Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Memoir Review: The Mighty Queens of Freeville

My last book group pick before a summer hiatus was The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town that Raised Them by Amy Dickinson, the famous advice columnist, Ask Amy. Everyone in my book group enjoyed this honest, funny memoir.

 

Despite her relative fame and public persona, Amy has written a very personal memoir. It's about her family and her hometown, and her experiences going back there as a single mother after a devastating divorce. As she explains in the beginning of the memoir, hers is a family of mostly women (dubbed by her daughter as The Mighty Queens of Freeville), and many of them are/were divorced single mothers. She describes the divorce from her husband, which was a complete surprise to her, her long road through grief, and her process (erratic though it was) of figuring out what to do with her life. She brings us along as she heals, surrounded by her family, takes those first independent steps in moving to Washington, DC, and through her many experiences as a single mother. The memoir takes us right up to the present, with her daughter off at college and she herself cautiously dipping her toe back into a loving relationship.

 

It was well-written (of course), moving, and immersive. She's very honest about how damaged she felt after the unexpected divorce and her struggle to get back on her feet and figure out what to do with her life. I also enjoyed that her hometown is in Upstate NY, not too far from where I grew up (though I grew up in a suburb of Rochester versus her rural town). Although I haven’t read her column before (our newspaper doesn’t carry it), I enjoyed her honest and funny writing, which was both heartwarming and hilarious. It was an enjoyable read, for me and for the rest of my book group.

 

225 pages, Hyperion 


Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.

 

Visit my YouTube Channel for more bookish fun!

 

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here, read by the author, and/or download it from Audible.

 

You can buy the book through Bookshop.org, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!

  

 

Or you can order The Mighty Queens of Freeville from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.

Monday, June 21, 2021

It's Monday 6/21! What Are You Reading?


Happy First Day of Summer and Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there--hope that everyone enjoyed the weekend!

We had a nice family-focused weekend. Our older son came home for a short visit Friday and Saturday, and we enjoyed two dinners with all four of us together, which was a great treat! We had a special crab dinner Saturday night for an early Father's Day celebration, since our son had to head home afterward. My husband is a wonderful father and loved getting to spend time with his grown sons this weekend.

Crabs for dinner! All 4 of us around the table.

Sunday, we enjoyed a Father's Day lunch with my father-in-law. He's 96 and struggling with some dementia, but he was lucid and really seemed to enjoy our takeout BBQ lunch, with his favorites: ribs, corn on the cob, and watermelon. He also enjoyed the big stack of gifts we gave him and was especially delighted by the portable CD player with a stack of his old favorite albums on CD (mostly brass bands from the early 60's). He was back in rough shape by dinnertime and again this morning (my husband had to go over there both times), but I'm glad we could give him that celebration and fun. The Father's Day fun continues today, as my husband and younger son head out golfing this morning.

Grandad enjoyed opening his gifts!

And, just a quick word in memory of my own dad, whom I miss every single day, though I have especially felt his absence this weekend. He was an amazing father and grandfather--kind, loving, affectionate, generous, lots of fun, and he had a great sense of humor! 

Dad and I on the beach in Canada

He was also an avid reader, and I miss sharing that passion with him. From passing the latest Stephen King books back and forth when I was a teen in the 70's and 80's to picking out books for him on the holidays to listening to him tell us excitedly about his latest read, he and I connected over books my whole life. My husband and I now have his collection of Stephen King (always his favorite) and Dean Koontz books in our bedroom.

Our collection of books from my Dad

One final bit of news: I got my second COVID vaccine last week! I was worried because of my immune disorder and went through extensive immune testing, doctor consultations, and new treatments the past six months before I took the plunge. I was surprised and delighted to have no reaction at all to my first shot, though this second one hit me harder. I had about 24 hours of being totally bed-ridden, with pain everywhere. I've been doing better since then, though still very low-energy and exhausted by afternoon (even with my daily nap), so I am hoping this week will bring further improvement. I am relieved to have gotten through it without a major relapse. Some with my illness are still in terrible shape and unable to function many months after their shot(s) and some are unable to get it at all, so I feel fortunate.

