Sunday, July 31, 2016

Nine Women, One Dress

Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen

In this winsome, beguiling story, nine women discover that the proverbial little black dress has the power to dramatically change their lives forever.

Beginning with the creative genius who escaped the Holocaust and years later, designs the must-have dress of the season, this tale follows the path of a perfect little piece of fabric as it's passed from one woman to another, resulting in transformations they never thought possible.

Meet Natalie, a lovely Bloomingdale's salesgirl, lamenting over her failed romance. There's Felicia, fiercely loyal to her boss whom she's loved from afar for years, and Andie, the private investigator, who knows all too well the pain of a cheating spouse. Meet two Muslim sisters who privately shed their burkas for a moment in time, and a naive Southern beauty whose walk down the runway in a dress that's the talk of the town, leads to a welcome acceptance of her Alabama roots. A vast array of supporting characters join these women in discovering that the future may not be so bleak after all.

This quick read is a delight, combining humor and heartwarming scenarios into a story that will bring a smile to your face.

"A beautiful dress holds a little bit of magic in it".

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The dark, frigid, menacing waters of the North Sea are the perfect backdrop for a cold-blooded, calculated murder.

Travel writer, Lo Blacklock, is still reeling from her terrifying confrontation with an intruder who burglarized her apartment only nights ago. It's bad timing, and even though she's still shaken, she can't turn down the coveted assignment for her magazine to cover the maiden voyage of the Aurora, a small, exclusive, luxury cruise ship.  Perhaps, at last, her career as a journalist will earn the respect of her peers.

Lo is in awe of the sheer opulence that surrounds her on this elite ship; shimmering chandeliers, rich, polished mahogany, sumptuous culinary delights, and engaging, distinguished fellow passengers. The serenity of her luxurious surroundings is shattered, however, when she awakens one night to a loud splash emanating from outside Cabin 10 next door. When she rushes to her veranda overlooking the inky, ominous water, she sees a body slip silently into the deep, deep abyss of nothingness.

 Lo alerts security that she believes the striking, dark-haired beauty she met the night before in Cabin 10, has been murdered. Panic quickly dissolves into alarming fear when she's told that Cabin 10 is unoccupied, that the woman she believes she met only hours earlier, doesn't even exist. Suddenly, her past paranoia, anxiety, and history of hysteria, come back with a vengeance. Could she be going mad? Or is this an evil palatial palace on water?

Author Ruth Ware spins her own version of an often used tried-and-true plot, reminiscent of the famed Agatha Christie. The result is a satisfying murder mystery, much like her first suspense thriller,  In a Dark, Dark Wood (reviewed in October, 2015).  At times, some burdensome details seem to slow the story down, but overall, Ware infuses just the right amount of  terror and misleading smoke screens into another successful thriller her ever-growing group of fans will thoroughly enjoy.

Monday, July 4, 2016

First Comes Love

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

Two sisters discover that time can't erase the secrets surrounding the tragic death of their "perfect" brother over fifteen years ago.

First grade teacher, Josie, is single, restless, and all too aware of the biological clock ticking inside her brain. She wants a child, and since the traditional way hasn't fit into her plans, she decides to follow her heart and choose a sperm donor. Should it be her best friend, Gabe, or Pete, a blind date with surprisingly admirable qualities?

Younger sister, Meredith, is a hot-shot  attorney, unhappy with her career choice and struggling in her lukewarm marriage to Nolan, her deceased brother's best friend. The shining star in her life is four-year-old daughter, Harper. Feeling the pressure of  Nolan's desire for another child, Meredith must make dire choices that may tear her family apart.

When Meredith learns of an appalling secret her husband and sister have hidden from her for years about what really happened the night her brother died, the fragile sister relationship shatters. A family is forced to examine the grief they never shared, the blame they harbor towards one another, and the realization that no one has the  "perfect" life, even the brother they cherished and loved.

Emily Giffin's command of family drama storytelling is once again evident in this latest novel. At the heart of this one, she examines the need to face overwhelming grief for what it is, a raw emotion that can destroy one's ability to move on and find peace long after a loved one is gone. Lies and deceit have a way of bubbling to the surface, and in the case of these two sisters, it's up to them to decide if love really does come first.