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October 4, 2019 - October 18, 2019

This contest period's winners were Pat S., Linda H. and Joanne C., who each received a copy of THE GUARDIANS by John Grisham and WHAT HAPPENS IN PARADISE by Elin Hilderbrand.

 

ILene
The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao

5
Can you imagine going to a birthday party honoring the grandfather of an extremely wealthy Chinese-Indonesia family, when 3 thousand of the guests are poisoned, but only Gwendolyn, a granddaughter, is the sole survivor of her sister Estella’s poisoning of their whole clan? While in a coma she is able to think back how this could have happened and why? What a great thriller - so many secrets! Thank you Atria Books for this great giveaway.

Becky
The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey

4
The activities mentioned all ring true as do the shenanigans the inmates get up to. Told in spare and occasionally uncomfortable prose, the tale is filled with gentle humor and lots of empathetic sympathy. The senior citizens are never disparaged except by the home’s kill joy and money mad proprietor. When 19-year-old Josie enters their life needing a place to stay and help with her life choices, the fun begins and doesn’t end until the Big Finish. Lots to think about and discuss in book groups, especially ones that have a few older members or members with loved ones in assisted living or nursing homes. The importance of hope, honesty, friendship, and sympathetic attention is laid forth with good nature.

Becky
Sins of the Fathers by J. A. Jance

4
This is the most outing for Jance and the J. P. Beaumont series. In this iteration Beau is asked to find a missing girl who left her baby in the hospital and disappeared shortly after the birth. After a somewhat slow start the story picks up when Beau discovers he has a personal reason for searching for Naomi. Readers of other Jance mysteries will love this one that offers more of Beau’s back story. It can be read as a standalone.

Richard N B
Arthur and Sherlock by Michael Sims

3
This is an interesting biography/history of Conan Doyle’s life as a young man. The reader learns of the people and events that influenced and inspired him when he created his most famous character, Sherlock Holmes.

Lucy
The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Bendict

3
Interesting story, but I felt the author concentrated too much on Hedy's love life and not on her achievements as a woman (her inventions).

Gil
The Gate Keeper by Charles Todd

5
How did the assailant know that Stephen Wentworth would be on this road at 3:00 am so that he could hail him down, have a brief conversation with him and then shoot him through the heart to kill him instantly? In what appeared to be unrelated, Frederick Templeton was found dead at the end of his driveway with a bullet hole through his heart. Ian Rutledge, believing it was the same killer, set about to prove it. A daunting task. Who could it be? Hardly any clues, but Wentworth and Templeton had been in possession of the same rare book. Now, how in the world was Rutledge going to make any sense of this? Intriguing and enjoyable to read.

Susan
A Better Man by Louise Penny

4
This series is one of the best. While not her best, the book still brings you back to wonderful Three Pines and all the fantastic and quirky characters, especially crazy Ruth Zardo.

Dana
The Seven-1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

4
Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until Aiden Bishop solves her murder. But every day Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath, the decaying estate where Evelyn‘s brother died years ago. The secrets surrounding his death have devastated and estranged the Hardcastle family. All of the guests and servants and family members have their own secrets and agendas. Aiden must race against time to solve the murder in order to escape Blackheath. This twisty, wild ride of a thriller will keep you on your toes, so don’t read when you are tired. This is like Agatha Christie in the Twilight Zone. I loved it and highly recommend it.

Patrice
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

4
Really wonderful read. I am heading to Milan this month to visit my daughter who is studying in Milan and I couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate book to read before my trip. I am seriously thinking of looking up Pino Lella, the real life person the book is based upon, because I have so many questions I want to ask him. This beautifully told story gives us a glimpse of Italy during WWII and allows us to understand why Italians are so reluctant to speak about that period of history. A page-turner, a heart-breaker, and a fascinating story.

Mindy
My Jewish Year by Abigail Pogrebin

4
A journey by the author to observe every Jewish holiday on the calendar in a single year. I really liked reading about the author’s experience. I even learned some interesting things about some of the holidays that I knew about but have never observed. An interesting book.

Nancy
Let It Snow by Nancy Thayer

4
I love books that are based on islands and Nancy Thayer’s books always fit the bill! LET IT SNOW is the story of a young woman, born in Nantucket, who’s working very hard to keep her toy store open. It’s a story about Nantucket locals and “summer people” and a love story and is like a hug. Feel the spirit of the holiday season, regardless of when you read the book.

Holly
Queen Bee by Dorthea Benton Frank

4
A close family of adults with personal challenges and quirkiness try to land on their feet. I read with inquisitiveness.

Erica
The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltersman

5
This was such a great read. Paced perfectly and kept you guessing. There has been a caretaker at Lorne Field for the past 300 years saving the earth every single day. He pulls weeds, but are they weeds or monsters? No one is allowed near the field except the caretaker. It's written in the contract. The town has always paid for the caretaker and his family, but times they are a changing...

Amanda
Summer of ‘69 by Elin Hilderbrand

5
A great book! I loved that the story was set in the sixties and she really nailed the era with her descriptions.

Laurie
The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine

4
I laughed and cried along with main characters, twin sisters, Laurel and Daphne Wolfe as I read this most unique creative family saga.

judie
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

4
A very satisfying sequel to THE HANDMAID'S TALE as the reader is given insight to three different perspectives on Gilead. We hear from a privileged Gideon raised girl, a girl raised in Canada with links to Mayday, and a manuscript written by Aunt Lydia. The book is full of surprises and is a timely discourse on the totalitarian state.

Judy
The Borderlands by L. J. Ross

4
DCI Ryan and his partner are called to a wild, unpopulated area near the Scotish border where a young woman's body has been found. Supposedly killed by soldiers in a planned event, the body is found to not have been shot by the military. The soldier who blames herself for the shooting is found hanging in a tree the next morning, and the plot thickens. With her usual fast pace, this novel unfolds and keeps you guessing until the last chapter.

