A Little Bit of Grace ; Phoebe Fox
Berkley - 2020
Another story with a perfect message during difficult times: choose joy.
Grace Adams McHale was raised to understand that family is everything. This is despite the fact her father ran off with a younger woman when she was still a child and now her husband and law practice partner has another woman in his life as well. If that isn't bad enough, Grace's mother has just died and she's just not sure how to move on with her life in Missouri.While sorting through her mother's things she discovers a letter from someone she doesn't know. She soon learns that she has a great aunt named Millie in Florida. It's someone her mother had never mentioned. Not only does Grace need some time away, she's curious about a family member that was never mentioned before, so off to Cypress Keys she goes to meet great aunt Millie.Millie, is a full of energy 81 year old with a large network of friends. She is known for helping people move on with their lives when bad things have happened. Millie is a fabulous character with a secret from her past that had severed her relationship with her family. I went into this novel expecting a light, fluffy read but, ended up with so much more. The setting is lovely, the characters will make you laugh but, there is also a serious side to the story with a theme of family and self discovery. READ IT (perfect for COVID times).(eGalley - 4.5/5 stars)
What You Wish For; Katherine Center
Macmillan Audio - 2020
Samantha Casey is a school librarian in Texas who loves her job and the children she helps but, life wasn't also this happy for Sam. Her school is well run by principal Max who is loved and respected by all. When Max dies unexpectedly, the community is devastated but, things seem to get worse when Duncan Carpenter, the new principal, arrives as replacement principal.
Duncan is a shocking change, a rules and regulations enforcer. He knows bad things can happen in schools. Sam knows Duncan from a previous school in California and this isn't the same man she had a secret crush on. Can Sam's influence make Duncan come around?
I liked the way this story unfolded. Sam was a sympathetic character and I enjoyed getting to know Duncan (although I wish we learned even more about the old Duncan). The secondary characters were well written too. This is another story where I expected a light, fluffy read but, there were definitely some heavy topics to this novel as well. Fortunately, they did not overpower and take away from the joyful moments of the story.
The audio book was read by Therese Plummer who did a great job. The audio download was provided to me by MacMillan audio via NetGalley for my unbiased review.
(audio download - 4/5 stars)