Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegends1At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

LESLIE:

The Lake and the Lost Girl by Jacquelyn Vincenta at Lori’s Reading Corner

When her husband’s scholarly interest turns to obsession, Lydia Carroll will do whatever it takes to save her family

On a stormy night in 1939, Mary Stone Walker disappears from her home in White Hill, Michigan. Everyone knew the talented poet was desperate to escape her demons, but when Mary goes missing without a trace, one question lingers in the small town: Did Mary successfully break free of her troubled past and flee, or did her life end that night?

Sixty years later, Lydia Carroll’s husband is still fixated on the local mystery. English Professor Frank Carroll has invested years in the search for the local poet and her lost works, sacrificing his family, his reputation, and even Lydia for the ever-more-unlikely discovery. As Frank’s behavior grows more erratic, Lydia sees that his interest in Mary has evolved into an obsession―one that threatens to destroy the family they have built together, and which can only be undone by solving the mystery of what happened to Mary on that rainy night in 1939.

The Lake and the Lost Girl tells the riveting story of secrets from the past unraveling one family from the inside out, and two women, separated by sixty years of history, determined to pursue their dreams.

Chemistry by Weike Wang at Book Dilettante and BermudaOnion

Three years into her graduate studies at a demanding Boston university, the unnamed narrator of this nimbly wry, concise debut finds her one-time love for chemistry is more hypothesis than reality. She’s tormented by her failed research–and reminded of her delays by her peers, her advisor, and most of all by her Chinese parents, who have always expected nothing short of excellence from her throughout her life. But there’s another, nonscientific question looming: the marriage proposal from her devoted boyfriend, a fellow scientist, whose path through academia has been relatively free of obstacles, and with whom she can’t make a life before finding success on her own.

Eventually, the pressure mounts so high that she must leave everything she thought she knew about her future, and herself, behind. And for the first time, she’s confronted with a question she won’t find the answer to in a textbook: What do I really want? Over the next two years, this winningly flawed, disarmingly insightful heroine learns the formulas and equations for a different kind of chemistry–one in which the reactions can’t be quantified, measured, and analyzed; one that can be studied only in the mysterious language of the heart. Taking us deep inside her scattered, searching mind, here is a brilliant new literary voice that astutely juxtaposes the elegance of science, the anxieties of finding a place in the world, and the sacrifices made for love and family.

MARTHA:

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse found at Rainy Days and Mondays

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…

This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

I was caught by the cover and the description.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan found at Bookfan

“Just because the men have gone to war, why do we have to close the choir? And precisely when we need it most!”

As England enters World War II’s dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar’s stuffy edict to shutter the church’s choir in the absence of men and instead ‘carry on singing’. Resurrecting themselves as “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir”, the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives.

Told through letters and journals, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir moves seamlessly from budding romances to village intrigues to heartbreaking matters of life and death. As we come to know the struggles of the charismatic members of this unforgettable outfit — a timid widow worried over her son at the front; the town beauty drawn to a rakish artist; her younger sister nursing an impossible crush and dabbling in politics she doesn’t understand; a young Jewish refugee hiding secrets about her family, and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past — we come to see how the strength each finds in the choir’s collective voice reverberates in her individual life.

In turns funny, charming and heart-wrenching, this lovingly executed ensemble novel will charm and inspire, illuminating the true spirit of the women on the home front, in a village of indomitable spirit, at the dawn of a most terrible conflict.

I have sung in choir and I liked the sound of this.

SERENA:

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris at Luxury Reading

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

This sounds like another thrilling novel from Paris. I read Behind Closed Doors and was sucked in, so this is sure to be gripping.

What books caught your eyes this week?  Please share in the comments.

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4 thoughts on “Books That Caught Our Eye

  1. Chilbury Ladies Choir sounds like something I’d be in to. That period fascinates me.

    Still working through books on my TBR-or-you-can’t-have-any-new-books shelf. This week I started Turn Thanks by Lorna Goodison (who incidentally was just named as the new poet laureate of Jamaica) and Closure: Contemporary Back British Short Stories (edited by Jacob Ross). But the book I’ve been reading the most this week is a book previously in progress The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly – that I’ve been at it for a while is no fault of the book which is really engaging if grueling given that it’s fiction about a Burmese/Myanmar student who is a political prisoner and all the indignities and violence he suffers as he tries to hold on to himself.

    This past week, I finished The Known World and blogged my thoughts here, if any one wants to check it out: https://jhohadli.wordpress.com/joannes-extra-ness/blogger-on-books

  2. Hi Ladies,

    You have made some brilliant choices this week, thanks for surfing the blogs so successfully.

    Martha, I have ‘The Idea Of You’ downloaded onto my Kindle, so I now just have to wait for it to make the top of my list!!

    Serena, I really want to read ‘The Breakdown’. I haven’t read the previous book by this author and both sound so good.

    Enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

    Yvonne

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