BOOKISH FRIDAY: “LET ME LIE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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 from an author whose books I’ve come to love:   It is  Let Me Lie, the stunning new novel from Clare Mackintosh, the international bestselling author of I Let You Go and I See You.

 

 

 

Beginning:  Death does not suit me.  I wear it like a borrowed coat; it slips off my shoulders and trails in the dirt.  It is ill fitting.  Uncomfortable.

I want to shrug it off; to throw it in the cupboard and take back my well-tailored clothes.  I didn’t want to leave my old life, but I’m hopeful for my next one—hopeful I can become someone beautiful and vibrant.  For now, I am trapped.

Between lives.

In limbo.

***

56:  Murray had held her, trying to empathize but finding it impossible to relate to a logic that saw self-harming as the only route into a place of safety.

“I had an interesting day,” he said now.

***

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.

Last year, Tom and Caroline Johnson chose to end their lives, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents’ deaths, unwilling to accept the verdict of suicide.

Now with a baby herself, Anna feels her mother’s absence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as she digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her.

Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie….

***

I’m eager to start reading this one, as I’ve loved everything I’ve read by this author.  What do you think?

***

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MRS.: A NOVEL”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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 e-book purchase:  Mrs.: A Novel, by Caitlin Macy, an entertaining, sharp-eyed portrayal of privilege and it’s price” –People Magazine

 

 

Beginning:  “Look at you in your fur!  You were so smart to wear it!”

“It was my mother’s.  I never wear it.  I really never do.  But today I just thought, Why not?

In the cold, the mothers gathered outside the school.  One after another, like children being summoned in a schoolyard game, they came battling off of Park Avenue into the leeward hush of the side street.

***

Friday 56:  Then Gwen’s heart gave a horrible jolt because Philippa’s face went dead with shock.  Curtis looked at Philippa carefully.  “Hey, hey, hey — how’re you doing?”  he said smoothly. (56%).

***

Synopsis:  In the well-heeled milieu of New York’s Upper East Side, coolly elegant Philippa Lye is the woman no one can stop talking about. Despite a shadowy past, Philippa has somehow married the scion of the last family-held investment bank in the city. And although her wealth and connections put her in the center of this world, she refuses to conform to its gossip-fueled culture.

Then, into her precariously balanced life, come two women: Gwen Hogan, a childhood acquaintance who uncovers an explosive secret about Philippa’s single days, and Minnie Curtis, a newcomer whose vast fortune and frank revelations about a penurious upbringing in Spanish Harlem put everyone on alert.

When Gwen’s husband, a heavy-drinking, obsessive prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office, stumbles over the connection between Philippa’s past and the criminal investigation he is pursuing at all costs, this insulated society is forced to confront the rot at its core and the price it has paid to survive into the new millennium.

Macy has written a modern-day HOUSE OF MIRTH, not for the age of railroads and steel but of hedge funds and overnight fortunes, of scorched-earth successes and abiding moral failures. A brilliant portrait of love, betrayal, fate and chance, MRS marries razor-sharp social critique and page-turning propulsion into an unforgettable tapestry of the way we live in the 21st Century.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE GARDEN OF SMALL BEGINNINGS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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:  The Garden of Small Beginnings, by Abbi Waxman,  “So witty, amusing, and perceptive that I can’t decide if I liked the writing, the characters, or the story better. They’re all so well done.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Waxman’s voice is witty, emotional and often profound.”—InStyle.com (UK)

Grab life by the roots.

 

 

Beginning:  (Chapter 1)

I’m an illustrator, which sounds romantic, as if I spend my days under a spreading tree, dapple-splashed with sunshine, a watercolor tablet steady on my knee.  Actually, I spend my days slumped in an office chair, destroying my posture and working on a computer.  There is sunshine, of course, this being Southern California.

***

Friday 56:  As we walked through the botanical garden, it was like an episode of Gilligan’s Island or something.  Giant leafy plants arched overhead, birds cackled at their good fortune, and the air was filled with the scent of flowers and the sound of insects freaking out with excitement.

***

Synopsis:  Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years—ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing. She can now get her two girls to school, show up to work, and watch TV like a pro. The only problem is she’s becoming overwhelmed with being underwhelmed.
 
