I love spring!  The flowers are in full bloom.  The weather is cooperating.  I get to pull out my cute summer skirts and sandals.  Aside from my allergies going a bit haywire…April has been about a perfect month. 

Also, I have a huge praise!  My husband continues to be cancer free.  For those of you new to the blog, my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer just over 2 years ago.  We were told that there was basically no hope; the cancer had spread too far too fast.  After a lot of prayers (and a miracle or two) my husband is now without cancer!  To say we have a lot to celebrate would be an understatement!

On a completely unrelated note, I had a good reading month.  I read about AIDS in the 80s, a little bit of romance, a little romantic angst, and a lot of family drama.  Keep reading if you want to know my don’t miss book recommendations for next month!

Island Girls by Nancy Thayer

Island Girls: A Novel by [Thayer, Nancy]

I love Nancy Thayer.  She is often my go-to writer when I don’t know what to read.  She is a solid writer and I can always count on a good story.  This was no exception.  Dad Rory Randall dies with one last wish…that his three daughters, from three different marriages spend the summer in his beach house in Nantucket if they wish to inherit the million dollar property.  Since these three have been estranged for most of their lives, this is no small feat.  Part family drama and part romance, this book help my attention until the end.  Thayer shows how we can choose to grow and learn through family altercations and she highlights the power of forgiveness.  For Thayer fans or if you are looking for a filler book, this is a great read.

The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury by Marc Levy

The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury by [Levy, Marc]

Marc Levy is also one of my go-to authors.  His books are character driven and interesting to read.  While I loved the characters in this book, I did feel like I muddled through it a bit.  The story is about Alice Pendelbury.  She seems like a well-adjusted London girl.  She has a great flat, great friends and a up-and-coming career as a perfume maker.  All is good until her friends talk her into visiting a fortune teller.  The fortune that is revealed has Alice questioning everything that she knew in her life from where she was born to who her parents were.  All of her uncertainty take her to Turkey…a trip of a lifetime.  Again, I enjoyed the characters but the story did drag a bit.  I would give it a three out of five stars.

Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. Dingman

Cancel the Wedding: A Novel by [Dingman, Carolyn T.]

This was a fun book.  Olivia and Georgia’s mom passes away from cancer and her last wish is to have her ashes scattered in an obscure Georgia town.  The girls are perplexed by their mother’s last wish.  Olivia in particular has to know why her mom chose this place as her final resting place.  As the girls begin to dig, they discover a part of their mother’s life that they never knew existed.  This was a fun and interesting read.  I loved Olivia and was interested in learning about her mom’s motivation and journey.  This was a light but satisfying read for me.

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers by [Makkai, Rebecca]

This was my book club book for this month.  I was intrigued because I have never read a whole book centered around the AIDS crisis in the United States in the 80s.  This book had great characters and followed a couple of character through the AIDS crisis in the 80s in Chicago and the effects that the crisis had on the survivors 30 years later.  This book redefines the word family and friendship.  It goes through the dark and brooding times and then shows that there can be hope for those that were the survivors.  I thought that this book was compelling and at times a bit hard to read.  I went from loving a character to asking…”How could you be so stupid?”  I am looking forward to discussing this book with my book club.  I think this is a great book for those of us that grew up in the 80s.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

I loved Ruth Ware’s book The Woman in Cabin 10, but that was the only book I had read from this author.  I thought this book was fantastic.  It is about a young girl that lost her mother at a young age.  Hal is merely trying to survive as a tarot card reader at the Brighton Pier.  She is not only worried about making ends meet but she is due a balloon payment to a loan shark that has threatened her with bodily harm if she can’t pay.   The post delivers a letter from a lawyer claiming that she is a heir to an estate for a grandmother that she never knew.  She travels to the estate believing this offer is too good to be true…and maybe it is.  While this was not a thriller per say there was a lot of suspense.  While I guessed part of the ending, I was completely surprised by a twist at the end.  I thought that this was a great book and would highly suggest it as your next read.

In parting, I will say that this is the first month I have discovered and used my local libraries’ online lending system.  The Death of Mrs. Westaway was my first borrowed book and I am now Reading The Glass Ocean which I will review next month.  I have always been an Amazon Kindle reader spending between $75 to $90 on books per month.  While I am a big Amazon fan, I love this option of “checking out” a book for two weeks to read.  My local library uses the Libby app.  You can place holds on books that you want to read and download the books to read on Kindle.  Brilliant.  While, I don’t think it will completely replace my Kindle purchases, I love that it is a wonderful supplement for my reading addiction.

Happy Reading!

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