The semester is over and final exams have been done. Take some time this summer to treat yourself to a great book! Check this blog throughout the summer for recommendations to add to your summer reading list. Our first recommendations were contributed by Mary Gail Howland, Librarian at Coastal Carolina Community College. She recommends trying a book from popular Australian author Liane Moriarty.
From Publishers Weekly: Australian author Moriarty, in her fifth novel (after The Hypnotist’s Love Story), puts three women in an impossible situation and doesn’t cut them any slack. Cecilia Fitzpatrick lives to be perfect: a perfect marriage, three perfect daughters, and a perfectly organized life. Then she finds a letter from her husband, John-Paul, to be opened only in the event of his death. She opens it anyway, and everything she believed is thrown into doubt. Meanwhile, Tess O’Leary’s husband, Will, and her cousin and best friend, Felicity, confess they’ve fallen in love, so Tess takes her young son, Liam, and goes to Sydney to live with her mother. There she meets up with an old boyfriend, Connor Whitby, while enrolling Liam in St. Angela’s Primary School, where Cecilia is the star mother. Rachel Crowley, the school secretary, believes that Connor, St. Angela’s PE teacher, is the man who, nearly three decades before, got away with murdering her daughter—a daughter for whom she is still grieving. Simultaneously a page-turner and a book one has to put down occasionally to think about and absorb, Moriarty’s novel challenges the reader as well as her characters, but in the best possible way.
From The Booklist (Feb 2015), by Joy Matteson: Spunky Madeline, shy Jane, and sensitive Celeste are mothers of kindergartners who become fast friends. Jane and Celeste harbor devastating secrets that threaten to spill over into the nastiest one of all-a murder at the elementary school costume party. Moriarty threads her carefully paced story with clues scattered throughout to create riveting suspense. Narrator Lee effortlessly uses her sparkling Aussie accent to breathe life into the tense dialogue, persuading her listeners into trusting that harrowing social issues can be told with the gentlest of ease, even with a bit of comedy. She deftly handles terrifying traumatic scenes, including domestic abuse and kindergarten bullying, with sensitive undertones. All of the women have their distinct voices, using a sparkly motherly tone for Madeline, a reserved tone for Jane, and a somewhat haughty tone for Celeste. In the hands of another narrator, the cadence could come off as falsely reassuring, especially in the male voices of the women’s husbands. But Lee’s gorgeous accent, imprinted with genuine emotion, makes this audiobook sing. Already an Audiofile Award winner, this is especially recommended for listeners who adore a good Australian accent-the way Lee pronounces her o’s are a sheer delight!
From Publishers Weekly: This winning not-quite amnesia story parses what happens when Alice, a married mother of three whose marriage is disintegrating, takes a knock on the head and comes to thinking she is herself, but 10 years younger and in the middle of a blossoming young marriage, with her first child on the way. As younger Alice adjusts to her older life and body, she finds much to be surprised at: a wealthy lifestyle she never dreamed of, a rejuvenated mother with a surprising love interest, and a sister whose life has turned out unexpectedly disappointing. And everyone is so sorry for something that happened with her best friend Gina, whom she doesn’t remember, but apparently who helped sow the seeds of her marriage’s collapse. But as the young Alice takes over the older Alice’s life and applies her goofy, laissez-faire approach to living, the tension builds: what will happen if old Alice regains her memory? Alice’s journey of reconciling herself to how her life came to be what it is, and her slowly building understanding of how the threads of her marriage began to unravel, is moving, well-paced, and thoroughly pleasurable.
The LRC has What Alice Forgot in audio book format.