Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Summer Guests - Mary Alice Monroe

Looking for a summer beach read? Look no further than Mary Alice Monroe's new novel - The Summer Guests!

A hurricane is set to strike the Florida and North Carolina coasts. Grace Phillips lives inland and has offered a number of her diverse group of friends to take refuge at her inland farm. The one thing they have in common? Horses.

The weather mirrors the lives of the large character cast. As the hurricane threatens, the lives of the characters are facing stormy times. When the storm hits, lives change and as the storm eases up, new paths are set for almost everyone over the course of ten days. (And a lot happens!)

All types of relationships are explored - friendship, mother/daughter, romantic, working - and horses. I am completely in the dark about equine matters and I learned quite a bit from Monroe's descriptions and settings. Again, much of the equine situations mirror what's going on in the lives of the group.

It is a diverse group and readers will gravitate towards some players (I really liked Moira and her mother Grace - maybe we'll see them in a future book?). And dislike others. With so many characters, the narrative changed often and I felt like I didn't really get to 'know' them as much as I would have liked.

The Summer Guests takes inspiration from Munroe's own life and experiences through an evacuation, her knowledge of the horse community and of course, the Southern settings.

This was a first read of Mary Alice Monroe for me. The Summer Guests engaged me, the story was entertaining and it just seemed right for beach reading. See for  yourself - here's an excerpt of The Summer Guests.

"Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the Beach House series: The Beach House, Beach House Memories, Swimming Lessons, Beach House for Rent, and Beach House Reunion. She is a 2018 Inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the 2015 SW Florida Author of Distinction Award, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the 2017 Southern Book Prize for Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Beach House is also a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina." Visit her at her website and like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Friday, June 14, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #267

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
Oh, I'm looking forward to the next suspense novel from Shari Lapena! Someone We Know releases on both side of the pond at the end of July. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Dark tones on each cover. Androgynous person out at night in leafy suburb on the US cover.  And a neighbourhood shot on the UK cover as well, with a house instead of a person. And  a little earlier in the day. Yellow font on both, but flipped between title and author name. I find the blue author name on the US cover not as much of a standout. The UK cover does have a tagline that gives the reader a bit of a clue as the story awaiting. But...having read the premise of the book, I am going to go with the US cover this week. I like that dark street and the unknown person. But, either cover, it's going to be a good read. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Someone We Know?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Your Life is Mine - Nathan Ripley

Nathan Ripley's debut novel Find You in the Dark was deliciously dark and creepy. (my review). His second novel, Your Life is Mine, is just as dark.

Blanche Potter ran from her past and never returned - until the murder of her mother Crissy. She finally returns to her home -  to the town where her father, Chuck Varner, went on a killing spree in a crowded mall. He saw himself as a leader - the head of a self created cult. Blanche grew up listening the doctrine her mother and father espoused. And it looks like Crissy continued the 'teachings' after Chuck's death, keeping Chuck's legacy alive.

Blanche's arrival is immediately met by a police officer who seems intent on not investigating Crissy's death. I was a little surprised that Blanche didn't push harder here. A journalist named Emil who knows who knows Blanche really is, is also there - intent on using Blanche's life to write an exposé.

Your Life is Mine is driven by Blanche, but Emil is also given a voice. He too has more than a few issues with his parent.

Blanche ran, but you can't escape that kind of upbringing. She is mentally scarred, scars she has kept hidden from her best friend Jaya. Ripley does a good job of imagining how a survivor of such an upbringing might turn out. How her outlook on life might be, what paths in life she might choose, what relationships might look like after such trauma. The relationship between Blanche and Jaya goes into much detail. Despite her past, I did find it hard to connect with Blanche. I found myself drawn more to Jaya.

Just as disturbing are the 'lessons' and 'wisdom' that Chuck preached. But they are topped by those willing to buy into his vision. This is unfortunately not far-fetched at all.

Ripley gives us some twists along the way to the final conclusion. There are some clues along the way, so they weren't completely unexpected. The build up to an inevitable, final confrontation keeps building and takes most of the book. I did find the resolution happened much quicker than I expected and the speed of those final chapters left me slightly underwhelmed with the conclusion.

Ripley's writing is very readable. I liked the first book better, but will absolutely read what he writes next. Here's an excerpt of Your Life is Mine.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Over the Counter #484

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Well....we all know about the five second rule right?

Did You Just Eat That?: Two Scientists Explore Double-Dipping, the Five-Second Rule, and Other Food Myths in the Lab by Paul Dawson and Brian Sheldon.

From WW Norton Books:

"Is the five-second rule legitimate?
Are electric hand dryers really bacteria blowers?
Am I spraying germs everywhere when I blow on my birthday cake?
How gross is backwash?

When it comes to food safety and germs, there are as many common questions as there are misconceptions. And yet there has never been a book that clearly examines the science behind these important issues—until now. In Did You Just Eat That? food scientists Paul Dawson and Brian Sheldon take readers into the lab to show, for example, how they determine the amount of bacteria that gets transferred by sharing utensils or how many microbes live on restaurant menus. The authors list their materials and methods (in case you want to replicate the experiments), guide us through their results, and offer in-depth explanations of good hygiene and microbiology. Written with candid humor and richly illustrated, this fascinating book will reveal surprising answers to the most frequently debated—and also the weirdest—questions about food and germs, sure to satisfy anyone who has ever wondered: should I really eat that?"

