BOOKISH FRIDAY: “NINE PERFECT STRANGERS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a new download:  Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty, “A treat for Big Little Lies fans.” —People

 

 

 

Beginning:  (Yao)

“I’m fine,” said the woman.  “There’s nothing wrong with me.”

She didn’t look fine to Yao.

It was his first day as a trainee paramedic.  His third call-out.  Yao wasn’t nervous, but he was in a hypervigilant state because he couldn’t bear to make even an inconsequential mistake.  When he was a child, mistakes had made him wail inconsolably, and they still made his stomach cramp.

***

Friday 56%:  (Frances)

“Life is nothing but a scam,” said Gillian.  “It’s all just a giant illusion.”

“Scram, scam,” chuckled Sol.  “Good one.”

He and Henry fist-bumped.

***

Synopsis:  Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

***

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book.  Does it grab you?  Would you keep reading?

***

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “TRY NOT TO BREATHE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a book that has been patiently waiting on my Kindle:  Try Not To Breathe, by Holly Seddon, an engrossing thriller full of page-turning twists and turns, richly imagined characters, and gripping psychological suspense.

 

 

Beginning:  (Amy, 18 July 1995)

Music thudded through Amy’s body and seized her heart.  Music so loud that her eardrums pounded in frenzy and her baby-bird ribs rattled.  Music was everything.  Well, almost everything.

Later, the newspapers would call fifteen-year-old Amy Stevenson a “ray of sunshine,” with “everything to live for.”  Her headphones buzzed with rock and pop as she trudged the long way home, rucksack sagging.

***

Friday 56:  His voice was once the source of such dizzying excitement.  That voice, her hanging up the phone with seconds to spare as Bob’s key clattered in the lock.  Leaving her so flustered she had to skirmish to her room to hide.

***

Synopsis:  Some secrets never die. They’re just locked away.
 
Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down. Every day is treading water, every night is drowning. Until Alex discovers Amy Stevenson. Amy Stevenson, who was just another girl from a nearby town until the day she was found unconscious after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. Amy Stevenson, who, unbeknownst to her doctors, remains locked inside her body, conscious but paralyzed, reliving the past.
 
Soon Alex’s routine includes visiting hours at the hospital, then interviews with the original suspects in the attack. But what starts as a reporter’s story becomes a personal obsession. How do you solve a crime when the only witness lived but cannot tell the tale? Unable to tear herself away from her attempt to uncover the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she’s not just chasing a story—she’s seeking salvation.
 
Shifting from present to past and back again, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer until its heart-stopping conclusion. The result is an utterly immersive, unforgettable debut.

***

What do you think?  I am wondering how I could leave this book hiding out on my Kindle.  I’m eager to start reading it.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE NEIGHBORS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is The Neighbors, by Hannah Mary McKinnon, a book I purchased several months ago, in which Abby looks forward to meeting the family who just moved in across the street—until she realizes they’re the one couple who could expose her deepest secrets…

 

 

 

Beginning:  (THEN: JULY 18, 1992, ABBY)

“Help!”

The faint voice floated toward me. Gliding smooth as a paper airplane from somewhere in the midst of the fog swirling through my brain.  Orange lights flashed in a steady rhythm and —

“Please.”

I wondered if I’d uttered the words, but I hadn’t moved my lips.  Hadn’t moved at all.  Couldn’t.  It hurt too much.  Everything hurt too much.

***

Friday 56%:  (THEN – ABBY)

We talked about our guilt sometimes.  When I woke up screaming for the fifth night in a row, Nate held me.  He wept when I whispered it wasn’t his fault he hadn’t been able to save Tom.  He seemed so grateful, so overwhelmed I could forgive him, although there was nothing to forgive.

***

Synopsis:  After a night of fun back in 1992, Abby is responsible for a car crash that kills her beloved brother. It’s a mistake she can never forgive, so she pushes away Liam, the man she loves most, knowing that he would eventually hate her for what she’s done, the same way she hates herself.

Twenty years later, Abby’s husband, Nate, is also living with a deep sense of guilt. He was the driver who first came upon the scene of Abby’s accident, the man who pulled her to safety before the car erupted in flames—the man who could not save her brother in time. It’s this guilt, this regret, that binds them together. They understand each other. Or so Nate believes.

In a strange twist of fate, Liam moves into the neighborhood with his own family, releasing a flood of memories that Abby has been trying to keep buried all these years. Abby and Liam, in a complicit agreement, pretend never to have met, yet cannot resist the pull of the past—nor the repercussions of the terrible secrets they’ve both been carrying…

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts draw you in?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BITTER ORANGE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is Bitter Orange, by Claire Fuller, a seductive psychological portrait, a keyhole into the dangers of longing and how far a woman might go to escape her past.

 

 

Beginning:  They must think I don’t have long left because today they allow the vicar in.  Perhaps they are right, although this day feels no different from yesterday, and I imagine tomorrow will go on much the same.

