REVIEW: WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, BY KATHRYN CROFT

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When Tara Logan wakes up naked in a strange bed, and then realizes that there is a man in bed with her, she panics. For the man is her neighbor Lee Jacobs, and he is dead. Stabbed with a knife. And she has no memory of what, if anything, went on between her and Lee. Plus, there is not a drop of blood on her.

Thus begins the twisted tale that only gets more complex as time goes by. First, Tara decides to say nothing, hoping that the police will find whoever killed Lee. For she is sure that she didn’t. Not because she knows what happened, because she doesn’t.

While You Were Sleeping, set in and around London, is the kind of story full of characters you can suspect. It might have been Lee’s wife Serena. They had been having trouble.

Or perhaps it could have been Tara and Noah’s daughter Rosie, who has been behaving oddly. Even more so than usual, and she finally “confessed” that Lee had been hitting on her, but denied that anything had happened. However, when someone lies as much as Rosie does, it’s hard to believe anything she says. Then, from one moment to the next, Rosie’s story changes. She is also very horrible to her mother most of the time, so it would be easy to believe she had done something this despicable.

At one point, Mikey, a coworker of Tara’s, appears to be stalking her, and pushing for a relationship. He claims to have damaging information he could give the police. Could he know more because he was the actual killer?

Meanwhile, something has happened to Tara’s sister Lisa; she shows up covered with bruises. She comes to stay with Tara for a while for her own protection, and helps with Rosie, with whom she has a good relationship. Tara is grateful for the support of her sister.

Just when you think you have it all figured out, though, the stunning reveal knocks you over, and you think: Wow! I didn’t see that coming. But then again, isn’t it always the least likely suspect?

So many twists and turns and unlikeable characters, any one of whom could be guilty of something. At the very least, everyone was telling lies, keeping secrets, or hiding the truth. Trying to sort it all out and figure out the truth was enough to keep me glued to the pages. All of which made it a 5 star read.

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HUMP DAY READING: WHAT’S ON YOUR LIST THIS WEEK?

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Today I’m participating in Sam’s WWW Wednesdays Here’s how it works:

 

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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Currently Reading:

While You Were Sleeping, by Kathryn Croft, is a gripping, shocking psychological thriller, with a twist that will take you by surprise. For fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Behind Closed Doors.

 

 

 

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I started reading this book today, and already I am totally engaged with the events and the MC Tara Logan.  Here’s a blurb:

 

Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer.

But her happiness is shattered when she wakes up one morning in her neighbour’s bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death.

Convinced she didn’t kill Lee and scared of losing everything she cares about, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood.

But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara starts to wonder if someone in her life knows what really happened that night. When the police turn their questions towards her, Tara realises she has to find out.

But what will it take to uncover the real story, and can she survive the truth?

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I can’t wait to discover what happened in this mysterious story.

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JUST FINISHED:

Echoes of Family, by Barbara Claypole White, is a book that kept me rapidly turning pages.  (Click for my review).

 

 

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Echoes of Family opens up a box of secrets, and in the alternating narratives of Marianne, Gabriel, and Jade, we learn all the truths that are hidden in their hearts. Can Gabriel and Marianne finally confront what they have kept hidden? Will they once and for all bury the pain and move forward? Can Marianne return home and start anew, while Gabriel finds room in his heart for love again?

I connected to the broken characters and their efforts to rebuild their lives….

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

I discovered The Woman on the Stairs, by Bernhard Schlink, on a blog I visited this week.  It will be released on March 14, 2017.  Since I thoroughly enjoyed both the book and the movie, The Reader (click for my Goodreads review), I am eager to find out more.

 

 

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Synopsis:  A missing painting. A mysterious woman. Her husband and her lover. Here, the internationally acclaimed author delivers what his fans have been waiting for since The Reader—a powerful new novel about obsession, creativity, and love.

A brilliant and naïve young lawyer’s life is changed forever when a painter and his subject—a breathtakingly beautiful woman—appear at his office in Frankfurt. The woman’s husband is deliberately marring the painting of his wife he commissioned the artist to make. Now the woman and the artist want the painting back. Simple enough—or so it seems before the lawyer becomes enmeshed in the lives of this toxic trio. Love, theft, and deceit unfold in quick succession when the woman, and the painting, suddenly go missing. It will take a strange turn of fate and a natural disaster to reunite the lawyer, the husband, and the artist with the woman they all love, hiding out in Australia—and when they find her they will be forced to reckon with the lies and betrayals of their shared past. This is an intricately crafted, poignant, and beguiling novel—it is Bernhard Schlink writing at his peak.

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I love the sound of this one, having so enjoyed The Reader.  Since time seems to fly, it won’t seem that long until March.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: A GREAT WEEK!

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Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

What a great week!  Thanksgiving, Gilmore Girls Revival on Netflix, and FOUR books read and reviewed.   89 books read for my Read the Books You Buy Challenge.

I’ve already watched the first Gilmore Girls episode, and there are only three more in this first “Season” (we don’t know if there will be more!); I’ll be done by the end of the weekend.  That’s what binge-watching is all about.

