A crazy thing happened to me recently–I started reading again! Okay, I know, not that crazy. But considering I have two young kids, this is a big deal for me! I have always loved reading for fun and made it a priority in my life until a few years ago, when I was in the thick of motherhood and living in survival mode. I am still very much living in survival mode much of the time, but I have also started to prioritize things that make me happy, particularly reading. When I shared this news on my instagram stories, so many of you connected with this and were curious to know my thoughts on the books I’m reading. So I decided that a quick blog review is in order, starting with the three books I recently read.
The Lies that Bind
Over the years, I have become a huge Emily Giffin fan! My girlfriends introduced me to her writing in college and I enjoyed some of her books, though I didn’t really get into them until I was a 20-something adult. I’ve read all of her books and even attended a few of her book signings with those friends. Side note: If you ever get to attend a meet-and-greet with an author you like, I highly recommend you do it! It helps you learn more about their writing process and some of their character development.
The Lies that Bind is actually the book that kick-started me back into reading again recently. I figured that it would be a lighthearted, easy read by an author I love. It was not as lighthearted as I expected, but then again the title does hint that there is going to be some lying involved in the story! I related to the main character Cecily and found her to be a very accurate depiction of what it’s like to be a young adult living in a big city, while trying to navigate friendships, a new career, and relationships. I also found the 9/11 plot twist to be interesting, partly because it caused me to reflect on how different the tragedy would have been for me if I was an adult when it happened. It also got me thinking about how different historic events like 9/11 and the recent Covid-19 pandemic influence our choices and lives.
Overall rating: 9/10, my favorite book Emily Giffin has written thus far and I love the characters and the story line! You can purchase the book here.
The Invisible Husband of Frick Island
Here’s the honest reason I chose this book: I liked the cover and saw that it was a bestseller. I know- not the best reason, but sometimes I do choose books because of their covers. However, I’m really glad I did because this book is amazing! The story line draws you in, the characters are charming and likable, and there is a little air of mystery in the story. The book tells a story of a young reporter who stumbles upon an island that is quite literally stuck in the past. The story goes on to describe life on this tiny island–where people essentially live almost in a different era – one without cell phones, social media, and the lifestyle that comes with our modern day marvels. Also, THERE IS CAKE! The island is known for a special cake that has a secret recipe, and the author cleverly wove it into the plot. It sounds absolutely delicious, so naturally I had to google it; I was thrilled to learn that although this is a fictional story, there is a real cake from a small island off of the coast of Maryland! It is called Smith Island cake (Frick Island Cake in the book) and you can order it online! Naturally, I had to order one. It’s pretty tasty, but I definitely think it’s something that needs to be tried fresh. I’ll report back once I visit Maryland!
Overall rating: 10/10, such a fun read! You can buy it here.
Florence Adler Swims Forever
This is a book I chose because the review on the front cover stated, “A perfect summer read”. However, this time I disagree. This book needs to come with a trigger warning. It deals a LOT with grief. Like really, a lot. Both adult and infant death. I am currently in a good mental health space, but I had to take breaks from it because of how heavy it was. The book processes the multiple losses one family experiences from different perspectives of people in the family. Although it is a decent read, nothing really stood out to me, even considering the grief aspect. The book also deals with bad romantic relationships, complicated family relationships, and the rising alarm before the outbreak of WWII. Because it jumps from character to character and shares the perspectives of 4-5 characters, there is less room for character development and it doesn’t read as smoothly as I’d like.
Overall rating: 5/10, I do not recommend it unless you are interested in reading about how different families cope with grief, or what life was like for Jewish immigrants on the Jersey Shore pre-WWII. In case you are interested, you can buy it here.
Next month I’ll be reviewing: Local Woman Missing, The People You Meet on Vacation, & What Could Be Saved
What have you read recently that you would recommend?
Thanks for stopping by and reading my reviews!