Posted in Books I have read

The Good Neighbor – Amy Sue Nathan

Contemporary Fiction 3*s
Contemporary Fiction
3*s

Izzy Lane finds herself almost transported back in time when she takes on her childhood home in the wake of the breakdown of her marriage with her husband Bruce, but not quite. Mrs Feldman still lives next door though, and Izzy spends a lot of time with the woman who looked after her as a child while her parents and older brothers worked at their hardware store. But Izzy is no longer a child, she is a mother to Noah and somewhat bewildered how she has ended up alone and quite frankly jealous that Bruce has someone new, and she is very much alone. The one plus side is that she hopes to recreate her carefree childhood, playing with the neighbourhood children, for Noah that she had. Sadly life has moved on, the children don’t play outside anymore and the parents don’t sit on the step chatting, as the decades have rolled by, life has changed.

In the evenings when Noah has gone to bed, or worse when he stays with his father and his model girlfriend, Izzy starts to blog – and we all know how addictive that can be! Izzy charts the few dates she has gone on and the views begin to roll in and then, she blogs about a new boyfriend Mac and her views rocket, it seem people from far and wide are interested in the romance. There is one problem, Mac doesn’t exist anywhere except in Izzy’s imagination. So far so harmless, until Izzy’s closest friend Jade asks her to write a regular slot for her on-line paper, the subject is dating life as an over-forty woman. Unable to admit that she isn’t dating Izzy is quickly backed into a corner, one where the secrets threaten everything she holds dear.

This wasn’t quite the light and fluffy story I was expecting, the themes and messages regarding not going backwards in life, don’t allow jealousy to take over and don’t abuse other’s trust in you are clear, but they are not particularly well-balanced with humour. Izzy has many opportunities to come clean about Mac, but she doesn’t causing a seemingly never-ending circle of will she, won’t she moments which quite frankly became tedious, especially as the stakes grew as did the impending disaster.
The friendship between Mrs Feldman and Izzy however was touching with the older woman being the only person to know the truth about Mac. Then Mrs Feldman reveals her own secret, and the accompanying lies, if only by omission, that she had held onto for many decades. This part of the book I did enjoy mainly because it felt far more realistic, had more depth to it and wasn’t as overworked as Izzy’s tale.

There was an easy read and I did like the underlying themes and I think that this book will resonate with those who have had similar life experiences. Amy Sue Nathan has woven a large number of truths into this story of lies.

I’d like to thank the publishers St Martins Press for allowing me to read a copy of this book ahead of the publication date of 13 October 2015.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (October 3)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.

Since I am getting so little reading done at the moment I really shouldn’t be adding any new books to my shelves, but I am!

From my beloved NetGalley my first choice is a tale which concentrates on secrets and lies; As Good As Dead by Elizabeth Evans from Bloomsbury Publishing Plc which will be published on 19 November 2015.

As Good As Dead

Blurb

Endearingly flawed and battered-around-the-edges, Charlotte has managed to fashion herself a life that balances marriage and a writing career, but now Esmé, the charming friend Charlotte betrayed at university, stands at Charlotte’s door: Surprise!
Charlotte yearns to make amends, but she’s wary. Esmé makes no mention of Charlotte’s old betrayal and the two resume their friendship, but soon enough a request from Esmé will upend Charlotte’s careful world.
Suspenseful, witty, with spot-on evocations of university life in the late 1980s, As Good as Dead performs an exquisite psychological high-wire act, exploring loves and friendships poisoned by secrets and fears. NetGalley

I also have a copy of The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner which was published on 1 September 2015 by Lake Union Publishing.

The Good Neighbor AJ Banner

Blurb

Shadow Cove, Washington, is the kind of town everyone dreams about—quaint streets, lush forests, good neighbors. That’s what Sarah thinks as she settles into life with her new husband, Dr. Johnny McDonald. But all too soon she discovers an undercurrent of deception. And one October evening when Johnny is away, sudden tragedy destroys Sarah’s happiness.
Dazed and stricken with grief, she and Johnny begin to rebuild their shattered lives. As she picks up the pieces of her broken home, Sarah discovers a shocking secret that forces her to doubt everything she thought was true—about her neighbors, her friends, and even her marriage. With each stunning revelation, Sarah must ask herself, Can we ever really know the ones we love? NetGalley

I was especially delighted to receive an invitation to read Ruth Dugdall’s latest novel, Nowhere Girl which will be published on 31 October 2015.

Nowhere Girl

Blurb

Probation officer, Cate Austin, has moved for a fresh start, along with her daughter Amelia, to live with her police detective boyfriend, Olivier Massard. But when she realises just how casually he is taking the disappearance of Ellie, Cate decides to investigate matters for herself. She discovers Luxembourg has a dark heart. With its geographical position, could it be the centre of a child trafficking ring? As Cate comes closer to discovering Ellie’s whereabouts she uncovers a hidden world, placing herself in danger, not just from traffickers, but from a source much closer to home. NetGalley

I also have a copy of Nowhere Child by fellow Channel Islander Rachel Abbott, this is the follow up to her last book Stranger Child.

