I stayed on track with my reading goals this month, and read 5 books (plus a lot of the Mixed Up Truck, Firefighters A to Z, and Llama, Llama Red Pajama).
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The Stars are Fire (Anita Shreve)
I felt like this one started a little more slowly, but once I got into, I enjoyed it. The book is set during a devastating fire in Maine in 1947, and follows Grace, a young mother whose life changes drastically during the fire, as she tries to rebuild her life and her family after tragedy.
The book touches on marriage, love, motherhood, family, friendship, survival, and tells a beautiful story of carrying on in the face of heartbreak and devastation. This is one that I would recommend - and don't give up on it if it takes you a while to really get into it!
Fates & Furies (Lauren Groff)
I wanted to quit this book several times. I really just didn’t love it, but I was interested enough to keep reading it until the end. It’s a love story, that spans the whole lives of a couple (though not in chronological order, lots of jumping around in time). The story line was interesting, and it really got into the behind the scenes of the character minds, and how different events in our lives shape our futures, but I didn’t really connect with the writing style. It was well-written, it just wasn’t a book that I really connected with and loved.
Along the Infinite Sea (Beatriz Williams)
I really enjoyed this book! It tells two connected stories, one set in Europe during WWII and one set in 1960s America. Both stories are of women finding their way through difficult situations, and deciding how they want to stand up for what is right. It was well-written, engaging, and I didn't want to put it down! I did feel a little disappointed at the end, as I wanted a little more information about how everything turned out, but this is something I think often at the end of books I enjoy - I want more! Definitely recommend this one! I didn't realize before reading that this was part of a series, and I'm adding the other books to my list now - but if you plan to read this one, you may want to start with the others - A Hundred Summers (prequel), The Secret Life of Violet Grant (book 1), and Tiny Little Thing (book 2). Along the Infinite Sea is book 3.
The Forgotten Room (Karen White, Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig)
I grabbed this off the staff recommendations shelf at the library one day, and it happened to be right after Along the Infinite Sea came available in my Overdrive holds. Until I started reading this one, I didn't realize one of the authors was the same as Along the Infinite Sea and that the books, while not part of a series, talked about the same family. The book is a love story set in three time periods, and is written by three authors - they did a good job making the writing flow, I wouldn't have guessed that it was written by three different people. It's set in the late 1800's through mid-1900's and in addition to the love story, throws in some family secrets, class differences, and a bit of a mystery to be solved. The going back and forth between the three stories did get a bit confusing at times, but despite that, I really enjoyed this book!
Celine (Peter Heller)
This was another book that I grabbed from the staff recommended shelf at the library, but it had been on my Amazon book list! Celine is a detective story with a spunky, well-bred PI that is full of surprises. It wasn't necessarily a "can't put down" book for me, but I did like it. I enjoy mysteries every now and then, and this one had fun characters, sweet moments, and some fun travel involved. I think this would be a good beach read!