Saturdays at the Café is a weekly feature hosted here to talk about and discuss the books I’ve discovered during the past week, added to my shelf and am excited about reading. They may be new/scheduled releases I’ve seen on NetGalley, at the library, or from publishers or they may be older titles my friends have reviewed and shared on Goodreads or blogs.
Grace’s healing solitude is shattered when she becomes a suspect in a gruesome series of murders.
Grace DeRoche escaped a compound of the Fundamentalist Mormon Church and worked to prosecute Brigham’s leaders. But when loyalists, including her own family, commit mass suicide to avoid jail, Grace retreats into solitude. Wracked with guilt and suffering from dissociative identity disorder brought on by childhood abuse, Grace’s life is fragmented and full of blind spots. Dissociative triggers are everywhere, and she never knows when an alter personality will take the reins.
When other Brigham escapees die under suspicious circumstances, Grace’s tenuous hold on reality crumbles. Notes left at each scene quote scripture and accuse the deceased of committing sins so grievous atonement can only be achieved through the spilling of blood. As evidence mounts against her and one of her alter personalities becomes the prime suspect, Grace must determine if she—s a murderer or the next victim.
I hadn’t heard of this book until Marialyce @ yayareads mentioned it in her comments on last week’s post. Fortunately I was able to get the audiobook from the publisher for review.
When a woman stumbles across a mysterious children’s book, long-held secrets about her missing sister and their childhood spent in the English countryside during World War II are revealed in this “transporting, heartfelt, and atmospheric” (Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author) novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Surviving Savannah and Becoming Mrs. Lewis.
1939: Fourteen-year-old Hazel and five-year-old Flora evacuate their London home for a rural village to escape the horrors of the Second World War. Living with the Aberdeen family in a charming stone cottage, Hazel distracts her young sister with a fairy tale about a magical land, a secret place they can escape to that is all their own: Whisperwood.
But the unthinkable happens when Flora suddenly vanishes after playing near the banks of the River Thames. Shattered, Hazel blames herself for her sister’s disappearance, carrying the guilt into adulthood.
Twenty years later, Hazel is back in London, ready to move on from her job at a cozy rare bookstore for a career at Sotheby’s. With a cherished boyfriend and an upcoming Paris getaway, Hazel’s future seems set. But her tidy life is turned upside down when she unwraps a package containing a picture book called Whisperwood and the River of Stars. Hazel never told a soul about the storybook world she created just for Flora. Could this book hold the secrets to Flora’s disappearance? Could it be a sign that her beloved sister is still alive after all these years? Or is something sinister at play?
This is another book I discovered via Marialyce @ yayareads from her comments on last week’s post. I cannot wait to listen to this one, scheduled for release in May and an audio review hopeful.
A mother vanished. A father presumed guilty. There is no proof. There are no witnesses. For the children, there is only doubt. From the New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob. . . .
One afternoon in November 1975, ten-year-old Miranda Larkin comes home from school to find the house eerily quiet. Her mother is missing. Nothing else is out of place. There is no sign of struggle. Her mom’s pocketbook is in the front hall, in its usual spot.
So begins a mystery that will span a lifetime. What happened to Jane Larkin?
Suspicion falls immediately on her husband, Dan. A criminal defense attorney, Dan would know a thing or two about eluding the police. But no evidence is found linking him to a crime, and the case fades from the public’s memory, a simmering, unresolved mystery.
Jane’s three children—Alex, Jeff, and Miranda—are left to be raised by a man who may have murdered their mother. Over the years, each makes their own uneasy peace with the situation.
Nearly two decades later, the remains of Jane Larkin are found. The investigation is awakened. The children, now grown, are forced to choose sides: With their father or against him? Guilty or innocent? And what if they are wrong?
Yet another discovery from the comments by Marialyce @ yayareads in last week’s post. This sounds so interesting and is scheduled for release in March. It’s an audio review hopeful.
Inspired by a box of mementos found abandoned in a dumpster following a house clearance, The Museum of Ordinary People is a poignant, insightful, and ultimately uplifting story of memory and love, grief and loss, and the things we leave behind. It is another brilliant novel from an author who seems to have the absolute knack of writing topical, engaging, heartwarming stories.
I’ve waited over a year for the US editions of this book to be added and finally they showed up! I loved his earlier book, All the Lonely People, and this is a library audiobook hopeful scheduled for release in May.