Saturday will be another day of family togetherness.  My second son and his daughter will come through town, to join the few of us who will be here.  We’re meeting at Yard House, a new place for our little group.  Many of our usual young adults are heading back to university campuses.

It is finally cool enough to say it’s fall.  The temperature has been in the 50s and 60s.  Finally!  I like turning the heater on instead of the AC.

The PG&E bill is much lower, too.  Good things all around.  Now we just have to prime for the Christmas holiday…followed by Tax Season…Ugh.

Grab some coffee and let’s chat.

 

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  Fighting the Distraction Beast

A Look Back:  A Year Ago Here…

Monday Sparks:  Musings…

Tuesday Potpourri:  “The Murder Game”

Hump Day Potpourri:  Reading, Rainy Days, Etc.

Hump Day Reading:  Some Back & Forth Reading…

Bookish Thursday #38:  Serendipitous Moments

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bookish Friday:  “In a Dark, Dark, Wood”

A Foodie Journey:  Stuffed!

Review:  Hillbilly Elegy (e-book), by J. D. Vancecropped-again-5Review:  Inheriting Edith (e-book), by Zoe Fishmanratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  Two If by Sea (e-book), by Jacquelyn Mitchardratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  The Murder Game (e-book), by Catherine McKenzie writing as Julie Applecropped-again-5

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One book came in the mailbox from Amazon Vine; I downloaded an eARC from NetGalley; I purchased two e-books, and received one freebie from Amazon Prime.

Little Deaths, by Emma Flint (Amazon Vine)

 

 

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The 4th Man (e-book, short story), by Lisa Gardner (NetGalley – 1/3/17)

 

 

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Purchases:

The Other Widow (e-book), by Susan Crawford

 

 

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The Sleeping Beauty Killer (e-book) (Under Suspicion Series), by Mary Higgins Clark/Alafair Burke

 

 

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Amazon Prime Freebie:

The Food of Love (e-book), by Amanda Prowse

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT?

Currently Reading:  Echoes of Family (e-book), by Barbara Claypole White

 

 

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Then, maybe:

 

While You Were Sleeping (e-book), by Kathryn Croft

 

 

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Sting (e-book), by Sandra Brown

 

 

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  Let’s chat…and meanwhile, I’ll share this delicious lunch I had today: Pot Roast, mashed potatoes, carrots…and a Pomegranate Martini.

 

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BOOKISH THURSDAY #38: SERENDIPITOUS MOMENTS

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Welcome to Thursday, a day that once seemed lost, with nothing exciting happening anywhere.  But then that changed, and today I am celebrating a couple of the bookish events around the blogosphere, like Lexxie’s Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts; and Christine’s Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts.

 

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Today’s featured book is a new Amazon Prime freebie, from an author that is new to me:  The Food of Love, by Amanda Prowse, is a story of a family faced with unexpected challenges.  Freya, the wife and mother is a food writer.

 

 

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In this snippet, our characters are enjoying an ordinary morning…before everything changes.  We’ll capture that moment here:

 

“Where are you working today?” she asked casually as she reached into the freezer for lumps of frozen spinach, which she lobbed into the blender, followed by half a banana and a whole glug of fresh pineapple juice.  Finally, she grabbed an avocado from the salad crisper in the bottom of the fridge and peeled it, using a sharp knife to slice about half, and tossed that too into her breakfast concoction.  The remainder was wrapped in a strip of tinfoil and popped back into the crisper.

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I’m not sure about this concoction, but I might try it!

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  • Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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  • I will be joining my daughter, her husband, her son Noah, and her in-laws….we were there last year, too.  Here’s a last-year’s photo of Heather and David at the table.  Before dessert….

 

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  • Here’s Noah enjoying some pie…and as I looked at this one-year-old photo, I almost gasped.  The kid has grown two or three inches, at least, since last year.  He is now taller than his mom.

 

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  • It has been a quick week, of course.  Monday, errands; Tuesday, a spa day; yesterday was reading and TV watching.  I finally finished the third book, one that I started (and stopped) last week:  Two If by Sea, by Jacquelyn Mitchard (click for review).

 

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  • Earlier in the week, I read Hillbilly Elegy (click for review) and Inheriting Edith (click)
  • Gilmore Girls has been on one of my channels in a marathon showing…I have it on, muted, and turn on the sound to catch something interesting, now and then.  I’ve set the DVR for the final two episodes, so I can refresh my memory before binge-watching on Friday.
  • Now I’m off to have coffee and breakfast…yes, I usually have it while posting, but I’m scattered today!

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Enjoy the holiday and the rest of your week!

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HUMP DAY READING: SOME BACK & FORTH READING…

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Today I’m participating in Sam’s WWW Wednesdays Here’s how it works:

 

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

***

Currently Reading:

Last week was difficult in terms of sticking to a book…in the end, I read two books.  One of the ones I was trying to read last week was Two If by Sea, by Jacquelyn Mitchard. 

 

 

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After reading my two books last week, and two more this week, I resumed that book…and now I  am 2/3 of the way finished.  Maybe I’ll get to the end after all!

