BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a new book from a favorite author:  The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi Picoult.

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Book Beginnings:  (Prologue)

My calendar is full of dead people.

When my phone alarm chimes, I fish it out from the pocket of my cargo pants.  I’ve forgotten, with the time change, to turn off the reminder.  I’m still groggy with sleep, but I open the date and read the names:  Iris Vale.  Eun Ae Kim.  Alan Rosenfeldt.  Marlon Jensen.

***

Friday 56:  The muscle memory of our relationship has me moving out of my seat before my mind catches up.  I stand in front of Brian and stroke his hair, because I can’t stand to see him hurting, even if the reason is because he hurt me.

***

Synopsis:  Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband but of a man she last saw fifteen years ago: Wyatt Armstrong.

Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised. She has led a good life. Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, their beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, in which she helps ease the transition between life and death for her clients.

But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a career Dawn once studied for but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened. And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made.

After the crash landing, the airline ensures that the survivors are seen by a doctor, then offers transportation to wherever they want to go. The obvious destination is to fly home, but she could take another path: return to the archaeological site she left years before, reconnect with Wyatt and their unresolved history, and maybe even complete her research on The Book of Two Ways—the first known map of the afterlife.

As the story unfolds, Dawn’s two possible futures unspool side by side, as do the secrets and doubts long buried with them. Dawn must confront the questions she’s never truly asked: What does a life well lived look like? When we leave this earth, what do we leave behind? Do we make choices . . . or do our choices make us? And who would you be if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now?

***

Would you keep reading?  Are you caught up in the events as they unfold?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “CUSTODY”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a recent acquisition of a book I read a few years ago:  Custody, by Nancy Thayer.

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Book Beginnings:  (Prologue – September 5, 2000)

Some days, Kelly thought, are more important than others.  Some days you wake with your heart pounding and your hopes higher than the sky.  Some days you know you are exactly where you are meant to be.

***

Friday 56:  “I feel colorful,” she replied.  He came toward her, smiling.  She opened the closet door and ducked inside to grab her Rollerblades.  “Let’s go.”

***

Synopsis:  Ambitious, brilliant, and engaged to a wonderful guy, Kelly MacLeod feels like her dreams are coming true when she lands a prestigious appointment as a judge in the Massachusetts Family Court. A passionate advocate on behalf of children of divorce, she can at long last put her fierce intellect to good use in the courtroom.

But a chance meeting with a charismatic man forever changes Kelly’s life. Randall Madison is a successful doctor locked in a custody battle with his soon-to-be ex-wife. The two are soon swept into a passionate affair. But then Kelly realizes that a secret ties her inextricably to Randall’s case, and she finds herself torn between her moral judgment and her deepest desires.

***

Would you keep reading?  I know I did, and loved this book.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “UNFOLLOW ME”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a new book: Unfollow Me, by Charlotte Duckworth.

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Book Beginnings:  (December 2017)

It’s the best part of my day.  7:35 pm.  I sink on to the sofa, fish bowl of wine in hand, and reach for my laptop.  The coffee table is littered with relics from a rainy Sunday:  Archie’s latest work of art, his bright red cup—name scrawled on the side to stop his friend Tom from using it—a half-chewed breadstick and two lift-the-flap books in need of repair.  I push them to one side, and open the lid of my laptop.

***

Friday 56: (Lily)

“Let’s see what happens tonight,” Luke says, as we approach the steps up to the venue. “They haven’t announced anything about Violet not appearing, so maybe she’ll turn up and the mystery will be solved.” (56 %).

***

Synopsis:  You can’t stop watching her.

Violet Young is a hugely popular journalist-turned-mummy-influencer, with three children, a successful husband and a million subscribers on YouTube who tune in daily to watch her everyday life unfold.

Until the day she’s no longer there.

But one day she disappears from the online world – her entire social media presence deleted overnight, with no explanation. Has she simply decided that baring her life to all online is no longer a good idea, or has something more sinister happened to Violet?

But do you really know who Violet is?

Her fans are obsessed with finding out the truth, but their search quickly reveals a web of lies, betrayal, and shocking consequences…

***

Do you want to keep reading?  I know that I do.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “FINAL CUT”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is Final Cut, by S. J. Watson.

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Book Beginnings:  (Then: Prologue)

She runs across the moor, as hard and as fast as she can.  The sliver of an old moon hangs above her and, somewhere far behind, the village lights shine anemic yellow.  But she keeps her eyes fixed forward.  She sees nothing but the road ahead and hears only the wheeze of her dry breath and the cawing of the gulls as they swoop and dive.

***

Friday 56:  But those memories are mine, I thought, they’re all I have.  And was that the journey I must’ve taken to Deal, or some other journey, from before?

