Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Flight Attendant

Fiction by Chris Bohjalian.

Cassie the flight attendant is a hot mess. She drinks too much and does crazy or stupid things, and then forgets she has done them. She sleeps with strange men she never wants to see again, and sometimes forgets that too. And because her job takes her all around the world, she can do these crazy/stupid things in the United States AND abroad.

So far she's managed to keep her job with the airline, but when she wakes up in a strange hotel after a blackout in Dubai, she realizes that things may have gone too far. The UAE, like many Middle Eastern countries, is not particularly forgiving of foreigners who may be lawbreakers. Her one goal is to get back to New York unscathed. But after that, who knows what will happen?

This was a good story with interesting characters and a few surprises.

I also read by this author: The Double Bind

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Little Sister

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

This book, published in 1986, could not be found on, where I usually find my cover images, and a search of the title "Little Sister" on that site earned me a look at a whole bunch of Babysitters Club books, and some smut books I'd rather forget I saw the covers of. So, take my advice, and don't look there this time. I did find the correct book on amazon (above) and

This book was really good, though. It's about a girl named Beth who has escaped her dinky hometown and is working in the big city when she hears the news that her father has died. She has to go back for the funeral and confront her past, including her teenage little sister Francie, whom Beth blames for their mother's death. (You'll find out why!) But Beth discovers that Francie may really need her to put the past away and be a big sister now.

I recommend everything I've read by Patricia MacDonald, including this story.

I also read recently by this author: The Girl in the Woods

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Murder In Mesopotamia

Fiction by Agatha Christie.

This book was next on my Agatha Christie reading list. I didn't realize it was a Hercule Poirot story until more than halfway through. because Mrs. Christie used a different narrator than usual, which I liked. (I get tired of Captain Hastings rather quickly, unfortunately.) Of course I do see now that it says, in very small letters on the bottom of the cover, "A Hercule Poirot Mystery," so I shouldn't have been surprised.

Anyways, this was a good mystery story with a very unexpected ending.

I also read recently by this author: Death in the Clouds

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Silent Wife

Fiction by Kerry Fisher.

Maggie falls in love with and marries a handsome widower and then moves herself and her young son into the house he had shared with his late wife, wanting to make the family transition easier for his teenage daughter. But she hadn't counted on how difficult it would be to integrate herself into this home, right next door to her new mother-in-law AND new brother-in-law. And Laura, her new husband's brother's wife, has secrets of her own...

This was an interesting character story and an exciting page-turner.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Island of Sea Women

Fiction by Lisa See.

I have already mentioned that I love Lisa See. So when I saw that she had a new book coming out, I jumped to get it. I expected a good story, probably about Asian (most likely Chinese) women, but I did not expect how different this one would be.

This book is set on the island of Jeju, which is off the coast of Korea, where the traditional society is very different from all the rest of Korea, or indeed most of Asia, and the world. The "sea women" mentioned in the title are traditional female divers who earned money for their families by harvesting sea creatures, while husbands watched their babies and cooked dinner at home. The story focuses mostly on a girl called Young-Sook from 1938-2008. It is fascinating!

One thing I was not prepared for is the atrocities committed after World War Two in this area, the memory of which was subsequently suppressed for over fifty years. It's terrible to think about the lives of innocent people lost. We like to believe that the Nazis were the only ones murdering huge groups of people, (oh, and Stalin, too) but these kinds of things crop up again and again in history. It's important to remember and not to repeat the evils of the past.

This was a wonderful character story, all in all, giving me a glimpse of a people very different from anything I've ever known, and yet still like me inside.

I highly recommend this book.

I also read recently by this author: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Fiction by Taylor Adams.

This was a great thriller about a couple trapped in the middle of nowhere by a crazy sniper. It was an exciting read with plenty of surprises.

I also read recently by this author: Our Last Night

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Reckoning

Fiction by John Grisham

In 1946, Pete Banning, World War II hero and respected Mississippi landowner, gets up in the morning, has breakfast, and goes to town. There her enters the Methodist church, walks to the preacher's office, and shoots Reverend Bell in the face.