I am also reading:

The Murder Game (e-book), by Catherine McKenzie writing as Julie Apple.

 

 

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Ten years working as a prosecutor have left Meredith Delay jaded and unsure of what she wants out of life. She’s good at her job, but it haunts her. Her boyfriend wants her to commit, but she keeps him at arm’s length. Then Meredith is assigned to a high-profile prosecution involving the violent murder of a fallen hockey star. At first, it appears to be just another case to work. But when her old friend Julian is accused of the murder, it takes on a whole new dimension….

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JUST FINISHED:

I’m off to a better start this week, and have read and reviewed two books so far:

 

Hillbilly Elegy (e-book), by J. D. Vance (click for my review)

 

 

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And earlier today, I finished reading and reviewing Inheriting Edith (e-book), by Zoe Fishman (click for my review).

 

 

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

I am excited about a book that is heading my way from Amazon Vine:

Little Deaths, by Emma Flint

 

 

 

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Synopsis:  It’s 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone–a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress–wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy’s body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.’s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth.

As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth’s life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth’s little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman–and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children’s lives.

Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete’s interest in the story develops into an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there’s something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance–or is there something more sinister at play?

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I hope that my reading slump has ended…and that I will enjoy all of these books.  What does your week look like?

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REVIEW: HILLBILLY ELEGY, BY J. D. VANCE

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Growing up as a member of the white working class from Appalachia, the author speaks candidly about the chaos of his childhood: the revolving door of his childhood home, with numerous partners assuming the role of father figure; his mother’s addiction and her efforts through various rehab centers to overcome these issues; and how his primary form of stability came from the regular presence of his grandmother (Mamaw), who was there as an encouraging role model.

Her methods and her language might have been harsh at times, but beneath the surface was a strong woman who could show him the way out by her encouraging words and actions.

From Jackson, Kentucky to Middletown, Ohio, the family had migrated, but they never really assimilated into the middle class, even when finances improved. The hillbilly thoughts, values, and behaviors continued to set them apart from those who had taken on the values of those who were claiming the American Dream.

What the author learned years later—after serving in the marines and then attending Ohio State College, followed by Yale Law School—was that getting ahead required a form of networking he had to learn, and social capital he required in order to achieve his goals. He found mentors and advisors to help him accomplish these goals. But even after college, law school, and a wonderful woman to marry, he still heard the internal voices that urged him to escape when conflict presented itself. An ongoing battle against his Adverse Childhood Experiences would keep him unsettled from time to time.

A stunning, yet unsurprising (for me) journey of life battling the odds, Hillbilly Elegy kept me glued to the pages. Definitely well worth the read. 5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: AVOIDANCE & DISTRACTIONS

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Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

Now that fall is finally here, and another week has flown by, I must confess that my reading this week sucked!  I bounced from book to book, and started a few, only to move on to another.  But…I did finish reading and reviewing TWO books, and my total at Read the Books You Buy is at 86.

On Netflix, I watched Season I of Doctor Foster, and enjoyed seeing it again.  On the 25th, the Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life, is coming…and on one of my TV channels, a marathon of the old Gilmore Girls is going nonstop.

I have it on the TV as a muted backdrop, since I binge-watched the show on Netflix a while ago.  But I love the comforting images of Stars Hollow and the quest for coffee, more coffee!

One thing you will notice this week:  I wrote a LOT of blog posts (instead of reading?).  Would you believe TWELVE? And I went crazy making new blog headers….so, let’s take a look. (And sip some coffee).

 

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LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Sunday Potpourri:  My Great Escape…

Monday Sparks:  Musing About Books…

Let’s Curl up with “Send in the Clowns”

My TBR Stacks:  A Closer Look…

Thankfully Anticipating…

Hump Day Reading:  Current, Past, & Future Choices

Bookish Thursday #37:  Serendipitous Moments

Happy Birthday, Craig:  A Life in Photos…

Bookish Friday:  “Hillbilly Elegy”

Friday Potpourri:  Book Hopping, Etc.

Avoidance & Blog Playing…Book Distractions?

Eureka!  Creating My New Header

Review:  Rosemary:  The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, by Kate Clifford Larsonratings-worms-4-croppedReview:  Send in the Clowns (e-book), by Julie Mulherncropped-again-5

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INCOMING BOOKS:(Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Nothing in my mailbox!  But…I did download two e-books.

While You Were Sleeping (e-book), by Kathryn Croft

 

 

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In Her Wake (e-book), by Amanda Jennings

 

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT?

At the moment, I am currently reading two books:

Two If by Sea (e-book), by Jacquelyn Mitchard

 

 

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Hillbilly Elegy (e-book), by J. D. Vance

 

 

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And then, I’m leaning toward these books:

 

Inheriting Edith (e-book), by Zoe Fishman

 

 

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The Murder Game (e-book), by Catherine McKenzie writing as Julie Apple

 

 

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That’s it for this week…what did your week look like?  I’ll leave you with an image of my “comfort food” dinner last night from Marie Callender’s.

 

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