Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed DoorsBehind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thank you Goodreads and St. Martins Press for an advance reader’s copy of this book.

Grace thinks she is marrying the perfect man, a successful, handsome attorney who dotes on her sister, Millie, who has Downs Syndrome and has invited her to live with them.

Everything is “perfect” until the wedding…and the honeymoon. Then Grace’s nightmare begins.

The author presents an I-can’t-put-this-book-down-plot, which is a very quick read! Grace’s thought-process and the book’s dialogue are stiff, however. It often seems as if Grace is presenting us with lists of things (my daughter-in-law’s words) that have happened instead of letting us in on her life.

Millie is the one character who seems to come alive. Perhaps it’s because she gives Grace the courage and conviction to do what she must do? And Millie is one smart young woman.

The ability for us to believe what Esther does for Grace in the end should be a little more supported, I think, with extra incidents – several interactions with Grace would make her action plausible.

#StaySingle

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Dear Daughter

Dear DaughterDear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delightful novel about a 16 year-old who was convicted of killing her mother. After ten years in prison, she is released on a technicality. She did NOT do it and is hell-bent on finding the real killer.
Ok, so how can this be an enjoyable novel? The character, of course! She’s funny, as she fills us in on her re-adjustments to life on the outside, how she has set up her fake persona. There’s more to her than that, though.
Oh, and she’s brilliant!

Oh No, Astro!

Oh No, Astro!Oh No, Astro! by Matt Roeser

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was skeptical – a picture book about an asteroid? This is a fun book!

If I were an asteroid, I would probably be just like our friend Astro…please stay away from my orbit, don’t knock into me, etc. I would read the manual about how to recover my asteroid path. Until it happens, I wouldn’t want to hurtle through space! (Asteroid facts in the back.)

The Widow

The WidowThe Widow by Fiona Barton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Told from four points of view and spanning almost four years, from the time of the kidnapping to just after the death of Glen Taylor, the story jumps from person to person and back and forth in time.
The Widow – Jean portrays herself in a sort of fog – on purpose, you ask? I picture her as frumpy but The Detective once describes her as small and pretty. Jean Taylor’s story is told in first person. Even as Jean reveals her own story, I wonder what the truth is. Author Barton keeps us in suspense.
The Reporter – a savvy, assertive reporter/journalist, Kate notices details. Kate Waters has the ability to talk to the subjects of her stories as people, as if they are having conversations with her. This enables her to draw information from her subjects. She works for the Daily Post. Kate is married to a supportive oncologist; they have two children.
The Detective – Bob Sparkes is experienced and tenacious. He is married with grown children. His wife knows Bob is too close to this case. Bob is haunted by Bella.
The Mother – Dawn Elliott is the young, single mum, who is kind of sleepwalking through her life. While online in chat rooms, since she can’t go out with friends, she unwittingly places her two-year-old in danger, because she doesn’t keep details about her daughter private. 

Twisted River

Twisted RiverTwisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate and Mannix, parents in Limerick, and Hazel and Oscar, parents in Manhattan, decide to house-swap during a school break in October for the Irish family. The story is told from the parents’ points of view with chapters devoted to one parent.

Each family has problems with finances. Each husband has problems – one of which is outlined on the first page. Fergus, son of Kate and Mannix, is being bullied at school. Oscar abuses his wife, a teacher, who begins to suffer a type of PTSD and becomes unable to work.

Sounds depressing? Nope! This is a well written story which will keep readers turning the page! The plot is filled with surprising changes, including an ending that I find mysterious.