Here's what we've been reading this past busy week:

I am still reading one of my #BigBookSummer books, The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray. I heard about this through a podcast called The Readers (I don't think it's still on), which was hosted by Simon and Gavin way back when. Gavin loved time travel novels (just like me) and recommended this as one of his all-time favorite books. So, I kept it on my TBR list all these years and added it to my Books Gift List for my family! My husband gave it to me for Christmas, and I saved it for Big Book Summer. It's an odd book so far, not what I expected, but I am enjoying it. A man named Waldemar Tolliver is "stuck outside of time" at the start of the book. As he narrates his present predicament, he goes back to tell his unusual family history, beginning with a strange discovery about time that his great-great grandfather made in 1903, and how his namesake, his great-uncle, further investigated it. It can get kind of dark (his great-uncle became a high-ranking Nazi), but it's also funny at times. While there is not yet any time travel, it is very much about the nature of time, with a dose of physics throughout (many of the early Tollivers were physicists), and I like the way it weaves real history into the family narrative.

On audio, I am listening to another Big Book! (Yes, audios count for the challenge, too, based on the page count in the print book.) I am listening to The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames, a novel published in 2019. It's the story of a woman named Stella, who encounters many life-threatening incidents during her childhood in rural Italy and youth and adult life in the United States. She protects her younger sister, Tina, but life changes dramatically when the family immigrates to America just before WWII. The story is told from the perspective of a family member in Connecticut in the present day, to explain why the two now-elderly sisters don't get along. I'm finally getting close to the end, and I am looking forward to that! It's a well-written novel and engrossing, with a vivid sense of time and place in its different settings. However, it is also very dark. You might think I should have expected that from the title, but some aspects of this story are really disturbing (like scenes of abuse). So, while I've been engaged in the story, it's a long book, and the darkness is getting to me.

My husband, Ken, finished his first Big Book Summer pick (yes, he joins the challenge, too!), For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Like me, he likes to read classics once in a while, and this one has been on our shelves for a bit. It's about the Spanish Civil War and is based on Hemingway's own travels to Spain as a journalist in 1937 to cover the war for the North American Newspaper Alliance. I think this is the third Hemingway novel my husband has read, but I have never read anything by Hemingway! I know, isn't that crazy? I never even read any Hemingway in school. Ken was struggling with this one at first. He said the language was very different from other Hemingway novels, and it was hard to understand. But, it got better, and he became immersed in the story and ended up enjoying it, though he was ready for something lighter and fast-paced afterward!

Ken got a nice stack of books for Father's Day yesterday (holidays at our house always include stacks of books), so he picked one of those last night to read next. He did get a couple more Big Books, but after Hemingway, he wanted something fast and shorter, so he's reading Dead of Winter by Stephen Mack Jones. This is an author I met at Booktopia, an annual event in Vermont I've been missing the past two years! My husband and I both love his series of thrillers set in Detroit about a half-Mexican, half-Black, ex-cop. We both enjoyed the first book, August Snow, and liked the second one, Lives Laid Away, even more, so we've been looking forward to this third installment. Jones writes fast-paced, action-packed, twisty thrillers, but he also has a great sense of humor. This one will definitely go on my own TBR shelves when Ken's finished!

Our 26-year-old son finally finished the 1232-page chunkster Rhythm of War, book four of one of his favorite series, Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. He really enjoyed it. He read another book next (that I didn't get the title of this weekend) and is now reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which is book one of a trilogy. He and his girlfriend want to watch the new Netflix adaptation of the series, and, like any avid reader, he wants to read the book first! He said it's not a series he probably would normally read (he prefers fantasy worlds without guns), but all the hype and rave reviews surrounding the trilogy (and now the TV series) convinced him to give it a try. He's enjoying it so far.

 

Blog posts from last week:

New E-Mail List Provider - yes, another change for those who read this on e-mail--but this is it!

