Bewilderment by Richard Powers
I appreciated a lot about this book and it captured the feeling of doom and hopelessness that characterizes our modern day struggle with climate change, civil unrest and distrust of science. But it was so lacking in humor and the child character so unbelievable as a real 9 year-old person that it was often insufferable. As complicated and frightening as the world is right now, it’s important to still find ways to connect, things to enjoy and understand about each other. The characters in this novel are so extreme in their lifestyle and views it’s hard to see them as anything but judgmental and superior.
Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
The chronicler of the millennial generation is back with her best book yet. Mature, complicated and nuanced, this novel follows Rooney’s typical style of lacking in plot but rich in character, dialogue and social commentary. Two friends in Dublin navigate life, love, work and family by talking about it, thinking about it and worrying about it. I loved the introspection, the over-thinking and the insights of these multi-dimensional characters.
The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Alison Heller
A near-perfect suburban domestic drama that is impossible to put down. Set in the beautiful Cottonwood Estates sub-development, this novel is about a group of women dealing with adolescent mis-behavhior, school politics, long-held secrets and social anxieties. From relatable parental dilemmas to mysterious pasts, this book is filled with suspense and tension. And it is bitingly funny--the smart characters throw out sharp one-liners that had me laughing out loud throughout the book.
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The President’s Daughter
Long-awaited sequel to The President is Missing by Bill and James. This one has a lot of tension, and if you can forgive a few perhaps unrealistic perimeters (A former President going back to his roots as a Navy Seal and leading an off-book operation to find his kidnapped daughter, among others) a really good read. Not sure who contributes what here, but the going is smooth so it doesn't really matter. Some good back stage scenes only Clinton could know about as a former President. If you like action, you'll love this book. *****
Gathering Dark (Jessica Sanchez #1) by Candice Fox
Candice Fox is one of James Patterson's co-writers (Never Never, Fifty Fifty, Liar, Liar) and she debuts her Jessica Sanchez detective series with a real bang. Sanchez put away Dr. Blair Harbour ten years ago for killing her neighbor but now Blair is out and looking to re-establish her relationship with her young son after being released from prison. But a series of connected criminal incidents bring Blair and Jessica back together as they try to solve a multiplicity of issues related to each other. And Blair also tries to convince Jessica of her innocence in her neighbor's death. If you can accept the coincidences, it makes for a fine read. Looking forward to more Sanchez stories and also the latest Patterson/ Fox collaboration ( 2 Sisters Detective Agency) recently published. ****