The Trouble with Lexie: A Novel by Jessica Anya Blau

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.

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The Midnight Watch by David Dyer April 5th

netgalleyThe Midnight Watch is the story of the night the Titanic sank as you have not heard it before.  A reporter happens on a report that one of the ships in the vicinity of titanic did not imediately rush to her aid and the story unfolds told by the reporter and also by the crew members of the SS Californian.  The story unfolds bit by bit as these kinds of stories do and  Steadman the reporter who knows there is more to this than meets the eye and refuses to give up even years later.  The story of Steadman and his search interweaves with the story of the crew of the SS Californian and some of the passengers of the doomed ship as well.  It is a story that is unique.

The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman

This is the wonderful story of three generations of women who are connected by their tradition of charm bracelets.  Lolly is the fudge lady she signs and makes fudge in the candy store window in her  home town of Lost Land Lake.  Her daughter Arden could not wait to leave the small town and it has been a long time since she has been back, but at the urging of her daughter Lauren the two take a road trip to visit Lolly and realize just how much all of them have changed.  Arden is burned out and not sure how to change it, Lauren is being practical and majoring in business even though she really wants to paint, and Lolly just wants to remind them how to have fun before it is too late.  Through the charms on her bracelet Lolly imparts family stories and her hopes and dreams for her girls.  A touching story of love, loss, life and hope set against the backdrop of a summer resort town with it’s own special traditions.  A great beach read or a great book to read when you wish you could be on a beach.  netgalley

Sister Golden Hair by Darcey Steinke October 14th

When Jesse and her family end up in Bent Tree she thinks at first that it will be just another of their stops since their father became a defrocked minister, but Bent Tree ends up becoming Jesse’s back drop as she navigates the world and grows up.  Her brother Phillip adjusts easier because he is younger and her depressed and moody mother has shifts from a 5 to a 1 on Jesse’s scale of what kind of day she is having and what kind of mood she is in.  It is the other people who inhabit Jesse’s world that really make her who she is though.  There is Sandy the young single mom with the hot boyfriend who Jesse idolizes until she she’s more than what is on the surface, there is kind older Mrs. Smith and her friend Jill who lives up the street and becomes her best friend for a time until she isn’t there.  Watching Jesse learn to navigate the adult world along with her friends each of which brings something special of their own to the mosaic that is Jesse is heartwarming and sweet and as one would expect full of bumps along the way.

The Weight of Blood Laura McHugh available March 11th

This one is a bit on the darker side.  It is the story of a family and the small town they live in.  It speaks of promises and hopes and dreams and secrets kept and things buried.  I really liked it.  The story is told for the most part by Lucy and her mother Lila.  Lila vanishes when Lucy is small and during the summer between her junior and senior year in high school Lucy realizes she has more questions that answers not only about her mother’s disappearance but also about Cheri a friend from school who was missing for a year or more before her body was discovered.  During the day Lucy works for her uncle at his store, but at night and on the weekends she spends her time trying to unravel what happened to Cheri and as you can imagine it leads her to more questions about her town and her family.  Despite the sometimes dark subject matter I found the book thought provoking and was left with a good feeling about Lucy’s future, perhaps she will be the one to create a new future for her family.