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Rosie Result - Graeme Simsion

I adored Graeme Simsion's novel The Rosie Project, the first book that introduced us to Don Tillman. (my review)

The Rosie Result is the third book chronicling Don's life. And life has moved on. He and Rosie have moved back to Australia - along with their eleven year old son Hudson. And you know that old saying - like father, like son? Well, Don and Hudson fit that description. But....is Hudson really autistic? Rosie and Don debate over having a formal diagnosis done. In the meantime, Don's latest project is to help Hudson fit into his new school and environment.

I truly like Don and his take on life. This latest book only cements that opinion. Hudson is just well drawn. I enjoyed seeing life from Hudson's viewpoint as he attempts to circumnavigate friendship, bullying, sports, academics, social norms and all the other things that go with with making your way through life. I did find the behaviour of the school towards Hudson to be upsetting. But I applaud Don and Rosie's advocating on his behalf.

Don and Rosie are also having difficulties - especially with work. Don of course comes up with a brilliant idea - opening a bar to take advantage of their cocktail making talents. His problem solving skills are always ingenious and for the most part effective. Although there are a few that don't go quite as planned - the video clips of animals mating for sex-ed purposes is one example.

Supporting cast members from previous books also end up in Australia. Dave is a perennial favourite of mine. I must admit, I didn't really like Rosie in the second book. I'm happy to say that she has redeemed herself in this latest and is much kinder.

The Rosie Result is by turns humorous, eye-opening and heart warming.  Those who have have enjoyed the previous two books will enjoy catching up with Rosie and Don and meeting Hudson. I did. I wonder if there will be another book in the future for Don as Hudson grows up. Read an excerpt of The Rosie Result.

I think the book could have been shortened up a bit. It comes in at 386 pages and I did find that some situations were re-hashed and began to feel repetitive.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Giveaway - Fake Like Me - Barbara Bourland

Barbara Bourland's new novel, Fake Like Me, releases on June 18/19. And I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader!

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"At once a twisted psychological portrait of a woman crumbling under unimaginable pressure and a razor-sharp satire of the contemporary art scene, Fake Like Me is a dark, glamorous, and addictive story of good intentions gone awry, from the critically acclaimed author of I'll Eat When I'm Dead.

Carey Logan was the art world's genius wild child. FAKE
I was a no-name painter clawing my way up behind her. LIKE
When Carey died, she left a space that couldn't be filled. Except, maybe, by ME.

After a fire rips through her loft, destroying the seven billboard-size paintings meant for her first major exhibition, a young painter is left with an impossible task: recreate the lost artworks in just three months without getting caught - or ruin her fledgling career. Homeless and desperate, she begs her way into Pine City, an exclusive retreat in upstate New York notorious for three things: outrageous revelries, glamorous artists, and the sparkling black lake where brilliant prodigy Carey Logan drowned herself.

Taking up residence in Carey's former studio, the painter works with obsessive, delirious focus. But when she begins to uncover strange secrets at Pine City and falls hard for Carey's mysterious boyfriend, a single thought shadows her every move: What really happened to Carey Logan?" Read an excerpt of Fake Like Me.

"Barbara Bourland is the author of the critically acclaimed I’ll Eat When I’m Dead, a Refinery29 Best Book of 2017 and an Irish Independent Book of the Year. People called I’ll Eat When I’m Dead “delectable.” Wednesday Martin, bestselling author of Primates of Park Avenue and Untrue, deemed it “a deft, smart, and hilarious debut.” Kirkus noted that “death by beauty was never so much fun,” and the book was featured in Fortune, Us Weekly, and The New York Post, among others. I’ll Eat When I’m Dead is now available in paperback, and is forthcoming in Hebrew from Matar Press in Israel." You can connect with Barbara on her website, follow her on Twitter as well as on Instagram.

And if you'd like to read Fake Like Me, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, ends June 25/19. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 7, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #266

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
Michael Connelly has a new entry in his Ballard and Bosch
series coming in October 2019 on both sides of the pond. The Night Fire. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. So we have the spark for a fire on the US cover, while the UK cover has a full fledged fire. At first I thought the fire was a downed plane, but on closer view, it does seems to be wood. I like the orange sky and the cityscape in the background. But I also like the detailed match image on the US cover. The author's name takes precedence over the title on both books and the Ballard and Bosch tag appears on both covers. I'm torn this week - one cover is effective in it's simplicity, while the other gives the reader more food for thought. But if forced to pick - I would go with the US cover. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Night Fire?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Dead Ex - Jane Corry

The Dead Ex is from author Jane Corry.

Vicki is the main protagonist. She is an unreliable narrator, suffering from a faulty memory amongst other things. And she lies. When the police arrive at her door to question her about her dead husband's disappearance she is stunned. Surely they can't believe that she had anything to do with him or his disappearance. Or could she? What about his current wife Tanya? Scarlet and Zelda's stories are also told concurrently to Vicki's. Zena is a dealer and a con who uses her eight year old in her 'business.'

