BOOKISH FRIDAY: “UNFAITHFUL”

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 new book:  Unfaithful, by Natalie Barelli.

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Beginning: 

I wake up too early, too hot, my legs entangled in the sheet.  I dreamt of something stressful, something to do with missing a flight or losing my passport.  Then there was a ladder that didn’t quite get up to a top floor and was swaying dangerously.

***

Friday 56: 

“I’m good, really, but thanks.”  I take a sip of the coffee, playing for time.  Finally, when she makes a move to leave, I take the plunge.

***

Synopsis:

“Thank you,” I say sweetly when she tells me I’m lucky to have such a beautiful family. But I want to tell her it’s not just luck. A family is like a fortress you have to defend all the time. You can’t relax because there’s always someone looking for a breach, always someone trying to get in. Someone just like her

When I arrive unannounced at my husband’s studio in need of a shoulder to cry on after hearing that my best student, Alex, has died, I see a pair of wine glasses drying by the sink and my deepest fear is confirmed: my husband is having an affair.

Most women would fall to their knees in tears and throw him out of the house–but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Instead, I go home and cook a healthy dinner for our children, walk the dog and unload the dishwasher without complaint. I will make him see that I’m still the woman he married; attractive, successful, the glue that holds our perfect family together. I need this marriage to work to protect a terrible secret of my own, something that would destroy everything I’ve already sacrificed so much for.

But when the police arrive at my door asking questions about Alex’s death that I can’t answer, and threatening text messages start appearing on my phone, I know that someone close has been watching me very carefully.

The truth is, there are three people in my marriage, but only one of them is deadly…

***

Would you keep reading?  I just downloaded this book, and because I’ve enjoyed another book by this author, I am very eager to read it.

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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.

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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.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE HALF SISTER”

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 The Half Sister, by Sandie Jones.

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Book Beginnings:  (Kate)

Kate sees the familiar nameplate on Dr. Williams’ office door and feels a knot in her stomach.  She doesn’t know why, after all this time, it still affects her like this—she should be used to it by now.  But every time she walks through his door she’s filled with hope, and every time she walks back out, she feels utter despair and sadness, unable to believe that fate could be so cruel.

***

Friday 56:  Kate carefully lifts the smaller box out and lays it on the carpet, as if psyching herself up to open it.  She knows what’s inside it; she just can’t remember the details.  She takes a deep breath, not knowing whether she wants to be proved right or wrong as she lifts the lid. (p.56).

***

Synopsis:  Meet the half sister, and unravel the ties that blind us.

THE TRUTH

Sisters Kate and Lauren meet for Sunday lunch every week without fail, especially after the loss of their father.

THE LIE

But a knock at the door is about to change everything. A young woman by the name of Jess holds a note with the results of a DNA test, claiming to be their half sister.

THE UNTHINKABLE

As the fallout starts, it’s clear that they are all hiding secrets, and perhaps this family isn’t as perfect as it appears.

***

What do you think?  Do the snippets grab you?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SEPARATION ANXIETY”

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 Separation Anxiety, by Laura Zigman.

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Book Beginnings:  (Sheltering in Place)

(The Sling) I start wearing the family dog, a mini-sheltie, a little Lassie, in an unbleached cotton baby sling across the front of my body like a messenger bag, a few weeks shy of fall.  Until I slip the sling over my head and feel a strange surge of relief run through me, a liquid narcotic from an unknown source, there’s nothing special about the day.

***

Friday 56:  Inside the car, I pull the harness strap of the seat belt gently around the dog and me until it clicks while Gary yanks on his seat belt and flips up the visor.  In the short time inside Deirdre’s office, the sun had moved, coming in sharply now between two gorgeous maples and bathing us in an orangey-red light.

***

Synopsis:  Judy never intended to start wearing the dog. But when she stumbled across her son Teddy’s old baby sling during a halfhearted basement cleaning, something in her snapped. So: the dog went into the sling, Judy felt connected to another living being, and she’s repeated the process every day since.

