What I’ve been reading……

Reginald Mason is wealthy, refined, and a gentleman. However, he is not a gentleman by birth, a factor that pains him and his father, Bernard Mason in Mary Balogh’s A Matter of Class. An opportunity for social advancement arises in the person of Lady Annabelle Ashton, daughter of the Earl of Havercroft, a neighbor and enemy of the Mason family.  Annabelle finds herself disgraced by a scandal and her father is only too happy to marry Annabelle off to anyone willing to have her.  By Balogh’s standards this is a quick read but it has all the elements found in her lengthier novels.  I can always count on her to deliver a story full of dark secrets, deception, and the trials of love, all with a happy ending.

The Cookbook Collector,  Allegra Goodman’s fourth novel, centers on two radically different sisters: the older, 28-year-old Emily Bach, is more practical, the CEO of a major Silicon Valley startup company.  She keeps delaying her marriage to hyper-ambitious and competitive Jonathan Tilghman, who has his own firm on the East Coast.  At twenty-three, her sister Jess is an optimistic, open-minded  philosophy student who values knowledge over money and “would rather be well than do well.” She is drawn to unpromising relationships and passionate causes like Save the Trees, and works part-time in an antiquarian bookstore. 

The story interweaves multiple plotlines that unfold simultaneously in California and Boston over the course of three years.  The first half of the book moved too slowly for me with lots of details about Emily’s business.  Things picked up when the focus became the acquisition of the cookbook collection by Jess’s boss, owner of the bookstore.

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Published in: on September 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

What I’ve been reading…..

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard captures the essence of small-town America—its heartfelt intimacy and its darkest secrets—where through struggle and hardship people still dare to hope for a better future.  When she was just three years old, Jody Linder lost both parents in one night, when her father, Hugh Jay—eldest son of the wealthiest rancher in the small town of Rose, Kansas—was killed and her mother, Laurie, vanished. Jody was raised by her grandparents, Hugh Senior and Annabelle Linder, and with loving support from three uncles.  Pickard writes vividly of ranch life and includes lots of details, possibly meant to distract one from quickly solving the “mystery” part of the story.  I really didn’t see the ending coming but by then I didn’t particularly care.  For me, Jody was not a very sympathetic character and the best part of the book was the title.

Acclaimed novelist and nationally recognized family expert Lynne Griffin returns with Sea Escape—a story inspired by the author’s family letters about the ties that bind mothers and daughters.  Laura Martinez is wedged in the middle place as so many of us are these days.  She is grappling with her busy life as a nurse, wife, and devoted mom to her two young children when her estranged mother, Helen, suffers a devastating stroke.  Secrets from long ago threaten to keep the women apart until Laura finds the love letters her father wrote to her mother while he was serving in Vietnam.  It turns out that the women weren’t the only ones with a secret.

Published in: on September 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm  Leave a Comment