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April 28, 2018

Susan's Round Up of April Books

by Susan Roberts

Now that spring is here and the days are getting longer, we should all have more time to read.  I have been able to read several books that are published in April that I highly recommend adding to your reading lists.
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The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie

The Good Liar
April 2018; Lake Union Publishing
978-1503951631; audio, ebook, print (370 pages)
There are all kinds of lies - that small lie of omission, that little white lie, and then there are major lies that affect not only you but the people around you. This is a book about 3 women with lies that they are keeping from others. It's a page-turner of a book as the lies are exposed and their secrets are revealed. In my opinion, it's Catherine McKenzie's best book yet.

The novel starts a year after a huge explosion in Chicago killed over 500 people and follows the lives of three women whose lives were affected: Cecily, mother of two whose husband died in the explosion and who is the poster child of the survivors because of a photo that was taken right after the explosion; Kate, who ran away from the explosion and her family and has moved to Canada to keep her identity hidden and Franny who was looking for her birth mother when the building went down - with her mother in it. These three women are all hiding something from the world - will they be able to keep their lies hidden or will the real stories come to light in the glare of the publicity and the documentary that's being made? It's a roller coaster of a book and will keep the reader's attention until the very last page.

Buy The Good Liar at Amazon

The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes

The Forgotten Ones
April 2018; Lake Union Publishing
978-1503951754; audio, ebook, print (348 pages)
women's fiction, thriller
Steena Holmes has once again given her readers an unforgettable story that will keep them turning pages until the end. Warning - don't make any plans for the day that you start reading this book because you won't put it down until the last page is read.

Elle is a nurse who grew up in a dysfunctional family. Her mother has mental illness and Elle has worried about taking care of her mom for her whole life. Elle has been told that she has no other family - that her grandparents died before she was born. Imagine her surprise when she finds out that her grandfather is dying at the same hospital she works at. As she tries to get her family secrets answered, it is very upsetting for her mom and very confusing for Elle who doesn't know who to believe - someone is lying - it is her grandfather or her Mom?

This is a complex family drama with characters that are so well written that you feel like you know them. The family secrets are revealed slowly and we don't know the total family story until the end which makes it an even more intriguing. This is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it.

Buy The Forgotten Ones at Amazon

We'll Always Have Paris by Sue Watson

We'll Always Have Paris
April 2018; Skyhorse Publishing
978-1510729889; audio, ebook, print (360 pages)
romantic comedy
Finally - a book with a love story about an older woman! As a 60ish-year-old reader, I get tired of reading about love among the very young. The author has provided her readers with a wonderful 65-year-old main character and given us a wonderful love story. This is my first Sue Watson book but it certainly won't be my last because I've just ordered several of her older books.

Rosie and Mike were married for many years and had a wonderful marriage and two daughters before Mike got sick and died very quickly. After being part of a couple for so many years, Rosie struggles with how to make a life for herself. She owns a flower shop and when she is doing the flowers for a major wedding, she sees Peter - her first love. She and Peter met in art school when they were young and full of wonderful plans for their future together. However, as with many first loves, life gets in the way and changes those plans as it did with Rosie and Peter. When they meet again and start seeing each other, she has to keep it from her daughters who think she is too old to start seeing someone and that she should continue to act like a widow to honor the memory of their father. Rosie wants to live life again and live her life without putting her family first as she has done her whole life. Will Rosie be able to find love again at 65 and, more importantly, will Rosie be able to find out who she truly is and what she wants out of life?

I definitely enjoyed this novel and loved Rosie. Since the story is told in two time periods, we got the description of young love and finding love again at a more mature age.

Buy We'll Always Have Paris at Amazon

Somebody's Daughter by Rochelle B. Weinstein

Somebody's Daughter
April 2018; Lake Union Publishing
978-1503949256; audio, ebook, print (320 pages)
women's fiction
A perfect family and one mistake - is it enough to tear this family apart? Emma and Bobby Ross own and live in a boutique hotel in Miami Beach with their 15-year-old twin daughters, Zoe and Lily. Emma and Bobby are still totally in love and the girls are perfect students and teenagers. Their life appears to be absolutely wonderful. Until....on the night of the twins birthday party, a video with a major indiscretion by one of the twins shows up on everyone's phones, and the havoc that this video causes unearths family secrets and resentments. As the parents try to fix the problem, they find that they have more problems than they realized.

This novel is a well-written novel that reflects life in today's world for teenagers. As they get more involved in their electronics, they don't stop to realize that what is posted remains there forever - there are no cover-ups or do-overs. Even though I didn't always like Emma and Bobby, I did like the way parenting was one of the most important parts of their lives. I also really liked the relationship between Zoe and Lily. This novel needs to be read by anyone who has a teenager.

Buy Somebody's Daughter at Amazon

On a Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell

On a Cold Dark Sea
April 2018; Lake Union Publishing
978-1477808900; audio, ebook, print (286 pages)
historical fiction
When I found out that this book was about the Titanic, I almost didn't read it. I've read books about the Titanic and seen the movie a dozen times so what could possibly be new that would interest me in another book on the subject. I will tell you strongly - I was wrong, very very wrong. This is another look at the story told in a unique and interesting way and based on deep research by the author. I loved this book!

The book is told in four parts about three main characters so, in each section, we read the viewpoint of each of the characters. The four sections of the book are Before, After, On the Life raft and Aftermath. In before, we meet the three main characters and find out how they ended up on the Titanic. The aftermath takes place twenty years after the tragedy when we find out how these characters lived their lives after the tragedy. The characters are all from vastly different socio-economic levels - Charlotte is a con artist, Esme is a member of the very rich and Anna is a Swedish farm girl. Three women who never would have met, end up on life raft 21 together and it changes their lives.

Overall, this was a wonderful, well-told novel and I highly recommend it.

Buy On a Cold Dark Sea at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads,  or Twitter

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