LET’S CURL UP WITH “NOVEMBER 9”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is a relatively new download for me, and a novel that has been getting quite a bit of positive attention.  November 9, by Colleen Hoover, is an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

 

 

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Intro:  (Fallon)

I wonder what kind of sound it would make if I were to smash this glass against the side of his head.

It’s a thick glass.  His head is hard.  The potential for a nice big THUD is there.

I wonder if he would bleed.  There are napkins on the table, but not the good kind that could soak up a lot of blood.

“So, yeah.  I’m a little shocked, but it’s happening,” he says.

His voice causes my grip to tighten around the glass in hopes that it stays in my hand and doesn’t actually end up against the side of his skull.

***

Teaser:  (Ben – Second November 9)

So…where the hell are you, Fallon?

She’s almost two hours late.  The waitress has refilled my drink four times.  And five glasses of water in two hours is a lot for my bladder, but I’m giving myself half an hour before I go to the restroom, because I’m worried if I’m not sitting here when she walks in, she’ll think I didn’t show and she’ll leave. (28%).

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Synopsis:  Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

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What do you think?  Would this story capture your interest?  Would you keep reading?

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CURL UP WITH “HERE, HOME, HOPE”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

My featured book today has been languishing on my Kindle since December 2013, so it’s about time to bring it out, don’t you think?  Here, Home, Hope, by Kaira Rouda, will surely appeal to readers of chick lit and other women’s fiction titles who are ready to transition into something new in their own life.

 

 

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Intro:  Here’s how I knew something about my life had to change.

I was sitting in the dentist’s chair, waiting for the topical numbing goo to take effect on my gum so the dentist could jab a needle into the same spot.  My only choice for entertainment was to stare at the light blue walls surrounding me or flip through the channels available on the television suspended on the sea of blue.  I chose the latter and discovered an infomercial:  Learn to preach in Spanish.  The sincere narrator promised to tell me how many souls needed saving, and what an impact I could have, after I took their course, of course.

Maybe this was the answer to the problem I couldn’t name, the cause of the sadness I felt just under the surface of my life?  I could become a successful Spanish missionary.  I stared at the screen transfixed until Dr. Bane appeared to administer the shot of Novocain.

***

Teaser:  It was odd that I’d ended up this way:  a vintage housewife living in a modern world.  My mom had been a stay-at-home mom, a model of domestic perfection.  Perfect house, perfect kids, perfect meals.  And then poof!  My dad ran off with a neighbor. (p. 66).

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Blurb:  Kelly Mills Johnson becomes restless in her thirty-ninth year. An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her middling middle-American existence and her neighbors’ seemingly perfect lives. Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding. But Kelly’s own passions lie wasted. She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathryn and Charlotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all. Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife makeover plan.

From page one, Kelly’s witty reflections, self-deprecating humor, and clever tactics in executing that plan—she places Post-it notes all over her house and car—will have readers laughing out loud. The next instant, however, they might rant right along with Kelly as her commitment to a sullen, anorexic teenager left on her doorstep tries her patience or as she deflects the boozy advances of a divorced neighbor. Readers will need to keep the tissue box handy, too, as Kelly repairs the damage she inflicted on a high school friend; realizes how deeply her husband, Patrick, understands and loves her; and ultimately grows into a woman empowered by her own blend of home and career.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?  Intrigue you?  I’m hoping that, after all this time that I’ve had the book, it will be worth the read.

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CURL UP WITH “THE PERFECT STRANGER”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today I am spotlighting a book I downloaded in 2014, from an author I have enjoyed.  The Perfect Stranger, from Wendy Corsi Staub sounds like a really frightening book.  It is a story of one woman who connects with a bunch of bloggers, and now she may regret it.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

When the doctor’s receptionist called this morning to say that they had the results, it never dawned on her that it might be bad news.

“Hi, hon,” Janine said—she called all the patients “hon”—and casually requested that she come by in person this afternoon.  She even used just that phrasing, and it was a question, as opposed to a command:  “Can you come by the office in person this afternoon?”

Come by.

So breezy.  So inconsequential.  So…so everything this situation is not.

What if she’d told Janine, over the phone, that she was busy this afternoon?  Would the receptionist then have at least hinted that her presence at the office was urgent; that it was, in fact, more than a mere request?

***

Teaser:  Landry’s cell phone rings as she again paces the length of the master bedroom with it in her hand.

It’s about time.

Over an hour has passed since she e-mailed her number, along with a link to the Cincinnati newspaper article—LOCAL WOMAN MURDERED IN APPARENT HOME INVASION—to the three remaining online friends with whom she communicates most regularly:  Elena, Jaycee, and A-Okay. (p. 61).

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Blurb: In New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub’s new thriller, one woman finds herself in the crosshairs of a twisted predator who might just be masked behind a familiar screen name . . .

