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What I Read In August

This year is rolling right along in spite of Covid and basically staying home doing nothing. It’s September already and time for another book review.

Forewarning: I think every book has foul language to some degree, so if that is offensive to you, stop here and move on. I rarely come across a book now days that does not have some sort of curse word. I think The Beach House was probably the “cleanest” book of the month or maybe Pretty Happy.

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The Beach House: Mary Alice Monroe I enjoyed Monroe’s Summer Girls series and I was in the mood for some beach, summer reading so I decided to start this series. At the time it was a free read with my Prime membership and I had the audio version on Scribd so I read and listened my way through this one. I enjoyed it but only give it 3 stars. It’s still a solid read, just not a 4 or 5. It is good enough to make me want to continue the series. There are some charming characters and I like reading about geographical areas I’ve been to and that I’m familiar with. Caretta Rutledge returns home to the Lowcountry from her high power job up north at her mother’s request. Her mother, Lovie, is ill and wants to make things right with her daughter. Caretta doesn’t know this when she agrees to come home and doesn’t intend to stay long either. However, she loses her job on the same day she leaves for the Lowcountry, so she has nothing else to do anyway. She learns a lot about love, family and forgiveness during her stay. Lovie is involved in loggerhead turtle rescue and the information about the turtles in interesting as well.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley- I read and listended via Scribd. I started listening in July but it was a slow start for me via audio, so I picked it back up in print and got hooked. I finished it up in August.

During the Christmas break, a group of thirty-something friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands. They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead. And one of them is the killer! There are some characters you will love to hate. 4 stars

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell- Another one that I started listening to on audio in Scribd a couple of months ago but couldn’t get into until I started it in print. Then I alternated between listening and reading.

” Libby Jones receives a letter when she turns 25, the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone. “

The story is told between Libby and two of these “missing children” who are also now adults. This one has tons of plot twists but got a little long and winding. I liked it but it’s one of those books that has the potential to wear me out and exhaust me before I can finish it, so I rate it 3 stars.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover- wow, just wow! I got a little frustrated with the two main characters for dragging out and postponing this relationship when they were clearly crazy about each other, but oh the plot twist. “Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.” Read and listened on Scribd. 5 stars

Pretty Girls by Karen Slaughter- My first time reading this author, even though I’ve had several of her books marked in my TBR list on Scribd and Amazon. This is an amazing psychological thriller and it had my interest from the very beginning. It does have some very graphic content and language but it’s set in my home state and references my Alma mater so it was neat to read yet again about places I’ve been and can easily picture. Slaughter is also from Georgia so I’ll be reading more of her work. If you are a fan, tell me which one to read next.

Claire and Lydia’s sister disappeared twenty years ago when she was a student at UGA. Claire grew up to be a trophy wife and Lydia a struggling, recovering drug addict. Claire’s husband is killed and Claire soon learns about a whole side of him she never knew. Claire and Lydia have a shaky reunion but are united on finding more about their sister’s disappearance and a current day missing person’s case on a similar girl. 4 stars

A Merciful Silence by Kendra Elliot Mercy Kilpatrick series #4. It’s included with Kindle Unlimited but I’ve cancelled my subscription for the time being so I listened to the audio version on Scribd. This time a “rainstorm has uncovered the remains of five people—a reprise of the distinctive slaughter of two families twenty years ago. Except the convicted killer is in prison. Is this the case of a sick copycat, or is the wrong man behind bars? One person might have the answer. The lone survivor of the decades-old crimes has returned to town still claiming that she can’t remember a thing about the night she was left for dead. As the search for the truth becomes more dangerous, Mercy fears that the traumatized woman may not have buried her memories at all. She might be keeping them a secret. And there’s a price to be paid for revealing them.” 4 stars I love this series and Mercy’s character. I’m eager to read more of the series.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova This one has been on my TBR list for a long time. So glad I finally read it. I read and listened on Scribd. GET THE TISSUES! “Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what’s it’s like to literally lose your mind…” 5 stars

In Pieces by Sally Field I listened on Audible. It’s narrated by Fields. I love her as an actress and enjoyed her story. She is real and honest about her struggles early in life. Her family relationships were not the best and there is really no Hollywood glamour to her life. It makes me respect her work even more. She even discloses the relationship with her stepfather- he basically molested her, stopping short of actual penetration. He is horrible and she has done well to move past that. 3 stars

Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body by Kate Hudson I listened and read on Scribd. Hudson walks you through the ways she takes care of herself- physically and mentally. Nothing really earth shattering that you haven’t been told before, but she does provide you with some interactive exercises to do to become more in tune with your body and your feelings. 3 stars

Are you an Amazon Prime member? (Try it for 30 days free.) Did you know you can read certain selections for free with Prime?

Right now these 5 books are free Prime reads. I’ve read them all. I recommend getting a Prime account and reading them now. They won’t stay free Prime reads forever as the selection rotates out.

Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst (spiritual)

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover (romance)

Matching Making for Beginners by Maddie Dawson (romance)

Say You’re Sorry by Melinda Leigh (Crime Thriller)

Before She Knew Him– by Peter Swanson (crime/pychological thriller)

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