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When She Returned by Lucinda Barry

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 Release Date - October 15, 2019 Eleven years ago. Kate Bennett vanished without a trace. Her car, purse, cellphone, and personal belongings were found in a store parking lot. Kate's never been seen again, and so many people have searched for her. Her husband always held hope that shed's return, but he has since remarried. Suddenly, several states away, Kate shows up in Montana carrying an infant and begging for help. She's been badly beaten and detectives believe she'd been held captive by a cult she'd interviewed for the paper where she worked. After 11 years, several family members are shocked. Meredith, wife number two, knew this could always happen, but now she's trying to hold onto her marriage as it's clear her husband has never gotten over his feelings for his first wife. Abbi was five when her mom disappeared, and she has few memories of her mom. She needs to make up for the lost time. Scott is doing everything possible to find out what happened t

Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman

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 Release Date - May 17, 2022 After moving to Los Angeles, the last thing Laura Costello expects is for her apartment building to go up in flames. While she'll eventually be able to move back in, the smoke and water damage have destroyed a lot of her belongings, and she has nowhere to live for now. She doesn't want to go back home to her disappointed parents, but her options are running low. That's how she ends up in the middle of an independent bookstore in full tears and dripping wet clothing. Lucky for Laura, one of the bookstore workers brings her to the home she shares and convinces the landlord to let Laura stay in the currently vacant bedroom. Laura has no idea how this random act of kindness is about to change her life.  Adult Assembly Required is the ideal summer read. As Laura explored the rose and flower gardens carefully cared for by one of the other residents, "Handsome" Bob, I could almost smell the roses right along with her. Though in my case, it

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

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 Release Date - June 23, 2020 I've recently learned that my adblocking software makes it impossible for me to see the book covers in my posts. If you do not see the book cover, that's why. I can see them if I go into incognito, so I know they're there, but it is frustrating. My apologies. Head Over Heels is a book I overlooked two years ago and it's a great, very timely story. Avery Abrams missed her dream of making it to the Olympics after a tragic injury. She's spent the past seven years living with her pro-football-playing boyfriend and is happy on the other side of the coast. That is until he dumps her.  With no choice but to return to her parents' house, Avery heads back to Massachusetts. There, she accepts a job helping coach a young girl with strong potential for making it to the Olympics, she just needs someone with the insight into what's needed for a routine that catches attention and pushes the limits.  Being back in the athletic world is tough

Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan

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 Release Date - June 3, 2021 It's been a while with many start and stop attempts to finish Mayflies . I finally finished it, but I'm not sure it was a book that I clicked with, and that makes it hard to review. I loved the '80s and knew many of the bands and songs mentioned in the book, but I never connected with the characters.  At the heart of the story is James. He and Tully are best mates who end up going to a punk rock music festival together as teens, doing some of the things teens at that point did. There's plenty of drinking, some drugs, and a passion for music. That's the part of the book I didn't connect with. The next half, however, is emotional and sad. Thirty years pass, Tully calls James out of the blue with news that impacts James' life forever. I don't want to give away one of the major turning points as other reviewers have done. James has to make a decision and it's not an easy one to make. From the moment the book switches to this

The Evening Hero by Marie Myung-Ok Lee

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 Release Date - May 2022 I've been hitting a lot of books that have me struggling lately. I was absorbed with the beginning of The Evening Hero, and then Dr. Yungman Kwak was fired as the hospital shut down. From there, he ends up taking a job with his son's start-up that's not doing as well as hoped. It's not what he'd want, but the realities of how he came to this country from Korea are hidden and he doesn't want to reveal the truth, though he may have no choice when his past catches up with him. I wanted to love The Evening Hero, but I ended up having a hard time with it. There's a bit of insight into the corporate nature of medicine today. It's hard to ignore how horrible it is, and I'm thankful we have the insurance we do, but even then, I've watched hospital facilities shut down to preserve a CEO's high pay, so nothing surprises me.  As the story headed into Korea's past, I was saddened. You'll learn some of Korea's histor

Enough Already by Valerie Bertinelli

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 Release Date - January 18, 2022 I grew up watching Valerie Bertinelli on One Day at a Time. She was one of the first celebrities to send me an autographed picture, back when you could mail a letter and get an autographed picture in return without delay. I've always admired her. She had Wolfie not long before I had my first child, so I continued to admire her as a very hands-on parent. Like Bertinelli, I've also battled weight much of my life. Her Enough Already had me in tears while also having me laughing up a storm.  Essentially, Bertinelli's book contains a few recipes but details a lot about her passion for food, her long-time relationship with Eddie Van Halen, her family life, and her grief. I lost my dad to a sudden stroke/brain cancer five years ago. I lost my mom this December to Alzheimer's. I'd lost 60 pounds during the pandemic, and now I'm struggling to avoid stress eating and the bad habits that got me there.  I get Bertinelli's frustration,

The Orchid Inn: Orchid Island Book One by Aisling Delaney

 Release Date - October 2021 (Originally) The version of The Orchid Inn that I reviewed supposedly has an April 2022 release date. I am not finding that version on Amazon, however. The cover is different on this one, but the book remains the same. It's worst-case scenario time for Ava Flynn. She's just learned her husband has drained their accounts and left for Europe. That's just the start. She also learns that she's being fired from her job at a high-power law firm in NYC. She's broke and isn't even sure she wants to return to the job she's been fired from. It's the perfect time to head home to her grandmother's inn on Orchid Island, off the coast of Rhode Island. There, she learns her sisters Charlotte and Sarah are also coming for the summer. She's excited to see Charlotte, but she and Sarah had a major falling out years ago. While helping their grandmother run the inn, the trio also have to mend relationships, figure out what they want to d