Pat
The Love Season by Elin Hilderbrand

5
One of her early books -I thought I had read them all but missed this one. Interesting story of love...and loss. She makes characters come alive.

Jayme
The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin

3
The ending was very good and I am glad that I read the last book in the trilogy, but I really only enjoyed about 50 pages because the book was so darn confusing. I shouldn't have to read a synopsis of a book online to understand what I just read.

Jayme
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

4
ONCE UPON A RIVER is a charming grown-up fairy tale that places the mysterious Thames River as its main character. The story is set during a time when humankind has one toe in the sciences, but still believes in the power of magic and the veil between two worlds. When a mysterious child seems to rise from the dead, a small town must question all that it once believed. Highly recommend.

Susan
Things You Save In a Fire by Katherine Center

3
A light romance read. I had expected a much deeper read after all the reviews. I learned a lot about fire fighters and how male-orientated fire squads can be. Plot was pretty predictable. Despite all that, I did enjoy the book and ended up liking the main character.

Susan
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

5
I enjoyed this novel more than THE HANDMAID'S TALE because it was driven by character rather than plot. The horrible instances of brutality are alluded to, but with one exception, are not described. I really think the reader needs to know the characters from either the book or Hulu series as the novel details their backstories.

Rosa
Akin by Emma Donoghue

5
Noah is a retired, widowed chemistry professor who is about to turn 80. To celebrate his birthday he has planned a trip to Nice, France, his birthplace. A few days before his journey, he receives a phone call from a social worker, who tells him that he is the only remaining relative of a young boy, Michael, who can take care of him while his mother is in prison. Michael is Noah's great-nephew. Noah decides to take Michael with him to France. This is the story of their developing relationship. I read ROOM and this book is very different. The pace is slower and more deliberate, and I really savored the storytelling. The writing is witty. Loved it.

Susan
Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

5
Nora goes home to Scupper Island for the summer to heal from an accident and try to connect with her mom, and her Poe. She finds much more. A very quick and entertaining read.

Shelley
There There by Tommy Orange

4
Provocative and well written.

Lisa
Shamed by Linda Castillo

5
The recent novel of Kate Burkholder, a police chief in fictional Painters Mill, a town in Ohio's Amish country. In this novel an elderly woman is murdered and a seven-year-old girl is abducted.

Betty
Women Talking by Miriam Toews

5
This book is unforgettable. It is basically women talking, trying to figure out a problem and course of action. Based on a true story, it's one of the books that will stay with me for a very long time.

Carl
The Caruthers Affair by William N. Harben

4
A Sherlock Holmes-style detective story featuring a taunting villain, a particularly gruesome murder, and an Indian mystic and master hypnotist in a castle with a secret dungeon. Lot's of Victorian-style fun!

FRAN
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

5
Great character portrayals, felt like I was inside the house. Patchett's stepmother depiction is cruel and cold-hearted. Love all her books!

Linda
Christmas Angels by Nancy Naigle

4
Liz Westmoreland has magical memories of her grandparents' inn and is surprised when she wins it at auction. She is devastated at the state of the building and the various renovations it has undergone. Matt Hardy is hired as contractor and works with Liz to bring back the beauty of the inn. He remembers Liz from when she used to visit her grandparents and the attraction is still there. Liz has a rule to not date those she works with but she is told to listen to her heart. It knows what's best. When she realizes what all Matt has done for her to bring her memories to life, she realizes she has grown to love him.

Linda
Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

2
Cari Mora is the caretaker of a house originally owned by Pablo Escobar and it was rumored that he hid a fortune in gold underneath the mansion. Hans-Peter Schneider was determined to get his hands on it but he was not the only one. Don Ernesto Ibara, Colombian kingpin, also wanted the gold. Knowing where the gold was and how to get it is the man who took it to Miami but Jesus Villarreal is playing both men against the other in a dangerous game.

Linda
Fragile by Lisa Unger

5
A young girl disappears and police detective Jones Cooper is reminded of an earlier incident when a young girl disappeared. He still has nightmares about that case as he and his friends Travis and Melody knew more than what they told the police. Sarah fell and was killed when she hit her head, but they ran off and left her there. Even though she was dead, her body was taken and abused by a pervert before she was found. The case eats at Jones and he feels guilty. Now his son is being questioned as Charlene was last seen getting into a green muscle car like the GTO Rick drives. Marshall Crosby drives a green Chevelle that belongs to his father, ex-policeman Travis Crosby. Could Travis be mixed up in this disappearance too?

Linda
How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

5
Alexandra Lane travels to Redmayne Castle to be a bridesmaid at her friend’s wedding but she ends up being the bride. She and her husband Piers Atherton, the Duke of Remayne, find themselves being on guard as someone is trying to kill one or both of them. Alex has been blackmailed after an incident at her finishing school. Is the blackmailer getting bolder? Or is Piers’ cousin and next in line to the Redmayne title trying to kill Piers so he can inherit? Alex and Piers find friendship and trust that turns into love as they battle an unseen foe.

Linda
Sexy Summer Flings by Codi Gary

5
Penny Davis has had a crush on Dr. Hunter Gracin for years but he sees her as young and irresponsible. He’s looking for someone he can settle down with and have a family and she works in the local bar. It’s up to a flirty firefighter to show Hunter what he’s missing and for him to realize the person he’s been looking for has been here all along.

Linda
The Return by Erin Knightley and James Patterson

3
Mack McLeroy is a champion bull rider or was until he was thrown and trampled. He plans to be back riding in six months but learns that his contract has been cancelled. He goes to his old flame Ashley Montoya and asks her to talk to her uncle who is CEO of his sponsor. She agrees on several conditions. She wants to be a barrel racer and wants him to help her get into the competitive field. He agrees and is stunned when he sees how good she is. He also realizes what a jerk he had been toward her and wants her to give him another chance.