Summary of Books Read in May - an excellent reading month for me!

Fiction Review: End of Watch by Stephen King - my first Big Book of the Summer!

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers.

You can follow me on Twitter at @SueBookByBook or on Facebook on my blog's page.   

What are you and your family reading this week?

Friday, June 18, 2021

Fiction Review: End of Watch

I finished my first Big Book Summer book, End of Watch by Stephen King. This is the third and final book in the Mr. Mercedes trilogy. I enjoyed Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. And my husband has been waiting for me to read this last book, so he and I can watch seasons two and three of the Mr. Mercedes TV show!

 

I won't give away any spoilers of the first two books, so this will be a bit brief. This third book continues the story of Bill Hodges, a retired police detective in Ohio, and his now-business-partner, Holly Gibney (who also makes an appearance in King's The Outsider). Together, they solved the case of the Mercedes Massacre in book one and the stolen manuscript in book two, but now a suspiciously odd string of suicides brings them back into an active police investigation. This final book of the trilogy comes back to the story of Brady Hartsfield, the evil but brilliant computer genius who was the vile “Mercedes Killer” (not a spoiler—you know from the start of book one who Brady is) and who is now paralyzed and in the hospital.

 

It was gripping and super-suspenseful, as are all of King’s novels! The first two books were mostly straight-up mystery/thriller stories, but this third one brings in some of that King creepiness with some supernatural phenomena. After I finished reading the book, we started season two of the Mr. Mercedes TV show, but it was highly annoying to me to find out they switched books two and three in the TV series so that season two is about book three (that’s why someone had warned me to finish reading the full trilogy before embarking on season two of the TV show). And they killed off of a beloved character who’s alive in the books! It’s probably best to wait a bit longer after reading a book to watch its TV or movie adaptation. In any case, the TV show is still good, even though it’s annoying me. And all three of the books were excellent with that can’t-put-it-down compelling character for which King is famous.

 

400 pages, Gallery Books

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.

 

Visit my YouTube Channel for more bookish fun!

 

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible.

 

You can buy the book through Bookshop.org, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!

 

Or you can order End of Watch from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.


Books Read in May


In addition to the summary below, you can also watch my video, May Reading Wrap-Up, where I briefly tell you about each of the books I read last month.

May was another great reading month for me! Here's what I finished reading last month:



 


I finished 8 books in total in May, and they were all very good. It was almost an all-fiction month, but I finished listening (re-listening) to Becoming. And it was unusual for me to read two thrillers in one month (unless it's fall and the R.I.P. Challenge!). So, just one nonfiction (memoir) and one middle-grade, and all the rest of my books were adult fiction. Two of my books were on audio. My favorite is a tie because I just couldn't choose: Clock Dance by Anne Tyler and Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver. These were both hug-it-to-your-chest books that I never wanted to end!

Progress in 2021 Reading Challenges:
You can see all of the reading challenges I am participating in and full lists of the books read for each at the challenges link above. I have some fun ones going this year!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2021 - Four of my eight books in May were from my own shelves.
2021 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge - May was Magnificent Middle-Grade, so 7 Good Reasons Not to Grow Up by Jimmy Gownley fit.
Back to the Classics 2021 - No classics in May.

2021 AtoZ Reading Challenge - It's getting tougher, but I filled in C and V last month, and the May Mini Challenge, a book about a nurse, since there were nurses in The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2021 - this is a unique one, with 50 quirky categories. My list is getting pretty full now, but I added another 2 categories to my list this month:
  1. Book with something broken on the cover - The Silent Patient
  2. Book about social justice -  The Vanishing Half
2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge - I added one more nonfiction book, Becoming by Michelle Obama, and used it for the Biography category (technically, it was memoir or autobiography, but close enough, right?)
Diversity Reading Challenge 2021 - Five of my books were diverse last month, and for the May mini-challenge, Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline included a main character from Southeast Asia.
Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge - I traveled to the UK and Australia last month in my books.
2021 Literary Escapes Challenge - I added four new states: Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, and Ohio.

