The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

In this compelling, well-paced novel set during the immediate aftermath of World War II in Germany, three women must find ways to protect themselves and pick up their lives as widows and mothers. It’s treacherous going, almost as bad as during the war. Surviving the deprivations of an embittered, war torn nation and trying to start […]


Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Why this offering from Australian crime writer Jane Harper is not cataloged as mystery, I haven’t a clue (pun intended). There’s a cold case, a serial killer, a missing person, a couple of bodies and a couple of detectives. There’s a complex but linear plot and a nice cast of characters (read: those with motive). […]


The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

This is a classic because it’s so much fun! There is an unjustly accused, unjustly condemned, unassuming young man and his bereft beautiful fiancée. There are the dastardly cowards who framed him. There is daring escape, revenge served cold and deadly, untold wealth, poison, duels, midnight escapes, murders, thwarted and reunited young lovers. Above all, […]


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

The perfect marriage, the perfect family, the perfect house, the perfect suburb. The Richardsons—Elena, Bill and their four teenage kids live in Shaker Heights, Ohio. It’s the late 90s and the family prides itself on its progressive attitudes, their planned (mostly by Elena) and orderly lifestyle. Elena works for the local paper, Bill is a […]


Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

Cornwell is the author of many historical books including the bestselling Saxon Tales which serve as the basis for the hit television series, The Last Kingdom. He’s very good with tales of the sword and the sea,  but can we trust him with Shakespeare? Yes! This is a fast paced, well written, gorgeously researched book […]


The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

If you’re looking for a well-written, intricately plotted mystery/thriller, this one’s for you. I couldn’t put it down and inhaled it in two days, choosing this over all other kinds of entertainment. It’s gripping and tense and I dare you to predict all the twists and turns the story takes. The atmosphere is decidedly noirish […]


Family Album by Penelope Lively

Family Album by Penelope Lively

Alison and Charles have six children, now grown up. They raised their family in a rambling Victorian abode outside London called Allersmead. From the outside looking in, if you were from a more normal sized family, it looked like such a fun, lively, free-wheeling kind of place. Toys all over, Alison’s delicious kid-friendly suppers, birthday […]


What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

When Alice Love, high-powered super mom, queen bee of her suburban parent circle, takes a tumble off her exercise bike at the club and bonks her head, she wakes with no memory of the past ten years. Her reality is a past tense one, much out of date to say the least. Ten years earlier […]


Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Proulx’s latest novel is a sweeping chronicle of the North American lumber business that follows two families originating from two indentured Frenchmen sent to New France (Canada) to work as barkskins, i.e. lumberjacks. The rise and fall of fortunes, the erosion of cultures, the mixing of French, Native American, and Dutch ancestors all feature in […]


Heat Wave by Penelope Lively

Heat Wave by Penelope Lively

Lively has a keen sense of human interactions. She mines the emotions and actions of people in close relationships quite nicely. In this novel Pauline, her daughter Teresa, son-in-law Maurice, and her toddler grandson Luke spend the summer in a rented house and attached cottage in the midst of farm country just outside London. It’s […]