Linda
The Perfect Wife by J. P. Delaney

3
When Abbie Cullen disappeared, her husband Tim Scott was devastated. He was arrested for murder but released due to lack of evidence. Tim owns Scott Robotics and built a robot of Abbie inserting memories into her brain. The robot looks and talks like Abbie and soon begins to have feelings and wonders what happened to Abbie. Then she is told Abbie’s family has gone to court to demand the robot’s brain be erased of all memories of Abbie. She takes Danny, Abbie’s son, and runs to the place where she thinks the real Abbie is hiding out. A weird book!

Marcia
The Calamity Cafe by Gayle Leeson

4
A delightful cozy mystery. I read the next two in the series also. Enjoyed all of them.

Susan
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

5
A good thriller that will keep you reading until the very end. It's a "not" to be missed book.

BRENDA
The Advocate by Lauri Lacefield

3
This book is definitely a very slow build-up novel. It possible would've read just as well with 100 less pages.

Cheryle
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

5
If there were more than 5 stars available I would award them. THIS TENDER LAND is a tremendous book. I really liked the author's ORDINARY GRACE and this one is just as good if not better. The four orphan children in the book are faced with many obstacles along their journey down several rivers trying to reach family in St. Louis in 1932. Their life has not been easy and along the way they learn trust and learning to rely on each other which becomes family to them. I also read the series that Krueger writes that are set in northern Minnesota and like them immensely but THIS TENDER LAND will stay with me for a long time. It is destined to be a classic.

Cheryle
The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz

4
I may have given a higher rating if I had not just finished THIS TENDER LAND. THE GIRL WHO LIVED TWICE is a continuation of the series started by Stieg Larsson. I have read the whole series and found it intriguing. The story of this one seems a little weak to me and focuses a lot on the feud between twin sisters who were both abused by their notorious father in different ways. The abuse tore the sisters apart and fueled their hatred of each other.

Cheryle
The Bitterroots by C. J. Box

5
C. J. Box is one of the author's I do not question if a book is going to be good or not. I know the writing will be topnotch and the story compelling and excellent. Cassie Dewell is the featured character in this continuation of a series. She no longer is working as a deputy sheriff but as a PI in Montana. She is contracted by a lawyer friend to investigate the procedures in the rape and arrest of her client. In the process, Cassie is blocked by family and law enforcement in her attempt at finding the truth. This is one of those books that once you start you better have a block of time available because you will not want to put it down.

Linda
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

4
I didn't expect to like this YA novel, but it gave me a fresh view of sickness/death from teens' perspectives. The wisdom, maturity beyond their years and support of each other was so heartwarming it moved me to tears.

Meredith
The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger

5
This book centers around the planned "Gifted School" coming to a small county and the impact that just the idea of the school has on parents who are desperate for their children to be admitted to it. It seems the parents are more interested in having their children identified as "gifted" than anything else. There's an admission test which narrows the field to a group of students who are then required to submit portfolios detailing their gifts. However, it's the behavior of the adults that really drives the story and the resulting twists and turns that make it impossible to put this book down.

Brian
Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer

5
Extremely entertaining and would be rated PG if it were a movie. A high school age student would like this book.

Tracy
Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

4
I really enjoyed this book. The storyline was great. The main character is a female fireman in a man's world. The author does a great job of describing each character so you feel like you knew and felt for them for the most part. The author, I felt, could have explained them in a little more detail though. The love story is nice and I loved the main character's tenacity and strength of character. All in all, this is a nice read.

Sandy
Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom

5
If you liked THE KITCHEN HOUSE then you will love this one. Now I have to find out if Kathleen Grissom has written anything else. This story is also about slavery and secrets.

Denise
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

3
3.5 stars. As usual, I enjoyed Tyler's keen observation of everyday people's lives. I don't this was her strongest work, but still, an enjoyable read.

Jan
Akin by Emma Donoghue

4
Donoghue has another winner here. A 79-year-old retired widower is the only living relative of an 11-year-old boy whose only other relatives can not take him in. If Noah does not take him, the boy will go into foster care. But he has all the plans made and paid for him to go to Nice where he was born. This rational man with a PhD in science has never had children, and knew almost nothing about the father of this child (the son of his only sister - now dead also), and he has planned to be there for carnival on his 80th birthday. First discussion dilemma - how much responsibility do you have for the grandchild of your sister about whom you know nothing? Another obvious problem - traveling internationally with a child you do not know.

Nadine
Hart's Hollow Farm by Janet Dailey

4
For some folks, Hart's Hollow Farm has seen better days. But for the Hart family matriarch, it's a home worth fighting for. From the moment Kristen arrives at Hart's Hollow, the place speaks to her soul. So when 73-year-old Emmy Hart asks Kristen to help return the farm to its former glory, she accepts despite her fears about getting involved with Emmy or the two kids in Emmy's care. Then there's there is Emmy's ruggedly handsome grandson, who stirs feelings Kristen believed were long gone. A quick romantic read.

Gretchen
Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand

4
I found SUMMER OF '69 an enjoyable read that held my interest throughout and it was a great fill in between WINTER IN PARADISE, the first in a 3 book series, and WHAT HAPPENS IN PARADISE, Book 2, being released this week.

Summer
The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White

5
Complex characters and full of intrigue! The 3 W's have authored another tome I couldn't put down!

Katrina
Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks

5
A great thriller! Beautifully written with writing that made me feel heartache. Suspenseful and full of twists with a great ending. I highly recommend this book!

John
The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

5
Hideous creatures make Victorian New Orleans their deadly playground!

susan
The Evening News by Arthur Hailey

5
If you like fast moving stories you will love this one. It is about a national news anchor who has his family held hostage. The policy of the news station is not to negotiate with terrorists or kidnappers. He has to find a way to get his family back on his own. Very gripping story, very believable. Great story, I recommend it.

Dianne
Singapore Sapphire by A. M. Stuart

3
Historical fiction set in the early 20th century in Singapore. Place a story in an exotic setting and add a mystery. What could be better?