At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks—like actually being called upon to draw whale genitalia. Oh, and there’s that vegetable-gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently, being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally. Wallowing around in compost on a Saturday morning can’t be much worse than wallowing around in pajamas and self-pity.
 
After recruiting her kids and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles botanical garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover—with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners—is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not…

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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 I borrowed from the library:  Saints for All Occasions, by J. Courtney Sullivan, a sweeping, unforgettable novel from The New York Times best-selling author of Maine, about the hope, sacrifice, and love between two sisters and the secret that drives them apart.

 

 

Beginning:  In the car on the way to the hospital, Nora remembered how, when Patrick was small, she would wake up suddenly, gripped by some terrible fear–that he had stopped breathing, or spiked a deadly fever.  That he had been taken from her.

***

56:  Theresa was thrilled to be let in on her sister’s private thoughts.  She started to reply, but the door opened then, and Kitty said, “It’s only me.”

***

Synopsis:  Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she’s shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn’t sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan—a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand. Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, quietly preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora’s favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago. A graceful, supremely moving novel from one of our most beloved writers, Saints for All Occasions explores the fascinating, funny, and sometimes achingly sad ways a secret at the heart of one family both breaks them and binds them together.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: LET ME LIE, BY CLARE MACKINTOSH

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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:  Let Me Lie, by Clare Mackintosh, the stunning new novel from Clare Mackintosh, the international bestselling author of I Let You Go and I See You.

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.

 

 

Beginnings: (Chapter One)

Death does not suit me.  I wear it like a borrowed coat; it slips off my shoulders and trails in the dirt.  It is ill fitting.  Uncomfortable.

I want to shrug it off; to throw it in the cupboard and take back my well-tailored clothes.  I didn’t want to leave my old life, but I’m hopeful for my next one — hopeful I can become someone beautiful and vibrant.  For now, I am trapped.

***

Friday 56:  Murray had held her, trying to empathize but finding it impossible to relate to a logic that saw self-harming as the only route into a place of safety.

“I had an interesting day,” he said now.

***

Synopsis:  Last year, Tom and Caroline Johnson chose to end their lives, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents’ deaths, unwilling to accept the verdict of suicide.

Now with a baby herself, Anna feels her mother’s absence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as she digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her.

Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie….

***

I’ve been waiting for a long time to get my hands on this book.  Does it grab you?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE PERFECT NANNY”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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:  The Perfect Nanny, by Leila Slimani.  “She has the keys to their apartment. She knows everything. She has embedded herself so deeply in their lives that it now seems impossible to remove her.”

 

 

Book Beginning:  The baby is dead.  It took only a few seconds.  The doctor said he didn’t suffer.  The broken body, surrounded by toys, was put inside a gray bag, which they zipped shut.

***

Friday 56:  Everyone in Paul and Myriam’s inner circle ends up knowing about Louise.  Some of them have seen her in the neighborhood or in the apartment.  Others have only heard about the feats of this legendary nanny, who seems to have sprung straight from the pages of a children’s book.

***

Synopsis: When Myriam decides to return to work as a lawyer after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their son and daughter. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family’s chic Paris apartment, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, motherhood, and madness—and the American debut of an immensely talented writer.

***

What do you think?  Do you want to keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE FRENCH GIRL”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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:  The French Girl, by Lexie Elliott:  I Know What You Did Last Summer meets the French countryside in this exhilarating psychological suspense debut about a woman trapped by the bonds of friendship–perfect for fans of The Widow and The Woman in Cabin 10.

 

 

Beginning:  Looking back, the most striking thing is that she knew I didn’t like her and that she didn’t care.  That type of self-possession at the tender age of nineteen—well, it’s unnatural.  Or French.  She was very, very French.

***

Friday 56:  Finally she catches my hand in hers and smiles.  “I know.  I’ll be careful.”  She changes the subject deliberately, and as we talk, I see that half of her focus is elsewhere:  reliving aural sex in a transport hub, perhaps, or dreaming up meetings yet to come; in any case, half her mind is threaded through with Alain, Alain, Alain.                   

***

Synopsis:  We all have our secrets…

They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway…until they met Severine, the girl next door.

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive. And there are some people you can’t forget…like Severine, who was never seen again.