While I quite enjoy multiple storylines, I felt like this one went back and forth too long. Corry has indeed crafted connections between the two narratives. But I felt she tried to keep the reader guessing too long with much foreshadowing and many, many teasers. When the 'big' reveal came, I found myself underwhelmed. And without providing any spoilers, I had a hard time believing what had been alluded to. Vicki presents as far too scatterbrained and unprofessional to have been employed as she was. And given that background, the way she allows the police to treat her is completely ridiculous. On the flip side, her current health concerns do contribute to memory loss. I felt like I should be on team Vicki - but I couldn't get on board. I just didn't like her or empathize with her. Part Two gives us another female character to consider. And more actions that I had a hard time buying. I persevered and made it the end, but had pretty much lost interest by this point.

I've enjoyed Corry's previous books, but this one fell flat for me. Here's an excerpt of The Dead Ex.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Over the Counter #483

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner?

Lindsay Wong's memoir....The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family......

From Arsenal Pulp Press:

"2019 Canada Reads Finalist. Shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust of Canada Prize for Nonfiction.

In this jaw-dropping, darkly comedic memoir, a young woman comes of age in a dysfunctional Asian family who blame their woes on ghosts and demons when they should really be on anti-psychotic meds.

Lindsay Wong grew up with a paranoid schizophrenic grandmother and a mother who was deeply afraid of the "woo-woo" -- Chinese ghosts who come to visit in times of personal turmoil. From a young age, she witnessed the woo-woo's sinister effects; when she was six, Lindsay and her mother avoided the dead people haunting their house by hiding out in a mall food court, and on a camping trip, in an effort to rid her daughter of demons, her mother tried to light Lindsay's foot on fire.

The eccentricities take a dark turn, however, and when Lindsay starts to experience symptoms of the woo-woo herself, she wonders whether she will suffer the same fate as her family.

At once a witty and touching memoir about the Asian immigrant experience and a harrowing and honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness, The Woo-Woo is a gut-wrenching and beguiling manual for surviving family, and oneself."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Library of Lost and Found - Phaedra Patrick

I loved Phaedra Patrick's previous book, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper. I knew I was in for another wonderful read when I picked picked up her latest, The Library of Lost and Found. You had me at library!

Martha Storm volunteers at her local library - she does so much to ensure the patrons find what they need. But she does more than that - she'll help anyone with anything they ask of her.  Her lists keep her on top of things. But sometimes she feels, well, a little invisible.

And then......a mysterious book of fairy tales lands on her doorstep and her carefully ordered life is turned upside down....

Oh, there's so much to love in this book. First is Martha herself. She's a character the reader will be inevitably drawn to - but you'll want more for her than she seems to want for herself. And when she does consider other possibilities for herself, you'll be urging her forward. "The thought of doing something out of character again gave her a small buzz."

Such a change might include love. Patrick's 'love story' is wonderfully subtle and slow burning.

The supporting cast of characters is just as well drawn. In the beginning I was quite sure of who I liked and who I disliked. But Patrick manipulates the reader, providing some turns in the story that I didn't predict - but they perfectly suited to this tale. I loved the quirky patrons of the library - and speaking from experience, some of them are not too far-fetched at all. Patrick's own love of libraries shines through in her descriptions and setting.

A heartwarming tale of coming to terms with the past and finding yourself - and happiness - at last. Loved it! Read an excerpt of the Library of Lost and Found.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Giveaway - The Starter Wife - Nina Laurin

Ohh, if you love suspense, you're going to want to want to enter this giveaway! Nina Laurin's new novel, The Starter Wife, releases on June 11/19! And I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader.

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"From the bestselling author of Girl Last Seen comes "a spine-tingler" (Booklist) of a psychological suspense, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Jessica Knoll.

'Local police have announced that they're closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.'

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband's first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There's a big difference.
My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it's an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.
When the voice does finally come, it's female, low, muffled somehow. "Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is."
A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She's not just in my head.
A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It's Colleen." Read an excerpt of The Starter Wife.

"Nina Laurin studied Creative Writing at Concordia University in Montreal, where she currently lives. She arrived there when she was just twelve years old, and she speaks and reads in Russian, French, and English but writes her novels in English. She wrote her first novel while getting her writing degree, and Girl Last Seen was a bestseller a year later in 2017. The follow-up, What My Sister Knew, came out in summer 2018 to critical acclaim. Nina is fascinated by the darker side of mundane things, and she’s always on the lookout for her next twisted book idea. She blogs about books and writing on her own site, thrillerina.wordpress.com." You can connect with Nina on Twitter as well.

And if you'd like to read Starter Wife, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below! Open to US and Canada, ends June 18/19. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 31, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #265

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US book
UK cover
Karin Slaughter fans! The ninth book in the Will Trent series - The Last Widow - releases in August in NA and in June in the UK. A must read for me! The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Okay, both images suggest 'woman in peril'. The jagged glass (or prism?) and the somewhat worried look of the woman on the US cover And the running woman on the UK cover. As much as I don't like women's faces on covers I find myself more drawn to the US cover. I just feel like I've seen the UK cover many times before. So, it's an easy choice for the US cover for me this week. What about you? 
Which cover do you prefer? 
Any plans to read The Last Widow?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Short and Sweet #5 - Dopesick - Beth Macy

What? Well, time flies and sometimes I just seem to run out of it! So, Short and Sweet will be just that - some brief thoughts on books I've read or listened to. And when you see S and S, chances are I'm either busy, tired or on vacation!

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy.

