Lila Alders learns to sparkle again in New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick. Sad after a divorce, Lila moves back to her hometown of Black Dog Bay. Lila’s ribald relationship with her mother, eccentric new friends, and very fun love interest make for an upbeat read.
Check It Out Category: Picks by Marta
Dear Fellow Reader, it is not fair that actress Mary-Louise Parker is also a gifted writer who has known more than her share of interesting men and experiences. In Dear Mr. You, she addresses them all with unabashed honesty and razor-sharp insight. Sarcastic yet profound, Parker’s letters capture many men quite clearly, perhaps to their discomfort.
Chinese spirits, lively fight scenes and a talking eyeball for a sidekick create a fresh take on a young woman’s quest to earn her father’s love in The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson as Li-lin, a widow living in Chinatown in the 1900’s, braves the dangers of the spirit world to try save her home. Adventure awaits!
Serenity can’t be bought, but it can be created within any life according to Amanda Enayati in Seeking Serenity: the 10 New Rules for Health and Happiness in the Age of Anxiety. Enayati’s clear writing and organized approach to current research make her book a useful guide to creating and maintaining inner peace.
In Camille Griep’s Letters to Zell, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella write to Rapunzel, who has left them to start a new life. Female friendship and the search for a unique identity are explored through their distinctly imagined voices. Alternately funny and sad, each woman heroically takes on the complexities of life.
Crisp characters, witty dialogue, engaging mystery, and an excellent love triangle create a strong debut in Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver. When Amory Ames travels to a seaside resort in order to help an old beau, she never intended to reignite her husband’s interest, much less get involved in a murder investigation.
Step with Miss Prim into the village of San Ireneo de Arnois and enjoy the stores filled with luscious chocolates, beautiful flowers and well-chosen books. Meet the intelligent children who have been carefully educated by their parents in the classics of literature and art. But, if you are not looking to be married, beware the San Ireneo Feminist League, who might place husband finding on the agenda.
Imagine Prudencia Prim’s horrified surprise when she finds herself subject to this scrutiny. And yet… as she searches her heart she finds that love is growing for her employer: the inscrutable Man in the Wing Chair.
Fans of Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy will relish a romance based on moral ideals, attraction and longing. Readers who love a well described sense of place will want to visit San Ireneo and never leave.
For more charming international cozies try…
Addie Baum, The Boston Girl, recalls her life story to granddaughter Ava. Born in 1900 and saddled with a difficult mother, Addie must overcome poverty, gender roles, and lack of education. Author Anita Diamant has created a lovable character who peppers serious subjects with humorous asides and grandmotherly advice.
A boring math teacher morphs into a war hero whose valor and daring bring him international acclaim. Stonewall Jackson is the stuff of spy novels: a tough warrior and tender lover, famous yet intensely private. In Rebel Yell, S. C. Gywnne paints a vivid portrait of Jackson from an orphan to a legendary general mourned by the North and South alike at his death.
Ten years into serving time for her mother’s murder, famous party girl Janie Jenkins is released from jail on a technicality. Everyone in Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little thinks Janie is guilty. They might be right. Janie can’t remember how she ended up next to her mother’s body covered in blood…