Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Husband's Secret

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

"To err is human, to forgive, divine." Alexander Pope

By the time you finish reading this novel, you will understand the power of these words.

One of the best novels I have read in a long time, this author introduces you to a sweeping  array of characters and then, remarkably, manages to intricately weave their stories into one. The result is a captivating, spell-binding page-turner. So let's begin...

Cecilia Fitzpatrick's life is perfection personified. Three precocious daughters, an impeccable house right out of Home and Garden, and husband, Jean-Paul; handsome, devoted, a man beyond reproach. She is the envy of all who know her. While Jean-Paul is away on a business trip, Cecilia accidentally discovers a letter written to her by him with instructions to be opened only after his death. Curiosity wins and the shocking content is revealed. Decisions made in a fleeting moment and lives are shattered.

Meet Tess and Will. Happily married with a six-year-old son, Liam, they successfully own a thriving advertising agency with Felicity, Tess's cousin. Best friends since childhood, Tess begins to notice that Felicity has changed  in the last few months. No longer overweight and dowdy, Felicity exudes a newly-found confidence. Yet when Will announces to a stunned and speechless Tess that he and her cousin have fallen in love, Tess is dumbfounded and feels like such a fool. Unable to cope with this shocking news, Tess escapes to her mother's home and enrolls Liam in her alma mater, St. Agatha's primary school. Here she meets an old flame, Connor Whitby.  A troubled man with demons of his own. Decisions made in a fleeting moment and lives are shattered.

Life ended for Rachel Crowley over twenty years ago when daughter Janie was murdered. Diligent police never arrested anyone. Yes, she continues to eat and breathe but that's just going through  the motions. Her only reason for living is grandson Jacob; what a joy it must be to view life through his eyes. Now even that is being taken away. Son Rob is moving to America, and she certainly isn't going there to visit. She vows to continue to vigilantly pursue Janie's killer. And Rachel feels sure she knows who it is; Connor Whitby, the P.E. teacher at St. Agatha's where Rachel works tirelessly as a secretary. When she gets the opportunity, he will pay for his sins. Decisions made in a fleeting moment and lives are shattered.

A riveting, engrossing novel set in Australia, home of the author. A wonderful choice for book clubs and lively discussion. We all question at one time or another the what-ifs in our lives. Do we really want to know? End the year on a high note with an edgy, compelling story by a gifted writer.

The New Year promises to offer many choices for enthralling , irresistible novels written by new authors and the tried-and-true. Hope you will continue to visit theezbooknook and find one that you enjoy. Please continue to tell new readers. Your continued support is invaluable, what a pleasure it is to share with you.....

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Theory of Opposites

YThe Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch

Fate. Some believe that one's destiny is written long before birth. Others contend that free will allows us to choose the path that becomes life's journey.

Willa Chandler-Golden has no complaints about her preordained life; solid marriage, a rising career, and continued hopes that she and husband Shawn will start a family soon. Growing up in the shadows of famous father, Oliver Chandler, Willa and her siblings seldom doubted this theory of fate. After all, he wrote the best-seller, Is It Really Your Choice? Why Your Entire Life May Be Out of You Control. Millions of fans worship him, this guru that inspires millions of readers to accept what life offers, no questions asked. However, Willa's life soon throws her a curve. She is fired from a bright, promising job, and the solid relationship she took for granted with Shawn, disintegrates. He proposes a two month break with no strings attached, her precocious twelve-year-old nephew moves in, her brother is indicted in a Ponzi scheme, and an ex-boyfriend, the one who got away, resurfaces. Complications that prove to be unsettling. Best friend Vanessa then suggests that she and Willa co-author their own book and appear on a reality show, challenging everything Oliver Chandler has ever written. She dares Willa to ponder the theory of opposites; instead of always listening to your instincts, do the exact opposite. "Write your own map" instead of following the one handed to you. Words that inevitably change Willa's life in ways she never envisioned.

Written by a favorite author of mine, Allison Winn Scotch once again captures the reader's attention by addressing a subject that resonates with many; taking chances, overcoming insecurities, and daring ourselves to become masters of our own fate. The author creates realistic characters with the same flaws, hopes and dreams we all have-it is easy to see this book becoming a movie that actress Jennifer Garner will produce. Thought-provoking with humor, it is a novel about decisions we make every day and the regrets that often accompany those decisions. " Asking yourself why you didn't know better when the answers were so obvious all along."

Changing the course of life and not always accepting fate...anything's possible.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

The Execution of  Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

Death Row. For ten years now Noa has called this God-forsaken cell her home, knowing that in six months her life ends. The jury has spoken. In all those years, not a single word was spoken in Noa's defense. No explanations, not even at the short trial that determined her fate. How does the salutatorian of her high school class become an inmate in a maximum-security prison?  How does a life once so promising become one of despair and hopelessness?

Noa was convicted of  murdering Sarah. A fairly non-descript young lady, she and Noa had only one thing in common; Caleb, Noa's estranged father. The endless days and endless nights in prison are interrupted when Marlene Dixon, Sarah's mother,  unexpectedly visits, bringing with her a young, eager attorney by the name of Oliver. Marlene assures Noa that if she is willing to tell the true story of why she killed Sarah, they will do everything in their power to get the courts to grant clemency and overturn the death penalty. Now the story begins as the reader goes back in time learning all the details of Noa's life leading up to the moment when she unwittingly fell into a trap resulting in her own demise.

We meet Caleb, the father she never knew, until ridden with guilt, he painstakingly maneuvers a way into her life-a life riddled with unfulfilled dreams. We meet Marlene, manipulative, bitter, vindictive with a hidden agenda. We meet Oliver who sees the good in another human being, still naive enough to believe that a life can be saved. And of course we meet Noa, a woman resigned to death, hiding secrets she refuses to reveal.

Far from light and not for everyone, this debut novel from Silver is brooding, complicated, and engrossing. We don't guess who committed a crime because we already know. As the story progresses, the reader is exposed to many, many details of troubled lives and secrets from the past. Characters linked to one another, all determined to find their own salvation.

A psychological thriller.

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not by Fern Michaels

How well do you really know someone? What happens behind closed doors?

Illustrator Lucy Brighton has always lived the life of affluence, never wanting for material things. Growing up as the only child of distinguished physicians and the product of a boarding school education, Lucy honestly never really knew her parents. So when she receives a phone call relaying the news of their tragic deaths in an automobile accident, her heart is not filled with grief and pain, only ambivalence. Five years ago the only two people Lucy ever called family, moved to Florida giving her sole possession of a sprawling mansion in New Jersey. A house not a home. Five years not seeing or hearing from her parents. Now all this successful young woman wants and needs is closure.

Surely, a quick trip to the Florida retreat to tie up loose ends will enable Lucy to put this this chapter of her life behind her. Unfortunately, what she discovers leads her into a world of mystery and intrigue, arousing her suspicions that her childhood was a lie, nothing more than a well-written plot in a movie. Fake passports, bogus birth certificates, an arsenal of weapons all hidden in a high-tech safe; who were these people she once called Mom and Dad?

A cold, uninviting home where obviously no one lived. A cleverly staged arena-but why? When Lucy returns to New Jersey and finds the exact scenario hidden discreetly in this home, too, she realizes that she can't walk away from doing all she can to unearth the truth. Along with best friend, Angie, and new love interest, Luke, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

This is an extremely easy read for those of you who might just want to slip away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. A fun, playful story about a young, talented woman who longs to escape a life of loneliness......

And succeeds.