BOOKISH FRIDAY: “TAKE IT BACK”

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 56D 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 NetGalley ARC:  Take It Back, by Kia Abdullah.

***

Beginning:  She watched her reflection in the empty glass bottle as the truth crept in with the wine in her veins.  It curled around her stomach and squeezed tight, whispering words that paused before they stung, like a paper cut cutting deep:  colourless at first and then vibrant with blood.

***

Friday 56:  Hushed excitement pulsed through the room as the doors drew open with a whine.  Jodie, shielded from the dock with a screen, entered the witness box, her lopsided shuffle rustling softly on the carpet.

***

Synopsis:  Zara Kaleel, one of London’s brightest legal minds, shattered the expectations placed on her by her family and forged a brilliant legal career. But her decisions came at a high cost, and now, battling her own demons, she has exchanged her high profile career for a job at a sexual assault center, helping victims who need her the most. Victims like Jodie Wolfe.

When Jodie, a sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities, accuses four boys in her class of an unthinkable crime, the community is torn apart. After all, these four teenage defendants are from hard-working immigrant families and they all have proven alibis. Even Jodie’s best friend doesn’t believe her.

But Zara does—and she is determined to fight for Jodie—to find the truth in the face of public outcry. And as issues of sex, race and social justice collide, the most explosive criminal trial of the year builds to a shocking conclusion.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts draw you in?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “A WELL-BEHAVED WOMAN”

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 56D 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 I have had since October 2018: 

A Well-Behaved Woman, by Therese Anne Fowler…

***

Book Beginning:  When they asked her about the Vanderbilts and Belmonts, about their celebrations and depredations, the mansions and  balls, the lawsuits, the betrayals, the rifts—when they asked why she did the extreme things she’d done, Alva said it all began simply:  Once there was a desperate young woman whose mother was dead and whose father was dying almost as quickly as his money was running out.  It was 1874.

***

Friday 56:  Alva stopped to let a fish cart pass in front of her.  She was so weary, and so hungry, and her troubles seemed to be multiplying by the minute.

***

Synopsis:  Alva Smith, her southern family destitute after the Civil War, married into one of America’s great Gilded Age dynasties: the newly wealthy but socially shunned Vanderbilts. Ignored by New York’s old-money circles and determined to win respect, she designed and built nine mansions, hosted grand balls, and arranged for her daughter to marry a duke. But Alva also defied convention for women of her time, asserting power within her marriage and becoming a leader in the women’s suffrage movement.

With a nod to Jane Austen and Edith Wharton, in A Well-Behaved Woman Therese Anne Fowler paints a glittering world of enormous wealth contrasted against desperate poverty, of social ambition and social scorn, of friendship and betrayal, and an unforgettable story of a remarkable woman. Meet Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont, living proof that history is made by those who know the rules—and how to break them.

***

Would you keep reading? 

***

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 56D 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 relatively new book:  The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi Picoult.

***

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 Rosenfledt. Marlon Jensen.

***

Friday 56:  Something vibrates deep inside me, a note I recognize as pain.  This is marriage, I realize.  A tuning fork of emotion.

***

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.

***

What do you think?  Keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “FINDING MRS. FORD”

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 56D 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 relatively new book:  Finding Mrs. Ford, by Deborah Goodrich Royce.

***

Book Beginnings:  (Susan – Thursday, August 7, 2014)

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

A single gunshot cracks the air.

Seagulls flutter and levitate above the sand as Mrs. Ford’s dogs rise, barking.  She, too, jumps just a little in her Adirondack chair and her feet lose their perch on the seawall.  The echo reverberates across the sea and back to her at its edge.  Mrs. Ford reaches down to pat the dogs.

***

Friday 56:  Inside, the place was dark and sticky.  The lights were on but even at their maximum capacity, the interior couldn’t be called bright.

***

Synopsis:  Mrs. Ford leads a privileged life. From her Blenheim spaniels to her cottage on the coast of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, she carefully curates her world. Hair in place, house in place, life in place, Susan Ford keeps it under control.

Early one morning in the summer of 2014, the past pays a call to collect. The FBI arrives to question her about a man from Iraq—a Chaldean Christian from Mosul—where ISIS has just seized control. Sammy Fakhouri, they say, is his name and they have taken him into custody, picked up on his way to her house.

Back in the summer of 1979, on the outskirts of a declining Detroit, college coed Susan meets charismatic and reckless Annie. They are an unlikely pair of friends but they each see something in the other—something they’d like to possess. Studious Susan is a moth to the flame that is Annie. Yet, it is dazzling Annie who senses that Susan will be the one who makes it out of Detroit.

Together, the girls navigate the minefields of a down-market disco where they work their summer jobs. It’s a world filled with pretty girls and powerful men, some of whom—like Sammy Fakhouri—happen to be Iraqi Chaldeans.

What happened in that summer of 1979 when Susan and Annie met? Why is Sammy looking for Susan all these years later? And why is Mrs. Ford lying?

***

Would you keep reading?  I am eager to dive into this one.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SISTERS”

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:  Sisters, by Daisy Johnson

***

Beginning:  (September and July)

A house.  Slices of it through the hedge, across the fields.  Dirty white, windows sunk into the brick.  Hand in hand in the backseat, the arrow of light from the sunroof.  Two of us, shoulder-to-shoulder, sharing air.  A long way to come.

***

Friday 56:  At home, she brought down blankets and made us a fort on the sofa, sent September off to make cheese on toast.  She perched on the side of the sofa and looked at me.  There was charcoal on her face.

