Oh my goodness — now that I’m commuting again (though shorter than in the past due to less cars on the road due to COVID shutdowns) I’m listening to audiobooks every day. I listened to this one in August/September and it was a doozy. Naratted by several apt actors (Caoilfhionn Dunne, David McFetridge, and Lesley McGuire), it tells the story of a family and the secrets they hide.
Here’s the overview via Amazon/Audible:
From the international best-selling author of Unraveling Oliver, an “unputdownable psychological thriller with an ending that lingers long after turning the final page” (The Irish Times) about a Dublin family whose dark secrets and twisted relationships are suddenly revealed.
My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.
On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life – wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax.
For fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn, this novel is a “seductively sinister story. The twists come together in a superbly scary denouncement, which delivers a final sting in the tail. Brilliantly macabre” (Sunday Mirror).
So this is the kind of story that starts off with a bang. You fall into the dark hole of it and you never are able to climb your way out.
I have to be honest and say that while this was superbly plotted and well-written I HATED the ending. Hated it. Almost cried from frustration and upset. Still can’t stop thinking about it. So – it’s good. Really good. It just didn’t make me happy (and I like happy).
Let me know what you thought! I got mine with an Audible credit.
I’m happy to finally be able to share a great summer read by one of my fave authors: B.A. Paris’ The Dilemma. I received this book months ago from St. Martin’s Press via Net Galley. (thank you!!).
In this novel, two people are keeping secrets in order to keep others blindly happy, but their worlds are about to come tumbling down. Don’t want to say more and give anything away!
This story was a bit different from B.A. Paris’ last ones. I loved the suspense of her earlier works and the intensity. This is more a story with psychological suspense, but it’s heart-breaking, and it touches on the base elements of family life and relationships. I really liked it and read it in one evening because I couldn’t put it down.
Knowing the truth will destroy her. Keeping it secret will destroy him.
It’s Livia’s 40th birthday, and her husband Adam is throwing her the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding they never had. Everyone she loves will be there, except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But Livia is secretly glad Marnie won’t be there.
Livia has recently uncovered a secret about their daughter which, if revealed, will shake the foundation of their family to its core. She needs to tell Adam, but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.
Adam, meanwhile, has his own surprise for Livia: he’s arranged for Marnie to secretly fly back for the party. But before Marnie arrives, Adam hears some terrible news. Now he too is faced with a dilemma: Does he share what he’s learned with his wife? Is hiding the truth the same as telling a lie? And how far are Adam and Livia willing to go to protect the ones they love―and give each other a last few hours of happiness?
This book published today – June 30, 2020. It’s a great summer read!
I’m thrilled to take part in the Harlequin Summer Reads tour with Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle. This was a suspenseful read and just perfect for the summer!
Here’s the overview:
When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned. At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two. As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.
Me again! If you follow me, you know I love a good, suspenseful read and I’m always particularly excited if I don’t “figure it all out” in the first half of the book! I did not figure this one out early and I enjoyed Ms. Belle’s writing, pacing, and plot-line.
Highly recommended for a fast, suspenseful read that is great for poolside!
Thank you for my review copy and for making me part of the tour!
About the Author: Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.
From the Tour (please note that purchasing links are NOT affiliated with BBNB but have been sent from Harlequin):
Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.
Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.
America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.
In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.
Oh – I loved this beautifully written book about a young woman tracing the secret past of her family. I particularly liked the story of the past, with young, headstrong Naoko who is in love with an American. As always, redemption is a favorite theme of mine and this story was compelling, memorable, and touching.
Recommended to those who enjoy historical fiction!
The first new novel in four years from the beloved superstar author of Sarah’s Key, a heartbreaking and uplifting story of family secrets and devastating disaster, set against a Paris backdrop, fraught with revelations, and resolutions.
“An absorbing tale of family secrets from the author of Sarah’s Key.” – People magazine
“Hypnotic, passionate, ominous and tender—unforgettable.” —Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Those Who Save Us
Linden Malegarde has come home to Paris from the United States. It has been years since the whole family was all together. Now the Malegarde family is gathering for Paul, Linden’s father’s 70th birthday.