Life hasn’t gone according to Judy’s plan. Her career as a children’s book author offered a glimpse of success before taking an embarrassing nose dive. Teddy, now a teenager, treats her with some combination of mortification and indifference. Her best friend is dying. And her husband, Gary, has become a pot-addled professional “snackologist” who she can’t afford to divorce. On top of it all, she has a painfully ironic job writing articles for a self-help website—a poor fit for someone seemingly incapable of helping herself.

Wickedly funny and surprisingly tender, Separation Anxiety offers a frank portrait of middle-aged limbo, examining the ebb and flow of life’s most important relationships. Tapping into the insecurities and anxieties that most of us keep under wraps, and with a voice that is at once gleefully irreverent and genuinely touching, Laura Zigman has crafted a new classic for anyone taking fumbling steps toward happiness.

***

I am intrigued by the premise.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “FOLLOW 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 download:  Follow Me, by Kathleen Barber.

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Book Beginning:  (Prologue) (Him)

Everyone on the internet is a liar.  Every last one of us.  The difference is the magnitude of our lies.  On one end of the spectrum are the scammers, the phishers, the lowlifes trying to convince your grandmother to bail you out of a fictional Thai prison.  On the other end are those whose untruths are the smallest, the most inconsequential:  those who click a box affirming they’ve read terms and conditions, who click “like” on a cousin’s photograph of her pug-nosed child.

***

Friday 56: Feeling shamefully territorial, I leaned forward to interrupt their eye contact, saying, “Audrey, Connor went to law school with Priya and me, and he works at Barker & Liu with me now.”

***

Synopsis:  Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.

Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbor with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.

But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.

***

Would you keep reading?  I am always interested in stories about the internet and how it grabs us, keeping us hooked.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “AMERICAN DIRT”

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, one I’m eager to start reading:  American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins.

***

Book Beginning:  One of the very first bullets comes in through the open window above the toilet where Luca is standing.  He doesn’t immediately understand that it’s a bullet at all, and it’s only luck that it doesn’t strike him between the eyes.  Luca hardly registers the mild noise it makes as it flies past and lodges into the tiled wall behind him.

***

Friday 56:  Lydia tries to refold the map along its previous creases, but her patience is flimsy, and she shoves it into the pocket of the seat in front of her.  She tries to think clearly, to review their options.  Most people she would ordinarily turn to for help are dead, and even if they weren’t, asking for help is akin to walking into a friend’s kitchen wearing a suicide vest.

***

Synopsis:  Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

***

I have been eager to start reading this one…soon!  What do you think? 

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “DEEP STATE”

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 I am eager to start reading:  Deep State, by Chris Hauty.

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Book Beginnings: (Prologue)

Leaving her air-conditioned quarters and stepping into the thick Texas summer night with less than forty minutes before the start of her bout, she begins to run.  Humidity and air temperature persist above ninety despite the late hour, and she breaks a sweat before crossing Tank Destroyer Boulevard.  Her footsteps hardly make a sound as she jogs the deserted, orderly streets of Fort Hood.

***

Friday 56:  Udall releases Hayley from the interview with an emphatic slamming shut of her notepad. “Okay, well, obviously, I’ll be speaking with more people there, in the White House.”

***

Synopsis:  Recently elected President Richard Monroe—populist, controversial, and divisive—is at the center of an increasingly polarized Washington, DC. Never has the partisan drama been so tense or the paranoia so rampant. In the midst of contentious political turf wars, the White House chief of staff is found dead in his house. A tenacious intern discovers a single, ominous clue that suggests he died from something other than natural causes, and that a wide-ranging conspiracy is running beneath the surface of everyday events: powerful government figures are scheming to undermine the rule of law—and democracy itself. Allies are exposed as enemies, once-dependable authorities fall under suspicion, and no one seems to be who they say they are. The unthinkable is happening. The Deep State is real. Who will die to keep its secrets and who will kill to uncover the truth?

