s the description:

After surviving an infamous family tragedy, sixteen-year-old Kennedy Jones has made it her mission to keep her brother’s search through the cosmos alive. But then something disturbs the frequency on his radio telescope–a pattern registering where no signal should transmit.

In a neighboring county, seventeen-year-old Nolan Chandler is determined to find out what really happened to his brother, who disappeared the day after Nolan had an eerie premonition. There hasn’t been a single lead for two years, until Nolan picks up an odd signal–a pattern coming from his brother’s bedroom.

Drawn together by these strange signals–and their family tragedies–Kennedy and Nolan search for the origin of the mysterious frequency. But the more they uncover, the more they believe that everything’s connected–even their pasts–as it appears the signal is meant for them alone, sharing a message that only they can understand. Is something coming for them? Or is the frequency warning them about something that’s already here?

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Now I really must read this one, right?  What have you rediscovered?

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GOODBYE TO MAY!

framed bookshelf with Payton and photos

Another month has flown by!  Let’s take a peek at the reading:

Genres:

    Historical Fiction:  1

    Mysteries/Thrillers:  7

    Contemporary Fiction:  1

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FAVORITE BOOKS:

The Next Wife, by Kaira Rouda

Find You First, by Linwood Barclay

Mother May I, by Joshilyn Jackson

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Click the titles to read my reviews…

MAY 2021:

1.Every Last Fear (e-book), by Alex Finlay ( 368 pages) – (mystery) – 5/21/21

2.Family Reunion (e-book), by Nancy Thayer – (288 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 5/29/21

3.Find You First (e-book), by Linwood Barclay – (438 pages) – (thriller) – 5/24/21

4.Her Three Lives (e-book), by Cate Holahan – (336 pages) – (thriller) – 5/11/21

5.Local Woman Missing (e-book), by Mary Kubica – (288 pages) – (thriller) – 5/26/21

6.Mother May I (e-book), by Joshilyn Jackson – (322 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 5/7/21

7.Next Wife, The (e-book), by Kaira Rouda – (296 pages) – (psychological thriller) – 5/13/21

8.Perfect Daughter, The (e-book), D.J. Palmer – (372 pages) – (mystery) – 5/10/21

9.When I Last Saw You (e-book), by Bette Lee Crosby – (329 pages) – (historical fiction) – 5/3/21

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BOOKS READ IN MAY 2021: 9

PAGES READ IN MAY 2021: 3037

BOOKS READ YTD: 51

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What did your month look like? Come on by and share…

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BACKLOG BOOK…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s forgotten book is one from August 2020:  My Lies, Your Lies, by Susan Lewis.

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I hope to read this one soon.

She’s rewriting history, but which version of the truth will she tell?

Joely tells other people’s secrets for a living. As a ghost writer, she’s used to scandal – but this just might be her strangest assignment yet. Freda has never told her story to anyone before. But now she’s ready to set the record straight and right a wrong that’s haunted her for forty years. 

Freda’s memoir begins with a 15-year-old girl falling madly in love with her male teacher. As Joely sets out to write this troubling love story, she is spun into a world of secrets and lies she could never have imagined, causing her to question everything she thought she knew about her own family.

Delving further into Freda’s past, Joely’s sure she can uncover the truth—but at what cost?

Breathlessly intriguing from the first page to the last, My Lies, Your Lies is a gripping novel that intertwines the tumultuous past of one mysterious woman to the present of another with a harrowing, unexpected twist.

***

What book have you overlooked this week?

***

 

 

REVIEW: LOCAL WOMAN MISSING, BY MARY KUBICA

 

People don’t just disappear without a trace…

 

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…

 
 
curl up and read thoughts

 

From the very beginning of Local Woman Missing, the reader is caught up in the intensity of lives turned upside down.

We meet the various friends and neighbors, soon seeing how the characters all have flaws and issues, and when the women begin disappearing, we think we might understand what has happened to each of them. But by the end of the story, we are stunned by the truth when it is finally revealed.

Parts of the story were confusing, as we try to sort through all the lies and secrets. Characters that seemed like good people…were not.

I held my breath as the details filtered down to us. I couldn’t believe how many people were caught up in the morass of evil that stemmed from a seemingly good person. 4.5 stars.

 
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ANOTHER FORGOTTEN BOOK…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s forgotten book is one I purchased in May 2017: Sycamore, by Bryn Chancellor. I liked the look and sound of it, so I added it to my pile. Why haven’t I read it yet? Good question.

Description: Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since. In the days it takes the authorities to make an identification, the residents rekindle stories, rumors, and recollections both painful and poignant as they revisit Jess’s troubled history. In resurrecting the past, the people of Sycamore will find clarity, unexpected possibility, and a way forward for their lives.

Skillfully interweaving multiple points of view, Bryn Chancellor knowingly maps the bloodlines of a community and the indelible characters at its heart—most notably Jess Winters, a thoughtful, promising adolescent poised on the threshold of adulthood. Evocative and atmospheric, Sycamore is a coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a moving exploration of the elemental forces that drive human nature—desire, loneliness, grief, love, forgiveness, and hope—as witnessed through the inhabitants of one small Arizona town. 

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What have you overlooked on your TBR pile?

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