A Light in the Hallway

A Light in the Hallway by Amanda Prowse is the story of a family.   The story opens as Kerry is battling cancer and her husband Nick is trying to manage the day to day task and be there for their teenage son Oliver.  Nick struggles to manage everything and he finds it harder as time goes on.  I know this makes it seem like a  tear-jerker, and I admit I cried, but I also admired Nick for his strength in the face of the situation and his drive to keep going.  The story spans a few years.  The narrative moves through time showing us Nick’s scenes from Nick’s life and even letting us know what Kerry thinks.  Nick plucked my heartstrings as he navigated the changes in his life and tried to do the best thing for his son.    This story leaves you feeling hopeful and optimistic as you take Nick’s journey with him.  He is supported by his friends and family and they add their own special touches to his journey.   This book became available on November 11th and it might be just perfect for you or someone on your gift list.

Lost Along the Way: A Novel by Erin Duffy

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.

The Tolling of Mercedes Ball: A Novel by Jennifer Dwight

I loved Mercedes.  Her life is anything but easy from an abusive husband and having to restart her life after she is widowed she just keeps rolling with the punches, not that it is always easy for her and even when it seems easy it is an illusion, but I have to hand it to her she knows how to take all those lemons life keeps tossing at her and make lemonade.

Parting Gifts by Katrina Anne Willis

Oldest sister Catherine is battling breast cancer and wondering when her life will get back to “normal” and what that might be.  Middle sister Anne is fighting to have the suburban life she didn’t grow up but wants her children to have.  She is overwhelmed with pre-school and playgroup and a mounting stack of bills.  Youngest sister Jessica just wanted to escape, and she fled to California A.S.A.P. but she has moved back to town.  What all three sisters want is to be loved and to belong to something bigger than themselves, yet for each one of them the prize remains elusive at best.  Catherine has never had a long term close relationship other than her best friend Michelle from college, Anne must control everything and everyone and Jessica wants to make peace with her past and move on but it is much harder than it seems.  Anne must deal with the day to day issues for their mother Eva who is battling Alzheimer’s and despite the passing of their larger than life father Big Jim the girls are still not close at all.  Jessica has been out of touch for years and Catherine and Anne are not close by any stretch of the imagination, yet life will continue to try to bring the sisters back together, but will it be too little to late? #itsrainingbooks



The Storm Sister: A Novel by Lucinda Riley

Ally is a strong capable woman, a sailor who is used to living in a man’s world, but when he father dies and her world crumbles she embarks on a journey of love and loss and new beginnings as she searches for her birth parents and explores her family history.  It turns out her love of music might be part of her genes along with the red hair she always wanted to dye as a child, and there are other things she learns about herself as she tries to figure out the next phase of her life and how to persevere in  the face of love lost.  The storm sister is the second book in the Seven Sisters series.  While the books can be read on their own you may want to read the first in the series  The Seven Sisters first.  It tells the story of Maya the oldest sister.  I loved Ally and the fact that she is such a strong capable woman.

What the Waves Know: A Novel by Tamara Valentine

I loved Isabella’s story. I felt bad for her, but I loved her grandmother and her mother and Remy their confident outspoken neighbor who is good influence on all of them. Each of the women try to help Isabella with her issues surrounding the night her father disappeared, but being back on the island is forcing her to remember things she would rather forget, and teaching her new lessons along the way. Isabella must face the past to give herself a future she deserves, but it seems easier for her to simply lock it all inside, until the day she can’t. I loved the strong women in this novel and the quaint inland in this novel the senses of people and place are strong and Isabella is a wonderful girl facing something that is hard for people much older than she is.

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife A Novel by Elizabeth LaBan

I loved Lila Soto who is feeling like a fish out of water in her new town.  Her husband Sam is a critic for the local paper and he is overly paranoid about being recognized, so much so that he constructs many disguises and some of them are so good his own boss does not recognize him.  His over the top concerns about being recognized make life hard for Lila he wants her to keep her distance from most people especially anyone tied to a food establishment in any way.  Lila is left to try to navigate a new town while caring for  two kids.  As you might imagine Lila craves adult interaction  and misses her old job, but she must figure out how to balance her husband’s concerns and her dreams of going back to work and doing what is best for he children.  I could absolutely identify with Lila’s wanting to be out in the world and I often laughed out loud at Sam especially some of his costumes, and her kids made me smile with their antics.  Lila does finally find a happy place but I loved sharing her journey with her and I think you will too.netgalley