Patricia
The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

5
Fantastic ghost story. So well-plotted I was believing in the ghost.

Patricia
The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes

5
Jojo Moyes can't write a bad book.

Judy
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

4
Fascinating look at little known history in an enjoyable format!

Beth
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

4
This book takes place in both 1970 and the late 1800s. The 1970 narrator is a disabled man who is writing a book about his grandmother who went west with her engineer husband when the West was still wild and sparsely populated. It’s mostly her story but it at its heart is a story about marriages - both the grandmother’s and her grandson’s. It is beautifully written.

Summer
See You in the Piazza by Frances Mayes

4
The author delves into so much detail about places to intimately discover. Lots of cultural and historic information, including places to eat. It's a fascinating guidebook and a fun read.

Linda
The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

4
Historical fiction about the Californian ship that did NOT come to the rescue of the Titanic and the investigation that occurred after the Titanic sunk - very interesting and outstanding discussion.

Francisca
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

4
Allende covers three generations of the Trueba family in her native Chile. The novel weaves together personal and political triumphs and tragedies into an epic story of love and history. I love Allende’s luminous writing, and the way that she seamlessly introduces elements of magical realism into her stories. Her gift for vivid description had me feeling cold drafts, luxuriating in sumptuous fabrics, hearing the cacophony of a busy marketplace or a student riot, cringing at the stench of human waste in a prison cell. She makes me believe that a woman can have bright green hair, or be clairvoyant and commune with ghosts.

Sandi
Bus 57 by Dashka Slater

4
The nonfiction story of two young men - each taking their own direction, each from their own environment - that came together for a fraction of a second and changed each others lives forever. On Bus 57, Oakland, California, November 4, 2013, a non-thinking act left one person critically burned and another person facing a hate crime. This story takes you through the lives of two teenagers, from the day of a tragic accident to the conclusion of its aftermath. We see the similarities and the differences in these boys. We learn what being born and living just blocks from each other can mean. Neither boy is bad, neither boy is prejudice or biased, neither boy understands why. One thoughtless moment and its ultimate outcome.

Becky
In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund

3
This middle grade to young adult mystery based on the board game "Clue" is a quick read. The usual suspects are presented early and with enough characterization to identify them. Beyond enough red herrings to keep interest in the story. Both boys and girls will identify with the characters and the setting (an isolated boarding school). There is little violence beyond an upper cut to the chin (described) and the off scene knife stabbing. There are no curse words and no sex. There is a satisfying resolution to the mystery.

Becky
Books of a Feather by Kate Carlisle

4
This series (Bibliophile Mysteries) concerns a book binder/conservator who becomes involved with a murder very early on in each book. John James Audubon’s bird paintings figure prominently in this outing. You will learn a wee bit about painting and book conservation while solving an interesting mystery. Brooklyn, the main character, has a long-term romance that seems to get regularly stalled while she is sleuthing. The mysteries are well plotted and well written with an occasional humorous incident. The characters are well rounded and Carlisle knows and relates interesting information about book binding, collecting and reading along the way. Series readers will like following Carlisle’s mysteries.

Becky
The Third Daughter by Talia Carner

5
Batya, the third daughter in a family of Jews forced out of their home in one of Russia’s endless pogroms, is married off to an apparently wealthy and kind American businessman. Unfortunately, his “America” is Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Batya is forced into a life as a prostitute. Many young, innocent European girls fleeing hard times found themselves suffering Batya’s plight in lawless Argentina of the early 1900s. Carner’s well-researched and well-written book follows Batya as she is betrayed and then sold into a form of slavery. Carner tells the stories and lives of Batya and the other residents of the brothel with great feeling, empathy and realism.

Thomas
The United States of Trump by Bill O'Reilly

5
I enjoyed reading this book very much. It was excellent.

Becky
The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton

3
Patterson would have done well to use former President Bill Clinton only as a resource and kept him away from the actual writing. This book is about 100 pages too long. Terrorists are planning an attack on the United States and the president is a prime target. The plot is interesting and well plotted. The writing can be very verbose with little addition to the storyline. That said, I enjoyed the book and I skimmed parts of it with no impact on my enjoyment or the story.

Bonnie
Lucky You by Carl Hiassen

3
Fun mystery featuring Florida and bumbling crooks. You won't remember it a month after you read it but it's fun while it lasts.

Lois
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

4
Interesting story of an abused young woman who is always left behind. Everyone leaves. It ends with a murder, but who is the guilty one?

Vesna
American Dirt by Jeannie Cummins

5
I picked it up in the afternoon and read straight through to 1 a.m. The characters are so alive that you feel like you are right there in the story. Relevant theme for our time in America today. I felt a mother's love that went to the ends of the earth for her son. It was a powerful and moving story. Comes out January 2020.

Mary
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

3
A fascinating expose of Theranos, the Silicon Valley start-up, and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes. The company purported to offer a new method of testing people’s blood by using a finger stick rather than a venous blood draw, and doing it faster and more efficiently than existing methods. Under Holmes leadership, false results were given to investors, clients and patients, and employees were isolated from one another to protect trade “secrets”. Holmes’ audacious claims persisted for nearly 15 years until some former employees overcame their fear of her powerful legal team‘s threats and exposed the fraud. Well researched and worth a read.

Julie
Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

2
This was a strange book. It seemed to meander around and I thought about abandoning it several times. I finished it, though not sure it was worth the time.

Susan
The Third Daughter by Talia Carner

3
An historical novel about a little known episode in Jewish history: sex trafficking of unsuspecting young, very young girls. The story unfolds in Buenos Aires, where prostitution was legal and where the prostitution cartel ruled, for a while. The book concentrates on one 14-year-old who thinks she’s is going to America to marry a rich man. And so do her parents. She is abused and survives with the help of other young girls who have learned what it takes to survive. But will Batya ever help her family in Russia, and will she escape?

Ruth
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

4
0ne of the best books I have read this year.

Diane
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

3
A well-written story of a family over many years. Characters are well developed, and the story draws the reader in as all the events unfold.