And finally, Bookish Bingo hosted by Chapter Break - not really a challenge per se, but a fun game that I play each month! Stop by to print out this month's Bingo card and play along. In May, I filled 19 spaces on my bingo card:

 


Spaces Filled:

Ready Player Two - action/adventure, stars on cover, special abilities, squad/team

Becoming - audio book, woman on cover

The Vanishing Half - not in a series

Clock Dance - read a physical book, shelf love

Force of Nature - in a series, police, set in a foreign country

Animal Dreams - not set in current times

The Silent Patient - library book, shady character, multiple POV, book club read

7 Good Reasons Not to Grow Up - free book

Free Space

What was YOUR favorite book read in May?

New E-Mail List Provider


No, this isn't a duplicate post from two weeks ago! The first new mail provider I tried using, Mailchimp, didn't work for me because they couldn't e-mail the list every time I had a new blog post up. After much research, work, and many chats with the Help line (I am really just no good at the technical stuff), I am now signed up with follow.it, a fairly new e-mail list service. 

This one is made specifically for sending blog updates, so it should work pretty smoothly. They don't currently have the ability for me to send extra e-mails, but let's be honest - I don't have time for that now anyway! What follow-it does offer, however, is an extra perk for YOU, the readers. Follow.it is a feed-reading service (something like Reddit, I think), so in addition to following my blog, you can choose other feeds you want to follow as well, including all kinds of news, sports, entertainment, and loads of book-related feeds. You don't have to sign up for anything else, but the service is there for you to use (for free) if you want to.

So, once again, you may see a duplicate post as I transition; I will turn off the old feed as soon as I send this post. After this post, you should receive updates only from the new follow.it feed.

The e-mails may look a little different, but the service will be almost the same as before: you'll receive each blog post via e-mail, probably the day after I post it.

NOTE: If you were on the list before and stop receiving e-mails OR if you'd like to sign up for the blog post e-mails, just use the quick form at the top of the sidebar on my blog.

See you in your Inbox!

Monday, June 14, 2021

It's Monday 6/14! What Are You Reading?


Whew, we had a rather frantic, unexpected sort of weekend, though everything turned out fine.

First, we enjoyed a lovely gathering with four of our oldest friends Saturday evening. We all lived in New Orleans at the same time (and worked for the same company) in the 80's and have remained good friends for decades. One couple is now moving to Nashville, so we got some takeout from our favorite local New Orleans restaurant and gathered in a friend's porch to catch up, reminisce, and say goodbye. It was a wonderful evening of good food, good conversation, and good friends.

We walked back in the door at home afterward, and my phone rang. It was a nurse from my 96-year-old father-in-law's apartment (he lives in Independent Living but had used his call button to call a nurse from the neighboring nursing care home), telling us she'd called him an ambulance for chest pains. As we suspected, it turned out to be indigestion, though the pain woke him from a deep sleep and scared him. As with most hospital ER trips, it took all night for them to run all the tests, check with all the specialists, and finally release him. He's fine, just a false alarm, but he and my husband were up all night in the ER; my husband got home at 6 am!

So, we decided to cancel our camping trip planned for Sunday through Tuesday. This wasn't as big a disappointment as you might think because we'd been wondering if we should cancel anyway because of the cicadas. The 17-year cicadas have emerged here, and they are making a huge racket! There aren't too many near our house, but there are in some local parks to the south, including the one where we had a reservation. We tried a 1-hour picnic at one of those parks last weekend, and the noise was deafening. You might think we're being picky and squeamish, but a friend who has them all around their house said they measured the noise at about 85 decibels!! When I called the park to cancel, the ranger told me the cicada noise there was "apocalyptic"! So, maybe it was all for the best.

Since we were supposed to be away today, we took a vacation day: had breakfast out at one of our favorite places and went on a nice hike on a new-to-us trail along a gorgeous stream. Then, my husband went golfing, and I came home for my usual nap (and now, my Monday blog post!). So, we enjoyed a nice day outdoors.