Nowhere Child

Blurb

Eight months ago Tasha Joseph ran away, and her stepmother, Emma, has been searching for her ever since. She is desperate to give Tasha the home and security she deserves. The problem is, Emma isn’t the only one looking for Tasha. The police are keen to find her too. She could be a vital witness in a criminal trial, and DCI Tom Douglas has a team constantly on the lookout for her. But Tasha remains hidden, and nobody appears to have seen her. Suddenly, the stakes are raised. Somebody is offering money – a lot of money – for information about Tasha’s whereabouts. Tom and Emma know they have never been closer to finding the young girl. But they also recognise that she has never been closer to danger. Can they find her first? She can run – but for how long can she hide? Emma, has been searching for her ever since. She is desperate to give Tasha the home and security she deserves. The problem is, Emma isn’t the only one looking for Tasha. The police are keen to find her too. She could be a vital witness in a criminal trial, and DCI Tom Douglas has a team constantly on the lookout for her. But Tasha remains hidden, and nobody appears to have seen her. Suddenly, the stakes are raised. Somebody is offering money – a lot of money – for information about Tasha’s whereabouts. Tom and Emma know they have never been closer to finding the young girl But they also recognise that she has never been closer to danger. Can they find her first? She can run – but for how long can she hide

Lastly following my review of Little Girl Gone which had a storyline that explored postpartum psychosis, Elena of Books & Reviews helpfully suggested that I read The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, so I have a copy of that too!

The Yellow Wallpaper

Blurb

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story that, despite its length, is largely regarded as one of the most important feminist texts ever written. The story itself follows a woman’s slow descent into madness when she and her husband spend the summer in a large mansion. The text discusses many themes that would not come to light until years later, such as male dominance and women being trapped in the home. Through this, The Yellow Wallpaper masterfully blends story and theme, showing many attitude surrounding women’s health as well as their physical and mental well being. Amazon

What have you found to read this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (September 30)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

This week I am currently reading 24 Hours by Claire Seeber

24 Hours

Blurb

Here today. Dead tomorrow?
My best friend, Emily, is dead – killed last night in a hotel fire.
But it was meant to be me.
Now I have 24 hours to find my daughter.
Before he finds out I’m still alive. NetGalley

I have recently finished Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes

Behind Closed Doors

Check out yesterday’s post for the synopsis and a taster from this book, my review will follow shortly.

Next I plan on reading The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan

The Good Neighbor

Blurb

Things are a little rough for Izzy Lane. Still reeling from the break-up of her marriage, the newly single mom moves back to the Philadelphia home she grew up in, five-year-old Noah in tow. The transition is difficult, but with the help of her best friends—and her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Feldman—Izzy feels like she’s stepping closer to her new normal. Until her ex-husband shows up with his girlfriend. That’s when Izzy invents a boyfriend of her own. And that’s when life gets complicated.
Blogging about her “new guy” provides Izzy with something to do when Noah’s asleep. What’s the harm in a few made-up stories? Then, her blog soars in popularity and she’s given the opportunity to moonlight as an online dating expert. How can she turn it down? But when her friends want to meet the mysterious “Mac,” someone online suspects Izzy’s a fraud, and a guy in-real-life catches her eye, Izzy realizes just how high the stakes are. That’s when Mrs. Feldman steps in, determined to show her neighbor the havoc that lies can wreak. If Izzy’s honest, she could lose everything, and everyone. Is the truth worth any cost? NetGalley

What are you reading this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking The Shelves (August 22)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Just a few additions to the bookshelves this week all from NetGalley.

First up is Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight which I’ve seen good reviews of around the blogosphere. This is due to be published on 24 September 2015.

Where They Found Her

Blurb
The very worst crimes are those we commit against the ones we love

Motherhood hasn’t come at all easy for Molly Anderson. But she’s finally enjoying life as mother to five-year-old Ella and as Arts reporter for the small but respectable Ridgedale Reader. That is, until a body is found in the woods adjacent to Ridgedale University’s ivy-covered campus. This is a discovery that threatens to unearth secrets long buried by the town’s most powerful residents, and brings Molly to two women who are far more deeply connected than they have ever realised.
Where They Found Her is a riveting domestic thriller which offers a searing portrait of motherhood, marriage, class distinctions and the damage wrought by betrayal. NetGalley

Next is the second in Louise Smith series, Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes. Having really enjoyed Under A Silent Moon this had been sat on my wishlist since publication in January this year but the lovely NetGalley have it on their site ready for the paperback release dated 8 October 2015.

Behind Closed Doors
Blurb

‘To begin with, nothing was certain except her own terror . . .’
Ten years ago, fourteen-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished without a trace during a family holiday to Greece. Not being able to find Scarlett was one of the biggest regrets of DCI Louisa Smith’s career and when Scarlett is discovered back in her home town after all this time, Lou is determined to find out what happened to her and why she remained hidden for so long. Was she abducted or did she run away?
As Lou and her team delve deeper into Scarlett’s past, their investigation throws up more questions than it answers. But as they edge closer to the truth about what really went on behind closed doors, it is more sinister and disturbing than they had ever imagined. NetGalley

Lastly I have a copy of The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan which I have to confess was chosen in error… I thought it was the book with the same name by Beth Miller but this one sounds good too! This one is due to be published on 13 October 2015.

The Good Neighbor

Blurb

Things are a little rough for Izzy Lane. Still reeling from the break-up of her marriage, the newly single mom moves back to the Philadelphia home she grew up in, five-year-old Noah in tow. The transition is difficult, but with the help of her best friends—and her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Feldman—Izzy feels like she’s stepping closer to her new normal. Until her ex-husband shows up with his girlfriend. That’s when Izzy invents a boyfriend of her own. And that’s when life gets complicated.

Blogging about her “new guy” provides Izzy with something to do when Noah’s asleep. What’s the harm in a few made-up stories? Then, her blog soars in popularity and she’s given the opportunity to moonlight as an online dating expert. How can she turn it down? But when her friends want to meet the mysterious “Mac,” someone online suspects Izzy’s a fraud, and a guy in-real-life catches her eye, Izzy realizes just how high the stakes are. That’s when Mrs. Feldman steps in, determined to show her neighbor the havoc that lies can wreak. If Izzy’s honest, she could lose everything, and everyone. Is the truth worth any cost? NetGalley

Any of these take your fancy or perhaps you’ve already read them?
What have you found to read this week? Please do share in the comments below