“Abbi Waxman is both irreverent and thoughtful.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin
Squashed among a bus full of strangers, mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein watch their carefully mapped-out college tour devolve into a series of off-roading misadventures, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.
Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.
For Emily, it’s a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she’s sure she even wants to go to college, but let’s ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?
For Jessica, it’s a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn’t even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn’t sure she likes herself.
Together with a dozen strangers–and two familiar enemies–Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever.
This is the story of a mother/ daughter relationship that invokes memories of Gilmore Girls and Golden Girls. The bond between mothers and daughters are a very unique thing. It is different for every person, of course, but when you think about the pop culture mother/ daughter relationships, you can now include Jessica and Emily.
As a girl mom myself, I related to this book in many ways. Teenage girls are a fickle bunch and can love you one minute and loathe you the next. Throw in a college tour road trip with a group of almost strangers and the chaos begins. How far is too far for a mother to push her daughter when it comes to college decision making? How does a daughter tell her mother, the only parent she has, that she isn’t even sure she wants to go to college? What happens when an old flame starts hitting on you in front of your daughter?
This was such an enjoyable read, as is anything by Abbi Waxman. I loved the dynamic between both Jessica and Emily and the other peers in this group.
From the author of The Islanders comes a warm, witty and suspenseful novel filled with small-town secrets, summer romance, big time lies and spiked seltzer, in the vein of Liane Moriarty.
Truth: Sherri Griffin and her daughter, Katie, have recently moved to the idyllic beach town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Rebecca Coleman, widely acknowledged former leader of the Newburyport Mom Squad (having taken a step back since her husband’s shocking and tragic death eighteen months ago), has made a surprising effort to include these newcomers in typically closed-group activities. Rebecca’s teenage daughter Alexa has even been spotted babysitting Katie.
Truth: Alexa has time on her hands because of a recent falling-out with her longtime best friends for reasons no one knows—but everyone suspects have to do with Alexa’s highly popular and increasingly successful YouTube channel. Katie Griffin, who at age 11 probably doesn’t need a babysitter anymore, can’t be left alone because she has terrifying nightmares that don’t seem to jibe with the vague story Sherri has floated about the “bad divorce” she left behind in Ohio. Rebecca Coleman has been spending a lot of time with Sherri, it’s true, but she’s also been spending time with someone else she doesn’t want the Mom Squad to know about just yet.
Lie: Rebecca Coleman doesn’t have a new man in her life, and definitely not someone connected to the Mom Squad. Alexa is not seeing anyone new herself and is planning on shutting down her YouTube channel in advance of attending college in the fall. Sherri Griffin’s real name is Sherri Griffin, and a bad divorce is all she’s running from.
A blend of propulsive thriller and gorgeous summer read, Two Truths and a Lie reminds us that happiness isn’t always a day at the beach, some secrets aren’t meant to be shared, and the most precious things are the people we love.
I went into this book completely blind and I received the ARC unsolicited. I haven’t read from this author before but I did enjoy this book. It is told from multiple points of view and the “thriller” aspect of it was not intense. It read more like a episode or two of a Netflix domestic show. The characters were just the right amount of annoying to make me take sides in the story. I appreciated the book as a summer read with some drama and an air of a thrill.
From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “heartwarming and refreshingly sweet” (Lauren Layne, New York Times bestselling author) On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a story about a baker who takes her chances on a new town…and an old love.
After selling her famous bakery back in New York, Parker Adams visits Hope Lake, Pennsylvania, to figure out her next steps. And soon she’s wondering why she ever loved city life in the first place. Between the Golden Girls—the senior women who hold court—and Nick Arthur, her equally infuriating and charming former flame, Parker finds a community eager to help her get her mojo back.
But even though Hope Lake gives her the fresh start she’s been looking for, Parker discovers that it’s not so easy to start over again with Nick. Their chemistry is undeniable, but since Nick is a freshly taken man, Parker is determined to keep things platonic. With a recipe for disaster looming, Parker must cook up a new scheme, figuring out how to keep everything she’s come to love before she loses it all.
Perfect for fans of Amy E. Reichert and Jenny Colgan, The Ingredients of You and Me is a scrumptious romantic comedy that lets you have your cake and eat it too.
