I have so many library requests stalled right now. I can't wait until they all come in at once, probably on my first day of school.
The Well: A Novel
As the novel begins, Ruth Ardingly reveals that she's under house arrest at her farm, called The Well. As bits of the story trickle out, it seems that most of England is under a drought. Water is restricted, farms are dying, except for Ruth's lush property where it rains, the ponds are full, and everything thrives. The story goes between Ruth's present and the past, as it trickles out that many people--good and bad--were attracted to The Well, almost like a pilgrimage. In the midst of this, lies Ruth, her husband Mark (forced to leave the city after beating child pornography charges but not beating the shame of being accused), her daughter Angie an on-again, off-again drug addict, her grandson Lucien, and a group of women called the Sisters. There were parts of this novel that seemed a little too long and winding to me, but overall, the author weaved a haunting story of the ties that bind and how easily they can be broken.
Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel
Ani, formally known as TifAni, has it all. A successful career with a woman's magazine, a fiancé who comes from old money, a diet that is going to make her as thin as Kate Middleton on her wedding day, but she can't escape her past. The story fluctuates between present day Ani and TifAni (known as Finny) in high school. Ani's high school days make up part of the insecure adult she is now, as her story of bullying, violence and revenge slowly trickles out. Through all of this, it was also somewhat tricky to tell if Ani was truly a reliable narrator--or whether she was really giving the whole truth. The book is peppered with hints about something that happened to Ani at her prestigious high school, Bradley. Whatever it was is so big that Ani is taking part in a documentary about the incident, despite the misgivings of her fiancé. As Ani comes closer to facing the past, parts of her present self begin to unravel. I enjoyed this book at the value of what it was… an interesting, somewhat twisted mystery with a few tough subjects thrown in between. There were some plot holes and questions left unanswered, but it kept me interested.
Await Your Reply: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)
This is the kind of book that builds up three different people. At first, you're not sure how their lives interact, but then it slowly becomes clear. At the heart of the novel is Miles and his twin, Hayden. Diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teen, Hayden has escaped institutionalization and Miles is desperate to find him. Along the way, Miles follows a trail of broken lives discarded by his brother. In the midst of this, 19 year old Lucy has escaped her boring midwest town with her history teacher, George, who promises her a life of money and happiness--and she's inclined to believe him because after all, how else could a teacher afford a Maserati? Finally, there's Ryan and his dad, Jay. Ryan fakes his death to follow a money-making scheme with Jay, leaving his family to believe he committed suicide. This is a book with many threads, but the author managed to tie them all together at the end--with a finish that left me questioning what was real and what was imagined.
The Shadow of Your Smile
Sometimes I read books because I can read them and not think. Mary Higgins Clark always offers a book that I know will keep me engaged without having to put forth too much brainpower. Olivia Morrow is dying. In her possession is a document that will prove that her cousin Catherine, a nun in the running for sainthood, gave birth to a child at age 17 and that child is heir to a considerable fortune. As she mulls over what to do with this information, it becomes clear that there are many forces willing to go to all ends to bury this information along with Olivia.
What are you reading?