Tag Archives: Family Dynamics

The Forever Bridge by T. Greenwood

Synopsis: A midwife derailed by grief struggles to repair her relationship with her troubled daughter, and a pregnant homeless girl seeks shelter as Hurricane Irene relentlessly approaches. Review: T. Greenwood is one of my all-time favorite authors, and her books are notoriously hard to synopsize and review. The Forever Bridge is perhaps her most conventionally plotted book, with a strong sense of narrative suspense, but it’s still a novel that takes its time in the nuances of character and relationships. There are so many moments…

Read More »

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

Synopsis: A series of murders in a resort town lead to the unexpected reunion of two women who have been sentenced never to see each other again after they murdered a child when they were only 11. Review: Heavenly Creatures is one of my favorite movies of all time, so I was keen to read The Wicked Girls after reading it compared with Peter Jackson’s thriller about two preteen girls who commit an unspeakable murder. The structure of The Wicked Girls is quite cleverly executed.…

Read More »

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Synopsis: When Alice falls off a bike during spin class, she hits her head and promptly forgets the last 10 years–including her three kids and her ongoing divorce from the husband she believes she still madly loves. Review: I loved the premise of What Alice Forgot but unfortunately didn’t enjoy Alice. I found myself getting annoyed with amnesiac Alice, who seemed like a bit of a drip, and wanting to see more of the bitch she supposedly turned into. Share on Facebook

Read More »

No Book but the World by Leah Hager Cohen

Synopsis: When Ava discovers that her autistic brother has been arrested for an unspeakable crime, she delves into her memories of their unusual upbringing by their father, an educator dedicated to radical unschooling. Review: No Book but the World had me flipping pages like a madwoman, even as I couldn’t shake the sneaking feeling that something was really hinky. The book was so well-written that the lapses really stood out, and when they culminated in a twist ending I didn’t feel surprise or relief, just…

Read More »

Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor

Synopsis: When her daughter falls into a coma, a politician’s wife goes searching for the truth, even as a past abusive relationship and her own mental instability come back to haunt her. Review: Before I Wake was a wild enough ride. It had enough juicy backstory to keep me engaged even though the present-day mystery was a bit of a slog. Though Susan’s sordid previous relationship didn’t hit any fresh notes, it attacked all the expected ones with gusto. The mystery was a little implausible…

Read More »

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Synopsis: When her wealthy college roommate invites her for an idyllic summer at her family’s rustic compound, shy Mabel fears that the secret she’s hiding will destroy all her hopes for a lifetime of happiness and security. Review: Bittersweet was a thoroughly engrossing read and it just swept me away. The descriptive passages were so well done that I wanted to visit Winloch myself. I loved the depth and intricacy of the relationships between the characters, especially as communicated through Mabel’s limited point of view.…

Read More »

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Synopsis: Bernadette doesn’t fit in with the other private school moms, but when her life falls apart while planning a family trip to Antarctica, her daughter learns that her mom is basically a mad genius, and hopefully it’s not too late to save her from herself. Review: Where’d You Go Bernadette is the next book you want to read, especially if you’re looking to get your book club out of a rut or if you’re tapping your fingernails on the table waiting for the Gone…

Read More »

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Synopsis: After living on the road with her truck driver father, Hayley is hoping to graduate from high school, but her father’s bouts with post-traumatic stress disorder after his time in Afghanistan are getting worse and threatening both of their lives. Review: I knew The Impossible Knife of Memory would be brilliant, thought-provoking, and poignant, like every other wonderful book by Laurie Halse Anderson, but I wasn’t prepared for how hopeful and romantic it would be. The love story between Hayley and Finn is one…

Read More »

The Dinner by Herman Koch

Synopsis: Two brothers and their wives get together over dinner at an upscale restaurant to discuss what to do about a shocking act committed by their sons. Review: The Dinner is a relentlessly twisty novel with a secretive narrative. What’s not to love? As the absurdly hoity-toity meal unfolds, the complex layers of the narrator’s life unfold in devastating ways. He is a calm man, not given to excess, who possesses a deep admiration for his wife. His brother is campaigning for prime minister in…

Read More »

Josie and Jack by Kelly Braffet

Synopsis: An isolated but brilliant girl grows up under the thrall of her charismatic older brother, and when he leaves home the choice to follow him may be her undoing. Review: The dark, psychological thriller may possibly be my very favorite genre to read, and Josie and Jack was a gem-perfect example. These days I just don’t have a lot of time to read, between homeschooling my two kids, seeing private practice clients as a lactation consultant, and devouring Breaking Bad. But this book made…

Read More »