I didn’t realize that this was the third book in a series but since each book follows a different person, I didn’t feel as if I missed much. I loved the character of Parker. She is a successful business woman who had the opportunity to change her life and try to find what her true happiness is. As she struggles with romantic relationship turned sour and her disappearing ability to bake, she finds her strength and calling while helping a group of elderly woman.
The relationships that are described in this story bring the reader right into the lives of these characters. I was so invested in Parker’s situation and her ideas that I flew through this book.
I recommend this if you are looking for a lighthearted, enjoyable read that will make you crave some sweet treats while reading it.
“Original, sparkling bright, and layered with feeling…” -Sally Thorne, author of The Hating Game
A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.
Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.
They’re polar opposites.
In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.
Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.
This is the perfect title for this book as you can take it with you as you relax on a beach while social distancing or by your own pool. In reality, it doesn’t matter where you read this book just as long as you do. If you are looking for a book that just takes your mind off of whatever it is on, this is it. It is a novel about writer’s block. It is a novel about finding your true self and forgiveness. It is a novel about friendships and exes; disappointments and enjoyments.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the few steamy plot points too. The characters were so real. It wasn’t a stereotypical contemporary story, these characters had real background stories that hit hard.
This was my first book from Emily Henry but I will be looking into her back catalog. I highly recommend that you pick this one up now.
“It’s what would happen if the women from The Nanny Diaries met the women from Sex and the City in the social-media age. I devoured it in less than 48 hours.”—Jill Santopolo, author of The Light We Lost
A dark, witty page-turner about a struggling young musician who takes a job singing for a playgroup of overprivileged babies and their effortlessly cool moms, only to find herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….
After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for wealthy infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.
There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her flawless life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the stylish women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.
Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood – exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women – while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.
I was very intrigued by the premise of this book; women who are mothers that may have lost their own sense of identity trying to “compete” for a place in the world. The insane use of social media in order to fill in their self worth is an issue that is prevalent to not only mothers but to our younger generations as well. I really enjoyed the story line of this book. The characters were well written and the struggle could be felt among them.
It made me a bit nostalgic as my daughter and I participated in a Mommy and Me type class. I can remember sitting in a group with other young children and trying to relate to the parents. Parenthood is an interesting job that we are involved in, it can be all consuming and make us feel as if we would do anything to make sure that we were taking the best possible care of our child; but is there a line that can be crossed? How far is too far? What would you to get yourself back?
The New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Guests returns at long last to her beloved Beach House series in this breathtaking novel about one family’s summer of forging new beginnings against the enduring beauty and resilience of the natural world.
It’s been sixteen years since Caretta “Cara” Rutledge has returned home to the beautiful shores of Charleston, South Carolina. Over those years, she has weathered the tides of deaths and births, struggles and joys. And now, as Cara prepares for her second wedding, her life is about to change yet again.
Meanwhile, the rest of the storied Rutledge family is also in flux. Cara’s niece Linnea returns to Sullivan’s Island to begin a new career and an unexpected relationship. Linnea’s parents, having survived bankruptcy, pin their hopes and futures on the construction of a new home on Ocean Boulevard. But as excitement over the house and wedding builds, a devastating illness strikes the family and brings plans to a screeching halt. It is under these trying circumstances that the Rutledge family must come together yet again to discover the enduring strength in love, tradition, and legacy from mother to daughter to granddaughter.
Like the sea turtles that come ashore annually on these windswept islands, three generations of the Rutledge family experience a season of return, rebirth, and growth. “Authentic, generous, and heartfelt” (Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author), On Ocean Boulevard is Mary Alice Monroe at her very best.
Reading about the beaches of Charleston, South Carolina and my favorite characters, I was transported. I adore this series and I was so happy to escape from the Pandemic that is happening outside my door. I loved returning to the Turtle Ladies and see what was happening from the perspective of a younger character.
I read this so quickly because I wanted to see what happened but then I was made at myself because the book was over. I highly recommend this series if you want books about female friendships, sea turtles, beach life and romance.
A seductive, gothic-infused tale of literary suspense — the debut of a spectacular new voice — about a dangerously curious young undergraduate whose rebelliousness leads her to discover a shocking secret involving an exclusive circle of students . . . and the dark truth beneath her school’s promise of prestige.
You are in the house and the house is in the woods. You are in the house and the house is in you . . .
Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises its graduates a future of sublime power and prestige, and that they can become anything or anyone they desire.