***

A gripping new psychological thriller from S.J. Watson, the New York Times bestselling author of Before I Go to Sleep, in which a documentary filmmaker travels to a sleepy fishing village to shoot her new film and encounters a dark mystery surrounding the disappearance of a local girl.

They tried to hide the truth. But the camera never lies…

Blackwood Bay. An ordinary place, home to ordinary people.

It used to be a buzzing seaside destination. But now, ravaged by the effects of dwindling tourism and economic downturn, it’s a ghost town—and the perfect place for film-maker Alex to shoot her new documentary. But the community is deeply suspicious of her intentions. After all, nothing exciting ever happens in Blackwood Bay—or does it?

***

I love this author’s books, so I am eager to keep reading.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “LITTLE DISASTERS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a recent purchase that I have been eyeing for a while:  Little Disasters, by Sarah Vaughan.

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Book Beginnings:  (Prologue)

The cry builds.  At first it is pitiful.  A creak and a crackle.  Tentative, tremulous, just testing how it will be received.

The doubt quickly flees.  The whimper becomes a bleat, the catch hardening as the cry distills into a note of pure anguish.

***

Friday 56:  He feels ill at the memory.  He’d never found any of his children like that before.  A trail of sick spooling from her mouth and pooling on the crib mattress; her eyes gleaming with tears.

***

Description:  You think you know her…but look a little closer.

She is a stay-at-home mother-of-three with boundless reserves of patience, energy, and love. After being friends for a decade, this is how Liz sees Jess.

Then one moment changes everything.

Dark thoughts and carefully guarded secrets surface—and Liz is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her friend, and about herself. The truth can’t come soon enough.

***

Would you keep reading?  I’ve been eager to dive into this one for a while.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “CLEO MCDOUGAL REGRETS NOTHING”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a new book from an author I enjoy:  Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing, by Allison Winn Scotch.

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Book Beginnings:  Cleo McDougal is not a good person.  She does good, yes, but doing good and being good aren’t the same thing, now, are they?

Cleo McDougal did not see the op-ed or this opening line in said op-ed on the home page of SeattleToday! until approximately seven fifteen a.m., after she had completed her morning at-home boxing class, after she had showered and meticulously applied the day’s makeup (a routine that she admitted was getting lengthier and more discouraging at thirty-seven, but Cleo McDougal had never been one to shy away from a challenge), and after she had roused her fourteen-year-old from his bed, which was likely her day’s hardest ordeal.

***

Friday 56:  “Hey, Cleo!” From behind MaryAnne, Oliver Patel, her sole defender on that ruinous Facebook post, offered a wave.  “It’s so cool to see you here!”

***

Synopsis:  Cleo McDougal is a born politician. From congresswoman to senator, the magnetic, ambitious single mother now has her eye on the White House—always looking forward, never back. Until an estranged childhood friend shreds her in an op-ed hit piece gone viral.

With seven words—“Cleo McDougal is not a good person”—the presidential hopeful has gone from in control to damage control, and not just in Washington but in life.

Enter Cleo’s “regrets list” of 233 and counting. Her chief of staff has a brilliant idea: pick the top ten, make amends during a media blitz, and repair her reputation. But there are regrets, and there are regrets: like her broken relationship with her sister, her affair with a law school professor…and the regret too big to even say out loud.

But with risk comes reward, and as Cleo makes both peace and amends with her past, she becomes more empowered than ever to tackle her career, confront the hypocrites out to destroy her, and open her heart to what matters most—one regret at a time.

***

I am enjoying this book so far.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “IMPERFECT WOMEN”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a new book:  Imperfect Women, by Araminta Hall.

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Book Beginnings:  (Eleanor)

“Eleanor.”

She sat up because she hadn’t even been aware of answering the phone and the night was still black and nothing made sense.  Her head spun, and she dropped it forward to make it stop, which allowed other things to fall into place.

***

Friday 56:  Eleanor had to shut her eyes for a moment against her spiraling thoughts, because not everything she knew could be shaken, or she might not survive.  “All married couples argue, Zara.  And everyone gets angry.  It doesn’t mean anything.” (p. 56).

***

Synopsis:  When Nancy Hennessy is murdered, she leaves behind two best friends, an adoring husband and daughter, and a secret lover whose identity she took to the grave. Nancy was gorgeous, wealthy, and cherished by those who knew her—from the outside, her life was perfect. But as the investigation into her death flounders and her friends Eleanor and Mary wrestle with their grief, dark details surface that reveal how little they knew their friend, each other, and maybe even themselves.