Lillian
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

5
I loved the way this book is told from the dog's viewpoint. It definitely kept my interest, but I want to warn other potential readers that they need a box of Kleenex handy.

Jean
Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson

5
This book is EXCELLENT!!! I picked up a copy at a book sale not knowing what it was about. I also do not usually read nonfiction. Reading this, I stopped 3-4 times and was amazed at the story, all the while keeping mind that it was true. I have recommended this to several of my friends. It is a not-to-be-missed true account of finding a sunk WWII German submarine 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey.

Shawna
Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

5
If you enjoy speculative fiction or YA literature you will love this book. I was hooked from the first line when the main character turned on the kitchen faucet and no water came out. California has run out of water and humanity has turned on itself. I have never been so thirsty while reading a book. The main characters have to work together to survive and as teenagers the odds are already against them. The book had excellent closure and has started many conversations with my students who have read the book. Make sure you have a full water bottle and a chunk of time because you will not want to put this book down!

Helen
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan

4
An unusual tale about books and the spell they hold for some. An adventure, a mystery, a little magic and a bunch of loyal and clever friends who can sort it all out to our satisfaction. Nothing like my bookstore, but it was much fun to spend time there as the plot unfolded. It's a light read and I recommend it.

Trezeline
The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz

4
Not as good as Stieglitz Larson’s writing but passable.

Cindy
The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

4
A whimsical, charming novel. A happy read! Loved the small town setting - loved the quirky characters - loved the drama and tiny pinch of romance. A dash of magic and a bit of books - you can't beat that! Mainly it is a story that leaves you feeling good about life and wishing the world could be a lot more like Dove Pond!

Susan
The Secret History by Donna Tartt

5
This was a very intense, long story...but the plot was so good and the writing excellent!! A great fall read as it takes place on a college campus in New Hampshire at the beginning of the school year.

Connie
A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

4
I found the book difficult to read because of the writer’s style, reversing the timeline. I felt the topic was interesting and timely. I loved some of the characters. I found a few to be cliches. Overall, the author’s in-depth and memorable characters and clear writing won me over!

Mary
Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

5
This book is so good, I could not put it down. I am already skittish to get in an elevator so this book had me at my wits end! Such a good story! Read it!

MARILYN
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

5
This book brought about a lively discussion by our book club. All of us were surprised by the ending!

Elizabeth
The Accomplice by Joseph Kanon

4
Every time I review a book by Joseph Kanon I say the same thing - he’s done it again. That is not to say the story is the same, but THE ACCOMPLICE is Kanon’s usual historical fiction/thriller with characters in situations I’m sure they can’t get out of but always do. Presentation is always smart dialog, no long paragraphs describing scenery as in so many other novels. This book is, as Kanon’s books always are, excellent. Aaron Wiley feels obligated to find Otto Schramn, a doctor who performed medical experiments on Jews during World War II.

Linda
Redemption Road by John Hart

5
Adrian Wall, ex-cop, is getting out of prison after thirteen years. There was one person who believed in his innocence. Elizabeth Black was a rookie then and is now a detective and still believes he is innocent. A woman’s body was found on the altar of a church and Adrian’s DNA was found under her nails. No one knew that he and Julia were having an affair so the DNA convicted him. Now another woman’s body has been found on an altar and Adrian is being blamed. Liz knows he is innocent and works to prove it.

Linda
Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean

5
The man known as Beast wakes and finds himself tied up in a carriage and a beautiful woman is talking to him. She tells him she has plans for the evening and he is interfering with them. Then she kisses him, unties him, and pushes him out of the carriage. He follows the carriage to a bordello where Lady Henrietta Sedley has an appointment. She is supposed to meet a man but is shocked when Beast walks in. She liked his mouth when she kissed him and is ready for more.

Linda
Save Your Breath by Melinda Leigh

5
When Olivia Cruz disappears, Lincoln Sharp is devastated. Olivia was the only woman he had been interested in for years. She had been reviewing two court cases for her newest book and had wanted to go over something with Lincoln and Lance Kruger, his private investigator, and Morgan Dane, attorney. When Olivia disappeared, they started going through the files hoping to find any hint on who might have taken her. They find questionable items but nothing that would cause Olivia’s abduction. Lincoln is at his wit’s end as he realizes how much she means to him. They have to find her and soon.

Linda
The Bitterroots by C. J. Box

5
Cassie Dewell is now a private investigator and has been asked by attorney Rachel Mitchell to look into her new case and verify that facts are correct. This starts a nightmare for Cassie when she runs into a corrupt town ruled by the Kleinsasser family. They don’t want her in their town and make that known to her. Why are they so determined to see the eldest son Blake Kleinsasser sent to prison? He left the area and made a success of his life and only returned to see his parents. Then his life is turned upside down. Cassie has a job to do and is determined to find out the truth of charges filed against Blake.

Linda
You've Been Warned - Again by James Patterson and Derek Nikitas

2
The evil in the old Thorpe house has struck again. Carter Whitmore retired and moved to the remote house overlooking the Atlantic. His daughters have come for Thanksgiving and his mind has finally snapped. Detective Medeiros and the crime scene techs remember the murder that happened 10 years ago when Stephen Thorpe killed his family and then himself. Medeiros feels an aura of evil about the house and says the house needs to be burnt to the ground or torn down and thrown into the sea. One of James Patterson's BookShots.

Linda
Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York and James Patterson

3
Katherine Killin is determined not to wed the Beast of Rannock and she and her sister Elise run away. Kirk Rannock arrives at her home to escort her to his brother only to find she is gone. As he and his cousin Bodie camp for the night, they awake to find two women trying to steal their horses. He falls for the beautiful woman and she ends up stealing his heart. A BookShots Flames book.

Donna
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

4
Good historical novel of a little known WPA program, The Pack Librarian program in Kentucky, which brought books to the mountain residents. Their joy in receiving the books was captured vividly in the book. The author also focused on the blue skinned people and their struggles with prejudice. The information on the medical studies/tests for blue skinned people was interesting as well as disturbing. This was a book club selection and provided a great discussion.