Among this year’s incoming class is Ines, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, pills, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline—only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. The school’s enigmatic director, Viktória, encourages the students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves and their place within the formidable black iron gates of Catherine.
For Ines, Catherine is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had, and her serious, timid roommate, Baby, soon becomes an unlikely friend. Yet the House’s strange protocols make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded prison. And when Baby’s obsessive desire for acceptance ends in tragedy, Ines begins to suspect that the school—in all its shabby splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence—might be hiding a dangerous agenda that is connected to a secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum.
Combining the haunting sophistication and dusky, atmospheric style of Sarah Waters with the unsettling isolation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Catherine House is a devious, deliciously steamy, and suspenseful page-turner with shocking twists and sharp edges that is sure to leave readers breathless.
I jumped into this book head first not really knowing what to expect. It stared off wonderfully intriguing for the first third of the book but then it fell flat. I don’t know what I expected it to be about but I expected it to be about something. I feel as if there wasn’t really a story here. There was a lot of speculation but no resolution. I was disappointed with the last half of the story. I was hoping for a twist or a punch of some kind but sadly, there just wasn’t.
The writing flowed and it was a quick read but it was just not a satisfying one for me.
SYNOPSIS An accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.
Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.
But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.
When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.
Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?
By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.
“This is a big-hearted belly-laugh of a book, told with wit and poignancy. Family secrets, laughter and tears, shocking reveals, and an uplifting ending make this a story to savor–and share.” —Susan Wiggs, New York Timesbestselling author of The Oysterville Sewing Circle
“Dolan uses her experience in podcasting with her own sisters to craft believable women characters who worry about real problems and use wry humor to push through dark moments . . . . A warmhearted portrait of love embracing true hearts.” —Kirkus
I adored this book and each of the Sweeney sisters. Each sister had their own distinct personality and when they come together, they make up another personality as a group. I found myself wanting to know more about each character, I wanted to read the books of William Sweeney and the poetry of Maeve. I wanted to see Maggie’s paintings and Liza’s gallery and I wanted to befriend Tricia and get her to let loose. At Serena’s first appearance, I was a bit scared but the way she fit into the story was perfect.
I want to read more about the lives of the Sweeney sisters but I don’t think this is set to be a series. I wish it was though. This is such a great read! I highly recommend.
I gave this book 5 crowns.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lian Dolan is a writer and talker. She’s the author of two Los Angeles Times best-selling novels, Helen of Pasadena and Elizabeth the First Wife published by Prospect Park Books. Her next novel, The Sweeney Sisters, will be published in 2020 by William Morrow. She’s a regular humor columnist for Pasadena Magazine and has previously written monthly columns for O, The Oprah Magazine and Working Mother Magazine. She’s also written for TV, radio and websites.
Lian is the producer and host of Satellite Sisters, the award-winning talk show she created with her four real sisters. On Satellite Sisters, she’s interviewed everyone from Nora Ephron to Madeleine Albright to Big Bird. Satellite Sisters began life as a syndicated radio show and is now a top-rated podcast for women. The recent book by the Satellite Sisters, You’re the Best: A Celebration of Friendship, is popular with book clubs.
A popular speaker who combines humor and heart, Lian has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Today Show and many local TV stations. She’s been a featured speaker at the LA Times Festival of Books, the Santa Barbara Celebrity Authors Lunch, the Literary Guild of Orange County Festival of Women Authors and dozens of other events at libraries, book stores, schools and women’s organizations across the country. In 2020, she’ll be on the faculty of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop.
Lian graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Classics. She lives in Pasadena, California with her husband, two sons and a big German shepherd.
New York Times bestselling author and Queen of the Beach Reads Mary Kay Andrews delivers her next blockbuster, Hello Summer.
It’s a new season…
Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.
For small town scandals…
When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat—and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”
And big-time secrets.
Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman—a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I liked the fact that it was a twist on her normal beach reads but it dragged a bit for me. Although it included summer feels and a romance with a touch of mystery, there were a lot characters and back stories that felt a bit unnecessary. I would get into the story just to be pulled out of it because of the info dumping.
This was not my favorite of Mary Kay Andrews beach stories and I felt a bit disappointed. However, maybe I wasn’t in the right mood for it. If you are looking for a mystery, summer read with a bit of family drama, I recommend that you try this one out.