Mailbox Monday ~ April 27th
Fiction ~ The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg. This is a Read It Forward book with no waiting period. It will go in the mail this week.
The familiar protagonist of Berg’s 13th novel (after The Art of Mending) is a Boston widow of several months, 55-year-old Betta Nolan, who fulfills her dying husband’s dream of moving out to the Midwest and starting a new life. “It will give me peace to know that what you will do is exactly what we talked about,” says John commandingly before dying of liver cancer; Betta, an author of children’s books, sells their Beacon Hill brownstone and takes off, buying an oversized Victorian in the small town of Stewart, Ill., 49 miles from Chicago. Lonely, she finds herself tracking down three former college roommates from the late 1960s, Lorraine, Maddy and Susanna, whom she ditched once she met John. The women reappear one by one and help give her the courage to open a shop called What a Woman Wants (it’ll sell “all different stuff that women loved. Beautiful things, but unusual too. Like antique birdcages with orchids growing in them”). Meanwhile, she begins to make friends in town, notably with attractive young handyman Matthew and natty oldster Tom Bartlett.
Historical fiction ~ The Tory Widow by Christine Blevins (new-to-me author/Librarything Early Reviewers program)
On a bright May day in New York City, Anne Peabody receives an unexpected kiss from a stranger. Bringing news of the repeal of the Stamp Act, Jack Hampton, a member of the Sons of Liberty, abruptly sweeps Anne into his arms, kisses her—and then leaves her to her fate of an arranged marriage…
1775: Nearly ten years have passed and Anne, now the Widow Merrick, continues her late husband’s business printing Tory propaganda, not because she believes in the cause, but because she needs the money to survive. When her shop is ransacked by the Sons of Liberty, Anne once again comes face to face with Jack and finds herself drawn to the ardent patriot and his rebel cause.
As shots ring out at Lexington and war erupts, Anne is faced with a life-altering decision: sit back and watch her world torn apart, or stand and fight for both her country’s independence and her own.
Fiction ~ The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (new-to-me author). This book arrived as a complete surprise to me. I have no idea who it came from. (Claimed by Linda)
In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.
Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed–a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.
Casey Marshall has it all: a successful interior-design business; a handsome, loving husband; wonderful friends; and a boatload of family money at her disposal. But just as she’s contemplating starting a family, she’s the victim of a hit-and-run accident that leaves her in a coma. But she’s not completely out of it, so she’s a witness to everything that happens in her hospital room. But is that so bad? Isn’t it everyone’s dream to be a fly on the wall, to hear what might be said at our funerals? Even though Casey is privy to everyone’s “private” remarks and conversations as they visit, she feels trapped and helpless, especially when it becomes abundantly clear that the incident with the car was no accident. Her frustration mounts as her sister, the wayward but bighearted Drew, becomes a suspect, along with everyone close to her. While not narrated in first person, the action revolves around Casey’s experiences and perceptions. Fielding makes the most of this intriguing premise without succumbing to gimmicky plot tricks. The moment that Casey solves her own attempted murder is truly riveting, and the anxiety she feels as she tries to avoid the would-be murderer’s completion of his task is palpable. A heart-pounding mainstream thriller
What books came into your house last week? Don’t forget to leave a link to your Mailbox post or a list of books if you don’t have a blog.