Jane, Cara and Meg thought they would be friends no matter what but life had other plans. Years later Jane is married to a man who stole money from his clients and looking for somewhere to go and get away from the press and the people who want her out of their lives. In a desperate last ditch effort at a fresh start she turns up on Cara’s doorstep to the horror of Cara’s social climber husband, but even her brief stay convinces Jane that Cara’s life is not as it should be either and after a frank and straight shooting conversation the two agree to see if they can escape to Meg’s beach house for a few days. Jane didn’t count on the fact that Cara and Meg had a falling out of their own so they go with plan B, track down Steve Meg’s husband and when they do they learn that Meg is already at the beach house, but their unexpected arrival creates havoc for Meg and yet despite the arguing and accusing the happens between them all of them admit it is great to be together again. A touching and funny story of friendship and love and life.
I loved Lexie, despite the fact that she turns her soon to be perfect life upside down and may-be for some not so good reasons I admired her spunk and her ability to follow her gut and her heart even though it seems crazy to do it. She is loveable and quirky and goes after what she wants. I loved her and her female pals the southern sweet yet direct school nurse and the English teacher in her later years that curses like a sailor. The blend of the women is genius and Lexie’s take on her life and her co-workers will keep you wanting more even after the last page.
This novel starts out as the story of Angela and seems to be the story of her senior year and her challenge to find a college, but as her story evolves and we meet her family we soon learn that each of them has admissions of their own to make to themselves and to others. An engrossing story of a family who appears to have it all, but do they and can they really have the life they want, or will they be stuck in a seemingly perfect world? I loved middle child Cecily who finds a new hobby when Irish Dance falls flat for her, and even younger Maya who is having so much trouble reading and is behind in school, but she keeps on trying even though the kids in her class aren’t always nice to her about her problems. Then there is Nora the matriarch of the clan who tries to run a tight ship while working as a real estate agent at an upscale firm. Patriarch Gabe is a partner at an up and coming company, and pushes Angela toward Harvard his Alma mater. Together they will question, challenge and persevere.
The Black Velvet Coat tells the stories of Anne a struggling artist who really wants to make it work and Sylvia Van Dam a socialite in the 1960’s whose life takes her places she never imagined. Anne finds the coat in thrift store and falls in love with it so much so she spends her rent money on it, but she knows the moment she puts it on that it is meant for her, what she doesn’t realize is that the coat has a story to share with her and piece by piece she discovers Sylvia and her past, but Sylvia’s story ends abruptly and Anne is left wondering what happened. The stories of both women make you root for them and a happy ending, and there are unexpected turns in both their lives and in Anne’s search for an ending. I loved the way the lives of the women overlapped in their own way and I loved watching the puzzle pieces fall into place as Anne searched for answers and found herself along the way.
I adored this story about Hillary and Colette, two unlikely friends who manage to stay together through thick and thin. Colette is the daughter of two busy lawyers who can have anything she wants except her parents time and attention. Hillary lives in a warm laughter filled home that is more modest, but her parents always have time for her. As the girls grow up and move into adult hood Hilary marries a man she loves and makes a good life for her family, Colette follows in her parents footsteps and marries a man with huge social ambitions which keep her away from her daughter and keeping up appearances at all costs. When Colette’s world falls apart in a matter of hours, it is Hilary who picks her up and tires to get her back on her feet, but at a terrible price. Along with our leading ladies we also meet the families and then there is Jonathan, Hilary’s friend and business partner who is also searching for a way to have the life he wants. A touching story about friends, good and a bad, old and new, and the importance they have in our lives.
For every woman whose body has changed as she has gotten older this book may hold some answers for you and some strategies to help you be happier and feel better. I liked the scientific approach, the clear explanations and the easy to use advice. I don’t think there is a clear cut one size fits all answer for weight management and a healthy lifestyle I think it is different for everyone, but I do think the more you try to learn and the more attention you pay to your own body the more chances for success you may have.
In this gritty novel set in a small town Romy must decide if she wants to tell the truth and pay the price again. Kellan Turner is trouble and last time Romy told the truth about him it cost her friends and got her bullied, but as she hears that Kellan is up to his old tricks she must decide if speaking up once more has to high a price or if she can live with herself if she chooses to keep quiet. The town becomes riveted with her former friend Penny’s disappearance, and Romy thinks she knows more about it, but she has no memories of the night of the senior bonfire even though she should. When she and Penny both go missing on the same evening and only she is found it will force Romy to deal with her feelings, her past and the way she has been treated. Gritty and engrossing dialog and story will raise hard questions that demand to be answered.
The O’ Briens are about to be hit head on with Huntington’s Disease. Joe a proud career cop with the Boston PD is blind sided by his diagnosis and he and his wife Rosie must figure out how to live with the illness for the present and the future. Even more important for their children is the fact that the disease is genetic. JJ is a fire fighter, a husband and he would like to be a father, Katie teaches Yoga, Meghan is a ballet dancer and Patrick tends bar and is trying to put his life together. Each sibling must figure out if hey want to know and how they will let the decision impact their lives. Told with warmth, humor and honestly Inside the O’Briens lets us share the happiness and heartache of a family as it faces hard choices and tough times yet still finds love, laughter and happiness.
I like this book it is part of a trend I am seeing in diet and fitness books, I have a few others I am reviewing this month that are similar in some ways. The new trend admits that there is so much more to weight loss than calorie counts and depriving yourself. In secrets from the eating lab we learn strategies to help us deal with our obstacles to weight loss, but there is not a calorie chart or a diet plan in sight. Instead you learn why your willpower wears thin and what to do about it, ways to cope with obstacles such as the box of donuts in the staff kitchen on Friday or the pint of Ben and Jerry’s that calls to you at ten pm. I found the ideas in this book easy to try and a refreshing change from the diet plan, calorie count, bmi chart type books that I have been reading lately. If you are curious if this book will help you or someone you know and may-be love give it a try especially if they are frustrated with their current plan and the results.
I loved Wally Baker, she is everything an inquisitive young girl should be and more. I loved the day she went to her grandparents as a surprise, I loved her friendship with Ham and all their adventures. She had me hooked early on. Wally (short for Wallace, her mother Stella’s maiden name) does not have an easy life, her father has been sent off to war, her mother is busy trying to become a doctor again, but Loretta her grandmother’s housekeeper and her son Ham who is close in age to Wally are always there for her no matter what life tosses her way. A heartwarming story about love and families in good times and tough times.