Salt to the Sea is unlike any World War II novel I have ever read. Like most novels set in Europe during this time, there is heartbreak, tragedy, incredible loss and bravery. But this disaster was completely unknown to me. It is inspired by the greatest tragedy in maritime history, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Told from the perspective of four young refugees, the mystery of each of their lives is gripping. This is an incredible, well-written story that had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Publisher’s Weekly ranked Salt to the Sea one of the Best YA Books of 2016.
Moriarty had me with “Big Little Lies”… and than again with “What Alice Forgot”. I could not wait to get my hands on this one. Page after page, there is only one question you will keep asking: What happened at the BBQ? Actually, that’s what kept the pages turning. I loved her back and forth in time style of writing, as with previous books. However, you do get to a point where now you’re just annoyed because you still don’t know what happened at the BBQ, and you are nearing the end of the book!! Her character development with the main characters Clementine and Erika is remarkable, especially as we get to see a shift in their relationship towards the end of the novel. It would have been nice if she developed some of the other main characters more. Overall, she does a great job exploring the underlying theme- how life changes forever by one event that occurred in the blink of an eye. Not my favorite Moriarty book, but if you are a fan of hers, you will like it if not love it!
The juicy keeps getting juicier in this trilogy. I wrote about the first novel “Winter Street” last year around this time. The second book,”Winter Stroll”, I had to read because the first one left off a bit too abruptly for my liking, and how could I not? The final book in this trilogy, “Winter Storms” wraps it all up ever so nicely! The Quinn family is back in Nantucket with all of their secrets, surprises, and scares- not without the drama of course! If you want a fun quick read that will have you laughing and gasping… grab Hilderbrand’s Winter Street series.
Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg was named a Best Book of the Year by just about every reputable source. It is a New York Times bestseller and long listed for some of the top literary awards. June’s world is shattered with one tragic accident. On the night before her daughter’s wedding, a disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiance, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend Luke. The aftermath of the tragedy, brings in a web of character connections, tied together by heartbreak. With the introduction of each character, you can feel the emotion and how the unexpected affects them all. Through all the heartbreak, the love, forgiveness and hope makes this novel a great, inspiring read.
Another “psychological thriller” compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. This one does not compare. Ani FaNelli has a great job, wealthy fiancé, and the perfect life she made sure to take for herself. While she doesn’t want to risk losing everything she worked so hard for, she has secrets from her past that can ruin everything. Ani dealt with tragedies growing up in a prestigious high school, but the author left them sounding like everyday occurrences. Knoll could have left us with a more thrilling story, rather than a quick way to tie it all up. Even with the reveal of her tragic past, I was not rooting for Ani at the end.
Another great psychological thriller by Mary Kubica. Each chapter is from the point of view of a different character, making this a real page turner and impossible to put down. It begins as a feel-good story and quickly turns into a suspenseful mystery and doesn’t stop there. Just when you think you have figured out this story, it takes a twist that you never saw coming. This is one you definitely don’t want to pass up. If you haven’t read Kubica’s debut novel The Good Girl you MUST pick it up!
Julia, the novel’s main character drifts back and forth from present to past. Now a child psychologist, on her way to being a magistrate later on in the novel, you wonder how she has come this far in life as she reveals the darker and troubled parts of herself. Did things actually happen the way Julia seems to remember them as an eight year old; especially on that one day that changed the course of her life? Powerful book about guilt, self-deception, and forgiveness.