• Every Mother’s Day my family does the Race for the Cure. We make a huge day out of it, get up early, half the crew stays behind to get brunch ready, the other half does the race. It’s always a blast!
• I took some time off just before Memorial Day – my first since starting the new job – and even though it was more of a staycation, I definitely needed it.
• Looking back over what I read in May (including the books I didn’t review), I’m pleasantly surprised. I thought I had a fairly lackluster month in terms of books, but I’m realizing that wasn’t the case! ha, I guess the bad was just SO bad I forgot about the good.
THE GARDEN OF SMALL BEGINNINGS BY ABBI WAXMAN is a novel that’s sure to stay with me for months to come. This debut about a grieving widow should have been heartbreaking and tough to read, but it was the exact opposite. It was light, upbeat, and at times laugh out loud funny. The characters and their gardening class truly made this one shine and I’m thrilled to see what Abbi does next!
DUELS AND DECEPTION BY CINDY ANSTEY was such a joy to read! If you’re a fan of historical romance and YA, take note. A young heiress (already betrothed to someone her father chose before passing, naturally) is suddenly kidnapped along with a law clerk and oh this one was so, SO fun.
THE BOOK OF SUMMER BY MICHELLE GABLE is yet another homerun. Michelle is a fantastic author (and such a lovely person too!) and her books are always great. While her others have been set in/around Paris, this one is firmly rooted in the US – Nantucket specifically, and follows a family and the house they love from its heyday during WWII to the present as erosion is threatening to pull it into the ocean.
MURDEROUS MAYHEM AT HONEYCHURCH HALL BY HANNAH DENNISON is the fourth book in the Honeychurch Hall series – a cozy mystery series I fell hard for. A skeleton is discovered on the estate’s grounds just as a stream of tourists flock to town for the annual English Civil War reenactment. While this was an enjoyable read, one character in particular made me extremely angry and the book itself felt very much part of a series rather than standalone reads like the previous three. Newcomers to the series definitely shouldn’t start here, this book assumes you’re already well aware as to who these characters are!
LETTERS TO THE LOST BY BRIGID KEMMERER is a standalone contemporary (her very first) and I tore through it. A girl grieving her mother leaves letters on her grave. A boy doing community service at that cemetery happens to read one of the letters and writes back. For a book dealing with heavy topics like death and abuse, Letters to the Lost never felt weighted down or depressing. There’s a companion novel out next year that follows a side character and I can’t wait to read it!!
MAY MINI-REVIEW ROUND UP includes two excellent reads (a charming British novel and a nonfiction history book), an average YA thriller, and a HORRIBLE, AWFUL novel that’s getting so much buzz and is sure to be one of the beach reads this summer. Ugh.
THE PARTY BY ROBYN HARDING left me wanting more. The premise totally drew me in – a sweet sixteen birthday party comes to a tragic end and lives are turned upside-down – but I have to admit the story itself didn’t really do it for me. Ultimately I kept going to the end to see how it would wrap up…and was more than a little disappointed.
THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID was…okay. For years I have been hearing nothing but praise for Reid’s work and was so excited to finally read one and I don’t know. A Hollywood legend wants to finally tell her story – and demands an unknown journalist be the one to help her tell it. In theory this sound would have been perfect. Reading it, however, I just couldn’t get past Evelyn’s appalling behavior. She’s selfish and cruel, particularly to the supposed love of her life, and I couldn’t get past that. In the author’s note, Reid states this one is completely different than her other novels so maybe there’s still hope!