Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Club Edition

It is book club day again! Thanks to Heather!)

It was a long weekend so I had a lot more time for reading. I read 4 books this week, but I only enjoyed and recommend 2 of them.

Diane Chamberlain's Secret Lives

Actress Eden Riley's decision to make a film about her mother plunges her into a shattering confrontation with her own past, irrevocably altering her life and the lives of those she loves. Her mother, Katherine Swift, was a renowned children's author who died when Eden was very young. Now Eden, recovering from a divorce and disillusioned with her glamorous life, returns to the childhood home of the mother she barely knew. She moves in with her uncle, archaeologist Kyle Swift and his wife, Louise.

Eden gets more than she bargained for when Kyle gives her the journal her mother had kept from the age of thirteen until her death. Eden is spellbound by the powerfully written, intimate diary that chronicles a life of hardship, madness and tragedy. But her fascination turns to horror when she discovers the shocking truth about her mother's life.

Eden turns for comfort to Ben Alexander, Kyle's colleague, not knowing that Ben has a secret of his own that could ruin Eden and her career. Now Eden must make a heartbreaking decision as she struggles to lay the ghosts of the past to rest and come to terms with her own future.


Although this book kept my attention I was just turned off by the strong nature of all the character's secrets. I also felt that at a point, Diane just needed to stop with the secrets;it felt like one on top of another. I felt for the characters though and the writing style was nice. I was just overall saddened by this story and I give it a D. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

Cathy Kelly's Once in a Lifetime

When life is full of changes, your friends are the ones who really count…
Ingrid Fitzgerald is flying high. A successful TV presenter, she's happily married with two wonderful children. But as they fly the nest, she's about to discover a secret that will shatter her world.
Natalie Flynn is falling in love – but the secrecy surrounding her mother's past still troubles her. Dare she ask the questions that could help her make sense of her life?
Charlie Fallon loves her family and her job at Kenny's Department Store, but her eccentric mother is growing more demanding. Could now be the time to fight for her own happiness?
The woman with the power to help them is free spirit Star Bluestone. Experience tells her that the important things in life must be treasured and the chance for real joy comes only once in a lifetime

(from her website)

I love Cathy Kelly's books, mostly because she is Irish and so her settings are always towns in Ireland :) I was truly surprised by the climax mid way through this book but I was pretty disappointed in where it went after that. I also felt that the character of Kitty was pointless and took away from the other more intriguing characters and story lines. However, the characters are pretty easy to follow/connect with and the writing style is simple and it kept me reading easily. I give this book a C, it definitely isn't one of my favorites by her.

The Shadow Wife also by Diane Chamberlain

Joelle D'Angelo's best friend, Mara, is left with brain damage after she suffers an aneurysm giving birth to her son. Alone and grieving, Joelle turns to the only other person who understands her pain: her colleague—and Mara's husband--Liam. What starts out as comfort between friends gradually becomes something more. . . something undeniable.

Torn by guilt and the impossibility of her feelings for Liam, Joelle is determined to find help for Mara, no matter how unconventional the source. Her search leads her to a mansion in Monterey, California, and into the life of a woman shrouded in mystery. Carlynn Kling Shire is a healer and, according to Joelle's parents, saved Joelle's life when she was an infant. As Joelle is guided down an unfamiliar path by a woman keeping her own shocking secrets, she discovers that while some love is doomed, some love is destined to survive anything. 
(from her website)

I breezed through this book in a day (and thankfully unlike the previous Diane novel I read, I enjoyed this one). The storyline is interesting and has a lot of impact-what a tough situation for everyone involved! I was reading and reading just to find out what happens to the characters because I felt for them. Also, the settings and different time periods are neat to imagine. Although I will admit that I say the surprise twist coming. I definitely recommend this novel and I give it a B/A.

Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry

Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband – between her reality and the woman she wants to be – she doesn’t quite seem to fit into her own life.
(from her website)

This is another book I breezed through in a day, and it is pretty short at just over 250 pages. I love all of Patty's books especially since they are set in the South.  This main character is very relateable and I liked being on her journey with her; it was also cool to read her mother's journal and see how similar their lives actually were. I give this a solid A.

Happy Friday & Happy Reading!!


  1. Four books in a week! That is impressive!

  2. The last two sound like awesome reads!! And man--you did way better than I did over the holiday weekend!


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