From the publisher - Little, Brown and Company:

"An instant New York Times and indie bestseller, Dopesick is the only book to fully chart the devastating opioid crisis in America: “a harrowing, deeply compassionate dispatch from the heart of a national emergency” (New York Times) from a bestselling author and journalist who has lived through it.

In this masterful work, Beth Macy takes us into the epicenter of America’s twenty-plus year struggle with opioid addiction. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs; from disparate cities to once-idyllic farm towns; it’s a heartbreaking trajectory that illustrates how this national crisis has persisted for so long and become so firmly entrenched.

Beginning with a single dealer who lands in a small Virginia town and sets about turning high school football stars into heroin overdose statistics, Macy endeavors to answer a grieving mother’s question-why her only son died-and comes away with a harrowing story of greed and need. From the introduction of OxyContin in 1996, Macy parses how America embraced a medical culture where overtreatment with painkillers became the norm. In some of the same distressed communities featured in her bestselling book Factory Man, the unemployed use painkillers both to numb the pain of joblessness and pay their bills, while privileged teens trade pills in cul-de-sacs, and even high school standouts fall prey to prostitution, jail, and death.

Through unsparing, yet deeply human portraits of the families and first responders struggling to ameliorate this epidemic, each facet of the crisis comes into focus. In these politically fragmented times, Beth Macy shows, astonishingly, that the only thing that unites Americans across geographic and class lines is opioid drug abuse. But in a country unable to provide basic healthcare for all, Macy still finds reason to hope-and signs of the spirit and tenacity necessary in those facing addiction to build a better future for themselves and their families." Read an excerpt of Dopesick.

My Thoughts:

Another fantastic social commentary. Dopesick takes a look at the opioid epidemic that has swept across all lines - age, gender, economic status and more. Macy details the beginnings of the opioid crisis - the greed and push of BigPharma to saturate the populace with these highly addictive and massively destructive drugs. And at what cost? Macy includes stories of addicts and their families - their struggles and their losses. These are simply heartbreaking to read. I learned much from Macy's book. I have no answers, but do have a clearer understanding of what has happened and what is being done by those trying to turn the tide and those trying to  change their lives.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Over the Counter #482

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Another one on order for my library.....

Anthony Bourdain Remembered by CNN.

From Ecco Books:

"A moving and insightful collection of quotes, memories, and images celebrating the life of Anthony Bourdain

When Anthony Bourdain died in June 2018, the outpouring of love from his fans around the world was momentous. The tributes spoke to his legacy: That the world is much smaller than we imagine and people are more alike than they are different. As Bourdain once said, “If I’m an advocate of anything, it’s to move…Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food.”

Anthony Bourdain Remembered brings together memories and anecdotes from fans reminiscing about Bourdain’s unique achievements and his enduring effect on their lives as well as comments from chefs, journalists, filmmakers, musicians, and writers inspired by Bourdain including Barack Obama, Eric Ripert, Jill Filipovic, Ken Burns, Questlove, and José Andrés, among many others.

These remembrances give us a glimpse of Bourdain's widespread impact through his political and social commitments; his dedication to travel and eating well (and widely); and his love of the written word, along with his deep compassion, open-mindedness, and interest in lives different from his own.

Anthony Bourdain Remembered captures Bourdain's inimitable spirit and passion in the words of his devoted fans as well as some of his closest friends and colleagues."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Short and Sweet #4 - American Prison - Shane Bauer

What? Well, time flies and sometimes I just seem to run out of it! So, Short and Sweet will be just that - some brief thoughts on books I've read or listened to. And when you see S and S, chances are I'm either busy, tired or on vacation!

American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment by Shane Bauer.

From the publisher:

"A ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country’s history.

In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; there was no meaningful background check. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an exposé about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Still, there was much more that he needed to say. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can’t understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still.

The private prison system is deliberately unaccountable to public scrutiny. Private prisons are not incentivized to tend to the health of their inmates, or to feed them well, or to attract and retain a highly-trained prison staff. Though Bauer befriends some of his colleagues and sympathizes with their plight, the chronic dysfunction of their lives only adds to the prison’s sense of chaos. To his horror, Bauer finds himself becoming crueler and more aggressive the longer he works in the prison, and he is far from alone.

A blistering indictment of the private prison system, and the powerful forces that drive it, American Prison is a necessary human document about the true face of justice in America."

My Thoughts:

Oh this one was eye-opening -  and so very, very disturbing. Bauer used his own name when applying. If the references were checked they would have realized he was a senior reporter at Mother Jones.  Bauer lasted four months, recording conversations and taking photos surreptitiously. What goes on inside the walls of this for profit prison is simply outrageous and egregious. Rehabilitation? That's a joke. People die in these places. The treatment of ill inmates was sickening. Bauer weaves the history of prisons in the south in his narrative. And that explained a lot. Using prisoners for profit  is not a new idea. Hard to read, but this needs to be known by the public. An excellent exposé. Read an excerpt of American Prison.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Giveaway - Cari Mora - Thomas Harris

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris is one of the scariest books I've read. Harris has a brand new book out called Cari Mora and I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader!

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"From the creator of Hannibal Lecter and The Silence of the Lambs comes a story of evil, greed, and the consequences of dark obsession.

