Catch up time. I am going to do a quick review of the last few worthwhile books I have read.
Accidental Happiness by Jean Reynolds Page was surprisingly better than I had expected. When Gina's husband dies in a freak accident she is consumed with a grief so thick she doesn't see a way out until she is forced to spend time with an unlikely companion. His ex-wife. The duo have their ups and downs but together they finally start putting the pieces of their lives back together. And it is through Reese's daughter Angel that Gina finally begins to mend. It is a story about the power of friendship, motherhood, and the courage it takes to put the past behind you and embrace the present.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini was a definite must read. I am a little behind on the times, but I had never read this novel so I thought I would give it a try. The book is split into two sections, each following the lives of two different women who end up becoming best friends. Mariam and Laila are from two different generations and two very different backgrounds, but tragedy brings them both together and binds them for life. It is a look at life in Afghanistan over the past thirty years and follows these women through marriage, births, deaths, and endless war. As devastating as some parts of this novel are, the courage of these two women and what they endure for their families and each other is breathtaking.
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson reminded me again of how much I enjoy this author. Her books are unique and so well written. Her characters are relatably flawed and you love them for this. In this novel Laurel is living what she thought was a happy, easy life until tragedy strikes literally in her own backyard. The past she has carefully hidden from her husband and daughter begins to emerge and when her sister Thalia comes to help her, the life she thought was so perfect begins to crumble around her. This book has a little of everything; a mystery that needs to be solved, the ever volatile mother-daughter relationship, a marriage on the rocks, a couple of ghosts, and possibly a few murders to top it off. Not to worry, Jackson is able to weave them together in quite an engaging story and even wraps it up with a couple of twists and most questions answered. There are the usual holes in the plot-line, but there has to be a little left to the imagination, right?
If you enjoyed this one, she has another due out in June. Backseat Saints looks like it will prove to be another page turner!
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. For me this was one of those novels where the author has had a few huge successes and tries to follow that up with a novel that just doesn't quite meet expectations. Robert Langdon returns to lead us in yet another race to uncover hidden mysteries through codes and symbols. This time throughout and under the city of Washington D.C. Langdon's beloved mentor Peter Solomon is in trouble and he is the only one who can save him and discover the truth about the hidden mysteries within the nation's capitol. It is very well written and keeps the reader guessing with each new clue and turn of events. However, after leading you through many hoops, and mazes the ending just doesn't quite deliver. Not to say it isn't a worthwhile read, it just wasn't my favorite of Brown's novels.
The Magician's Wife by Brian Moore is another novel I am behind the times on. written in 1999 it was made into a movie in 2003. Where have I been? I found this book in a stack of books given to me by a friend and once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading this one, it is a worthwhile read. In 1856 our main character, Emmeline Lambert, is unhappily living a stale life. Married to a world famous magician, whom she admits she does not love, her life has turned out very differently than she expected. When her husband's unique skills are needed to help in a mission for Napoleon III Emmaline is suddenly thrust into a world where she feels she doesn't belong. As she follows her husband first to Paris, and then to South Africa Emmaline is forced to make some life changing choices and finally discover who she really is.