Little Souls; Sandra Dallas
Macmillan Audio - 2022
(audio narrator - Carly Robins - very good)
As I've mentioned previously, I don't read a lot of historical fiction but this premise appealed to me when I first read about it. Set in Colorado, 1918, WWI is happening and the flu pandemic is raging on. Little Souls is story about (2) sisters: Helen, a nurse and her husband to be, Gil, is a medical student. Luttie, Helen's 24 year old younger sister, lives with her. Luttie is a bit of a dreamer who has an interest in fashion design and works for a high end department store. Luttie's boyfriend joined the Army to do his part with the war effort. The sisters are very close. Dorothy is a 10 year old girl who lived with her parents in a small apartment located in the same house the sisters had shared. When both parents die, under very different circumstances, the sisters take the girl in wanting to make sure that Dorothy is loved and cared for after learning how she had been abused.
Once I started this story I found it hard to put down and it was very easy book to listen to on audio. Not only is this a story about sisters but, it is also a story about helping those in need and righting past injustices that occurred. I found the story kind of comforting even though there were some sad moments, tragic events, but, there was also a happier ending and a satisfying epilogue as well. Highly recommended to historical fiction fans.
Rating - 4.5/5stars
(NOTE: I received an audio download from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review)
Marrying the Ketchups; Jennifer Close
Knopf - 2022
Marrying the Ketchups was a book I became curious about by the unusual title and Jennifer Close being an author I enjoyed years ago but one that I hadn't read in a while.
It's a story of (3) generations of a large Irish Catholic family who run an Oak Park (Chicago) restaurant called JP Sullivans. The founders, Bud and Rose, opened the restaurant in the 1970s and in 2016 a few strange things had happened: the Chicago Cubs win a World Series, their first in 108 years, poor Bud dies unexpectedly and Trump wins the presidential election This complicated family must pick up the pieces and get their acts together and, they also must decide what is now best for mother Rose after Bud's death.
There are sisters: Gretchen - mid 30s, a bit on the wild side, lead singer in a band called the Donna Martin Graduates:) and Jane, a mother of two, successful, married to a wealthy man who just might be cheating on her. Then Teddy, a cousin who manages the restaurant. He's a people-pleaser with issues of his own and then we have Reilly, Teddy's teenaged half-sister.
This is a story about complicated families and the author does a great job helping the reader to get to know and understand these unhappy people and their issues. Well written, character driven, lots of funny moments even though most everyone is pretty miserable. I liked this book but, think I might have appreciated it even more if I were younger. The 2016 political aspects of the story were not overdone - thank goodness. Worth considering for readers who enjoy a character driven story about complicated families.
Rating - 4/5 stars
(Note: I received an eGalley download from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for my unbiased review.)
Xstabeth; David Keenan
Europa Editions - 2022
I loved Europa Editions and Xstabeth intrigued me when I read about it. I thought it seemed a bit unusual but worth trying especially because it was also a novella with fewer than 140 pages.
I'm really not sure how to classify this or even what to write about it as it was a bit too far out there for me. It's a story about a daughter, a father and the father's his best friend. The father is singer/songwriter, but not a very good one. His daughter, Aneliya, loves her father but, begins seeing her father's best friend Jaco, who is a better musician than the girl's father.
When I have to skim a novella, it's because the book is not a good fit for me and that was the case here. There were some explicit sex and, I just didn't get the whole point of the story unfortunately.
Rating - 1.5/5 stars
(Note: I received an eGalley of this novella from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for my unbiased review.)
What Else I'm Reading
The Lost Apothecary; Sarah Penner
Park Row - 2021
Book Group Read - finished - no review yet
Healing: When a Nurse Becomes a Patient; Theresa Brown
Algonquin Books - 2022 (library book - hardcover)
(just started - page 57)
The Shore; Katie Runde
Simon & Schuster - 2022
(reading now - 27% mark)
Klara and the Sun; Kazuo Ishiguro
Random House Audio - 2021
What are you reading?
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