The Tea Planter's Wife - Dinah Jefferies. I almost put this one down. Something I have a history of NEVER doing, but lately have decided that if it's not worth my time - it is not worth my time!! However, it was mildly diverting in a Harlequin Romance sort of way, though I think some of those are better written. Sorry, but MEH.
Clock Dance - Anne Tyler. Willa, 61, gets a phone call that her son's ex-girlfriend needs help taking care of her child (no relation to Willa's son) due to a hospitalization following an accident. Against everything that seems reasonable, she goes to help out. And seems to realize that her sons and second husband are not really part of HER real life. While I disliked many of the characters, which then makes liking the book difficult for me, many were compelling and it made you recognize the importance of seeing your life and the people you choose to share it with as they really are.
Small Things Like These - Claire Keegan. The story of a man, who grew up never knowing his father's identity, makes several discoveries about himself, his marriage, his community, a convent, and the strength require to do what he believes is right. Reminded me a great deal of The Haptic and Hue podcast, Fabric and Foundlings that I spoke of and quoted from in this post as it related at that time to Little Fires Everywhere. Much to think about - How we treat others. What are we willing to risk in taking a stand for those in need?
The Alice Network - Kate Quinn. Based on the true story of a ring of female spies who did incredible work and experienced the horrors of war during World War I was hard to read but even harder to put down. A true testament both to the depravity and cruelty of man but also an ode to bravery against all odds and the love, loyalty, and strength of the human spirit.
Lessons in Chemistry - Bonnie Garmus. Well written, but not (for me) quite up to the hype it has been lauded. I love a true love story. I love mothers who come in all stripes who adore their children. I love strong women with focus. All of that was there and demands the praise it has been given. However, much like the actress who plays Elizabeth Gott in the film mentioned in an interview, I wish the main character had had just a tad more humor and emotion as it would have made her more real and relatable. But, maybe that's just me.
December ~The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton. Meh. Trying to give Rebecca and Jane Erye vibes but not getting there. A diversion. Not much more.
Foster - Claire Keegan. Beautifully touching story of foster care. And the sad truth, that some 'parents' are better than the ones to which you were born.
These Silent Woods - Kimi Cunningham Grant. Cooper and his daughter Finch have lived 8 years off the grid fleeing his past. Keeps your attention well enough. But, just okay as the story often falls beyond the plausible.
Biography of X - Catherine Lacey. Almost didn't finish this one and probably shouldn't have. However, sometimes distractions are needed. After the death of her wife, the narrator seeks to discover and share the story of who her wife really was...though we never really know and by the end, I didn't really care! Plus, the imagined historical events from the south were just weird. The true history and current reality is more than enough.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - Taylor Jenkins Reid. While much better than the prior two, it didn't quite live up to what I had been led to believe by some reviews. Still, it was well written and did include some human moments, though by the end the final 'twist' was rather clear.
Some months of reading are better than others, but stories can almost always offer us something!!
Read and love chaotically! ~ les