Each member of the Malegarde family is on edge, holding their breath, afraid one wrong move will shatter their delicate harmony. Paul, the quiet patriarch, an internationally-renowned arborist obsessed with his trees and little else, has always had an uneasy relationship with his son. Lauren, his American wife, is determined that the weekend celebration will be a success. Tilia, Linden’s blunt older sister, projects an air of false fulfillment. And Linden himself, the youngest, uncomfortable in his own skin, never quite at home no matter where he lives—an American in France and a Frenchman in the U.S.—still fears that, despite his hard-won success as a celebrated photographer, he will always be a disappointment to his parents.
Their hidden fears and secrets slowly unravel as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster, and the Seine bursts its banks and floods the city. All members of the family will have to fight to keep their unity against tragic circumstances. In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, de Rosnay demonstrates all of her writer’s skills both as an incredible storyteller but also as a soul seeker.
This was such a gripping read. The pace is quite slow, so slow that the whole story is pretty much a few days long, but I found it oddly compelling. A family gathers in Paris for a celebration as the Seine is threatening to burst its banks. The father of the family suffers a stroke and the mother is felled by the flu. The son and daughter try to pull everything together – but each family member has secrets from the others, secrets that are at the very deepest parts of their souls and their identities. These secrets are all revealed over time – mostly through flashback – and they are both incredible and some are horrible.
It makes you wonder: what makes us human? What shapes us for whom we become? What does it mean to be a family?
A great book club read! I love a book that includes redemption and acceptance.
Thank you so much for my review e-copy via Net Galley!
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Wow! I loved Celeste Ng’s first book, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, and I loved this one as well. What a great story. Ng has a way with words, and her prose paints such a vivid depiction of daily life. It’s all in the details.
This was a captivating story, which I listened to on my commute. You could see where things were headed and that disaster was looming on the horizons, but I just couldn’t stop listening. Devastating yet memorable, this was one of my fave books of 2017.
I got mine from Audible, and you can, too — or get it an your local favorite indie bookshop, online, or at the library!
Let’s chat about this amazing book that I got a while ago from Net Galley and it just came out last Tuesday. THE DROWNING GIRLS was a suspenseful read, similar to the feel of A GIRL ON THE TRAIN or THE GUEST ROOM.
Here’s the info from Net Galley:
Critically acclaimed author of The Mourning Hours and The Fragile World, Paula Treick DeBoard returns with a tale of dark secrets, shocking lies and a dangerous obsession that will change one neighborhood forever
Liz McGinnis never imagined herself living in a luxurious gated community like The Palms. Ever since she and her family moved in, she’s felt like an outsider amongst the Stepford-like wives and their obnoxiously spoiled children. Still, she’s determined to make it work—if not for herself, then for her husband, Phil, who landed them this lavish home in the first place, and for her daughter, Danielle, who’s about to enter high school.
Yet underneath the glossy veneer of The Palms, life is far from idyllic. In a place where reputation is everything, Liz soon discovers that even the friendliest residents can’t be trusted. So when the gorgeous girl next door befriends Danielle, Liz can’t help but find sophisticated Kelsey’s interest in her shy and slightly nerdy daughter a bit suspicious.
But while Kelsey quickly becomes a fixture in the McGinnis home, Liz’s relationships with both Danielle and Phil grow strained. Now even her own family seems to be hiding things, and it’s not long before their dream of living the high life quickly spirals out of control…
Me again —
I could not stop reading this book. I had never read a book by Ms. DeBoard before, but her writing draws you in and you can’t leave. The characters were so real, the setting so vivid, it made a great yet suspenseful read.
Totally unforgettable and one of those “oh my gosh I hope something like this never happens to anyone I know”, this book is one you can’t put down!
Thank you, Net Galley and Harlequin, for my review e-copy!
So I somehow missed that this book was coming out. It takes place, in part, in my hometown of Napa so I knew I HAD to read it! Ms. Moran and her publicist kindly sent me a copy via Net Galley.
