Friday, August 16, 2019

Books 10-14

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
Image result for two by two by nicholas sparks
At thirty-two, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six-year-old daughter, and a successful career as an advertising executive.  But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear...and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down.
In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter London while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality.  Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding-one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.
When a chance encounter with an old flame tempts him to take a chance on love again, he will navigate this new opportunity with trepidation and wonder.  And in the hard-won lessons of fatherhood, Russ will finally come to understand the true nature of unconditional love-that it is a treasure to be bestowed, never earned.
I did enjoy this book although I found it quite annoying at times.  The wife is a real piece of work and how Russ put up with so much of her behaviour drove me crazy.  It was quite predictable although the ending wasn't quite what I expected.

The Grand Duchess of Nowhere by Laurie Graham
Image result for Laurie graham the grand duchess of nowhere
There is one great love in everyone's life.  For Ducky, Queen Victoria's granddaughter, it was her Romanov cousin.  But forced to marry a German cousin, Ducky seems doomed to be a pawn on a dynastic chessboard.
Yet Ducky is not so easily controlled.  In an era when death is considered preferable to divorce she fights for the freedom to be with her true love. From exile in Paris to the glitter of St. Petersburg and the carnage of the Eastern Front, she forges her own path.
As Russia descends into the chaos of 1917 and the Romanov dynasty falls, Ducky is right at the heart of events.  Exiled once more, she tells us her story.
I enjoyed this book although I did struggle a bit with all the relationships and who was related to who.  The main characters were mainly the Romanovs.  The story covers WW1 and the Russian Revolution but focuses on 'Ducky'. 

Island of Bones by Imogen Robertson
Image result for island of bones imogen robertson
Cumbria, 1783
The tomb of the Earl of Greta should have lain undisturbed on its island of bones for 300 years.  Inside, however, is one body too many.
A Broken Heritage
Gabriel Crowther's family bought the Gretas' land long ago, and has suffered its own bloody history.  His brother hanged for killing their father, the Baron of Keswick, and Crowther has chosen anonymity over the title for thirty years.  But the mystery calls him home at last.
A Secret History
Travelling with forthright Harriet Westerman, escaping her own tragedy, Crowther finds a town caught between new horrors and old, where ancient ways challenge modern justice.  And against the wild backdrop of fells and water, Crowther's past will not stay buried.
I didn't know that this book was part of a series-book 3 I think.  It probably would have helped the story if I'd read the first two.  This is about a secret that has been buried for 300 years resurfacing. Everything that Crowther thought he knew is thrown into turmoil. It is an interesting read with lots of twists and turns.

Liar's Candle by August Thomas
Image result for liar's candle by august thomas
Penny Kessler is an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.  She wakes up in a hospital on the morning of July 5th to find herself at the center of an international crisis.  The day before, the Embassy was the target of a devastating terrorist attack that killed hundreds of Penny's friends and colleagues.  Not only has a photograph of Penny emerging from the rubble become the event's defining image, but for reasons she doesn't understand, her bosses believe she's a crucial witness.
Suddenly, everyone is intensely interested in what Penny knows.  As she struggles to piece together her memories, she discovers that Zach Robson, the young diplomat she'd been falling for all summer, went missing during the attack.  And one of the CIA's most powerful officials, Christina Ekdahl, wants people to believe Zach was a traitor.
What actually happened?
Penny barely has time to ask before she learns that her own government wants her dead.  With only a single ally-a rookie intelligence officer fresh out of the Navy-Penny is running a perilous gauntlet, ruthlessly pursued by Turkey's most powerful forces and by the CIA.  This is her first real test-one she can't fail.
This is a very enjoyable spy-type thriller set in modern day Turkey.   It is entertaining and fast paced as long as you are prepared to believe that naive rookies Connor and Penny could have the luck to manage everything that happens in a 24 hour period.  It was quite  fast-paced and exciting story and I was eager to keep reading to find out what would be the outcome.

Family Pictures by Jane Green
Image result for family pictures by jane green
Sylvie and Maggie are two women living on opposite coasts with children about to leave the nest for school.  Both are in their forties with husbands who travel more than either would like.  The looming emptiness of their respective homes has left them feeling anxious and lonely, needing their husbands to be home now more than ever.  It isn't until Eve, Sylvie's daughter, happens to befriend Maggie's daughter that the similarities between these two women become shockingly real.  A huge secret has remained well hidden for years until now, and their lives will be blown apart as dark truths from the past come to the surface.  Can these two women learn to forgive for the sake of their children?  For themselves.
I think most readers would have figured out what was happening very early on but it took quite a while for the 'secret' to be revealed.  Without giving away the story I'll just say it was interesting how each woman dealt with the 'secret'.  Not a bad summer read.

No comments:

Post a Comment