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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer

Release Date - April 9, 2019



By most standards, Becky Gerard is the perfect mother. She is always there for her daughter, Meghan. Meghan's spent years plagued by a mysterious illness that seems to be worsening. Doctors can't find anything wrong, but Meghan's physical pain, dizziness, and lack of energy are worrisome.

After Meghan passes out again, some start to question if there's really anything wrong with Meghan at all. Some believe Becky is causing the symptoms and Munchausen's is what's really going on. Becky will do anything she can think of to save her daughter. How far is she willing to go?

It's been a while since a book threw a twist that I didn't see coming. Saving Meghan was delightful because I was kept guessing.

The basic premise that keeps you guessing is that Becky's own mother forced her daughters to lie in order to scam the government out of disability funds. Becky having Munchausen's makes sense. As you keep reading, her sincerity makes it hard to tell if you're really right or if there's more going on.

I bounced from thinking Becky was guilty to wondering about Meghan herself and Meghan's father. The more I read, the more I wondered what was going on. If you like books where there are so many potential suspects and reasons behind their actions, Saving Meghan is a great choice.


Friday, April 12, 2019

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

Release Date - April 23, 2019



I've been on a horrible reading slump. Nothing has been intriguing to me. I can't seem to get more than a few pages in before I'm ready to give up. Enter Sally Hepworth's The Mother-in-Law. This book blew me away.

Lucy is sure of one thing. She adores her new beau. Her mother died when she was young, so she's hoping she'll find a connection with Ollie's mom. Unfortunately, his mom is very curt and abrasive. It's clear that Lucy and Diana are not going to get along.

Years pass. Lucy spies police in her driveway and learns that Diana is dead from an apparent suicide. She's stunned, yet there's also a sense of peace that comes with it. She and Diana have never seen eye to eye. Lucy is also on her own as the whole world seemed to dote on Diana's every move.

Despite a suicide note hidden in a drawer, the autopsy reveals Diana was suffocated. When she told her family she had breast cancer, it was all a lie. Someone killed her, and Lucy is the only person to have never gotten along with her.

This is a very emotional read. It's told in the past and present with both Lucy and Diana sharing their stories. It took no time to find a bond with both characters. I've been in Lucy's shoes, but as a new mother-in-law myself, I could also get where Diana was coming from. I became eager to have the truth revealed. It was a tearjerker that kept me on the edge of my seat.



Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

Release Date - March 19, 2019



While I loved The Last Year of the War, I also hated that people don't seem to learn from the past. This book takes the reader back to WWII and the atrocities many U.S citizens faced simply because their ancestors were in Germany or Japan.

Elise Sontag only knows Iowa as her home. Her parents became U.S. citizens 20 years earlier, long before she was born. Her father's job as a chemistry teacher is part of what makes the U.S. government decide he's a threat. The family is whisked off to an internment camp in Texas.

Mariko Inoue is in a similar position. Her family lives in Los Angeles, but that doesn't stop the U.S. government from deciding their Japanese heritage makes them a threat. That family is also sent off to the Texas internment camp where Elise and Mariko become friends.

It isn't too long before Elise and Mariko are both sent back to their ancestral countries with their families. Elise, her parents, and her brother will be traded for U.S. soldiers. She and Mariko promise that when the war is over, they'll meet up again. In countries foreign to them, they'll have to first survive the atrocities of war and human nature.

The Last Year of the War broke my heart. I know it happened. I see similar behaviors happening today and it maddens and saddens me. As humans, we are supposed to learn from the past, yet we just don't.

The story moves between past and present. Much of it takes place in the 1940s, but you also see Elise today as she tries to find Mariko before it's too late. Elise has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, so time is running out. She needs to find her friend before her memories of past and present disappear.

I loved this story, but it isn't an easy read. It's painful at times. It's also full of hope. If you enjoy historical women's fiction, this book needs to be on your must-read list.