The debut short-story collection from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man, hailed as “Britain’s female Stephen King” (Daily Mail), featuring eleven bone-chilling and mind-bending tales
Time slips. Doomsday scenarios. Killer butterflies. C. J. Tudor’s novels are widely acclaimed for their dark, twisty suspense plots, but with A Sliver of Darkness, she pulls us even further into her dizzying imagination.
In The Lion at the Gate, a strange piece of graffiti leads to a terrifying encounter for four school friends. In Final Course, the world has descended into darkness, but a group of old friends make time for one last dinner party. In Runaway Blues, thwarted love, revenge, and something very nasty stowed in a hat box converge. In Gloria, a strange girl at a service station endears herself to a coldhearted killer, but can a leopard really change its spots? And in I’m Not Ted, a case of mistaken identity has unforeseen fatal consequences.
Riveting, macabre, and explosively original, A Sliver of Darkness is C. J. Tudor at her most wicked and uninhibited.
One of my Goodreads friends reviewed this collection and I immediately added it, a library audiobook hopeful. There are multiple narrators, including the author, and I believe I can handle horror in the little bites. It’s scheduled for release next week.
Fans of Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay have a new must-read in this deviously clever, skillfully plotted suspense novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Girl Who was Taken, The Suicide House, and Twenty Years Later.
Alex Armstrong has changed everything about herself—her name, her appearance, her backstory. She’s no longer the terrified teenager a rapt audience saw on television, emerging in handcuffs from the quiet suburban home the night her family was massacred. That girl, Alexandra Quinlan, was accused of the killings, fought to clear her name, and later took the stand during her highly publicized defamation lawsuit that captured the attention of the nation.
It’s been ten years since, and Alex hasn’t stopped searching for answers about the night her family was killed, even as she continues to hide her real identity from true crime fanatics and grasping reporters still desperate to locate her. As a legal investigator, she works tirelessly to secure justice for others, too. People like Matthew Claymore, who’s under suspicion in the disappearance of his girlfriend, a student journalist named Laura McAllister.
Laura was about to break a major story about rape and cover-ups on her college campus. Alex believes Matthew is innocent, and unearths stunning revelations about the university’s faculty, fraternity members, and powerful parents willing to do anything to protect their children.
Most shocking of all—as Alex digs into Laura’s disappearance, she realizes there are unexpected connections to the murder of her own family. For as different as the crimes may seem, they each hinge on one sinister truth: no one is quite who they seem to be . . .
Thanks to Carla @ Carla Loves to Read for the heads up in her Stacking the Shelves post. It’s a library audiobook hopeful scheduled for release in March. Donlea is one of my auto read authors.
Lisa Jewell returns with a scintillating new psychological thriller about a woman who finds herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast.
Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summers crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins.
A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.
Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life—and into her home.
But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family’s lives under mortal threat.
Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?
Woo hoo!!! It’s not scheduled for release until July but I’m already excited. I learned about it via the author’s newsletter and it’s an audio review hopeful.
From New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman comes a heartfelt short story about family, independence, and finding your place in the world.
Isabel Gibson has all but perfected the art of forgetting. She’s a New Yorker now, with nothing left to tie her to Brinkley’s Island, Maine. Her parents are gone, the family bookstore is all but bankrupt, and her sister, Sophie, will probably never speak to her again.
But when a mysterious letter arrives in her mailbox, Isabel feels herself drawn to the past. After years of fighting for her independence, she dreads the thought of going back to the island. What she finds there may forever alter her path—and change everything she thought she knew about her family, her home, and herself.
Maybe you’ve figured out by now my love for short stories. When this was offered for audio review, I immediately said yes, especially since it’s by this author.
The #1 New York Times bestselling authors of Mrs. Kennedy and Me reveal never-before-told stories of Secret Service Agent Clint Hill’s travels with Jacqueline Kennedy through Europe, Asia, and South America. Featuring more than two hundred rare and never-before-published photographs.
While preparing to sell his home in Alexandria, Virginia, retired Secret Service agent Clint Hill uncovers an old steamer trunk in the garage, triggering a floodgate of memories. As he and Lisa McCubbin, his coauthor on three previous books, pry it open for the first time in fifty years, they find forgotten photos, handwritten notes, personal gifts, and treasured mementos from the trips on which Hill accompanied First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy as her Secret Service agent—trips that took them from Paris to London, through India, Pakistan, Greece, Morocco, Mexico, South America, and “three glorious weeks on the Amalfi Coast.” During these journeys, Jacqueline Kennedy became one of her husband’s—and America’s—greatest assets; in Hill’s words and the opinion of many others, “one of the best ambassadors the United States has ever had.”