Twenty-five million dollars in cartel gold lies hidden beneath a mansion on the Miami Beach waterfront. Ruthless men have tracked it for years. Leading the pack is Hans-Peter Schneider. Driven by unspeakable appetites, he makes a living fleshing out the violent fantasies of other, richer men.

Cari Mora, caretaker of the house, has escaped from the violence in her native country. She stays in Miami on a wobbly Temporary Protected Status, subject to the iron whim of ICE. She works at many jobs to survive. Beautiful, marked by war, Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter as he closes in on the treasure. But Cari Mora has surprising skills, and her will to survive has been tested before.

Monsters lurk in the crevices between male desire and female survival. No other writer in the last century has conjured those monsters with more terrifying brilliance than Thomas Harris. Cari Mora, his sixth novel, is the long-awaited return of an American master." Read an excerpt of Cari Mora.

"Thomas Harris is the author of five novels and may be best known for his character Hannibal Lecter. All of his books have been made into films, including most notably the multiple Oscar winner, The Silence of The Lambs. Harris began his writing career covering crime in the United States and Mexico, and was a reporter and editor at the Associated Press in New York."

And if you'd like to read Cari Mora, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, ends June 8/19.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 24, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #264

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
I must admit, I've fallen a bit behind on keeping up with Jack Reacher. For those of you keeping up, the 24th book in this series - Blue Moon - from Lee Child releases in October on both sides of the pond. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Yellow colored font for the author's name on both. White for the title and Jack Reacher on both. The US cover is quite literal in it's interpretation. Nice spooky tree with a blue moon. The UK cover seems more turquoise to me. Lonely road and trees. Stop sign is a nice addition. And the lone figure accurately portrays Jack. But, the light shining down on the figure kinda looks like a UFO beam ready to whisk him away to me. Simplicty vs. busy. Hmm, I think I'll go with the US cover this week. I can't shake the alien beam image. Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Blue Moon?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Short and Sweet # 3 - Before She Knew Him - Peter Swanson

What? Well, time flies and sometimes I just seem to run out of it! So, Short and Sweet will be just that - some brief thoughts on books I've read or listened to. And when you see S and S, chances are I'm either busy, tired or on vacation!

I love Peter Swanson's books - he writes lovely, twisted suspense that's unpredictable. Before She Knew Him is his latest.

From the publisher:

"Catching a killer is dangerous—especially if he lives next door

From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes an exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder . . .

Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.

Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . ."

My Thoughts:

See what I mean by twisted? What a premise!  Hen is a decidedly unreliable narrator. She doesn't act or follow the path I thought she would have , given her discovery. And this is what I like about Swanson's writing - the not knowing what's going to happen next. I should be afraid for Hen right? Nope, she's a little bit scary herself....And the neighbour? He's uber creepy - and a high school teacher to boot. Swanson has come up with some fantastic last minute twists in the final chapters of previous books and does so again in Before She Knew Him. Didn't see it coming - and not sure I love it, but I was indeed surprised. Swanson's writing makes for addictive reading. Creepy, crawly good. Here's an excerpt of Before She Knew Him.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Over the Counter #481

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner?  This one's on order for my library.

Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America by Chris Arnade.

From Sentinel Books:

"Widely acclaimed photographer and writer Chris Arnade shines new light on America’s poor, drug-addicted, and forgotten–both urban and rural, blue state and red state–and indicts the elitists who’ve left them behind.

Like Jacob Riis in the 1890s, Walker Evans in the 1930s, or Michael Harrington in the 1960s, Chris Arnade bares the reality of our current class divide in stark pictures and unforgettable true stories. Arnade’s raw, deeply reported accounts cut through today’s clickbait media headlines and indict the elitists who misunderstood poverty and addiction in America for decades.

After abandoning his Wall Street career, Arnade decided to document poverty and addiction in the Bronx. He began interviewing, photographing, and becoming close friends with homeless addicts, and spent hours in drug dens and McDonald’s. Then he started driving across America to see how the rest of the country compared. He found the same types of stories everywhere, across lines of race, ethnicity, religion, and geography.

The people he got to know, from Alabama and California to Maine and Nevada, gave Arnade a new respect for the dignity and resilience of what he calls America’s Back Row–those who lack the credentials and advantages of the so-called meritocratic upper class. The strivers in the Front Row, with their advanced degrees and upward mobility, see the Back Row’s values as worthless. They scorn anyone who stays in a dying town or city as foolish, and mock anyone who clings to religion or tradition as naïve.

As Takeesha, a woman in the Bronx, told Arnade, she wants to be seen she sees herself: “a prostitute, a mother of six, and a child of God.” This book is his attempt to help the rest of us truly see, hear, and respect millions of people who’ve been left behind."

"Dignity is a profound book, taking us to parts of our country that many of our leaders never visit, and introducing us to people those same leaders don't know. It will break your heart but also leave you with hope, because Chris Arnade's ‘back row America’ contains not just struggle, but also perseverance, resilience, and love." - J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Short and Sweet # 2 - Amanda's Wedding - Jenny Colgan

What? Well, time flies and sometimes I just seem to run out of it! So, Short and Sweet will be just that - some brief thoughts on books I've read or listened to. And when you see S and S, chances are I'm either busy, tired or on vacation!

From what I can see, Amanda's Wedding was Jenny Colgan's first book, originally published in 1999. It has just been re-released with a new cover this year. I love Colgan's writing and have really enjoyed her work. I realized I had never read this first novel.