Cynthia
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

5
This is truly a "can't put it down" book. The story is compelling, the characters rich, and the plot has unexpected twists that are incredibly surprising. This will be my next book club suggestion for sure!

Lynn
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

5
Meticulously researched, beautifully written...the best book of the year.

Jan
The Need by Helen Phillips

1
I did not like this book. It is an attempt to copy Stephen King and it failed. Full of supernatural stuff, slips, misunderstandings, lies from main characters. I did read it after someone recommended it but I can not urge it on anyone. And I did read all the book and still have questions - but I am not going to bother you with them. I am through with this. This is the only book I have read by this author - perhaps it is her style but it has so many fails. And I admit that I do not like this science fiction-type of book - I thought it was supposed to be a mystery.

Karen
The Woman Inside by E. G. Scott

5
Love this book. Couldn’t put it down. What a roller coaster ride of a story.

Patricia
The Lost Husband by Katherine Center

5
Second book I've read by this author. Both were very good. Good characters you can relate to and interesting story.

Diana
Akin by Emma Donoghue

5
Noah is an 80-year-old widower, charged with the care of his precocious 10-year-old grand nephew Michael. They embark on a trip to France to follow Noah’s mother’s footsteps during World War II. Using his mom Margot’s old photos they track down what Margot did in wartime in France. A visit to the Jewish Resistance Museum brings up more questions than answers at first. Eventually, what happened in the past is revealed. The pair return to the U.S. and Noah and Michael’s futures are determined.

Sean
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

3
THE HOBBIT is a mostly peaceful look at Bilbo's adventure that leads to the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. At times the prose is a pain to slog through and there are a boatload of plot holes, but as the story went on, I found I liked it more and more. Although obviously written for children it's enjoyable for all ages. The book is far from a classic but it's worth the read.

Laurie
A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

4
I love fictional history because I always learn something new and Tracy Chevalier’s A SINGLE THREAD is a perfect example. This book, set in 1932 at the dawn of the second World War, introduced me to the craft of broderery - the embroidery of cushions and kneelers for the cathedral in England.

Allison
Nobody's Prize by Esther Friesner

1
Rather boring book.

Robin
A Dream About Lightning Bugs by Ben Folds

4
For fans of his unique style of music who are curious about his life, you will enjoy this self-reflective memoir.

Jayme
The Warner Boys: Our Family’s Story of Autism and Hope by Curt and Ana Warner

4
This is a moving and realistic account of how autism impacts a family not for a few years, but forever. The writing is rather simplistic and reads as if the Warners were interviewed, but that is okay. They are not authors. They are parents struggling and explaining their life raising boys with autism. I am a teacher who has been teaching for thirty years and the number of kids with autism in my class has greatly increased in the last few years. One nugget of insight that I received from this book (and not my school district or special education teachers) was that when autistic kids are feeling stressed they tend to loop into their obsessive repetitive behaviors. Worth reading.

Tessa
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

3
This is an imaginative retelling - or perhaps sequel - to Frank L. Baum’s THE WIZARD OF OZ books. The characters are all here, but they aren’t as they were portrayed in Baum’s classic books, or the much beloved movie. Amy Gumm was a decent heroine – self-reliant, principled, tenacious, willing to sacrifice for the greater good. However, the “mean girl” theme was a little heavy-handed for my tastes (and my stage of life). So my final verdict is average.

Joanne
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

4
Very interesting story of female divers on a Korean island. Quite a life they lead!

Marcia
Murder on Black Friday by P.B. Ryan

5
4th book in the Gilded Age Mysteries. I'm really enjoying this series which is set in the 1800s in Boston. It shows us the wealthy part of town and the darker side.

Sandy
Diamond Doris by Zelda Lockhart

5
Very quick and easy book to read. The true story of the world's most notorious jewel thief.

Brenda
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

4
I really liked the story that was told in this book. I’ve loved all of Gilbert's books.

Linda
The Guests on South Battery by Karen White

4
This is the fifth novel of her Tradd Street series, which takes place in Charleston, SC., a very historical place I love to visit. I read it in preparation for a Christmas-themed sequel due out soon. It's a light, funny read that includes suspense and mystery.

Deborah
Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati

5
Great historical fiction telling the story of two women doctors in the late 1800s in New York City’s New Amsterdam Hospital and Women's Hospital. It also explores the prejudices against women and race while telling the story of the the privileged and the poverty stricken. The characters are well developed and their personalities make them real. And amidst all this is the murder mystery of women both rich and poor trying to obtain abortions that intertwine in the lives of the main characters.

Sheila
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

5
A smart, moving and entertaining look at therapy. Gottlieb brings a marvelous sense of narrative to her memoir. We follow her as she helps her clients and as she works with her own therapist. Couldn't put it down.

Gretchen
The Nanny by Gilly MacMillan

4
Full of tension and suspense. Great characters.

Joanne
The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

3
I was highly excited about this book as it’s about a woman who owns a used book store, books, and words. I guess that I was in the minority, as it just did not resonate for me. Considered just average on my scale.

Liz
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

3
Roy and Celestial are newlyweds. While visiting his parents in a small town in Louisiana, Roy is arrested and charged with a crime he didn’t commit. He is sentenced to twelve years in prison. Celestial tries her best, but soon finds comfort in her childhood friend, Andre. After five years Roy’s conviction is overturned and he is released, but it may be too late to salvage what Roy and Celestial once had with each other. I found this book to be a bit dry and times and also a bit hard to follow.

Michelle
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

4
A 3.5 would be more fitting. Another mysterious Ruth Ware concoction with her typical sprinkling of ingredients of creepiness, suspense and twists, keeping me guessing until the end. Better than THE LYING GAME and THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 but still nowhere near as good as THE TURN OF THE KEY.