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free…

***

Do the excerpts grab you?  Do you want to know more?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SUNBURN”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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 featured book is a recent download:  Sunburn, by Laura Lippman, a superb novel of psychological suspense about a pair of lovers with the best intentions and the worst luck: two people locked in a passionate yet uncompromising game of cat and mouse. But instead of rules, this game has dark secrets, forbidden desires, inevitable betrayals—and cold-blooded murder.

 

 

Beginning:  (June 11, 1995, Belleville, Delaware)

It’s the sunburned shoulders that get him.  Pink, peeling.  The burn is two days old, he gauges.  Earned on Friday, painful to the touch yesterday, today an itchy soreness that’s hard not to keep fingering, probing, as she’s doing right now in an absentminded way.

***

56:  It takes twenty-five minutes to get to his office and that’s despite knowing all the shortcuts.  The strip center is his last commercial property.  Twelve stores, a parking lot, a wedge of Route 40 that gets a little seedier every year. (56%).

***

Synopsis: They meet at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware. Polly is set on heading west. Adam says he’s also passing through. Yet she stays and he stays—drawn to this mysterious redhead whose quiet stillness both unnerves and excites him. Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair. Still, each holds something back from the other—dangerous, even lethal, secrets.

Then someone dies. Was it an accident, or part of a plan? By now, Adam and Polly are so ensnared in each other’s lives and lies that neither one knows how to get away—or even if they want to. Is their love strong enough to withstand the truth, or will it ultimately destroy them?

Something—or someone—has to give.

Which one will it be?

Inspired by James M. Cain’s masterpieces The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, and Mildred Pierce, Sunburn is a tantalizing modern noir from the incomparable Laura Lippman.

***

Do you want to keep reading?  I know that I do, as I’ve never been disappointed in a book from Laura Lippman.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “EVERY LAST LIE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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 an e-ARC from NetGalley from an author I enjoy:  Every Last Lie, by Mary Kubica, has a release date of June 27.  This newest book is an exhilarating thriller as a widow’s pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche. 

 

Beginning:  (Clara)

They say that death comes in threes.  First it was the man who lives across the street from my father and mother.   Mr. Baumgartner, dead from prostate cancer at the age of seventy-four.  And then it was a former high school classmate of mine, only twenty-eight years old, a wife and mother, dead from a pulmonary embolism—a blood clot that shot straight to her lungs.

And then it was Nick.

***

56%: (Clara)

Theo and Nick have never liked each other much, and yet it seems completely ludicrous that he called the police on Nick, and we didn’t know.  Or maybe Nick did know, and only I didn’t know, I think, wondering why in the world Nick wouldn’t tell me if a neighbor had phoned in a complaint to the police about him.

***

Synopsis:  Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

***

I am excited about reading this newest book from Kubica.  What do you think, based on the synopsis and the excerpts?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “ONE GOOD THING”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  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 another book in the Ten Beach Road Series, One Good Thing, by Wendy Wax, a story of four women trying to rebuild more than their lives…
 

Beginning:  (Prologue)

Midlife crises come in all shapes and sizes.  They can manifest in the form of a shiny red sports car, a distant mountain peak demanding to be scaled, a new head of hair, or a plastic bottle of little blue pills.  Bertrand Baynard’s starred an exotic dancer named Delilah with whom he fell in love, fathered a child, and ran away.

***

56:  “No.  I said I don’t believe in forcing things.  That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with making someone so comfortable they want to share what’s bothering them.”

***

Synopsis:  Before you can fix it up, you might have to tear it down…
 
Embroiled in a battle to regain control of their renovation-turned-reality TV show, Do Over, Maddie, Avery, Nikki, and Kyra find themselves holding tight to the frayed ends of their friendship and relationships.
 
Maddie must face the realities of dating a rock star once again topping the charts and dealing with her hapless ex-husband, while Avery is caught up in family drama even as she attempts to transform a tiny cottage into a home for the newly impoverished heiress who helped bankroll their last renovation. Put on bedrest, a hugely pregnant Nikki can’t quite believe love can last, or trust in her own maternal instinct. And Kyra, who has secretly put Bella Flora at risk in an attempt to salvage Do Over, must decide whether to accept a desperately needed bail out from her son’s famous father that comes with far too many strings attached…
 
But friendship is made for times like these, to keep each other—and their dreams—from crumbling.

***

I love this series, so I’m excited to begin another “episode” in the lives of four women trying to make over their lives.  What do you think?

***