Yes, only two weeks ago I asserted here on this page (in public!) that I would be keeping track of my reading this year.
Yeah. So I better do some updating. Goodreads tries to assist, but I don’t read everything on the Kindle, heretical as that may be.
Just finished: The Good Daughters, Joyce Maynard. I love Joyce’s writing and especially her New England settings, but this one left me a little cold. Two daughters, born in a village hospital on the same day, obviously switched at birth, and the story follows their respective lives for about fifty years. It is readable, for sure, short chapters that switch point of view, but the characters are prickly and not easy to love.
Previously, The Life She Deserves, by Maggie Christensen, an Aussie author who specializes in novels about women of an age (mine!) and their life transitions. I liked this book, but still wanted to shake Jo, the main character, for being a doormat to her children. It has all the essentials: unexpected adult child, near death crisis, nasty younger woman who steals the husband, along with a nice dog, good meals and beautiful scenery.
Ah, before that, I whipped through The Jasmine Sea, Phillipa Nefri Clark, also Aussie, about a woman coming home to a small town and the peculiar doings of her bad-boy ex-boyfriend, his nefarious sidekick, the moody artist new boyfriend, and the usual characterological inability to communicate wants and needs with a lover that seems to be part-and-parcel of romance novels. That irritated the therapist in me…..just say what you’re thinking, darn it!
Robyn Carr’s The Country Guesthouse. I adored most of the Virgin River series so I was happy to find this book at a bargain price on BookBub. It was, well, okay. Kept my interest for sure, but I struggle some with “cabins” that have five bathrooms and artists who are inexplicably rich. All of the artists I know are happy to have food on the table, even when their work is selling well. But that’s fiction, right? So it was a good read.
Love the One You’re With by Jennifer Peet was a lot of fun. I can take the miscommunicated romance novel a lot better in a rom-com framework, perhaps because it is meant to be a bit absurd. This book was enjoyable not only because the villain was easy to hate, the main character easy to love, if not admire, and the tone was consistently amusing. The plot moved right along, too, and this was a single day read. Fun!
The Magic Touch, Kelly Florentina, was also fun. The “magic” part is pretty limited, which suits me fine, and it still allowed for a little “paranormal” feeling or at least magical feeling, into the narrative. Florentina does a great job of sketching the male characters’ Greek Cypriot family and the dynamics between brothers, along with the usual poor communication causing distress. Again, the delightful tongue-in-cheekiness of the overall narrative made that aspect tolerable. It’s not supposed to be functional, right?
I think that brings me up to date…I probably should be writing. If I’m reading that much, I am no doubt avoiding something I SHOULD be doing…but I am writing, a lot, and getting ready for the launch of the latest. But that’s a note for another place.