Category: Sarah’s Book Reviews

The Child by Fiona Barton – Video Review

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

On the heels of reading “Settle for More” by Megyn Kelly, I was in the mood for a book with some elements of Washington politics. When I heard on a podcast about “The Hopefuls” by Jennifer Close, I quickly reserved it from my library.

The story is about a young married couple, Matt and Beth Kelly (ironically!), who move from New York to Washington D.C. so Matt can pursue a career in politics. Beth is not so sure she will warm up to this new state and its culture of politics. Soon enough they meet another couple close in age and aspirations, Jimmy, a White House staffer, and his wife Ash, and they become fast friends.

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Book Review: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Book Review: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Can the “magic of gin and orange juice” and one kiss change the trajectory of two families’ lives? This is the question Ann Patchett answers in her newest book, “Commonwealth.”

Commonwealth is about two families in the aftermath of the husband from one family (Bert) and the wife from the other family (Beverly) leaving their marriages to wed each other. Shortly thereafter, Bert and Beverly leave Los Angeles and move to Virginia. It is the late 60’s/early 70’s, well before the age of helicopter parenting. The collective six children from the two families are left to entertain themselves during lazy and wild summers in Virgina.

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The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

“The Mothers” was part of the Book of the Month Club selections for October. I was debating whether or not to choose it, but after seeing several Instagram posts with beautiful quotes from the book and also hearing some good reviews on @annebogel ‘s #whatshouldireadnext podcast, I decided it was the one.

The book showed up at my door – a thin volume with a colorful cover. I was so curious to see what I would think of it, I pushed all my other books aside and started reading it. I am still trying to put my finger on why, but I could not put this book down. I finished it in three days, which is flash lightning speed for this mama. (more…)

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

“Flying. They are flying. And as they rise up through the foggy white, talking and laughing, serenaded by songs of 1950s crooners and the white noise of the long at bat, none of them has any idea that sixteen minutes from now their plane will crash into the sea.”

This is the chilling launch into the story of “Before the Fall” by Noah Hawley. This is a book about the crash of a private jet, about the process of its investigation, about the ensuing swirling media coverage and suspicions, about its victims (including two high profile executives and their wives, and the flight crew), and two survivors: a 4 year old boy and an artist named Scott Burroughs. (more…)

It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort

It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort

“….This is for people who had their life turned upside down and just learned to live that way. For people who have laughed at a funeral or cried in a grocery store. This is for everyone who wondered what exactly they’re supposed to be doing with their one wild and precious life. I don’t actually have the answer, but if you find out, will you text me?” – Nora McInerny Purmort

Poignant, funny and engaging – this memoir from Nora McInery Purmont reads like a collection of essays about her life; growing up, friendships, family and dating relationships through high school, college and beyond. This is all woven in with the telling of three life-shaking events that happened in close succession – loss of a baby through miscarriage, and the subsequent loss of her father and husband through cancer. (more…)

The Lake House by Kate Morton

The Lake House by Kate Morton

At rare times in my life, I have encountered a book that changed the way I think about some things. Maybe you’ve experienced it – the kind of book that leaves a mark on your soul and keeps you thinking long after the last page is turned. I love those rare times, and they always catch me by surprise.

Such was my experience with “The Lake House”. I love this book so much, I’m afraid I will not do it justice in a review. It is simply wonderful. As soon as I get a little extra money, I’m buying a hard cover for my library. (more…)

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo’s Calling is about a supermodel that plunges to her death from the balcony of her posh apartment on a cold snowy night. Most think it was suicide.. but was it? Private detective Cormoran Strike is asked to investigate and finds clues to solve the case through a series of interviews with several characters whose lives somehow intersected with the deceased Lula Landry. These characters are colorful and varied – from a limo driver, to a homeless recovering addict to supermodels and high fashion designers. (more…)

Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

If you were asked to write a letter to your teenaged granddaughter to urge her to make a different life choice, to this family member for whom you cared deeply but have never met; what would you say? How would you write the letter so that she would receive your message?

This is a question that absolutely captivated me and drew me into “Before We Visit the Goddess” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. This beautiful book is about a grandmother named Sabitri, her daughter Bela, and her granddaughter Tara, and the influences on their lives made by each woman’s choices, circumstances, spouses and sometimes close friends. Through these three generations, there is a thread that binds them all. At times that thread seems very tenuous, but through the book’s various storylines, it is always present.

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