Mary
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

4
Very interesting time period...Madrid Spain 1957, under the rule of Franco, 20 years after the end of the civil war. A rich son of a Texas oilman is spending the summer in Madrid with his parents in the Castellana Hilton. Daniel loves photography and finds himself documenting life in Madrid under Franco’s rule.

MAUREEN
The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester

5
Great story about the bravery of women, the strength of women and the lengths we will go to love and protect those we cherish.

MAUREEN
The First Lady by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois

4
Cute mystery, easy to read, quick chapters make this a quick but fun book. Great story about the disappearance of the First Lady of the U.S.

Rocky
Dear Girls by Ali Wong

2
There were parts of this book which had me laughing out loud so hard I couldn't believe it. There were a few parts that made me cry. I am familiar with Ms. Wong's stand-up work and her writing is not for the anti-swearing audience. She is frequently vulgar, funny, quite crude, and tries to shock us. She tries to be shocking far too much for my taste and as I kept reminding myself I'm no prude, but she grossed me out! She is a gifted writer and I'm wondering just who is her audience for this book? I don't buy the premise that it's for her daughters because I don't believe they will want to hear about their parents' sex life and bathroom issues. The book tries too hard to be too many things.

Nancy
The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal

3
I had a hard time staying with the book.

Ilene
In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

5
IN A LONELY PLACE starts with Dix Steel, a Word War II vet. Dix served as a fighter pilot, but with the war over he is aimless and jobless in Los Angeles although living well for the first time on a monthly check from his uncle, his only living relative. Dix now lives in a really nice apartment complex, fully stocked with food, liquor, and the best clothes he would want. But this is questionable. Did a friend really let him sublet all of this? All of this happens while a serial killer is on the loose strangling women. A great page-turner and thriller.

Theresa
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

4
I finished reading this book about two weeks ago, and many of the encouraging words, phrases, and stories are remaining in my head. This book has filled me with many positive thoughts regarding my creative journey. The reason I give it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I thought it was a bit long at parts. I felt Elizabeth Gilbert sometimes over-drilled the point she was trying to make.

Elizabeth
Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

4
Malfunctioning, crashing-to-the-ground elevators two days in a row, a third elevator crash the following day, and then a dead man who is an elevator-repair person with finger tips sawed off and his face mutilated is what the New York police have to deal with. ELEVATOR PITCH had a lot of characters' stories that randomly fit into the storyline, and all these incidents put together increased the book's suspense. When you thought it was all over, it wasn't. The ending is edge-of-your-seat. ELEVATOR PITCH will not be for anyone who already has a fear of being in an elevator or even a New York City cab, but the book will be for those readers who enjoy intrigue, suspense, twists, surprises, revealed secrets, and shady characters.

Elizabeth
Cold Woods by Karen Katchur

4
Returning home and being told by your mother that you shouldn’t have come back is where we meet Trisha. Trisha came back after 30 years because they found the bones of Lester, her stepfather, and bones that she and her neighbors and friends had something to do with. Readers who enjoy a mystery whose killer you think is known from the start and those who enjoy getting to see the investigation unravel will want to take a look at COLD WOODS. You will be guessing and most likely guessing incorrectly until the end...the ending has a great twist and surprise. This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Julia
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

4
This is the story of two couples and the circumstances that bring them together, and their individual feelings about their beliefs in God.

Kay
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

5
An engrossing story about the Korean women who dive for fish in the 1940s and 50s. I learned a lot about a group whom I previously knew little about and met some extremely interesting characters.

Sheree
Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

4
I think this is very relevant for young wives/mothers with small children. I wish I had had this when I was raising children and didn't have to do it all.

Becky
The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

4
When the book begins you will want to shake Tandi and tell her to grow up. As the book progresses, she does exactly that, although in fits and starts. Concurrent with Tandi’s story is Lola’s story of growing up unwanted and shunted aside because of the circumstances of her birth. Sympathetically written, the story details what it is like to escape from one bad situation into another…and another until you feel you have no options left. But people are ultimately good in this tale and Lola’s house becomes a beacon of light. Tandi is well developed as are Paul and Lola. Lola’s story is one of redemption and survival under trying circumstances. If you like uplifting, positive stories, this one is for you.

Becky
Glow by Megan E. Bryant

5
GLOW tells the heartbreaking story of the young women who went to work for the companies that used radium to make glow in dark objects, mostly watch faces for the soldiers of WWI. My grandmother worked briefly for The Radium Dial company in Ottawa, Illinois. Fortunately she remained healthy although she went every year of life (she died at 96) to The Argonne National Laboratory for extensive testing. GLOW is unflinching in relating the horrific illnesses that plagued the radium workers. Although GLOW is aimed at young adult audience, adult readers will also react favorably to this tale. Bryant uses the true stories of actual workers to underscore her fictionalized work.

Gretchen
Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

4
This is one you can't put down. So many twists and turns!

Kate
A Man Called Smith by Tanya E. Williams

5
A MAN CALLED SMITH by Tanya E Williams is a compelling novel about a broken family. The characters are painfully real. I walked through their lives alongside them. I pleaded with them, yelled at them and cried for them. I came to understand their choices, motivation and the bigger picture. It was an emotional read, yet, I had a difficult time putting it down. I kept hoping for the best right through to the end. It’s a satisfying story that leaves you thinking long after you finish. I recommend it and look forward to more from the author.

Linda
Emily, Gone by Bette Lee Crosby

4
It's 1971 and Vicki is reeling from the stillbirth of her daughter a few months before. She attends a music festival with her boyfriend; after three days of partying, they leave the festival, but Vicki is hungry. There are no restaurants, so she enters an unlocked house to find food, but instead finds a baby girl in a crib. She takes the baby, and next morning the parents are distraught to find their daughter gone. The book follows the kidnapped baby, and her birth parents, for the next eighteen years. Told from different points of view, it shows the effect grief can have, how it can cause strife, how it can bring people together. I really enjoyed the book, though I thought the ending was just a little bit improbable.