During the darkest period of her life, Landry Wells found solace in a group of bloggers who had been in her shoes and lived to tell the tale. She’s shared things with her online friends that even her husband and children didn’t know. Things that now, looking back, make her uneasy.

One of the bloggers is dead, victim of a random crime—or was it? Did she trust too easily; reveal too much? At the funeral a thousand miles from home, Landry is about to come face to face at last with the others. These women are her closest confidantes in the world: they understand her; they know everything about her—and one of them might be a cold-blooded killer . . .

***

What do you think?  Does this one grab you?  Would you keep reading?  I know I’m ready for something that totally engages me.

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CURL UP WITH “A PLACE WE KNEW WELL”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s spotlight is shining on an ARC from Amazon Vine:  A Place We Knew Well, by Susan Carol McCarthy.

 

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Intro:  (10:47 a.m., Wednesday, March 11, 2009)

As I wheel right into Dad’s driveway, a six-foot chain-link fence jumps up out of nowhere.  I stomp on the brakes.  My car heaves to a stop within inches of the padlocked gate.

My hands, shoving the gearshift into park, switching off the ignition, are shaking.  I rest my head against the wheel, my heart still skidding inside my chest.  Stupid, stupid!  I think, only now remembering Clem’s phone call two weeks ago.  “DEP recommends it, Charlotte,” Dad’s attorney told me, asking my okay for the expense of the fence.  “Plus, it’ll secure the property against vandals.  Or vintage collectors looking for a five-finger discount.”

But the sight of Dad’s station turned ENTRY RESTRICTED fortress, flanked by the tall fence lined with green sight-blocking screens, is still a shock.

***

Teaser:  (October 1962)

The lobby of the State Bank was packed with a long, snaking line of locals withdrawing cash.  Avery noticed the rise in the communal pulse, the rapid shifting of eyes and feet, the nervous jingling of pocket change, and the odd tendency to grab the cash envelope without comment and stalk directly out the door.  (p. 68).

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Blurb:  Late October, 1962. Wes Avery, a one-time Air Force tail-gunner, is living his version of the American Dream as loving husband to Sarah, doting father to seventeen-year-old Charlotte, and owner of a successful Texaco station along central Florida’s busiest highway. But after President Kennedy announces that the Soviets have nuclear missiles in Cuba, Army convoys clog the highways and the sky fills with fighter planes. Within days, Wes’s carefully constructed life begins to unravel.

Sarah, nervous and watchful, spends more and more time in the family’s bomb shelter, slipping away into childhood memories and the dreams she once held for the future. Charlotte is wary but caught up in the excitement of high school—her nomination to homecoming court, the upcoming dance, and the thrill of first love. Wes, remembering his wartime experience, tries to keep his family’s days as normal as possible, hoping to restore a sense of calm. But as the panic over the Missile Crisis rises, a long-buried secret threatens to push the Averys over the edge.

With heartbreaking clarity and compassion, Susan Carol McCarthy captures the shock and innocence, anxiety and fear, in those thirteen historic days, and brings vividly to life one ordinary family trying to hold center while the world around them falls apart.

***

Would you keep reading?  I know I am eager to do so.  Perhaps those of us who were around back then & vividly recall those two weeks—those poignant weeks—the urge to continue reading is very strong.  I can still see my college professor’s face that fall as he shared his thoughts about the unfolding events.

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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS: “PRETTY GIRLS”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Pretty Girls, by Karin Slaughter.

 

 

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Intro:  When you first disappeared, your mother warned me that finding out exactly what had happened to you would be worse than never knowing.  We argued about this constantly because arguing was the only thing that held us together at the time.

“Knowing the details won’t make it any easier,” she warned me.  “The details will tear you apart.”

I was a man of science.  I needed facts.  Whether I wanted to or not, my mind would not stop generating hypotheses:  Abducted.  Raped.  Defiled.

Rebellious.

That was the sheriff’s theory, or at least his excuse when we demanded answers he could not give.  Your mother and I had always been secretly pleased that you were so headstrong and passionate about your causes.  Once you were gone, we understood that these were the qualities that painted young men as smart and ambitious and young women as trouble.

***

Teaser:  Claire had no doubt these movies were obscene.  Maybe she’d been right about Agent Fred Nolan yesterday.  The FBI had tracked the downloaded files to Paul’s computer.  Claire had seen a 60 minutes story where a government whistleblower had said connecting your computer to the Internet was tantamount to jacking yourself directly into the NSA.  They probably knew that Paul had looked at the movies. (p. 92).

***

Blurb:  Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

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I am excited about this book.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS: “THE SUMMER GIRLS”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

It’s time to share!  Today’s featured book is The Summer Girls, by Mary Alice Monroe, Book I of a trilogy.