***

Friday 56:  Cara took the cigarette from Peter’s lips.  He held the packet out to me and I shook my head.  “No, thank you,” I said.  “I don’t smoke.”

***

Synopsis:  From the attic of Lyntons, a dilapidated English country mansion, Frances Jellico sees them—Cara first: dark and beautiful, then Peter: striking and serious. The couple is spending the summer of 1969 in the rooms below hers while Frances is researching the architecture in the surrounding gardens. But she’s distracted. Beneath a floorboard in her bathroom, she finds a peephole that gives her access to her neighbors’ private lives.

To Frances’ surprise, Cara and Peter are keen to get to know her. It is the first occasion she has had anybody to call a friend, and before long they are spending every day together: eating lavish dinners, drinking bottle after bottle of wine, and smoking cigarettes until the ash piles up on the crumbling furniture. Frances is dazzled.

But as the hot summer rolls lazily on, it becomes clear that not everything is right between Cara and Peter. The stories that Cara tells don’t quite add up, and as Frances becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of the glamorous, hedonistic couple, the boundaries between truth and lies, right and wrong, begin to blur. Amid the decadence, a small crime brings on a bigger one: a crime so terrible that it will brand their lives forever.

***

Do the excerpts grab you?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “AN ANONYMOUS GIRL”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a NetGalley ARC; the book will be released on 1/8/19.  An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, is “a fiendishly smart cat-and-mouse thriller” —New York Times Book Review

 

 

Book Beginnings:  (From Chapter One)

Friday, November 16

A lot of women want the world to see them a certain way.  It’s my job to create those transformations, one forty-five minute session at a time.

My clients seem different when I’ve finished helping them.  They grow more confident, radiant.  Happier, even.

But I can only offer a temporary fix.  People invariably revert to their former selves.

True change requires more than the tools I wield.

***

Friday 56%:  Monday, December 17

A sharp, sudden noise alerts me to the presence of someone in the town house.

The cleaning lady does not come on Mondays.

The rooms are still, and bathed in shadows.  The noise originated from the left.

***

Synopsis:  Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

***

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book for a while.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE DAY OF THE DEAD”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is the final book in a favorite series:  The Day of the Dead (A Frieda Klein Novel), by Nicci French, a gripping cat-and-mouse thriller that pits one of the most fascinating characters in contemporary fiction against an enemy like none other. Smart, sophisticated, and spellbinding, it’s a novel to leave you breathless.

 

 

 

Book Beginnings:  It was a Monday morning, it was bright, it was warm, too warm for late autumn, and Charlotte Beck was about to experience the one really dramatic thing that would happen to her in her entire life.  She wasn’t ready for it.  She didn’t feel ready for anything.

***

Friday 56%:  The back wall was quite high, eight feet perhaps, with a heavy gray wooden gate.  Frieda turned its brass handle.  Locked.  She walked back into the utility room and looked around.  There it was.  Another key was hanging from a hook above the washing machine.  

***

Synopsis:  Now the final book in this extraordinary series is here. And it’s an ending you’ll never forget.

A decade ago, psychologist Frieda Klein was sucked into the orbit of Dean Reeve—a killer able to impersonate almost anyone, a man who can disappear without a trace, a psychopath obsessed with Frieda herself.

In the years since, Frieda has worked with—and sometimes against–the London police in solving their most baffling cases. But now she’s in hiding, driven to isolation by Reeve. When a series of murders announces his return, Frieda must emerge from the shadows to confront her nemesis. And it’s a showdown she might not survive.

What do you think?  Do the excerpts grab you?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “WE WERE MOTHERS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is an Amazon Prime Kindle book recently downloaded:   We Were Mothers, by Katie Sise, a brilliant, twisty novel about a missing woman, an unfaithful husband, and the dark secrets that will destroy two perfect families.

 

Beginning:  (Part I – The Day Mira Madsen Disappeared)

(Cora) 3:39 p.m.

Swooning over a man who wasn’t her husband made Cora feel terribly guilty, but how could anyone not swoon over Jeremy?  His lashes were thick and dark, his tanned skin glowed, and his built frame towered just the right number of inches over six feet.  It made things hard.  Not hard like fighting in a war or raising toddlers, more like a deep ache in Cora’s belly that never let up, no matter how many times she’d stood next to Jeremy at summer barbecues she hosted like this one, praying he wouldn’t see the beads of sweat trailing between her legs.

***

Friday 56:  Cora’s friends with children were standing just outside the sandbox and talking over each other.  Jade had noticed that moms of young children often interrupted each other, and so many had verbal diarrhea, which was a shame, because what they had to say wasn’t really that interesting.  And no offense to them, because Jade thought they were actually very good mothers.  Doting, careful, involved…

***

Synopsis:  A scandalous revelation is about to devastate a picturesque town where the houses are immaculate and the neighborhoods are tightly knit. Devoted mother Cora O’Connell has found the journal of her friend Laurel’s daughter—a beautiful college student who lives next door—revealing an illicit encounter. Hours later, Laurel makes a shattering discovery of her own: her daughter has vanished without a trace. Over the course of one weekend, the crises of two close families are about to trigger a chain reaction that will expose a far more disturbing web of secrets. Now everything is at stake as they’re forced to confront the lies they have told in order to survive.