A perfect summer day (though not too hot) along a lovely stream

Meanwhile, Big Book Summer is rolling right along! Lots of people have signed up to participate and are having fun picking their Big Book(s) and sharing what they're reading on social media and in the Goodreads' group. It's a fun time of year!

On my latest Friday Reads video, I talk about the challenge and what I've been reading.

Here's what we've all been reading here this week, Big Books and more!

I finished my last book group pick before a summer hiatus, The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson. The author is the famous advice columnist, Ask Amy, but this is a very personal memoir. It's about her family and her hometown, and her experiences going back there as a single mother after a devastating divorce. As she explains in the beginning of the memoir, hers is a family of mostly women (dubbed by her daughter as The Mighty Queens of Freeville), and many of them are/were divorced single mothers. It was excellent: moving and immersive. She's very honest about how damaged she felt after the unexpected divorce and her struggle to get back on her feet and figure out what to do with her life. I also enjoyed that her hometown is in Upstate NY, not too far from where I grew up (though I grew up in a suburb of Rochester vs. her rural town). I enjoyed her honest and funny memoir very much, as did the rest of my book group.

After that, it was back to the Big Books! I'm now reading The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray. I haven't gotten very far yet with all of this weekend's excitement, but it's got a time travel plot, which is my favorite kind of novel! I heard about this through a podcast called The Readers (I don't think it's still on), which was hosted by Simon and Gavin way back when. Gavin also loved time travel novels and recommended this as one of his all-time favorite books. So, I kept it on my TBR list all these years and added it to my Books I would Like as Gifts list for my family! My husband gave it to me for Christmas, and I saved it for Big Book Summer. All I can tell you so far is that a man named Waldemar Tolliver is "stuck outside of time" at the start of the book. As he narrates his present predicament, he goes back to tell his unusual family history, beginning with a strange discovery about time that his great-great grandfather made in 1903, and how his namesake, his great-uncle, further investigated it. It's interesting so far, and I hope to have more reading time this week!

On audio, I am listening to another Big Book! (Yes, audios count for the challenge, too, based on the page count in the print book.) I am listening to The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames, a novel published in 2019. I've heard lots of rave reviews of this book, so I've been looking forward to listening to it (perfect for Big Book Summer). It's the story of a woman named Stella, who encounters many life-threatening incidents during her childhood in rural Italy and youth in the United States. She protects her younger sister, Tina, but life changes dramatically when the family immigrates to America just before WWII. The story is told from the perspective of a family member in Connecticut in the present day, to explain why the two now-elderly sisters don't get along. It's an engaging and unique family epic, and I'm enjoying it so far. The historical detail and settings are beautifully rendered.

My husband, Ken, is reading his first Big Book Summer pick (yes, he joins the challenge, too!), For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Like me, he likes to read classics once in a while, and this one has been on our shelves for a bit. It's about the Spanish Civil War and is based on Hemingway's own travels to Spain as a journalist in 1937 to cover the war for the North American Newspaper Alliance. I think this is the third Hemingway novel my husband has read, but I have never read anything by Hemingway! I know, isn't that crazy? I never even read any Hemingway in school. Ken was struggling with this one at first. He said the language was very different from other Hemingway novels, and it was hard to understand. He seems to be getting into the story now, and while it was slow-going at first, he said he read 80 pages in the ER Saturday night!

I believe our 26-year-old son is still immersed in one of his favorite series, Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. He's reading book 4, Rhythm of War, which is a mere 1232 pages ... and hardcover! He loves epic fantasy, the longer the better--it's always Big Book Summer for him! He laughs about my annual challenge and says he rarely reads anything less than 400 pages. He'll be coming to visit this week, for Father's Day, so we're looking forward to seeing him.

 

 

Blog posts last week:

Fiction Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides - a twisty psychological thriller

Fiction Review: Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver - another beautiful, heartwarming, thoughtful, and engaging story set in the American Southwest from my favorite author.

