This week we have some creepy twins, a British billionaire, sudden loss, painful estrangement, some characters, a little art, and a triple homicide.

Let us begin!

The Citizen Asha is back and as usual she is into some serious sketchiness. “I devoured a very fascinating book this weekend, Breed by Chase Novak. Meet Alex and Leslie Twisden, a very affluent couple but they are missing one thing; a child. For years they struggle with in-vitro, tracking her basal body temperature, they have even joined a support group.  Nothing works, until they find out about a doctor in Ljubljana.  Dr. Kis has managed to help a couple in their group become pregnant, for Alex and Leslie, this is their last hope. They meet the good doctor and yes, they become pregnant. Fast forward ten years and you see Leslie and Alex with their twins; Adam and Alice. However, they cage their children in at night, and I’m pretty sure the smell coming through the floorboards is not from daisies or roses. What's happening to the Twisdens? And what did Kis put in his elixir?”  I too devoured this book and I can totally endorse it as one of the creepiest things I have read in a long time.

Elizabeth of the KLS weighs in with Overseas by Beatriz Williams.  “This is exciting contemporary fiction set in the NYC finance world with a little historical fiction added for good measure. When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Julian’s relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she’s baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire—Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor—pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college?  ” Yes! Why indeed?

Pat S. has finished some unfinished work by reading The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nicole Bernier.  “Kate is spending an extended family summer vacation on a New England island just after 9/11. While there, she is wading through the bequeathed journals of her recently deceased friend Elizabeth whose only instruction was “to begin at the beginning”. Still reeling from the sudden loss of her friend, Kate is stunned to discover that the Elizabeth she knew-as a friend, a mother, a wife-was but a mere shadow of the Elizabeth she comes to know through her journals. This results in a provocative exploration of authenticity and intimacy in relationships- specifically, friendship and marriage. Why do we keep secrets from the ones we love? Is it to protect them, or ourselves? Is what we perceive in other people true, or based primarily on appearance and assumption? And ultimately, how well do we truly ever know another person? This was an extremely thought provoking-a great read. “

Ann has begun a new read with So Far Away by Meg Mitchell Moore. “I am only in the beginning of this book and I am intrigued and enjoying it quite a bit.  It is the story of thirteen year old Natalie who is being cyber bullied and dealing with the separation of her parents at the same time.  She finds a diary from a woman who worked as a servant in the early 1900's and this is opening a new world to her. It is also the story of Kathleen Lynch, a library archivist, who is helping Natalie but also going through the painful estrangement of her daughter. It's a good story so far.”

John, yet again has us scratching our heads over his choice in company.  “This week, after having spent some quality time with two crazy (albeit literary) women, I'm reading about a different kind of woman altogether.  I'm about halfway through John Irving's In One Person.  Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character, recounts his coming of age and intense attraction to the transsexual librarian in a small Vermont town that doesn't ‘have to accept him, but does have to claim him as one of their own’.  This is quite a tour-de-force for Irving who admits to being a straight man.  In true Irving fashion, this is a novel about characters.  Irving is one of my favorite authors of all time, but before I start one of his books, I always have to be prepared for a serious reading experience.  Even when his prose is at its funniest, his humor underscores his deep, razor-sharp observations on human nature.  This is a much different novel than Twisted River, his last, and his most political since Cider House Rules".

Jeanne has just finished The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. “I enjoyed it very much. It centers on the huge unsolved heist from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in the nineties. This fictional account weaves a mystery with Claire Roth who paints for and Aidan Markel, an influential gallery owner. The plot thickens when he makes her an offer that could make or break her career. Shapiro not only surprises the reader with twists and turns of the story, but also educates us with art and painting details that add to the mystery. Claire's ‘art history’ is complicated with talent, love and betrayal.”

This weekend I can be found running errands and listening to Tana French’s Broken Harbor.  Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy has just been assigned to a triple homicide and a new partner who is a rookie.  Will they be able to figure out who killed the father and two children and left the still alive mother for dead?  So far, I am really enjoying the Irish lilt to the narration of this dark tale.


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