The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
I am a sucker for a good historical fiction, especially if it is a past-present format (though in this case, “present” is 1964). Vivian Schuyler receives a suitcase in the mail that once belonged to Violet, a great-aunt she had no idea existed. As she begins to dig into Violet’s past, she discovers family secrets others are desperate to hide. Vivian was one of the best characters I have read in a long time! Her voice was just perfect-I loved how she was a headstrong, no nonsense girl. I also loved the progression of Violet’s story, especially the ending.
(Received through Goodreads First Reads) I love a good crime novel, especially one with a different perspective. For Detective Sergeant Andrea Lawrence, when 14-year-old Sophie Monroe vanishes, it brings back painful memories of her own sister’s disappearance. As the case unfolds, Andrea must be careful not to let her past interfere with her judgment. I really liked Behind Close Doors because it dug deep into relationships. Although I thought the direction of the book was predictable, the way it got there was interesting. It was a fast-paced book that kept me reading through the night.
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
(Courtesy of NetGalley) The Little Paris Bookshop is the kind of book that sticks with you. It is a story of loss, heartbreak, grief, and, ultimately, forgiving yourself. When Jean Perdu, who gives out books like medicine on his floating literary apothecary, finally reads the goodbye letter his lover sent him twenty years later, he embarks on a journey towards healing. I would have thought a book about a depressed man would have had a melancholy tone, but the writing was so beautiful, and I constantly felt hopeful.
I will leave you with my favorite passage:
We cannot decide to love. We cannot compel anyone to love us. There's no secret recipe, only love itself. And we are at its mercy-there's nothing we can do.