Bookmail Friday

*Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada, Flatiron Books, HMH Books and Raincoast Books for these free books.

Bookmail Friday is a place where I share with you the books I received this week.

Here and Gone | The Family Tabor | The Vanderbeekers

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck – It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something with them… Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.  I have been disappointed with a lot of suspense / thriller books lately especially those with big name endorsements likening them to ‘Into the Water‘, ‘Gone Girl‘, and ‘The Girl on the Train‘, which I think is the kiss of death.  I don’t like those types of books because they all have a misogynistic angle and portray women as mentally imbalanced.  They are so dark and depressing.  The synopsis of Here and Gone makes me think the main character is pulling herself out of a deep, dark slump to protect her children, which takes so much strength making her a strong and likeable lead.

The Family Tabor by Cherise Wolas – Harry Tabor is about to be named Man of the Decade, a distinction that feels like the culmination of a life well lived. Gathering together in Palm Springs for the celebration are his wife, Roma, a distinguished child psychologist, and their children: Phoebe, a high-powered attorney; Camille, a brilliant social anthropologist; and Simon, a big-firm lawyer, who brings his glamorous wife and two young daughters. But immediately, cracks begin to appear in this smooth facade: Simon hasn’t been sleeping through the night, Camille can’t decide what to do with her life, and Phoebe is a little too cagey about her new boyfriend. Roma knows her children are hiding things. What she doesn’t know, what none of them know, is that Harry is suddenly haunted by the long-buried secret that drove him, decades ago, to relocate his young family to the California desert. As the ceremony nears, the family members are forced to confront the falsehoods upon which their lives are built.  I have been holding onto my copy of the revered The Resurrection of Joan Ashby since September and when I saw Wolas’ followup, The Family Tabor I immediately started reading Joan Ashby, which I’m fully invested in.

The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden – Return to Harlem’s “wildly entertaining” family in this funny, heartwarming sequel. When catastrophe strikes their beloved upstairs neighbors, the Vanderbeeker children set out to build the best, most magical healing garden in Harlem–in spite of a locked fence, thistles and trash, and the conflicting plans of a wealthy real estate developer. I read The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street to my daughters before Christmas and the whole family fell in live with this adorable family!  I’m super excited for the sequel, The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden, which we will read as a family also.