***

Are you captivated?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “HOME TRUTHS”

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 relatively new download:  Home Truths, by Tina Seskis.

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Beginning:  (Part One – The Beginning – The Early Nineties)

(Alex)

As soon as she walked through the door, Alex noticed her.  Nicely dressed blonde girls rarely made an appearance at the front desk of Finsbury Park police station in 1992.  Normally it was a place frequented by errant drivers, begrudgingly bringing in their documents as requested by an overzealous traffic cop; or victims of muggings; or people who’d had their car stolen; or else known criminals being booked in for the umpteenth time, the looks on their faces ones of insouciant arrogance, fully aware they’d most likely get away with it.

***

Friday 56:  (Paul)

Once Daisy was sated Paul stood up straight and said, as casually as he could, ‘Well, bye then, pet,’ and then he walked out of the door, feeling as if Christie couldn’t wait for him to go—and surely worse, that he couldn’t wait to leave either. (p. 56).

***

Synopsis:  American nanny Eleanor was never meant to meet Alex. But when she walks into his London police station to report a stalker, everything changes for them both. He’s convinced he can protect her from anything and anyone. She hopes her darkest days are behind her.

As they settle into their life together, two hundred miles away another young couple faces an uncertain future. Christie knows Paul is a decent man, but she can’t shake a clairvoyant’s warning: ‘Never trust your husband . . .’ When a work trip tests their bond, will she overcome her fears for the sake of her family?

Ten years later, both couples are still together, for better or worse. But as doubts and resentments begin bubbling steadily to the surface, all four of them start to question the choices they’ve made.

At least the secrets they all brought into their marriages are still well hidden.

 

***

What do you think?  I’m definitely intrigued.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THOSE OTHER WOMEN”

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 from a book that has been languishing on my Kindle.  Those Other Women, by Nicola Moriarty, has been hiding out on Paige since June 2018: “A firecracker of a novel…” -Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies

 

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Beginning: (Part One: Poppy)

Poppy pulled into the driveway of the tall, gray Harris Park town house she rented with her husband. It was a gorgeous summer’s evening, and as much as she was loving the warmer months, she wasn’t enjoying the way the back of her blouse was sticking to the car seat.  It was too hot to cook, so she’d picked up Chinese takeaway on her way home from work.  Wontons instead of spring rolls because they were Garret’s favorite.  Steamed rice instead of fried because she was “making an effort” to choose healthier options.  Beef in black bean sauce plus battered honey chicken because she wasn’t making that much of an effort.

***

Friday 56%:  Annalise scrolled through Sophie’s account.  “I see photos of her out to dinner, photos of her rock climbing with some guy…oh, that’s her husband, I think.  Oh, my God!  There’s a pic of her here with a kid!…”

***

Synopsis:The author of The Fifth Letter takes a laser look at the uneasy relationships between women and the real-world ramifications of online conflicts and social media hostilities in this stunning domestic drama. A story of privilege, unspoken rivalries, and small acts of vengeance with huge repercussions sure to please fans of Sarah Jio and Ruth Ware.

Overwhelmed at the office and reeling from betrayals involving the people she loves, Poppy feels as if her world has tipped sideways. Maybe her colleague, Annalise, is right—Poppy needs to let loose and blow off some steam. What better way to vent than social media?

With Annalise, she creates an invitation-only Facebook group that quickly takes off. Suddenly, Poppy feels like she’s back in control—until someone begins leaking the group’s private posts and stirring up a nasty backlash, shattering her confidence.

Feeling judged by disapproving female colleagues and her own disappointed children, Frankie, too, is careening towards the breaking point. She also knows something shocking about her boss—sensitive knowledge that is tearing her apart.

As things begin to slide disastrously, dangerously out of control, carefully concealed secrets and lies are exposed with devastating consequences—forcing these women to face painful truths about their lives and the things they do to survive.

***

I’ve been eager to start reading this one, as I love all the Moriarty authors.  What do you think?

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