From the publisher:

"From New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan comes the debut novel that made her the sensation she is today—a hilarious, unforgettable story of one woman’s mad dash to put a stop to the wedding of her old school friend who’s the complete opposite of the sweet Scottish lord she’s marrying.

Amanda’s old school friends, Mel and Fran, are shocked when the social-climbing queen of mean announces her engagement to a laird (Scottish lord). It doesn’t matter that Fraser McConnald has worn the same pair of Converse sneakers for the last three years and that his castle is a pile of rubble with one gas heater—she’ll be the wife of an actual laird! But Mel and Fran can’t just sit back and let the sweet and gentle Fraser marry Amanda, especially since Mel had a huge crush on him back in University. Something must be done!

Joining forces with Fraser’s adorable younger brother Angus, they set out to sabotage this mismatch of the century. So between fighting off the attentions of a love-crazed accountant, keeping Fran’s deadly maneuvers’ with the opposite sex under control and trying to win her own war of love with her aspiring rock-star beau, Mel finds herself preparing for a wedding that’s everything you’d wish on your worst enemy.:

My Thoughts:

All the right elements are in place - fun loving pair of friends, love lost and love found, miscues and miscommunications. But.....yes, there's a but. I know and love Colgan's current works. You can absolutely tell the difference between then and now. The characters in Amanda's Wedding are not likeable. They're often crude and rude, not at all what I want in a warm, fuzzy chick lit read. I want to be on board with the characters, but found I wasn't on board or on side with Mel at all. Usually in this genre, I feel like I could be friends with the lead character. Quirky is good. But, these are just mean girls. The only characters I liked were the McConald brothers - and I had a hard time fathoming why they liked Mel and Fran. I did indeed finish the book just to see the ending. Yes this was a first book - and it shows. But....you can see the potential. Colgan's writing now is warm and wonderful and oh so good. So, if you've not read Colgan, pick up one of those later books - you'll love it.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Giveaway - Guilty - Laura Elliot

Calling all fans of suspense fiction! I've got a great giveaway for you today - Laura Elliot's new novel Guilty. 

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"It begins with a phone call. It ends with a missing child.

On a warm summer’s morning, thirteen-year-old school girl Constance Lawson is reported missing. A few days later, Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson, suddenly finds himself swept up in a media frenzy created by journalist Amanda Bowe implying that he is the prime suspect.

Six years later …Karl’s life is in ruins. His marriage is over, his family destroyed. But the woman who took everything away from him is thriving. With a successful career, husband and a gorgeous baby boy, Amanda’s world is complete. Until the day she receives a phone call and in a heartbeat, she is plunged into every mother’s worst nightmare.

An utterly compelling psychological thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and Sarah A. Denzil’s Silent Child." Read an excerpt of Guilty.

"Laura Elliot was born in Dublin, Ireland. She lives in Malahide, a picturesque, coastal town on the north side of Dublin. Writing as June Considine, she has twelve books for children and young adults. Her short stories have appeared in a number of teenage anthologies and have also been broadcast on the radio. She has also worked as a journalist and magazine editor." You can connect with Laura Elliot on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

And if you'd like to read Guilty, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflcopter form below. Open to US and Canada, ends June 1/19

Friday, May 17, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #263

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
The Rosie Result is the third book from Graeme Simsion
featuring Rosie and Don. I loved the first, was okay on the second and am looking forward to this one. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Two stark looks this week with a very solid background on both. No images, instead we have drawings. Having read the synopsis, I can see that the image on the US cover is quite relevant. But I do like the seagull and his scarf. And I think I like it enough to go with the UK cover this week. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Rosie Result?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

No Exit - Taylor Adams

How's this for a premise? Snow storm, isolated rest stop, no communication and five strangers. And one of them has a girl in a cage in the back of their van.....

That's the bare bones plot of Taylor Adams' latest book No Exit. Darby is the young woman who drives into the rest stop to wait out the storm. She's also the one who sees the young girl - and vows to rescue her.....

Oh this one reads like a movie for sure! There are so many roadblocks thrown at Darby as she attempts to save not just the girl, but herself. Adams throws in more than one unexpected twist and turn along the way. Yes, some of them are far-fetched, but go with it. No Exit is most definitely action packed. Readers will be on the edge of their seats with each new revelation.

The characters are a bit cliched. It's hard to believe that Darby survives each new curve thrown at her. But the reader can't help but urge her on. And the 'baddies'? Not hard to spot, but easy to hate.  The actions and dialogue attributed to the seven year old girl do seem like they would come from an older child.

There are most definitely some gruesome parts and creepy conversations. Kudos Taylor Adams - you made me squirm! That tension and action never really lets up. And I was fooled by the ending. *appreciative nod*

No Exit reads like a movie and I wouldn't be surprised to see it on the big screen. But until then - here's an excerpt.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Over the Counter #480

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? I love coffee table books. And trees.....

Trees by Art Wolfe.

From Mandala Earth/Earth Aware Editions:

"From the biblical Tree of Life to the Native American Tree of Peace, trees have played an archetypal role in human culture and spirituality since time immemorial. An integral part of a variety of faiths—from Buddhism and Hinduism to Native American and aboriginal religions—trees were venerated long before any written historical records existed.

