Weekend Reading

Currently reading this memoir called I’m Just Happy To Be Here by Janelle Hanchett. It’s about mental illness, addiction, motherhood, honesty, and I love it. Totally raw, no sugar coating. Told with a sense of humor, the book is well written and engaging, Ive been glued to the pages as Janelle’s story keeps turning.
Here’s the scoop:

Pregnant at 21 by a man she’d known three months, Janelle Hanchett embraced motherhood with the determined optimism of the recklessly self-confident. After giving birth, she found herself bored, directionless, and seeking relief in wine, which she justified as sophisticated and going well with chicken.
But over time, her questionable drinking habit spiraled into full-blown dependence, until life became bedtime stories and splitting hangovers, cubicles and multi-day drug binges–and eventually, an inconceivable separation from her children. For ten years, Hanchett grappled with the unyielding progression of addiction, bouncing from rehab to therapy to the occasional hippie cleansing ritual on her quest for sobriety, before finding it in a way she never expected.

I am looking forward to reading more later, sometimes it’s in books where we feel understood and I have a feeling the author would understand my struggles, life is hard! Thank goodness for  books and brave authors.
Did you read The Good Widow? If you didn’t, you must! Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke wrote it and it was a great novel, now they have a new one called Girls Night Out and I am ridiculously excited.
I was immediately interested in this story based on the cover and the title of the book! What is happening here? Check out the premise:

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.
Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?
As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

Reading some early reviews, I see a lot of love from readers who scored advance copies and there are many solid five star reviews. I cannot wait to dig in!
I like switching up genres so I look forward to this new book by Beth Harbison who always writes fun fiction. Every Time You Go Away has a cute premise, and I know from her other books that this is going to be a light, humorous story.
Here’s the synopsis:

Jane Holcomb isn’t exactly a widow, though she feels like one. She divorced her unfaithful husband, Ben, ten months before he died of a heart attack at the beach house he got in the divorce settlement. He was thirty-two. Two years later, Jane returns to the house to clean it up in preparation to sell it. Much to her surprise, Ben arrives soon after her. He has finally learned his lesson, finally realized she’s the love of his life and that he blew things big-time by cheating on her—unfortunately, he’s only learned this after death.
Jane has to contend with her ghost of an ex-husband discreetly while also dealing with the coming and going of various guests—including her sister, who wants to know what the heck is going on with suddenly-skittish Jane, and a handsome contractor who sets sparks flying at Jane, much to the consternation of her jealous late husband. Jane will have to find the strength and independence within herself, as well as the forgiveness that will help her move on with her life and Ben move on past this mortal medium where he is stuck trying to atone for his sins with a sassy ex-wife.

This looks like the perfect book to read on a weekend, a nice girly story that will keep you entertained. If you haven’t read Beth’s other books, check out Hope In a Jar which I really enjoyed!
This week I also read The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd. The premise is that a lonely teacher, Samantha, in England becomes swept up in the crime that landed Dennis Danson in jail. She spends her time on message boards, discussing the crime and trying to determine his innocence. On a whim, she sends him a heartfelt letter and he answers her. They begin a long distance relationship which gets more serious as time goes on and she decides to leave England, heading to Florida to visit him in jail.
There she meets up with a producer named Carrie who is filming a kind of “Making of a Murderer” type documentary. When Dennis and Samantha meet face to face, she knows she’s in love and can’t go back to England. Sam starts helping Carrie with the true crime documentary and when Dennis is exonerated, Sam is swept into a life she never planned. Who is he really? The relationship was better when he was in jail, or was it?
A million questions dart around and Sam as she tries to settle into life with Dennis who is now a minor celebrity. She wants to believe Dennis is innocent but what about what she discovered in the backyard of his childhood home? Every page led me to the next, eagerly wondering if Dennis was crazy or maybe Sam was?
This is a quick read, very suspenseful!
I love the cover of The Lost Family by Jenna Blum! I am immediately intrigued. It combines all the things I love in a book: immigrants, World War 2, New York City in another time, and love. I cannot wait to sit and savor this story.

In 1965 Manhattan, patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its brisket bourguignon and impeccable service and to admire its dashing owner and head chef Peter Rashkin. With his movie-star good looks and tragic past, Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the parade of eligible women who come to the restaurant hoping to catch his eye. He has resigned himself to a solitary life. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of the Nazi death camp while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters perished.
Then exquisitely beautiful June Bouquet, an up-and-coming young model, appears at the restaurant, piercing Peter’s guard. Though she is twenty years his junior, the two begin a passionate, whirlwind courtship. When June unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Peter proposes, believing that beginning a new family with the woman he loves will allow him to let go of the horror of the past. But over the next twenty years, the indelible sadness of those memories will overshadow Peter, June, and their daughter Elsbeth, transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways.

This one is getting rave reviews and I am so anxious to read it from cover to cover!

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