April 2022–Part One

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica (Length: 319 pages).  I’ve had this psychological thriller on my Kindle forever and finally picked it up. It’s set in Chicago and begins when a young woman wakes up and discovers her roommate Esther is missing. She begins to realize she didn’t really know her roommate that well, and things go from there. This is a pretty good thriller as they go, but none of the characters are at all likable. The writing is strong, the plot is propulsive and the central mystery is relatively easy to figure out. I won’t remember the plot (or resolution) of this in a few months, but it was a fast read that I kept wanting to pick back up, so I consider that a win.

Book #2:

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan (Length: 301 pages).  This is a character-driven novel set in the near future (2027) in a Long Island neighborhood. A sinkhole develops in the park across the street, thanks to global warming, and a child disappears in it . . . this book is about the aftermath. This is very dark, disturbing and no character is truly worth rooting for, and I loved it. Excellent writing, and I couldn’t put it down (I read it in a single afternoon). Readers are very polarized about this book in online reviews, and I can see that you’ll either love it or hate it. But I obviously vote yes, this is absolutely worth a read (if you don’t need to care about the characters).

Book #3:

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett (Length: 331 pages).  This is a book of autobiographical essays that I listened to on audio (because it was recommended that way). The author narrates and I really enjoyed her voice, as well as the essays. If you enjoy her writing (and I do), you’ll also love this collection. She writes about her family, friendships, writing novels and operating her Parnassus Books bookstore in Nashville (which I someday hope to visit). My favorite essay(s) are the ones involving her friendship with Tom Hanks’ personal assistant Sooki. This is a don’t miss–whether you read it or listen to it.

Book #4:

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth (Length: 344 pages).  I am a huge Sally Hepworth fan. She’s not the most talented writer ever, but I adore following her on IG and she does know her way around a psychological thriller. My favorite of hers thus far is The Mother-in-Law (which I’ve reviewed here previously) and while this one doesn’t quite measure up to that one, it’s very well-done. It’s not as scary or as twisted as most psychological thrillers so it’s a safer bet for those who don’t enjoy getting freaked out by their literature. Set in a suburban neighborhood in Melbourne, Australia, it revolves around five households on one street, essentially. Sally does an excellent job of capturing motherhood (especially the early days) and of marriage. This is a fun, gentle read that’s not a nail-biter because the central mystery is quite easy to figure out. I did keep picking it up so I thought it was an enjoyable novel. (The Kindle version has some errors which is a bit distracting–not sure who is editing her books?).

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