***

What do you think?  Do you want to keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LULULEMONS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a book I borrowed from the library:  When Life Gives You Lululemons, by Lauren Weisberger:  HE SET HER UP. THEY’LL BRING HIM DOWN.

 

 

 

Beginning:  (Again with the Nazi Getup?) (Emily)

Emily racked her brain.  There had to be something to complain about.  This was New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles, one of the most annoying nights of the year in arguably the most annoying city known to humanity.  So why couldn’t she think of a thing?

She sipped her skinny margarita from her chaise and watched her husband’s beautiful body cut through the water like a moving art installation.  When Miles emerged, he propped himself on the back of the lit infinity pool, where the turquoise water appeared to spill over the side and straight down the mountain.  Behind him, the lights from the valley twinkled for miles, making the city look alluring, even sexy.  Night was the only time Los Angeles really shone….

***

56:  “Oh, my God.  I’m coming over.”  Miriam glanced at the wall clock.  “I need to shower, but I can be there within the hour.”

***

Synopsis:  Welcome to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she’s been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

When Karolina Hartwell, a gorgeous former supermodel, is arrested for a DUI, her fall from grace is merciless. Her senator-husband leaves her, her Beltway friends disappear, and the tabloids pounce.

In Karolina, Emily finds her comeback opportunity. But she quickly learns Greenwich is a world apart and that this comeback needs a team approach.

So it is that Emily, the scorned Karolina, and their mutual friend Miriam, a powerful attorney turned stay-at-home suburban mom, band together to not only navigate the social land mines of suburban Greenwich but win back the hearts of the American public. Along the way, an indispensable ally emerges in one Miranda Priestly.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is Secrets of the Tulip Sisters, by Susan Mallery, a charming tale about the problem with secrets, the power of love and the unbreakable bond between sisters…

 

 

 

Beginnings:  Kelly Murphy was willing to accept certain injustices in the world.  That brownies had more calories than celery.  That wearing white pants meant getting her period—regardless of where she was in her cycle.  That her car would be low on gas only on days when she was running late.  What she did not appreciate or accept was the total unfairness of Griffith Burnett not only returning to Tulpen Crossing, Washington, nearly a year ago, but apparently waking up last month and deciding that stalking her was how he was going to spend his days.

***

Friday 56:  He got up and walked to the kitchen to pour his third cup of coffee.  Okay—he might or might not know the problem.  He now had several new techniques to try. (56%).

***

Synopsis:  Kelly Murphy’s life as a tulip farmer is pretty routine—up at dawn, off to work, lather, rinse, repeat. But everything changes one sun-washed summer with two dramatic homecomings: Griffith Burnett—Tulpen Crossing’s prodigal son, who’s set his sights on Kelly—and Olivia, her beautiful, wayward and, as far as Kelly is concerned, unwelcome sister. Tempted by Griffith, annoyed by Olivia, Kelly is overwhelmed by the secrets that were so easy to keep when she was alone.

But Olivia’s return isn’t as triumphant as she pretends. Her job has no future, and ever since her dad sent her away from the bad boy she loved, she has felt cut off from her past. She’s determined to reclaim her man and her place in the family…whether her sister likes it or not. For ten years, she and Kelly have been strangers. Olivia will get by without her approval now.

While Kelly and Olivia butt heads, their secrets tumble out in a big hot mess, revealing some truths that will change everything they thought they knew. Can they forgive each other—and themselves—and redefine what it means to be sisters?

***

Would you keep reading?  Do the excerpts capture your interest?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “GOOD LUCK WITH THAT”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a recent acquisition:  Good Luck with That, by Kristin Higgins, who tackles an issue every woman deals with: body image and self-acceptance.

 

 

Beginnings:  (Prologue) – Sixteen Years Ago

For once, no one was thinking of food.

From above, they were just three teenage girls, bobbing in the middle of the clear blue lake, a rowboat drifting lazily nearby as they splashed and laughed.  A blonde and two brunettes, one with black hair, one with brown.  Their voices rose and fell.  Occasionally, one of them would slip underwater, then pop up a few yards away.  Hair would be slicked back, and the swimmer might flip on her back and look up at the sky, so pure and deep that day, the thick white clouds floating slowly past on the lazy breeze.

***

Friday 56:  Every fat girl starves herself at one point or another.  It had never made me actually thin, not like those poor girls who look like skeletons and stop getting their periods.  But at different times of my life, I had enacted their habits…just never long enough for any real drama.

***

Synopsis:  Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.

***

What do you think?  The issues resonate and keep me reading.  Would you want to read more?

***