I finished a few somewhat disappointing reads but, I have started (2) new books that I am really enjoying. I guess really need to start being more selective.
I was interested in reading Shoulder Season (Christina Clancy) when I read that it took place, at least in part, at the former Playboy Resort in Lake Geneva, WI which closed down in the 1980s. I had an opportunity to attend a corporate function retreat there in 1995 when it reopened as the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. Some of the former playboy staff had still worked there when it reopened. The spa services were fabulous and we had a wonderful time....but I digress.
Shoulder Season was a coming of age story in part, the type of story which I tend to enjoy. The story starts out with Sherri Taylor, as a woman in her 60s and then get to see her life as a young woman. She was barely out of her teens and trying to figure out what to do with her life after her mother dies. When her friend Roberta convinces her to interview for a job as a Bunny at the Playboy Club, Sherri never expects to get the job but she's hired. Let's just say after all the she went through and was pretty much expected to endure, it's clear that the job of a Bunny isn't the glamorous job some might have expected it to be.
I thought it was strange how Sherri was referred to as "smart or intelligent", on the contrary, I found her anything but. She makes some really poor choices along the way. I did not care for her character at all but, I still had hope that the story would come around that would make me care more about Sherri in the decades following her "bunny life." Unfortunately, after all the depressing details of her younger life when her life improved and she had some things to be proud of, it all seem glossed over. I did like the inside scoop and details a.bout "Bunny life" even though some of it seemed quite trivial.
This audio book was made available by NetGalley and Macmillan Audio in exchange for my unbiased review. The narrator, Karissa Vacker was very good job but, I just wanted more from the story.
The Stranger Behinds You (Carol Goodman) had an interesting premise and good possibility - think #metoo #Gothic.
Joan Lurie is a journalist who was fired from her job at the Globe after complaining to HR about being accosted by the head of the organization, Casper (Cass) Osgood. Hired by a competitor, her boss supports her idea about writing a story exposing Osgood, the sexual predator for what he is. The day the story breaks, Joan is riding high and has even signed a seven figure book deal advance which gets her a penthouse apartment at The Refuge, a Manhattan building which formerly was occupied by the Magdalen laundries run the the Catholic church. In the 1940s it was a place to house fallen young women and a place with a horrific reputation. Joan tries to settle in and write her book but, after being recently attacked on her way home one night and suffering a possible concussion, disturbing things start happening. She isn't sure if her mind and eyes are playing tricks on her and whether her headaches and vision are from the earlier attack. Despite this she never gets checked out by a medical professional. Seriously??
The chapters alternate between Joan's story and Melissa's story (wife of Casper Osgood). Melissa wants both revenge and to find out what Joan knows about her husband's past. Then there is another person added to the mix. Lillian is a 90+ year old woman who lives across the hall from Joan. She visits for tea and each time she begins to tell Joan a story from her past and the reason she has become somewhat of a recluse at The Refuge. Are her stories even believable or is there a similar thread to the present day?
This story hooked me early on and the author did a good job setting up the story: eerie feeling, old building with a dark past, security cameras everywhere and doormen who don't always do as they are supposed to. Sadly and slowly the story began to go downhill. There were several times when I caught myself rolling my eyes with too many implausible events. Once I put this one down it was hard to pick it back up. This was just not the riveting Gothic thriller I had hoped for.
The eGalley was sent to me by Edelweiss and William Morrow in exchange for my unbiased review.
(both very good)