Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
I have 2 weeks worth of books to discuss in this post since I was a slacker and didn’t get my post done last week.
The Husband Habit by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
Vanessa keeps falling for married men. She doesn’t mean to. She just never finds out they are married until their wife shows up. Her job is a mess too. Her celebrity chef boss keeps taking credit for all her culinary creations. When she meets her parents’ new neighbor she dismisses him as a country bumpkin ex-military idiot. But is there more than meets the eye?
This is chick-lit but it was very good. It explored the divide between people who consider themselves liberal and anti-war and the people who are sent to fight in wars. We’ll come back to this theme in a later book too.
The Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther
Maryam was thrown out of her traditional Iranian family in the 1950s after a misunderstanding compromises her honor in her father’s eyes. Eventually she makes her way to London where she marries and has a family. Now, when an argument with her adult daughter and a pre-teen nephew causes an accident, she flees back to the village and the people she left behind. Her London family is left trying to figure out what happened in the past to drive her to such extremes.
I listened to the audio and absolutely loved it. The story is told in the voices of both Maryam and her daughter Sarah. I liked both narrators. Maryam’s backstory is heartbreaking and her decision to hide in her village is made believable. Sarah is realistic as a daughter who is trying to understand her mother as a complex person and not just as an accessory to her life.
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
Every 15 years trouble comes for Ginny Slocumb. When she was 15 she got pregnant. When she was 30 her daughter got pregnant. Now’s she’s 45. Her daughter has had a stroke and she’s going to put in a pool to help with her rehab. When she takes out a tree to make way for the pool, the bones of a baby are unearthed. She realizes that they are the bones of her granddaughter. But if her granddaughter died as a baby, then who is the teenage girl that she thinks is her granddaughter? With her daughter unable to speak it is up to Ginny and her granddaughter to separately try to come up with answers.
I’ve read this author’s blog for years and loved it. But, I’ve never really loved her books and that makes me feel like a horrible person to say that. I didn’t rush out to read this one. I finally listened to the audio and it was wonderful. The story is told through three narrators – Ginny (also known as Big), Liza the daughter, and Mosey the granddaughter. Each has a distinct voice and point of view.
Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson
The author is an American who lived in England for 20 years. Then he moved his family back to the U.S. This is a collection of magazine columns he wrote for an English magazine about the culture shock of being home.
I was reading this in a car repair waiting room and trying not to laugh out loud. It was hard. I probably looked weirder stifling the giggles than just going ahead and laughing.
Home Front by Kristin Hannah
Jo is an Army helicopter pilot. She is currently serving in the National Guard. Her lawyer husband has never supported her military service and refuses to hear anything about it. Their marriage is falling apart and he wants a divorce. When she is activated to go to Iraq he is furious. He is going to have to spend a year taking care of their two daughters. When she leaves he gets a case of a Marine who shot his wife. He starts to learn about PTSD after military service and starts to wonder what is happening to his wife.
I really liked this book. I live with this issue all the time because of the SO’s military history. I think it is going to be a huge issue in the future with the way the military has been treated in the last decade.
I’m continuing my read through the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.