The Girl Factory by Karen Dietrich

This one is a memoir, I seem to be reading those lately.  I really like the voice in this story, the flow is great and I kept wanting to read more.  I grew up in a similar time period so I may have identified with it more than other readers, and even though I didn’t grow up in a factory town, I felt like I was there as I was reading.  The prose is vivid and flows very well.  It is a story of growing up, finding one’s place in the world and one’s place in their family as well.  One of the strong themes of this book is the narrator’s ( I assume the narrator is meant to be Karen at a younger age) struggle to connect with her mother.  She always seems to fall short of the connection she seeks, yet in spite of this she leaves the reader with a sense of hope and promise as the story closes.

The Wife, The Maid, The Mistress Areil Lawhorn Release Day January 28th

I really liked this book, it is loosely based on an actual events, and I have to admit I loved the way the story comes together and how you see things from different characters points of views.  You meet the Judge who disappears, his wife, their maid Maria who is married to a police detective Jude who ends up investigating the case, the widow Stella and her mom, Vivian the judges mistress,  as well as lots of other characters  along the way.  The story is woven together beautifully and the ending is fantastic.   If you like mysteries and /or books that are based on historical events check this one out.

Marathon by Genie Davis

This one is already out in stores, so feel free to snag a copy from your book vendor of choice. The characters in this book were real, so real in fact that one might be tempted to have them over for a cook out or a cookie swap.  Lynn Bryant is a private investigator who is down on her luck, now i must say that Lynn is no wispy girl, she’s a former cop and as such she has plenty of moxie and spunk.  That said she looses her biggest client and is determined to do her absolute best job for her one remaining client Karen who has visions of a woman being killed and then ends up dead herself.  Despite Karen’s death Lynn is determined to get to the bottom of what Karen saw and find answers.  That quest will take the reader on a wild ride full of twists and turns that kept me guessing.  This series reminds me of the series by Laura Lipmann with Tess Monaghan as the main investigator, but that said Tess and Lynn are like those two friends you have who do the same job, but they are nothing alike.

Back To You by Jessica Scott, available today

This is the next in the Coming Home series and this installment addresses the issues of returning to real life after living in a war zone.  That said it is full of tender moments and honesty.  The characters are wonderful and real, as is the the readjustment process, but don’t worry that is lots of love a bit of steam in there as well so all the bases are covered.  The real question is how does a solider return to their family and can they do it for life instead of just until the next deployment?  Journey with Trent and Laura as they navigate the distance between them and try to find a way to fix what is broken.

The Good Mother Myth Available December 31st

I have to confess I don’t read a lot of non fiction books, or parenting books for that matter unless i am trying to find an answer to a specific problem, but this book caught my attention, mainly because i think for most Mom’s the “Good Mom” is an idea we strive to reach, not the way we see ourselves.  For me this was doubly true when my son was small and I struggled to balance his needs and wants, along with my own and keep the house from crashing down around us from the weight of the ever present laundry, the constant need to pick up toys and the need to clean and cook and eat.  There were times when I was overwhelmed to say the least.  What I found most interesting about this book is that instead of the dry text book style discussion you might expect the book uses experiences from real Mom’s to illustrate it’s points, that bad things happen despite our best efforts and our kids are usually no worse in the long run, and that at least some of the pressure we feel to be a certain kind of mother comes from ourselves.  I found it refreshing to be reminded that i was not the only one out there who didn’t feel like supermom.