Another psychological thriller, What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan is about a mother's search for her son. Rachel Jenner is walking in the woods on clearly marked trails they have been on many times, when her son asks if he can run ahead. This is not an unusual request, so the mother agrees. Then her son vanishes without a trace. It is a great mystery, with lots of red herrings and interesting characters, most of whom you suspect as kidnapping the boy. It all turns out quite unexpectedly. A well plotted, engrossing mystery.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfled is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. If you think you might like a romantic comedy rendition of Austen's classic, this book might be your cup of tea, so to speak. Not so much for me. I found the characters annoying and the modern day scenarios were too far fetched for me. Mrs. Bennett hooked on Valium? When the author has Elizabeth and Darcy having "hate sex" I pretty much wanted to close the book and move on. It was flat and totally lacking in charm.
This synopsis by Christina Baker Kline says it all: "A crumbling family home, a shockingly large inheritance, a small-town mystery, and a high-wattage Hollywood star: June is atmospheric, ambitious, and filled with enough intrigue, betrayal, passion, and heartbreak to keep you reading all the way to the explosively satisfying end." Set in two time periods (1955 and the present) the book delves into family secrets and past and present love affairs. 400 pages that kept my attention, even though the main character was so messed up I wanted to pinch her at times.
British courtroom drama and mystery, Apple Tree Yard was a great read. Yvonne Carmichael, a renowned geneticist, succumbs to the temptation to engage in a steamy affair with a stranger. This has fatal repercussions to her marriage, her career and her future. The story comes out in the courtroom and in flashbacks, and it totally engrossing. Exceptionally well written. The author, Louise Doughty is very popular in Great Britain. I want to read more of her work after finishing Apple Tree Yard.
Oh goodness, was this ever an excellent book. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who are unable to have children. After two miscarriages and a heartbreaking still birth, this couple has just about given up hope. When a boat containing a dead guy and a living infant washes up on their remote island, what do you suppose they do? You cannot read this book without feeling great sympathy for all the characters. The choices they made will really make you stew over the moral dilemmas that are raised. This book was awarded the Goodreads award for best Historical Fiction, and I think I agree. It was a fantastic book. And guess what? It has been made into a movie! Lots of tension--the "parents" who are devoted to a child that really isn't their own, the heartbroken real mother, who has been grieving for years over the loss of her beloved baby, and the child who has become quite used to who she thinks are her loving parents--this book will make you question what you think is right and wrong. This may be the best book of the year for me.
The Restaurant Critic's Wife is about Lila Soto, who is married to a controlling restaurant critic, has a toddler and a new born, and a master's degree that is going to waste. She is asking herself just how it is that she got herself into this situation. Because of his occupation, her husband takes great pains to remain anonymous- not letting her befriend the other women in her neighborhood, wearing outlandish disguises when they go out to try various restaurants, and refusing to let her go back to the work she was good at and loved. I found this book a real stretch for my credibility. The husband was so ridiculous no sane woman would have stayed with him. I was annoyed with the main character for being so spineless. This wasn't a big winner for me.
The Woman in Cabin 10 is a claustrophobic psychological thriller that takes place on a yacht. It is being compared to Agatha Christie's style of writing, where there is a confined cast of characters, a murder, and loads of suspects. The main character has a history of neurotic problems and when she claims someone in the cabin next to her has been murdered, no one believes her. It was a strange but compelling book that I stuck with until the end. The main character was super hard to like, with her dependence on alcohol and rather paranoid fixations. "The unreliable narrator", like The Girl on the Train.
I do hope you enjoyed my book reviews. I will try to do them every couple of months so you all aren't bombarded with such a long list at one time. I've read a couple of truly marvelous books in October which I can't wait to share with you.