Here’s the overview from NG:
1956: When Caterina Rosetta inherits a cottage in the countryside of Italy from a grandmother she’s never known, she discovers a long-buried family secret — a secret so devastating, it threatens the future of everything her mother has worked for. Many years before, her mother’s hard-won dreams of staking her family’s claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition; but as an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragic secret that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother’s buried past.
From author Jan Moran comes The Winemakers, a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.
Me again! I really enjoyed this novel, which was a quick read for me. From Italy to Napa, with hidden secrets, strong women, murder, and romance, it captured my attention and kept me reading. My favorite parts were descriptions of the Valley and of winemaking. I liked the main character, Caterina, but liked her mother even more. I really enjoy a non-perfect but strong main female character! The only character who didn’t really work for me was Luca, as I found him one dimensional. Why was he so very evil? Someone read it and tell me!
Rest assured there was a happy ending (I had my doubts for a bit!) which is always a plus for me!
If you enjoy wine, romance, and the Napa Valley, then pick up a copy of THE WINEMAKERS.
A big thank you to the very gracious Ms. Moran and her publicist for my e-copy!
Everybody clap your hands, because Kate Morton has a new book out!
I am so very thrilled to be part of this tour today because I absolutely love her books and when I saw this opportunity I was almost overcome with excitement. THE LAKE HOUSE is Kate Morton at her finest; it does not disappoint.
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heart-stopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.
Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specializing in nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary Gothic novels.
Kate Morton has sold over 7.5 million copies in 26 languages, across 38 countries. Her novels include The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, and The Secret Keeper.
Me again — Oh my goodness, this book has SO MUCH of what I love: mystery, old English country houses, hidden passageways, forbidden love, tragedy, happy endings, reconciliation, self-forgiveness — the list goes on and on! Ms. Morton’s writing flows easily and her books read quickly. I get engrossed in the characters and have read several where they move back and forth through time in the same setting. I always can’t wait to get to the next chapter.
In this story, I really connected with the character of Eleanor (surprisingly) and how she went from being a happy child to being in love to having the world come down on her and dampen her zest for life. Sadie was another sympathetic character. I thought I had the mystery figured out (more than once) and was mistaken. There are lots of twists and turns with this one!
If you have never read her books, start with this one. Or get thee to the library and find them all!
Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my Net Galley copy to review.
Here is a lovely picture of Kate Morton. I just want to shout: “Kate! I want to be your friend and we can talk about books and old English country houses!” But of course she might find that odd…
Here’s a You Tube book trailer:
Here’s a You Tube video of Kate reading the first chapter — you can pretend she’s your friend and reading to you!
Here she is discussing her inspiration for the book (via You Tube). I was wondering about how she got her idea and voila – questions answered!
I first heard about this novel while I was at BEA this past spring. It sounded intriguing, but, due to schedules and long lines, I didn’t get a chance to meet Ms. Weingarten or get a copy, so I purchased one for my kindle when it released in July.
SUICIDE NOTES FROM BEAUTIFUL GIRLS is one of those haunting, compelling reads that picks you up and then drops you, leaving you panting and somewhat bewildered. I LOVED this type of book when I was a teen (actually I still love it!).
June and Delia used to be the very best of friends, from the time they were in grade school until recently in high school, when they’ve grown apart. Then it is announced that Delia has died — apparently from suicide, killing herself by burning to death in her father’s shed. June is troubled by this. She doesn’t believe that Delia did this, and she’s haunted by the fact that Delia had reached out to her shortly before her death, but June had ignored her, choosing to be with her boyfriend instead.
What did happen to Delia? Who is involved? And why does it seem like a lot of people know much more than they are telling? June is determined to find out.
I have to admit — when I picked up this book and began to read it, I didn’t stop for a break until I was halfway through. It pulled me in and I just couldn’t stop reading. This was also the type of story that stays with you long after the last page.
Due to language and sexual content, I’d say it’s for older YA readers.