***

Synopsis:  Born just ten months apart, July and September are thick as thieves, never needing anyone but each other. Now, following a case of school bullying, the teens have moved away with their single mother to a long-abandoned family home near the shore. In their new, isolated life, July finds that the deep bond she has always shared with September is shifting in ways she cannot entirely understand. A creeping sense of dread and unease descends inside the house. Meanwhile, outside, the sisters push boundaries of behavior—until a series of shocking encounters tests the limits of their shared experience, and forces shocking revelations about the girls’ past and future.

Written with radically inventive language and imagery by an author whose work has been described as “entrancing” (The New Yorker), “a force of nature” (The New York Times Book Review), and “weird and wild and wonderfully unsettling” (Celeste Ng), Sisters is a one-two punch of wild fury and heartache—a taut, powerful, and deeply moving account of sibling love and what happens when two sisters must face each other’s darkest impulses.

***

Would you keep reading?  I am intrigued.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “INVISIBLE GIRL”

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:  Invisible Girl, by Lisa Jewell.

***

Book Beginning:  (Valentine’s Night)

11:59 p.m.

I duck down and pull my hoodie close around my face.  Ahead of me the girl with red hair is picking up speed; she knows she’s being followed.  I pick up my speed to match hers.  I only want to talk to her, but I can tell from the way she’s moving that she’s terrified.  I slow down at the sound of muffled footsteps behind me.  I turn and see a figure coming after us.

***

Friday 56:  “I’m sure justice will be served,” she says reassuringly.  “I’m sure the right person will be punished.”

***

Synopsis:  Owen Pick’s life is falling apart. In his thirties and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct—accusations he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel forums, where he meets a charismatic and mysterious figure.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

***

Would you keep reading?  I am really excited about this book.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “ALL THE BEST LIES”

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 patiently waiting on my Kindle: All the Best Lies, by Joanna Schaffhausen.

***

Book Beginnings: (Las Vegas, 1974)

Camilla Flores had always been in the wrong place at the wrong time, starting with the day she was born, six weeks early, in Puerto Rico, before her mother could cross the ocean and land on continental American shores.  If Cammie had just stayed in the womb a few more days, people would understand she’s an ordinary citizen with as much right to this country as anyone else.

***

Friday 56:  “Well, it’s not like she had much of a choice, I s’pose.”  Amy pushed the fruit around in her bowl. “She had a baby to care for, and waitressing doesn’t pay all that much.”

***

Synopsis:  FBI agent Reed Markham is haunted by one painful unsolved mystery: who murdered his mother? Camilla was brutally stabbed to death more than forty years ago while baby Reed lay in his crib mere steps away. The trail went so cold that the Las Vegas Police Department has given up hope of solving the case. But then a shattering family secret changes everything Reed knows about his origins, his murdered mother, and his powerful adoptive father, state senator Angus Markham. Now Reed has to wonder if his mother’s killer is uncomfortably close to home.

Unable to trust his family with the details of his personal investigation, Reed enlists his friend, suspended cop Ellery Hathaway, to join his quest in Vegas. Ellery has experience with both troubled families and diabolical murderers, having narrowly escaped from each of them. She’s eager to skip town, too, because her own father, who abandoned her years ago, is suddenly desperate to get back in contact. He also has a secret that could change her life forever, if Ellery will let him close enough to hear it.

Far from home and relying only on each other, Reed and Ellery discover young Camilla had snared the attention of dangerous men, any of whom might have wanted to shut her up for good. They start tracing his twisted family history, knowing the path leads back to a vicious killer—one who has been hiding in plain sight for forty years and isn’t about to give up now.

***

What do you think?  I can’t believe that I have kept this book tucked away on my Kindle! 

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE LIBRARY OF LOST & FOUND”

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:  The Library of Lost and Found, by Phaedra Patrick.

***

Book Beginnings:  (Valentine’s Day)

As always,  Martha Storm was primed for action.  Chin jutted, teeth gritted, and a firm grip on the handle of her trusty shopping trolley.  Her shoulders burned as she struggled to push it up the steep slope toward the library.  The cobblestones underfoot were slippery, coated by the sea mist that wafted into Sandshift each evening.

***

Friday 56:  When Owen arrived, precisely on time, she was pleased to note, he got out of his car and opened the door for her.  Martha hobbled over and just about managed to eke her legs high enough to climb into the seat.

***

Synopsis:  Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people—though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her superhero-themed notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.

All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend—her grandmother Zelda—who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.

Filled with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heartwarming and poignant tale of how one woman must take control of her destiny to write her own happy ending.

***

Would you keep reading?  I have had this book for more than a year, but now I am eager to dive into it.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE TRUTH ABOUT MELODY BROWNE”

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 Truth About Melody Browne, by Lisa Jewell.

***

***

Friday 56: Splat. Like a broken egg. Seagull poo, grey and murky, all over the pavement, just inches from her black plimsolls.

Beginning: Melody Browne opened her eyes and saw the moon, a perfect white circle, like a bullet-hole shot through the sky. It was fully lit and beamed down upon her, as if she were the star of the show.

***

Synopsis: When she was a child, Melody Browne’s house burned down, destroying all her family’s possessions and her memories. Ever since this tragic event, Melody Browne has had no recollection of her life before she was rescued from the flames.

Now in her early thirties, Melody is a single mother, living in the middle of London with her teenaged son. She hasn’t seen her parents since she left home at fifteen, but Melody has no desire to reconnect until one night, while attending a hypnotist show with a date, she faints. When she comes around, she is suddenly overwhelmed with fragmented memories of her life before that fateful fire.

Slowly, she begins the arduous process of piecing together the real story of her childhood. Her journey takes her up and down the countryside, to seaside towns to the back streets of London, where she meets strangers who seem to love her like their own. But the more answers she uncovers, the more questions she is left with, and Melody can’t help but wonder if she’ll ever know the whole truth about her past.

***

Would you keep reading?

***

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.

***

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?

***