 

 

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Intro:  (Sea Breeze, Sullivan’s Island, SC)

April 5, 2012

My darling granddaughters—Dora, Carson, and Harper,

Greetings, my precious girls!  On May 26 I celebrate my eightieth birthday—can you believe I’m so ancient?  Will you come home to Sea Breeze and your old mamaw and help me celebrate?  We will do it proper with a lowcountry boil, Lucille’s biscuits, and most of all, each other.

My dears, like an overripe peach, I’m past my prime.  My mind remains sharp and my health is good, considering.  Yet, with an eye to the future, I’ve decided to move to a retirement community, and it’s time to sort through all that I’ve managed to clutter my house with all these years.

(I love stories about decluttering, as there is usually some hidden treasure somewhere).

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Teaser:  (Carson) Never, not even as a little girl, had she hesitated to leap into the salt water, as eager as any other creature of the sea that had been on land too long.  The ocean, the Atlantic especially, was her motherland. (p. 49).

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Blurb:  From New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe, the heartwarming first installment in the Lowcountry Summer trilogy, a poignant series following three half-sisters and their grandmother.

Three granddaughters. Three months. One summer house.

In this enchanting trilogy set on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe captures the complex relationships between Dora, Carson, and Harper, three half-sisters scattered across the country—and a grandmother determined to help them rediscover their family bonds.

For years, Carson Muir has drifted, never really settling, certain only that a life without the ocean is a life half lived. Adrift and penniless in California, Carson is the first to return to Sea Breeze, wondering where things went wrong…until the sea she loves brings her a minor miracle. Her astonishing bond with a dolphin helps Carson renew her relationships with her sisters and face the haunting memories of her ill-fated father. As the rhythms of the island open her heart, Carson begins to imagine the next steps toward her future.

In this heartwarming novel, three sisters discover the true treasures Sea Breeze offers as surprising truths are revealed, mistakes forgiven, and precious connections made that will endure long beyond one summer.

***

Would you keep reading?  I know I am already hooked.

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CURL UP WITH EXCERPTS FROM “DUNE ROAD”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

It’s time to share!  Today’s featured book is by Jane Green, and it was published in 2009.  Dune Road is another captivating tale about starting over.

 

 

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Intro:  One of the unexpected bonuses of divorce, Kit Hargrove realizes, as she settles onto the porch swing, curling her feet up under her and placing a glass of chilled wine on the wicker table, is having weekends without the children, weekends when she gets to enjoy this extraordinary peace and quiet, remembers who she was before she became defined by motherhood, by the constant noise and motion that come with having a thirteen-year-old and an eight-year-old.

In the beginning, those first few months before they worked out a custody arrangement, when Adam, her ex, stayed in the city Monday to Friday and collected the children every weekend, Kit had been utterly lost.

***

Teaser:  She still blames the house for the ending of the marriage.  A huge white clapboard house, with black shutters, and a marble-tiled double-height entrance, it was impressive, and empty.  Much the way Kit felt about her life while she was living there. (p. 1).

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Blurb:  An ever-growing legion of fans greets the publication of each new tale from the inimitable Jane Green. Her latest gem, Dune Road, is set in tony Highfield, Connecticut, where recent divorcee Kit Hargrove has joyfully exchanged the requisite diamond studs and Persian rugs of a Wall Street Widow for a clapboard Cape with sea-green shutters and sprawling impatiens. Her kids are content, her ex cooperative, and each morning she wakes up to her dream job: assisting the blockbuster novelist Robert McClore. Then an unexpected series of events forces Kit to realize that her blissfully constructed idyll and blossoming new romance aren’t as perfect as she thought. A warm, witty, and gloriously observed meditation on the challenges of starting over, Dune Road is Jane Green at her absolute best.

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I saw this novel on a blog recently, and realized I had missed it somewhere along the way.  Would you keep reading?

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LET’S CURL UP WITH “WATERMELON” – TUESDAY EXCERPTS

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is one I’ve had on Pippa for a while.  This will be my first time reading this author, Marian Keyes, and Watermelon sounds like a book that I will enjoy.

 

 

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Intro:  (Prologue)

February the fifteenth is a very special day for me.  It is the day I gave birth to my first child.  It is also the day my husband left me.  As he was present at the birth I can only assume the two events weren’t entirely unrelated.

I knew I should have followed my instincts.

I subscribed to the classical or, you might say, the traditional role fathers play in the birth of their children.  Which goes as follows.

Lock them in a corridor outside the delivery room.  Allow them admittance at no time.  Give them forty cigarettes and a lighter.  Instruct them to pace to the end of the corridor.  When they reach this happy position, instruct them to turn around and return to whence they came.

