Happily Ever After (03/18/2024): Bombshell
Book Clubs

Happily Ever After (03/18/2024): Bombshell

After years of living as London’s brightest scandal, Lady Sesily Talbot has embraced the reputation and the freedom that comes with the title. No one looks twice when she lures a gentleman into the dark gardens beyond a Mayfair ballroom…and no one realizes those trysts are not what they seem.

No one, that is, but Caleb Calhoun, who has spent years trying not to notice his best friend’s beautiful, brash, brilliant sister. If you ask him, he’s been a saint about it, considering the way she looks at him…and the way she talks to him…and the way she’d felt in his arms during their one ill-advised kiss.

Except someone has to keep Sesily from tumbling into trouble during her dangerous late-night escapades, and maybe close proximity is exactly what Caleb needs to get this infuriating, outrageous woman out of his system. But now Caleb is the one in trouble, because he’s fast realizing that Sesily isn’t for forgetting…she’s forever. And forever isn’t something he can risk. […]

Fiction Addiction (03/21/2024): Leave Me
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Fiction Addiction (03/21/2024): Leave Me

Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention—meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.
Surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: she packs a bag and leaves. But, as is often the case, once we get where we’re going we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from herself and those she loves.
With bighearted characters—husbands, wives, friends, and lovers—who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing the fears we’re all running from. Gayle Forman is a dazzling observer of human nature. She has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head on and asks, what happens when a grown woman runs away from home? […]

Spinecrackers (03/01/2024): Hang the Moon
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Spinecrackers (03/01/2024): Hang the Moon

Sallie Kincaid is the daughter of the biggest man in a small town, the charismatic Duke Kincaid. Born at the turn of the 20th century into a life of comfort and privilege, Sallie remembers little about her mother who died in a violent argument with the Duke. By the time she is just eight years old, the Duke has remarried and had a son, Eddie. While Sallie is her father’s daughter, sharp-witted and resourceful, Eddie is his mother’s son, timid and cerebral. When Sallie tries to teach young Eddie to be more like their father, her daredevil coaching leads to an accident, and Sallie is cast out.

Nine years later, she returns, determined to reclaim her place in the family. That’s a lot more complicated than Sallie expected, and she enters a world of conflict and lawlessness. Sallie confronts the secrets and scandals that hide in the shadows of the Big House, navigates the factions in the family and town, and finally comes into her own as a bold, sometimes reckless bootlegger.

“You’ll fall in love with Sallie on the very first page and keep rooting for her all the way through to the last” (Good Housekeeping) in this thrilling read that “goes down easy…like the forbidden whisky that defines the life of Sallie Kincaid” (Associated Press). […]

Fiction Addiction (02/15/2024): A Thousand Ships
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Fiction Addiction (02/15/2024): A Thousand Ships

This is the women’s war, just as much as it is the men’s. They have waited long enough for their turn . . .

This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of them all . . .

In the middle of the night, a woman wakes to find her beloved city engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over. Troy has fallen.

From the Trojan women whose fates now lie in the hands of the Greeks, to the Amazon princess who fought Achilles on their behalf, to Penelope awaiting the return of Odysseus, to the three goddesses whose feud started it all, these are the stories of the women whose lives, loves, and rivalries were forever altered by this long and tragic war.

A woman’s epic, powerfully imbued with new life, A Thousand Ships puts the women, girls and goddesses at the center of the Western world’s great tale ever told. […]

Spinecrackers (02/02/2024): The Collected Regrets of Clover
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Spinecrackers (02/02/2024): The Collected Regrets of Clover

What’s the point of giving someone a beautiful death if you can’t give yourself a beautiful life?
From the day she watched her kindergarten teacher drop dead during a dramatic telling of Peter Rabbit, Clover Brooks has felt a stronger connection with the dying than she has with the living. After the beloved grandfather who raised her dies alone while she is traveling, Clover becomes a death doula in New York City, dedicating her life to ushering people peacefully through their end-of-life process.
Clover spends so much time with the dying that she has no life of her own, until the final wishes of a feisty old woman send Clover on a trip across the country to uncover a forgotten love story––and perhaps, her own happy ending. As she finds herself struggling to navigate the uncharted roads of romance and friendship, Clover is forced to examine what she really wants, and whether she’ll have the courage to go after it.
Probing, clever, and hopeful, The Collected Regrets of Clover is perfect for readers of The Midnight Library and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as it turns the normally taboo subject of death into a reason to celebrate life. […]

Fiction Addiction (01/18/2024): The Secrets of Wishtide
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Fiction Addiction (01/18/2024): The Secrets of Wishtide

For fans of Alexander McCall Smith and James Runcie’s Grantchester Mysteries, the first novel in a clever new crime series about Victorian London and an indomitable female detective.

Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, aged fifty-two, is the widow of an archdeacon. Living in London with her confidante and landlady, Mrs. Bentley, who once let rooms to John Keats, Laetitia makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator.

Her brother, Frederick Tyson, is a criminal barrister living in the neighboring village of Highgate with his wife and ten children. Frederick finds the cases, and Laetitia solves them using her arch intelligence, her iron discretion, and her immaculate cover as an unsuspecting widow. When Frederick brings to her attention a case involving the son of the well-respected, highly connected Sir James Calderstone, Laetitia sets off for Lincolnshire to take up a position as the family’s new governess—quickly making herself indispensable. But the seemingly simple case—looking into young Charles Calderstone’s “inappropriate” love interest—soon takes a rather unpleasant turn. And as the family’s secrets begin to unfold, Laetitia discovers the Calderstones have more to hide than most.

Introducing an irresistible new detective, the first book in the Laetitia Rodd Mystery series will enthrall and delight. […]

Spinecrackers (01/05/2024): The Blackout Book Club
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Spinecrackers (01/05/2024): The Blackout Book Club

An impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European Front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn’t be more different–a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.

At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they share more in common with each other than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost. […]

The Nail Biters (12/19/2023): The Expats
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The Nail Biters (12/19/2023): The Expats

In the cobblestoned streets of Luxembourg, Kate Moore’s days are filled with playdates and coffee mornings, her weekends spent in Paris and skiing in the Alps. But Kate is also guarding a tremendous, life-defining secret—one that’s become so unbearable that it begins to unravel her newly established expat life. She suspects that another American couple are not who they claim to be; her husband is acting suspiciously; and as she travels around Europe, she finds herself looking over her shoulder, increasingly terrified that her own past is catching up with her. As Kate begins to dig, to uncover the secrets of the people around her, she finds herself buried in layers of deceit so thick they threaten her family, her marriage, and her life. […]

Spinecrackers (12/01/2023): The Catch
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Spinecrackers (12/01/2023): The Catch

Twentysomething Ellie thought she was her father’s favorite child; she was sure he would leave her his most prized possession, a baseball with which they played catch, and which sat on his desk, as a kind of inspiration: her poet father’s most famous poem was called “The Catch.” But when her father’s will is read, his children, including from other marriages, each receive a meaningful object, except Ellie, who receives a glow-in-the-dark tie rack that she has never seen before. The baseball that inspired her father’s work is left to someone with initials no one recognizes, L.M. In her grief, Ellie wonders: Who could have meant more to her father than Ellie? Determined to try to understand her father’s life and to overcome her sense of abandonment, Ellie sets out to track down L.M. In her quest she discovers many startling things about who her father really was and comes to realize the deeper meaning of that baseball, that poem “The Catch,” and the many ways life catches us unawares. […]