Janet
Singularity by Eldon Farrell

5
Mafia-type city politics in near futuristic U.S.A. Detective Nathan Miller straddles a thin line between protecting Union City, Virginia from corruption, greed, deceit and power mongers while digging deep into the underground, himself. Author Eldon Farrell does a superb job at weaving together this story to create a fast-paced bombshell read.

Thomas
For the Good of the Game by Bud Selig

4
It was a very good book. I would recommend the book very much.

Thomas
Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

5
It was an excellent book. It was a really exciting read.

Barbara
The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs

4
Lovely heartfelt book touching on serious issues like domestic abuse, adoption, and drug addiction, and adding a fun romance, wonderful family, and cute kids. Full of female empowerment and great characters. Would be a great book club selection with a lot to discuss.

Amy
Killer Instinct by James Patterson

5
Loved the book. I love these characters. I can't wait to read the next one.

Elizabeth
The Family Secret by Terry Lynn Thomas

5
We follow Cat and all of the characters in THE FAMILY SECRET as their lives intertwine around family matters and a murder. This was my first book by Ms. Thomas, and I enjoyed the storyline and her writing style. Readers who enjoy old houses, secrets, murders to solve, a few untrustworthy characters, and plenty of likable characters will enjoy THE FAMILY SECRET.

Patricia
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

5
Fantastic read about women in Kentucky riding pack horses and even mules to take books and newspapers to the poor in the mountains of Appalachia. Also included is the story of the blue-skinned people that lived in the area.

Patricia
The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover

4
Historical fiction about doctors and supposed witches healing people in a small southern town. Good story but have a dictionary close or use a Kindle to read because of so many unknown words used in the story!

Gladys
What Happens In Summer by Caridad Pineiro

4
Connie Reyes and Jonathan Pierce have such different ambitions that they decided to part ways. But after years pass they meet by accident and a wonderful summer results.

Gladys
A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall

5
Peter Marshall, originally from Scotland, came to America and became an extremely popular preacher who drew overflow crowds to his sermons. He later became Chaplain of the Senate of the United States where he was equally popular. This story about his life's work was written by his wife and includes some of his noted sermons.

Cris
The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford

4
This is the book that the movie "Full Metal Jacket" was based upon. It was written by a former marine and it is the story of the war in Vietnam. This is not fluffy historical fiction. It is raw and gritty, and some parts are disturbing, of course. It is a real story of war. It's a short book, but impressive all the same. Some of the imagery will stick with you after you finish reading it. The book is out of print, so it's usually hard to find at a reasonable price, but if you ever locate a copy, if you like real stories of war, please consider reading this book.

Richard N B
The Two Faces of January by Patricia Highsmith

3
Highsmith manages to give us unlikeable characters that behave in ways that just keep this reader enthralled and interested, turning pages to find out what twists, turns and surprises the plot has in store. It’s set in Athens, in 1962, and you have two con men trying to out-con one another. Add a femme fatale (who is married to one of the men, but attracted to the other), and you have a recipe for disaster.

Gretchen
The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs

4
This is the first book by this author that I have read. Enjoyed it immensely!

Ruth
The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

5
Outstanding book by an amazing author!

Noreen
Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris

4
Based on a true story it tells of Cilka's time in both a concentration camp and a Russian camp. It isn't necessary to have read THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ first. What Cilka and others went through in Siberia was mostly unknown to me and I'm sure most people.

Gladys
A Mistletoe Kiss for the Single Dad by Traci Douglass

5
After his wife's death, Nick Marlowe returned to his hometown to raise his son. There he winds up working side by side with his long ago childhood sweetheart. A mistletoe kiss rekindles romantic sparks.

shelly
Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise by Jennifer Faye

5
Pepper Kane has not had an easy life with her mother dying when she was so young having to live with her grandmother. When her grandmother passed away she left her inheritance. With that money, she opened Polka Dotted Bakery. She lives above the store and spends almost all of her time working at the bakery. Simon Ross of Ross Toys is the CEO and very rich man. He too has dedicated his life to his work and has hardly any social life at all. Pepper delivers her pastries to a party at Simon's house and that one night they both had a spark that engulfed them. Not even thinking about it, she is busy working and filling orders and preparing for the Christmas holidays. She is at a party hosted by Simon again when she gets a phone call.

Elizabeth
A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

4
Although A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE is referred to as a thriller, it really is more mystery than thriller. And what a surprise that it is quite good coming from an author, Nalini Singh, who is known for her many paranormal romances. So this is a departure for her, and I was not expecting it to be so good. She wrote this like she’s been writing mysteries/thrillers for years. She should have been. The story is told from the perspectives of Anahera and Will. They live in a small New Zealand town where everybody knows everyone else’s business, or at least they think they do. Then it almost gets like an Agatha Christie novel when a beautiful young woman goes missing and everyone becomes suspect.

Jan
Verbatimly, Trump by Anonymous and Cam Stanton Meyer, VII

5
I received this book from the authors by a Goodreads drawing. There are two authors; Anonymous (who is a four-year graduate of an Ivy League school - unlike the Dumpster, so sad) and Cam Meyer the Seventh (?) or so he says. Meyer also claims a graduate degree from an east coast business school - that is graduate degree. The writing and research and citations demonstrate that these two authors learned something in college. Somehow, they have contacted (captured) the Dumpster's brain and got an inside view of many of his actions during the first two years of his reign. Specifically, the authors provide exact quotes, describe miracles, and absurdities.

Janet
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

5
I just loved this book! It’s one that you hope will never end. The time period is the 1930s in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. I had never heard of the blue-skinned people ( a hereditary condition) and was fascinated by the blue people aspect of the story. Cussy Carter has the condition and is treated as an outcast by many of the townsfolk. She becomes a “book woman” as part of the Pack Horse Library Project (this is the second historical fiction book recently published on this topic. Another great one is by Jojo Moyes) and brings books to the Appalachian communities. What happens to Cussy and the community makes a wonderful read.