Pete is immediately arrested and eventually sentenced to the electric chair. He doesn't deny the killing. But he absolutely refuses to tell anyone why he did it, not his wife, or his grown children, or his sister, or his lawyer, or even The governor of Mississippi!

The story unfolds from there, and I just had to find out why he did it. Why why why why WHY??

This was a good character story, and eventually the author does tell you the answer. (Whew!)

I also read recently by this author: Calico Joe

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Killman Creek

Fiction by Rachel Caine
This is the sequel to Stillhouse Lake, which I read a few weeks ago.

That book was about a woman who discovered her husband was a serial killer who had been murdering women in their garage for years, and this one continues her story. I had not really felt that the other novel was too gory (as I'd been warned it would be, and as you might expect a serial-killer story to be), but this one crossed the line a bit. I started to feel pretty shocked and repulsed by the pervasive evil of the imprisoned ex-husband and his associates.(Yes, he has associates! People who want to help a convicted mass murderer! Who knew?)

This was still an exciting thriller but a bit upsetting. There is supposed to be a third installment in this series later this year, but I'm not sure about reading that one.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Identicals

Fiction by Elin Hildebrand.

All of Elin Hidebrand's novels (or at least all that I've read) are set on Nantucket Island. This one is on Nantucket AND its sister/rival island Martha's Vineyard, which is an interesting twist. She starts out with a little list of  contrasting facts about each island, and why the residents of each believe their island to be superior to the other.

But the two New England islands aren't the only sister/rivals in this story; the novel is about a pair of identical twins sisters, split in The Parent Trap-style by a divorce and living estranged from each other on separate islands. Their father's death should be bringing them together, but it's a tough road.

This was a good character story; I enjoyed it.

I also read by this author: Here's to Us

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Today Will be Different

Fiction by Maria Semple

At the beginning of this story, Eleanor promises that today will be different. She will be present in the moment, engage with her family, smile at people and look them in the eye, et cetera. She will stop sleepwalking through life.

Eleanor is a little nuts, by the way. I really identified with her too! (which tells you that I'm a little nuts also...)

Anyways, I found this story charming and fun, and really emotionally touching at times as well.

I also read by this author: Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Girl in the Woods

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

Blair Butler, a 13-year-old orphan, has a best friend called Molly, the one bright spot in her young life since she and her older sister came to live with her grim uncle Ellis. But then Ellis's bad temper sends Molly off alone into the rainy woods where a terrible fate awaits her. And that's just the beginning of the story...

This was a really good thriller with a surprise ending.

I also read recently by this author: Stranger in the House

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Stillhouse Lake

Fiction by Rachel Caine

My mother's book club read this book a couple of months ago and she said it was terrible.

So I hurried to the library to get it.

Well, not exactly.... What my mom said was, that the book was very exciting but that she thought there were too many gory details and so she didn't like it. But she DID go ahead and read the sequel right away, so maybe it wasn't as terrible as she'd claimed. AND she proceeded to explain the beginning of the book to me in detail.

This book begins with a nice woman called Gina coming home with her two kids in the car, only to find out that the police have discovered her husband is a serial killer. A REALLY BAD serial killer. (Hence the gory details.) She'd had no idea, but nobody cares about that and it seems the public, and in particular the internet, is eager to condemn her (and the KIDS!) along with him. She is forced to change her name and go into hiding in order to keep her children safe.

That's an interesting beginning!

And I don't think the gory details were as bad as all that. I've certainly seen worse. (Remind me not to tell Mom what kind of stuff I've been reading...)

ANYWAYS... This was a really good thriller and I'm looking forward to getting the sequel.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Death in the Clouds

Fiction by Agatha Christie

In this novel it seems to me that Agatha Christie is kind of poking fun at her own genre; she's got an impossible murder committed on a crowded airplane, right under the nose of Hercule Poirot himself!

It's a good story, and very clever, although I prefer less of Poirot pontificating and more of other characters in general. I really didn't remember who the murderer was, although I've read it before at least once.

I also read recently by this author: Three-Act Tragedy

List of Agatha Christie books in order link is here.