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers.

You can follow me on Twitter at @SueBookByBook or on Facebook on my blog's page.   

What are you and your family reading this week?

Friday, June 11, 2021

Fiction Review: Animal Dreams

Last month, I listened to Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, which was like comfort food for my soul. She is one of my favorite authors, and her novels, The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees (along with its sequel, Pigs in Heaven), are among my all-time favorite books. Like those, this is an earlier novel (published in 1990), and she reads the audio herself. Also like those other novels, Animal Dreams was heartwarming, thoughtful, and engaging.

 

Codi has returned to her tiny hometown in Arizona for the first time since she left after high school, decades ago. She hasn’t been in close touch with her father, the town doctor, but she's heard he's suffering from dementia. Her beloved sister, Haley, is in Nicaragua (the novel is set in the 80's), helping the farmers there, so Codi is on her own. With Haley away and a relationship recently ended, Codi is at loose ends. She’s staying at the home of her best friend, who has a family, and is seeing people again that last saw her in high school. And she’s working for a year as the science teacher at her old high school. As with most of Kingsolver's novels, there is an environmental crisis here (though it’s not the main story), along with Native American cultures and legends. Codi is struggling to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life ... and maybe falling in love with her high school boyfriend.

 

I absolutely loved listening to this book on audio; it was the perfect accompaniment to time spent weeding and digging in the garden. Kingsolver has the most wonderful, soothing voice and completely inhabits the characters she is narrating (listen to the audio sample below to see what I mean). As with all Kingsolver novels, her characters were fully developed; I was really rooting for Codi to figure things out and find her place in the world. There is also a gentle sense of humor throughout the book: I loved hearing about the “stitch and bitch club,” the group of older women in town who get together to sew. There are multiple interesting plotlines, though it never felt confusing or overcrowded. She is a master storyteller. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Kingsolver narrate this beautifully written, gentle, lyrical story. 

 

384 pages, Harper Perennial

HarperAudio

 

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.

 

Visit my YouTube Channel for more bookish fun!

 

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here, to hear Kingsolver's lovely, soothing voice as first Doc and then Codi narrate from the beginning of the book, and/or download it from Audible.

 

You can buy the book through Bookshop.org, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!
  

Or you can order Animal Dreams from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Fiction Review: The Silent Patient

My neighborhood book group chose a thriller for our June selection, which is an unusual choice for us. We read The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, a psychological thriller.

 

Right in the very first sentence of chapter one, it says that Alicia murdered her husband. So, this is not a whodunit but a “why did she do it?” After the crime occurred, Alicia completely stops speaking, so no one knows why she did it. She is a famous painter, and her husband was a well-known fashion photographer. They seemed to have a wonderful, loving marriage, so what happened? Alicia's silence continues for many years, as she remains at the Grove, a secure forensic psychiatric facility in London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who, by his own admission, has his own issues stemming from an abusive childhood. Theo becomes obsessed with Alicia and manages to get himself hired at the Grove and assigned to her case. Everyone else has given up, since she won't communicate at all, but Theo thinks he can connect with her. He even begins his own investigation of her life leading up to the murder, after hours, telling himself it will help him to understand her better, and he begins to feel a bond with her because of her similarly awful childhood.

 

This is a classic psychological thriller, with plenty of suspense and lots of twists and surprises! Chapters alternate between Theo’s narration in the present day, as he tries to break through Alicia’s silence, and Alicia’s own diary entries, leading up to the day of the murder. As the pieces slowly fall into place, I was constantly changing theories on what happened and why she did it, like with any good, twisty thriller. Not everyone in my book group enjoys psychological thrillers, so some were less satisfied with the book than others, but those of us who enjoy this sort of book found it an immersive and compelling one.

 

323 pages, Celadon Books

 

Visit my YouTube Channel for more bookish fun!

 

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here, with two different narrators for Alicia and Theo, and/or download it from Audible.

 

You can buy the book through Bookshop.org, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!

  

 

Or you can order The Silent Patient from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.