As each newfound treasure sparks long-suppressed memories, Hill provides new insight into the intensely private woman he always called “Mrs. Kennedy” and who always called him “Mr. Hill.” For the first time, he reveals the depth of the relationship that developed between them as they traveled around the globe. Now ninety years old, Hill recounts the tender moments, the private laughs, the wild adventures, and the deep affection he shared with one of the world’s most beautiful and iconic women—and these memories are brought vividly to life alongside more than two hundred rare photographs, many of them previously unpublished.
In addition to the humorous stories and intimate moments, Hill reveals startling details about how traveling helped them both heal during the excruciating weeks and months following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963. He also writes of the year he spent protecting Mrs. Kennedy after the assassination, a time in his life he has always been reluctant to speak about.
My Travels with Mrs. Kennedy unveils a personal side of history that has never been told before and takes the reader on a breathtaking journey, experiencing what it was like for Clint Hill to travel with Jacqueline Kennedy as the entire world was falling in love with her.
I initially decided to pass on this book when it was offered for audio review but reconsidered after watching a segment about it on the Today show. It comes with a pdf of the photos!
The raw, candid, unvarnished memoir of an American icon. The greatest movie star of the past 75 years covers everything: his traumatic childhood, his career, his drinking, his thoughts on Marlon Brando, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, John Huston, his greatest roles, acting, his intimate life with Joanne Woodward, his innermost fears and passions and joys. With thoughts/comments throughout from Joanne Woodward, George Roy Hill, Tom Cruise, Elia Kazan and many others.
In 1986, Paul Newman and his closest friend, screenwriter Stewart Stern, began an extraordinary project. Stuart was to compile an oral history, to have Newman’s family and friends and those who worked closely with him, talk about the actor’s life. And then Newman would work with Stewart and give his side of the story. The only stipulation was that anyone who spoke on the record had to be completely honest. That same stipulation applied to Newman himself. The project lasted five years.
The result is an extraordinary memoir, culled from thousands of pages of transcripts. The book is insightful, revealing, surprising. Newman’s voice is powerful, sometimes funny, sometimes painful, always meeting that high standard of searing honesty. The additional voices–from childhood friends and Navy buddies, from family members and film and theater collaborators such as Tom Cruise, George Roy Hill, Martin Ritt, and John Huston–that run throughout add richness and color and context to the story Newman is telling.
Newman’s often traumatic childhood is brilliantly detailed. He talks about his teenage insecurities, his early failures with women, his rise to stardom, his early rivals (Marlon Brando and James Dean), his first marriage, his drinking, his philanthropy, the death of his son Scott, his strong desire for his daughters to know and understand the truth about their father. Perhaps the most moving material in the book centers around his relationship with Joanne Woodward–their love for each other, his dependence on her, the way she shaped him intellectually, emotionally and sexually.
The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man is revelatory and introspective, personal and analytical, loving and tender in some places, always complex and profound.
I’ve been a fan of the actor forever, especially after he launched his non profit business (I only use Newman’s Own pasta sauces and salad dressings). So, when this audiobook unexpectedly showed up at my library, I was over the moon.
The wild rogue and the wallflower!
Toby Sutton, Earl of Renfrew, is a notorious libertine with no interest in marrying a wellbred young miss and making her his countess. But when he meets lovely Lady Viola Frain, irresistible desire creates an explosive mix with his native recklessness. Within a matter of days, he and Viola are joined in a hurried marriage of convenience, patched together to scotch an almighty scandal.
Marry in haste, repent at leisure?
With two spectacular older sisters, shy Viola Frain is used to being the overlooked member of the family. When handsome Lord Renfrew literally falls at her feet, Viola finally meets a man who thinks she’s special. But before the fragile bloom of attraction can flower, she finds herself wed to Renfrew and whisked away to brooding Brazey Castle, where shadows of old tragedy threaten her frail hope of happiness.
The trouble with earls…
Society watches avidly, forecasting disaster for an alliance between two people so mismatched. Can passion unite the rake and the recluse? Or is the truth just as Viola fears? That the trouble with earls is that they’re bound to break your heart.