A gripping, immersive novel about impossible expectations and secrets that fester and become lethal, Imperfect Women unfolds through the perspectives of three fascinating women. Their enduring, complex friendship is the knot the reader must untangle to answer the question Who killed Nancy?

***

Would you keep reading?  I just started this one today, and I am eager to plunge ahead.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE END OF HER”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a new book:  The End of Her, by Shari Lapena.

***

Book Beginnings:  (Prologue – January 10, 2009, Creemore, Colorado)

The snow has fallen heavily, relentlessly, for two days now, and shows no sign of letting up.  It’s madness to go.  But the plows are out, Lindsey reminds herself.  She stares moodily out the window, feeling trapped and restless.

***

Friday 56:  Nancy Foote has put her son to bed and is now gathering up the day’s laundry to pop in the machine overnight.  She picks up the shirt her husband wore that day—he’s thrown it on the bed, he never bothers to put anything in the laundry hamper—and a faint smell of perfume wafts from it.  She freezes.

***

Synopsis:  Stephanie and Patrick are adjusting to life with their colicky twin girls. The babies are a handful, but even as Stephanie struggles with the disorientation of sleep deprivation, there’s one thing she’s sure of: she has all she ever wanted.

Then Erica, a woman from Patrick’s past, appears and makes a disturbing accusation. Patrick had always said his first wife’s death was an accident, but now Erica claims it was murder.

Patrick insists he’s innocent, that this is nothing but a blackmail attempt. Still, Erica knows things about Patrick–things that make Stephanie begin to question her husband. Stephanie isn’t sure what, or who, to believe. As Stephanie’s trust in Patrick begins to falter, Patrick stands to lose everything. Is Patrick telling the truth–is Erica the persuasive liar Patrick says she is? Or has Stephanie made a terrible mistake?

How will it end?

***

What do you think?  I believe we are in for some dark events ahead.  I can’t wait!

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “JUST BETWEEN US”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a book that has been languishing on my Kindle since January 2018, and I am determined to read it soon.    Just Between Us, by Rebecca Drake, is a story in which four suburban mothers conspire to cover up a deadly crime…

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Book Beginnings:  (Prologue)

Funerals for murder victims are distinguished from other services by the curiosity seekers.  Those who come even though they have no real relationship with the victim, but have been fooled by the publicity surrounding the death into thinking that they had a personal connection.

***

Friday 56: (from p. 55, as there is no p. 56)

“What is it?” Sarah demanded, looking at her and then the road and back again.  I tensed in my seat, just as anxious.

***

Synopsis:  Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a crime and a mystery that will consume them all.

Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah, compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.

***

Would you keep reading?  I hope to do just that, since I have neglected this thriller for far too long.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “GIRLS OF SUMMER”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Girls of Summer, by Nancy Thayer.

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Book Beginnings:  Remember, Lisa’s mother had often said, it’s good to know where you want to be, but sometimes you have to go in the opposite direction to get there.  Lisa knew her mother was right because her mother was, as was her father, a high school teacher full of knowledge and experience.

***

Friday 56:  “You think there is a right person for everyone?”

Lisa cocked her head, looking at Mack.  “I do.”

***

Synopsis:  Lisa Hawley is perfectly satisfied living on her own. Having fully recovered from a brutal divorce nearly two decades earlier, she has successfully raised her kids, Juliet and Theo, seeing them off to college and beyond. As the owner of a popular boutique on Nantucket, she’s built a fulfilling life for herself on the island where she grew up. With her beloved house in desperate need of repair, Lisa calls on Mack Whitney, a friendly—and very handsome—local contractor and fellow single parent, to do the work. The two begin to grow close, and Lisa is stunned to realize that she might be willing to open up again after all . . . despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior.

Juliet and Theo worry that Mack will only break their mother’s heart—and they can’t bear to see her hurt again. Both stuck in ruts of their own, they each hope that a summer on Nantucket will provide them with the clarity they’ve been searching for. When handsome entrepreneur Ryder Hastings moves to the island to expand his environmental nonprofit, Juliet, an MIT-educated web designer, feels an immediate attraction, one her rocky love life history pushes her to deny at first. Meanwhile, free spirit Theo finds his California bliss comes to a brutal halt when a surfing injury forces him back to the East Coast. Upon his return, he has eyes only for Mack’s daughter, Beth, to whom he is bound by an unspeakable tragedy from high school. Can they overcome their past?

As the season unfolds, a storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, forcing Lisa, Juliet, and Theo to decide whether their summer romances are destined for something more profound. Nancy Thayer dazzles again in this delightful tale of family, a reminder that sometimes, finding our way back home can bring us unexpected gifts.

***

Would you keep reading?  I like the sound of this one.

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