Through the vivid images of legendary photographer Art Wolfe, Trees focuses on both individual specimens and entire forests, and offers a sweeping yet intimate look at an arboreal world that spans six continents. Author Gregory McNamee weaves a diverse and global account of the myths, cultures, and traditions that convey the long-standing symbiosis between trees and humans, and renowned ethnobotanist Wade Davis anchors the text with a penetrating introduction. Humans have always shared this planet with trees, and Trees by Art Wolfe is a breathtaking journey through and homage to that relationship and its past, present, and future."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Stone Circle - Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths pens one of my favourite mystery series - The Ruth Galloway books. The eleventh book in the series - The Stone Circle - has just released.

Ruth is a forensic archaeologist at the University in North Norfolk, England.  An expert in bones, she is often called in to assist police, museums and on other digs. And it is DCI Harry Nelson that calls on Ruth's expertise. The two have a complicated past and present. It is this element of the series that has me always curious as what will happen next. The married Nelson is father to Ruth's daughter Kate. And the attraction is still there between Harry and Ruth, despite the fact that his wife is expecting a child.

But Griffith's mysteries are just as intriguing. The stone henges and salt marshes that opened this series make another appearance. A young girl's remains are found during a dig in the marsh. And Nelson is receiving anonymous letters telling him to go the stone circle and look for the innocent. Much of this mirrors the first case that Ruth and Harry worked on together. As does the appearance of a archaeologist with ties to that first case. I've learned something from every book in this series as Griffiths' cases use history as a basis.

There are many supporting players that I've come to enjoy (and dislike) as well. Griffiths has also fleshed them out with rich, full personal lives. Ruth's boss Phil's pronouncements are always good for a chuckle. Judy and Clough, who work with Harry, are part of Ruth's life as well. This is what I enjoy so much - Griffiths doesn't let her characters be - their lives are evolving as they would in real life.  But my personal favourite is the enigmatic Cathbad, self proclaimed Druid.

Setting is also a character in Griffiths' books. The Norfolk area, while seemingly bleak, is beautiful in Ruth's eyes. I think I would enjoy living in her little cottage in the Saltmarsh, 'where the sea and the sky meet.'

I can't say enough about this series - I absolutely recommend it. Read an excerpt of The Stone Circle. But do yourself a favor and start with the first book in the series - The Crossing Places.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Giveaway - Out East - John Glynn

Do you enjoy memoirs? Yes? Then, I have the book for you! John Glynn's memoir Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer releases tomorrow and I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader.

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"A gripping portrait of life in a Montauk summer house–a debut memoir of first love, identity and self-discovery among a group of friends who became family.

They call Montauk the end of the world, a spit of land jutting into the Atlantic. The house was a ramshackle split-level set on a hill, and each summer thirty one people would sleep between its thin walls and shag carpets. Against the moonlight the house’s octagonal roof resembled a bee’s nest. It was dubbed The Hive.

In 2013, John Glynn joined the share house. Packing his duffel for that first Memorial Day Weekend, he prayed for clarity. At 27, he was crippled by an all-encompassing loneliness, a feeling he had carried in his heart for as long as he could remember. John didn’t understand the loneliness. He just knew it was there. Like the moon gone dark.

Out Eastis the portrait of a summer, of the Hive and the people who lived in it, and John’s own reckoning with a half-formed sense of self. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, The Hive was a center of gravity, a port of call, a home. Friendships, conflicts, secrets and epiphanies blossomed within this tightly woven friend group and came to define how they would live out the rest of their twenties and beyond. Blending the sand-strewn milieu of George Howe Colt’s The Big House, the radiant aching of Olivia Liang’s The Lonely City, Out East is a keenly wrought story of love and transformation, longing and escape in our own contemporary moment." Read an excerpt of Out East.

"John Glynn is an editor at Hanover Square Press, an imprint of HarperCollins. He grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts and lives in New York City. Out East is his first book." You can connect with John on his website, like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

And if you'd like to read Out East, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, ends May 25/19.

Friday, May 10, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #262

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
Michael Robotham has a new novel - Good Girl Bad Girl -
coming out in July on both sides of the pond. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. We've got the back of a woman on both covers. Two different tones - I think I prefer the darker look on the US cover. The pink font for the author's name is a bit of a surprise, but really stands out on the dark colours. Stephen King adds a nice blurb to the US cover. And the duality of the picture suits the title and plot. One funny detail - there's no comma on the UK title. Hmm, can you tell which one I'm leaning towards this week? I find the UK cover just a bit bland. A tagline gives the browser a bit more of an idea what they might find within. Again, there is that duality with the reflection. But, I would pick up the US cover first. No matter the cover, I'll be reading this latest. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Good Girl, Bad Girl?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Last - Hanna Jameson

A secluded old mansion under an ominous sky? Yup, guaranteed to catch my interest. And then I listened to the first chapter and was absolutely hooked on Hanna Jameson's new novel The Last.

It's finally happened - nuclear war on a world wide scale. Jon was at a remote Swiss hotel attending a conference when it happened. Now he and twenty others are holed up in the hotel, waiting. For what they're not sure - rescue? Or just survival? Stay or go farther afield? And then the body of a young girl is found in one of the hotel's water tanks. Is there a murderer amongst them? The hotel also has a checkered past - suicides and ghosts are part of it's lore.

