Thursday, June 11, 2015

Remarks on Recent Reads



Welcome to another edition of Remarks on Recent Reads! These are books that I've read recently, and with the exception of one, I recommend them and think they'd make good summer reading.


Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married by Marian Keyes (1999)
When I read this book, I was in the mood for some romantic comedy, and that's what I got from Keyes' book. It's the tale of Lucy Sullivan and her friends who visit a psychic. When her friends' predictions start coming true, Lucy thinks that her time has come to get married, as the psychic predicted for her. Lucy dates several guys before finding her Mr. Right in an unexpected place. The book meanders a bit (it's 460 pages), but there were situations in the book that made me laugh out loud. All in all, it was a nice, light read. 


The Blessing by Nancy Mitford (1951)
Beautiful but naive Grace Allingham marries French aristocrat Charles-Edouard de Valhubert, and she returns to France with him. What she doesn't realize is that fidelity means nothing to Charles-Edouard. The Blessing is a sophisticated comedy that pokes fun at the differences between British and French society. Grace has to decide if she can live with Charles-Edouard's philandering ways, and life gets more complicated with the birth of their son, Sigismond, known as Sigi. Although Grace returns to England with their son, she and Charles-Edouard are unhappy without each other, and she finds that she misses her glamorous French life. Meanwhile, Sigi grows up to be a horrid, manipulative child who decides that it's in his best interests for his parents not to reconcile. Will Sigi and his underhanded ways prevail? Another fun read by Nancy Mitford.


Night Music by Jojo Moyes (2008)
This is the second book by Jojo Moyes that I've read. (The first was Me Before You.) I like stories about starting over, but it was hard reading about Isabel, a professional violinist whose husband dies. She leaves the city and takes her children to a nearby village to live at Spanish House, a large crumbling house which she's inherited. Isabel's out of her depth in dealing with finances, and she also hires a sexy yet unscrupulous contractor with ulterior motives regarding the house and Isabel. The ending was a bit far-fetched. I wanted to like Night Music more than I did.   


The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty (2013) 
The Husband's Secret turned out to be a totally different book than I'd anticipated. I liked the way Moriarty set up the story, introducing us to all the characters before the super organized Cecilia Fitzpatrick opens the letter that her husband hadn't meant her to read until after his death. The letter sets in motion a story in which a secret to a mystery is revealed, and the characters' lives intersect. The plot and pacing kept me guessing about what would happen next and how this story would end.

My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart (1959)
This novel is another one of Stewart's gems of romantic suspense. One of the things I love about Stewart's writing is how she can evoke a place and make me feel like I'm right there. The setting is Greece with its heat, bright white houses, and clear blue water. The book also made me think of that old saying, "Be careful what you wish for." Camilla is on holiday, bored and alone. Before she realizes it, she finds herself caught up in intrigue with a handsome, charming Englishman, Simon Lester, who's trying to solve the mystery of his brother's murder fourteen years earlier. This is a page turner that I recommend.

8 comments:

  1. I though I'd at least heard of most of Jojo Moyes backlist, but Night Music doesn't even sound familiar. Maybe it's not being promoted as vigorously as the others... though, judging from your reaction, there may be a reason for that ;-)

    The others all sound wonderful!

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    1. Thanks, JoAnn! I have a few other Jojo Moyes novels that I want to try, too. My TBR stack has grown and grown! :)

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  2. Oh, I loved My Brother Michael. Well, I love virtually all of Mary Stewart's books. I need to reread more of them. And you are so right about her gift with the setting. She took us to so many wonderful places and just plopped us right into the culture. I also loved The Husband's Secret. The audio of that one is wonderful. Caroline Lee is a perfect narrator for Liane Moriarty's books. Have you read Big Little Lies by her? You should. :-)

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    1. I want to read all of Mary Stewart's books! And with Liane Moriary's books, I enjoyed The Husband's Secret so much that I have Big Little Lies on my TBR list. :)

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  3. These do sound like fun summer reads. I have Madam Will You Talk by Mary Stewart on my bedside right now (the latest reprint from Chicago Review Books, hooray for them). And Nancy Mitford is a delight. Have you read The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate?

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    1. Thanks, Lory, and thanks for the info about Madam Will You Talk. That looks like a great book.I have not read The Pursuit of Love or Love in a Cold Climate yet, but they are on my big TBR stack. :)

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  4. I've heard good things about JoJo Moyes, but this might not be the book of hers to start with. I am a big Mary Stewart fan--settings, story, writing, the whole she-bang. I don't think I've read My Brother Michael, but I might have...decades ago. Definitely on the read or maybe the reread list.

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    1. I have some other Jojo Moyes books that I've collected the past couple of years, so I may give them a try this summer. And I do want to keep reading Mary Stewart's books as well. So many books . . .

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