Campbell is an auto read and I’m excited about this second book in her new series. It’s an author review hopeful.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Unsheltered and Flight Behavior, a brilliant novel which enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero’s unforgettable journey to maturity.
“Anyone will tell you the born of this world are marked from the get-out, win or lose.”
Demon Copperhead is set in the mountains of southern Appalachia. It’s the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. In a plot that never pauses for breath, relayed in his own unsparing voice, he braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.
Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.
I initially passed on the audio review for this book but then so many of my trusted Goodreads friends kept raving about it so I gave it another look. Fortunately, my library came through with the audiobook.
When Sky Terran returns to the village of Middledip after losing the job she loves, she anticipates a quiet Christmas getting used to her new life. However, the annual street decoration competition is coming up and this year, the residents of Winter Street are determined to win.
As she is pulled into the preparations, Sky quickly grows to love the quirky, tight-knit community she is now part of. Including the extremely handsome Daz, who soon becomes more than just a friendly neighbour.
But when Daz’s ex turns up determined to win him back and it seems he might not be the man Sky thought he was, she remembers how much allowing people into her life – and heart – can hurt. As the snow falls, will she and Daz find a way through – and help win a Christmas victory for Winter Street?
A gorgeously festive novel about love, family and the power of forgiveness from Sunday Times bestseller Sue Moorcroft, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Phillipa Ashley.
I’m unfamiliar with the author but after reading the review by Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books, I wanted this one now. I’ve recommended the audiobook for library purchase.
A heartrending new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning and number-one New York Timesbest-selling author of The Overstory.
I never believed the diagnoses the doctors settled on my son. When a condition gets three different names over as many decades, when it goes from non-existent to the country’s most commonly diagnosed childhood disorder in one generation, when two different physicians want to prescribe three different medications, there’s something wrong….
Theo Byrne is a promising young astrobiologist who has found a way to search for life on other planets dozens of light years away. He is also the widowed father of a most unusual nine-year-old. His son, Robin, is funny, loving, and filled with plans. He thinks and feels deeply, adores animals, and can spend hours painting elaborate pictures. He is also on the verge of being expelled from third grade for smashing his friend’s face with a metal thermos.
What can a father do, when the only solution offered to his rare and troubled boy is to put him on psychoactive drugs? What can he say when his boy comes to him wanting an explanation for a world that is clearly in love with its own destruction? The only thing for it is to take the boy to other planets, even while fostering his son’s desperate campaign to help save this one.
I never gave this book a second look until so many of my Goodreads friends kept writing extraordinary reviews about the writing. I got in a long library queue for the audiobook and my number finally came up.
From the internationally bestselling author of The Simple Wild comes the story of a woman at a crossroads in her life, struggling between the safe route and the one that will only lead to more heartbreak.
Veterinarian Marie Lehr knows unrequited love all too well after pining for her best friend, only to watch him marry another woman. It’s a mistake she will never make again, especially not when she can practically hear the clock ticking on her childbearing years.
The trouble is, she can’t seem to find anyone who appeals to her even a fraction as much as that burly bush pilot did. Competitive musher Tyler Brady certainly doesn’t, especially not after the heated altercation with the handsome but arrogant, spiteful man.
Or so she thinks.
While volunteering at the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, Marie discovers that first impressions may have been false, and her attraction to Tyler is very real. But his heart belongs to someone else, leaving him with nothing to offer but friendship. Marie’s been down this road before and knows how that ends. Yet, no matter how hard she works to keep from falling for Tyler, it seems she’s doomed to follow her own trail once again.
I was hoping the audiobook edition would eventually be created and offered for audio review and my wish came true! It’s scheduled for release next month.
Evelyn is a woman who has everything–a successful career as a TV producer, and her best friend—sexy firefighter Owen Hanson—who looks mighty fine as her plus-one to awards dinners and backyard picnics. But something is missing and it’s not just the sex.
Owen Hanson is living the dream—a Chicago firefighter who volunteers at a youth center on the Southside and he’s got his best friend Evelyn—who knows him better than anyone. When Evelyn starts hinting about wanting something more, Owen panics.
Sex changes everything but taking their relationship to the next level surpasses even their wildest dreams. Until Evelyn’s ex-husband shows up and could make even the most perfect couple crash and burn…
Another book I was hoping to get for audio review and another wish came true! It’s scheduled for release next month.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?