It’s my favourite time, yet again! I’ve finished a few excellent books that I want to share with all of you. Once again, I’ll give a brief synopsis (taken from online sources or the book itself) and then my own take of each book in my own words. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall
House of Anansi Press, 2016
George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular over-achieving high school senior, becomes a social pariah. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father’s defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?
With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.
What I find really interesting about this book is that it is told in the family of the alleged sexual offender’s perspective. Normally, books with a similar plot, tend to take the perspective of the victim, and rightfully so. Their stories deserve to be told, of course. However, you never hear about the impact that it has on the family, as I imagine these things tend to come as a surprise. You think you know someone and then the rug gets pulled out from underneath you. This is what this story does – it tells the demise of a closely knit family and how one person’s actions can spiral into many unfortunate emotions and obstacles.
This book started what I call my “lunch hour reads.” On my lunch hour at work, I started to bring this book with me and I would read the entire time. I could not put this book down. There is so much truth and vulnerability with these characters that I somehow developed a deep connection with. I 100% recommend this book to anyone, especially if you like some good twists and turns.
The Woman In the Window by A.J. Finn
Harper Collins, 2018
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.
First off, I want to say something that kind of freaked me out when I finished this book. When I read a good book, I tend to visualize the characters as famous actors and actresses (I’m not the only one who does this, right?), and while reading this book, I pictured Amy Adams as Anna. I kept thinking what an incredible movie this book would make. When I finished the book, I flipped back to the back cover and read that they are making a movie with AMY ADAMS as Anna Fox. Am I a mind reader? Can I predict the future?
Anyways. This book kept me on the edge of my seat, and I brought it along with me on my lunch hours. I think the way that A.J. Finn sets the scene – the atmosphere, the quiet home, the weather, the darkness – is what really draws me in. It is descriptive to the point where it feels as if you are inside the story, too. The backstory of Anna’s agoraphobia is sad and I really feel for her in this book. I also think that Anna’s character develops without her even realizing it. She suffers and grows and becomes stronger from her experiences, which in turn, allows her to combat obstacles within the novel.
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Atria Books, 2018
She was fifteen, her mother’s
golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.
It’s been ten years since Ellie
disappeared, but Laurel has never given up
hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.
What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?
Definitely not what I was expecting, in the BEST way possible. I finished this book SO FAST. I know I say “I couldn’t put it down” a lot, but seriously, I couldn’t put this book down. I brought this book EVERYWHERE. On car rides, the coffee shop, lunch hours, you name it.
When I first started the book, I thought I predicted the ending. I thought I put two and two together. But, to my surprise, I was far away from wrong. Towards the middle/end, I kind of figured it out, but I was still not as correct as I thought I was going to be.
This book surprised me, and it really makes me grateful for my family that I have around me. Reading books like this makes you appreciate the little things, and makes you realize that time with your family is sacred. It also tells you to be cautious of those that give you bad vibes…
Have you read any good books lately or any of the books above? Leave a comment below! I’m always looking for great book recommendations!