The setting is absolutely perfect for a 'locked room' mystery. And the cast of twenty strangers guarantees a wealth of conflict and suspects. Jon has no idea if his own family is alive and becomes focused on finding who killed the girl.

The dynamics of these survivors is fascinating. What will each do to survive? What alliances are forged? What secrets are being kept? And there's no way to predict what's going to happen - which I really like. I want to be surprised. And I was - the ending was unexpected. (Not sure if I loved it. But I loved the book.)

Jon decides to keep a 'history' of the 'after' and The Last is told through his documentation. "History is only the sum of its people and, as far as I know, we could be the last ones."

As I mentioned, I decided to listen to The Last. The reader was Anthony Starke - a new to me narrator. And now one I hope I hear more of. His voice is so expressive and easily captures the emotions, nuances and tone of the book. He's a clear speaker and is easy to understand. There are many nationalities, ages and genders amongst the survivors and Starke has a voice for each of them. He uses different (and believable) accents for each and adjusts the tone and timbre convincing the listener that there are indeed a group of people in the hotel. And as I've said before, I find listening immerses me in a story. And I was completely caught up in this one! An excellent audio book! Listen to an excerpt of The Last.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Over the Counter #479

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? An older title this week, but I couldn't help but stop and leaf through it....

More Badder Grammar! by Sharon Eliza Nichols.

From St. Martin's Griffin:

"MORE missspellings! MORE badder grammar! MORE than 150 photos of laugh-out-loud funny signs from the creators of the smash-hit book (and Facebook group) I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar.

After the success of her first hilarious collection of poorly worded signs—and with 430,000 members on her Facebook page—Sharon Eliza Nichols returns with an all-new assortment of the most ungrammatical, outrageous, and ridiculous mistakes ever put into print. Featuring actual photos of actual signs in actual locations, these billboard blunders are sure to delight grammar groupies, punctuation sticklers, and pretty much anyone who can read.

Whether you groan in frustration, shake your head in disbelief, or howl with laughter, this wonderful humor book will convince you that it's just a sign of the times."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Sunset Beach - Mary Kay Andrews - Review AND Giveaway!

Oh, it wouldn't be summer without a new book from Mary Kay Andrews! Sunset Beach releases today - and you're going to want to add this one to your summer reading list. And.....I just happen to have a copy to give away to one lucky reader, thanks to St. Martin's Press!

Andrews takes us back to the beach......

Out of a job and down on her luck, Drue Campbell decides to move to Sunset Beach, Florida and take a job in her estranged father's law office. That decision comes with highs - she has inherited a beach bungalow from her grandparents. And lows - her father has married her best friend from grade eight - and she's Drue's new supervisor.

Beach houses. Many of Andrew's books feature a house on the water - and I always stop and daydream about having one myself. Even better when it's a fixer-upper! Steps away from the water? Heaven!

I liked Drue as a lead character. She's clever and feisty, someone you'd really like to know. Now, there's always a romantic thread in Andrew's books. And Sunset Beach is no different - Andrews gives Drue more than one choice of love interests.

But what I really liked about this book was the mystery that takes the lead role in the plot. Well, there's two actually. Drue finds a case at the law firm that was settled - but she thinks there's more to it and starts to investigate on her own. She also finds a box of files in the attic of the beach house that pertains to a missing woman. I was hooked!

The beach, romance, humor and mystery. What more could you want in a book?! Sunset Beach is another easy, breezy read from Mary Kay Andrews, perfect for your summer reading list. Read an excerpt of Sunset Beach.

"Mary Kay Andrews is The New York Times bestselling author of The High Tide Club, The Beach House Cookbook, The Weekenders, Beach Town, Save the Date, Ladies’ Night, Christmas Bliss, Spring Fever, Summer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues. A former journalist for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia." You can connect with Mary Kay on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and on Instagram.

And if you'd like to read Sunset Beach enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US only, ends May 18/19.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Giveaway - A Good Enough Mother - Bev Thomas

Oh, I really like the cover of Bev Thomas's new novel A Good Enough Mother! And even better....I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader!

What's it about? From Pamela Dorman Books:

"A riveting page-turner that lets us inside the secret world of therapist and patient, where boundaries get crossed, and events spiral out of control. . .

Ruth Hartland is a psychotherapist with years of experience. But professional skill is no guard against private grief. The mother of grown twins, she is haunted by the fact that her beautiful, difficult, fragile son Tom, a boy who never “fit in,” disappeared a year and a half earlier. She cannot give up hope of finding him, but feels she is living a kind of half-life, waiting for him to return.

Enter a new patient, Dan–unstable and traumatized–who looks exactly like her missing son. She is determined to help him, but soon, her own complicated feelings, about how she has failed her own boy, cloud her professional judgement. And before long, the unthinkable becomes a shattering reality….

Photo: © Natasha Merchant
An utterly compelling drama with a timebomb at its core, A Good Enough Mother is a brilliant, beautiful story of mothering, and how to let go of the ones we love when we must."

Read an excerpt of A Good Enough Mother. A reading group guide is also available.

"Bev Thomas was a clinical psychologist in the NHS for many years. She currently works as an organizational consultant in mental health and other services. She lives in London with her family."

And if you'd like to read A Good Enough Mother, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US only, ends May 18/19.