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Teaser:  I felt at a great disadvantage.  That I wasn’t doing myself justice.

To put it simply, I was not looking my best.  As I say, a humiliating kind of a business. (p. 2).

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Blurb:  Claire has everything she ever wanted: a husband she adores, a great apartment, a good job. Then, on the day she gives birth to their first baby, James informs her that he’s leaving her. Claire is left with a newborn daughter, a broken heart, and a postpartum body that she can hardly bear to look at.

She decides to go home to Dublin. And there, sheltered by the love of a quirky family, she gets better. So much so, in fact, that when James slithers back into her life, he’s in for a bit of a surprise.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  I am definitely curious about how events will unfold.

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CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “LACY EYE”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s feature is an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Lacy Eye, by Jessica Treadway, a haunting, evocative novel about a woman who might have to face the disturbing truth about her own daughter.

 

 

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Intro:  (Are You Looking at Me or Not?)

The detective was waiting for me when I arrived home from work.  He sat in his own Civic, rather than an official police car, on the side of the driveway where Joe used to park.  He might have been doing a crossword; I saw him lay down a folded section of the newspaper when I pulled in beside him.

I swore, not at the sight of Thornburgh, but because reporters from TV news vans were also waiting for me, on the street in front of the house.  They ran up the driveway with cameras as I parked in the garage and stepped out of my car, but when I held my hand over my face and said that I was sorry but I couldn’t talk to them, the detective moved forward and told them in his reasonable but no-nonsense voice that they needed to get off my property.

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Teaser:  Thornburgh was one of the few people who could look at my face without wincing.  The surgeons had done their best, but the scars were obvious, and my features looked as if they’d been pulled apart and rearranged, like a Picasso painting.  (p. 3).

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Blurb:  Hanna and Joe send their awkward daughter Dawn off to college hoping that she will finally “come into her own.” When she brings her new boyfriend, Rud, to her sister’s wedding, her parents try to suppress their troubling impressions of him for Dawn’s sake. Not long after, Hanna and Joe suffer a savage attack at home, resulting in Joe’s death and Hanna’s severe injury and memory loss.

Rud is convicted of the crime, and the community speculates that Dawn may also have been involved. When Rud wins an appeal and Dawn returns to live in the family home, Hanna resolves to recall that traumatic night so she can testify in the retrial, exonerate her daughter, and keep her husband’s murderer in jail.

But as those memories resurface, Hanna faces the question of whether she knows her own daughter-and whether she ever did.

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What do you think?  Would you read more?  Does it pique your interest?

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CURL UP WITH “WHAT REMAINS”

 

 

 

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book is a memoir by Carole Radziwill:  What Remains.

 

 

 

 

Intro: (Prologue)

Friday, July 16, 1999

Three weeks before my husband died a young couple smashed their plane into the Atlantic Ocean, off the Massachusetts shoreline, well after the mid-July sun had set.  It was reported in the news as 9:41, but I knew the general time, because I had spoken to the woman less than an hour before.  The pilot was my husband’s cousin, John Kennedy.  His wife, Carolyn Bessette, was my closest friend.  She was sitting behind him next to the only other passenger, her sister, Lauren.  A still, hot summer day had melted into a warm and sticky night.  A quiet night, unremarkable except for the fog, which rolls in and out of New England like a deep sigh.

While we were still making plans, before they took off from Caldwell, New Jersey, she called me from the plane.

“We’ll fly to the Vineyard tomorrow, after the wedding.  We can be there before dinner.”

***

Teaser:  There are three places that define my early life, and you can drive to all of them in half a day.  The city, where I live now; the Rockland County suburb where I grew up; and another small town about an hour’s drive upstate. (p. 21).

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Blurb:  What Remains is a vivid and haunting memoir about a girl from a working-class town who becomes an award-winning television producer and marries a prince, Anthony Radziwill. Carole grew up in a small suburb with a large, eccentric cast of characters. At nineteen, she struck out for New York City to find a different life. Her career at ABC News led her to the refugee camps of Cambodia, to a bunker in Tel Aviv, and to the scene of the Menendez murders. Her marriage led her into the old world of European nobility and the newer world of American aristocracy.

What Remains begins with loss and returns to loss. A small plane plunges into the ocean carrying John F. Kennedy Jr., Anthony’s cousin, and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Carole’s closest friend. Three weeks later Anthony dies of cancer. With unflinching honesty and a journalist’s keen eye, Carole Radziwill explores the enduring ties of family, the complexities of marriage, the importance of friendship, and the challenges of self-invention. Beautifully written, What Remains “gets at the essence of what matters,” wrote Oprah Winfrey. “Friendship, compassion, destiny.”

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I have had this book for a while…and now, for some reason, it seems to be clamoring to be read.  What do you think?

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