Review: The Ever After

The Ever After - Sarah Pekkanen - Book ReviewTitle: The Ever After
Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Contemporary Women
Synopsis from Washington Square Press

Review: THE EVER AFTER is a domestic fiction novel with candid insight to marital infidelity.  Charged and uneasy, Josie must decide if she can ever move past Frank’s betrayal.

There’s no glamour here this is an undisguised look at marriage – what everyday looks like after couples reach that point in their relationship where daily life has a pattern to it.

This was a thought-provoking read for me.  Josie gave lots of insight into the early years of she and Frank’s marriage, everything she gave up as a wife and mother and the crushing blow from his affair.  The aftermath was sharp and affecting – Josie wrestled with the ‘who, what, and why’s’ of Frank’s betrayal and I admired her resilience and incisiveness.

Pick this one up if you are looking for a devour-able, no frills look at marriage.

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Review: The Banker’s Wife

The Banker’s Wife - Cristina Alger - Book ReviewTitle: The Banker’s Wife
Author: Cristina Alger
Publisher: Putnam
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Thriller
Synopsis from Putnam

Review: Matthew Werner and Fatima Amir board a private plane in London en route to Geneva.  The plane crashes in the Alps with no survivors.

Matthew is a banker for the powerful Swiss United Bank affording he and his wife, Annabel the high life in Geneva, Switzerland.  She maintained a solitary existence while he traveled for work and didn’t share much intel on his clients.  Shocked by Matthew’s death Annabel finds out Fatima was his client and tied to a corrupt regime.  Is Swiss United Bank representing criminal clients?  Was Matthew involved or was he about to blow the whistle?  Authorities quickly rule the crash an accident leaving Annabel on her own to sift thru highly sensitive information hidden by her husband.

Meanwhile, investigative journalist Marina Tourneau wants to quit her job and marry her rich fiancé.  On the same day Matthew dies she winds up with a USB storing information on powerful and dangerous people and her editor-in-chief is murdered.

THE BANKER’S WIFE is a gripping international financial thriller.  As an accountant I appreciate an author who can take a boring subject and craft it into a twisty and suspenseful trip without the gore.  I also loved that Alger created two strong, intelligent women to take the lead without making the story feel like it’s for women only.  I think plenty of men would enjoy this one too.  I was invested in this compelling page turner from the get-go!

Review: Regrets Only

Regrets Only - Erin Duffy - Book ReviewTitle: Regrets Only
Author: Erin Duffy
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Contemporary Women
Synopsis from William Morrow

Review: Suburbia, infidelity, paybacks and friendships are the crux of REGRETS ONLY, a thought-provoking and at times funny look when life throws you a curveball.

Claire has given up everything for Owen; she’s uprooted from Chicago and relocated to his native Connecticut and put her career on hold to stay home with their infant son Bo.  She’s exhausted and mentally stalled and Owen wants to make it up to her with a spa day – Claire feels like the luckiest woman in the world.  Until she’s not.  She absently leaves the house without her wallet and upon returning to fetch it she finds their realtor and Owen’s high school sweetheart, Dee Dee in their kitchen scantily dressed in lingerie indulging in champagne and waffles.

With no chance of moving back to Chicago and Dee Dee’s mean-girl friends around every corner Claire reinvents herself with the help of her childhood best friend Antonia and new friend Lissy.

I’ve been there – relocating, trading in a career to stay home and raise children, physical exhaustion and mommy brain!  I laughed at Claire’s antics to get back at Owen.  Personally I’ve not gone thru a divorce so who am I to say whether Claire handled things the right way.  As a mom I totally related to her ‘death folder’ as I’ve often told my husband about should anything happen to me!  I adored the introduction of the stationary store S.W.A.K. and thought it brought a charming element to an overall great story.

If you are looking for a beach read that is sharp, witty, gossipy and snarky then pick this one up!

Review: The Good Daughter

The Good Daughter - Karin Slaughter - Book ReviewTitle: The Good Daughter
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: August 8, 2017
Genre: Fiction | Thriller | Suspense
Synopsis from William Morrow

Review: Full disclosure: THE GOOD DAUGHTER is my first Karin Slaughter book and I know I’m not the first to admit I wished I had started reading her work sooner!  This book is not for the feint of heart – it’s violent and gritty and Slaughter’s descriptions are boldly graphic and necessary.

Pikeville, Georgia attorney Rusty Quinn has defended his share of lowlifes and has gotten a bad name.  The story opens up at his home where two masked intruders create a gruesome scene killing his wife Gamma, shooting his daughter Sam in the head and burying her alive while his other daughter Charlie escapes.  The fallout creates a rift between sisters and memories they never forget.

Twenty eight years later, the sisters have put their lives back together; Sam is a successful patent attorney in New York and Charlie is a criminal defense lawyer in Pikeville.  Charlie is witness to a school shooting and her role in the shooters defense brings rise to the memories all those years ago.

The characters are complex and multilayered – Slaughter creates a small town vibe with townspeople who are raw, emotional and real.  The plot is a labyrinth of deep dark turns fluctuating between two storylines and timelines while weaving in and out of each other.

This book is difficult to review without giving too much away.  If you can handle graphic violence then I highly recommend you pick this one up!

Review: An Ocean of Minutes

An Ocean of Minutes - Thea Lim - Book ReviewTitle: An Ocean of Minutes
Author: Thea Lim
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Dystopian
Synopsis from Viking
Free copy provided by PRHC

Review: AN OCEAN OF MINUTES opens up during a flu pandemic spreading across the United States in 1981.  Polly and Frank are saying goodbye to each other; he is infected with the flu and she has signed on with TimeRaiser to travel ahead to rebuild America and save Frank – he will receive the flu vaccine.  Polly agrees to a 32-months work arrangement with TimeRaiser and plans to meet up with Frank in 1993 to resume their life together.  When she arrives in Galveston she learns three things; 1) the year is 1998, 2) the country is divided into two countries – the United States and America, and 3) Polly can’t undo her decision.

The story is told from Polly’s point of view fluctuating between pre-pandemic and the future.  Nothing is as expected; landmarks have moved or no longer exist, Polly’s citizenship is stripped and replaced with H-1 status which affords her little freedom, food is rationed out, living conditions are dismal and she is always watched by TimeRaiser.  Polly struggles to navigate a confusing bureaucracy to locate Frank – processes include lengthy forms, excessive wait times and a corrupt system.

Lim’s debut is a lens into what a post-pandemic America looks like. She doesn’t quite strike the balance between dystopian and romance – touted as part romance I expected a different ending.  This book is outside of my comfort zone.  I typically do not read dystopian novels, but AN OCEAN OF MINUTES sucked me in from the get-go!  I’m so glad I took a chance on this one!