Carolyn’s Books of the Month – August

hardcopy eBooks eAudio Books

Lots of good reading suggestions…

Best Read: This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

This is a powerful novel about an orphan’s life-changing adventure travelling down America’s great rivers during the Great Depression, seeking both a place to call home and a sense of purpose in a world sinking into despair. 1932, Minnesota – the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and travelling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an en-thralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.

Crime: You Betrayed Me by Lisa Jackson

The Cahill family are famous for two things: their wealth, and the scandals that surround them. James Cahill has always tried to make his own way in the world, though he has enjoyed the many women taken in by the easy charms of a handsome, soon-to-be-rich bad boy. Waking up in hospital, bandaged and bruised, James barely recognises the gorgeous blonde at his bedside; Sophia, his mistress.

As James’ memories gradually return, pieces of a terrifying puzzle begin to slot into place. His girlfriend, Megan, had found out about his affair. Megan is missing. His family is hounding him. The police are asking him questions. James insists he has no idea what happened to Megan. But the betrayal you can’t remember may be worse than you can imagine.

Australian Author: Lana’s War by Anita Abriel

This is an unforgettable story of a young woman waging her own war against the Nazis as a spy for the Resistance on the French Riviera.Paris, 1943: Lana Antanova is rushing to tell her husband she is pregnant when she witnesses him being executed by a Gestapo officer for hiding a Jewish girl in a piano. Overcome with grief, Lana loses the baby. A few months later, a heartbroken Lana is approached to join the Resistance on the French Riviera.

As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialise with Nazi officers, including the man who killed her husband. Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of a wealthy Swiss playboy, the darkly handsome and charismatic Guy Pascal, and her base his villa in Cap Ferrat. Together they make a ruthlessly effective team. Consumed by her mission, Lana doesn’t count on becoming attached to a young Jewish girl or falling helplessly in love with Guy. As the Nazis close in, Lana’s desire to protect the ones she loves threatens to put them all at risk.

General: Letters from Berlin by Tania Blanchard

Berlin, 1943. As the Allied forces edge closer, the Third Reich tightens its grip on its people. For eighteen-year-old Susanna Goettmann, this means her beloved adopted family including the man she loves, Leo, are at risk. His mother – Susie’s godmother – is forced to register as a Jew and wear the Star of David, bearing the resentment of the village she has always called home. Desperate to protect them any way she can, Susie accepts the help of an influential Nazi officer. It means she must abandon any hope of a future with Leo and enter the terrifying world of the Nazi elite. But all is not lost as her newfound position offers more than she could have hoped for… With critical intelligence at her fingertips, Susie seizes a dangerous opportunity to help the resistance. The decisions she makes could change the course of the war, but what will they mean for her family and her future?

Thriller: The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan

You never know who’s watching… Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign. But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house… How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?

Thriller: The Rhythm Section by  Mark Burnell

She has nothing to lose and only revenge to live for. She thought her life was over… Stephanie Patrick’s life is destroyed by the crash of flight NE027: her family was on board and there were no survivors. Devastated, she falls into a world of drugs and prostitution – until the day she discovers that the crash wasn’t an accident, but an act of terrorism. Filled with rage, and with nothing left to lose, she joins a covert intelligence organization. But throughout her training and operations she remains focused on one goal above all: revenge. 

Saga/Romance: Florence Adler swims forever by Rachel Beanland

Winner of The National Jewish Book Awards Gold­berg Prize for Debut Fic­tion..
 
Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to holidaymakers and move into the apartment above the bakery they own. The apartment is where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and, despite the cramped quarters, it still feels like home.
 
Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest, leaving her seven-year-old daughter Gussie in Esther’s care. After Joseph insists they take in Anna, a  young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams. Esther wants nothing more than to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there’s Fannie’s risky pregnancy—not to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaac—and the fact that Stuart Williams, the heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence.
 
When tragedy strikes during one of Florence’s practice swims, Esther makes the shocking decision to keep the truth about Florence’s death from Fannie—at least until the baby is born. She pulls the rest of the family into an elaborate web of secret keeping and lies, forcing to the surface long-buried tensions that show us just how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.
 

eBooks

The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl [BorrowBox]

What would you do for the perfect life? Would you lie? Cheat? Or… kill? Cecilia Wilborg has the perfect life. A handsome husband, two beautiful daughters and a luxurious home in the picture-postcard town of Sandefjord. She’s the type of woman people envy, and she wants to keep it that way. But then Tobias enters her life. He’s a gentle, lonely eight-year-old boy. But he threatens to bring Cecilia’s world crashing down.

The Royal Correspondent by Alexandra Joel [BorrowBox]

From the bestselling author of The Paris Model comes another breathtaking story of glamour, romance and espionage. Success would depend on taking a dangerous risk. When Blaise Hill, a feisty young journalist from one of Sydney’s toughest neighbourhoods, is dispatched to London at the dawn of the swinging sixties to report on Princess Margaret’s controversial marriage to an unconventional photographer, she is drawn into an elite realm of glamour and intrigue.

The Royal Correspondent is a compelling story of love and betrayal, family secrets and conspiracy that takes you from the gritty life of a daily newspaper to the opulent splendour of Buckingham Palace.

Last Chance Cafe by Liz Byrski [Indy Reads]

“Thought provoking characters . an intelligent, engaging read” Sydney Morning Herald

Margot detests shopping malls. Any distraction is welcome, and the woman who has chained herself to the escalator, shouting about the perils of consumerism, is certainly that. She recognises Dot immediately – from their campaigning days, and further back still, to when Margot married Laurence. Dot is in despair at the abandonment of the sisterhood, at the idea of pole dancing as empowerment and the sight of five-year-olds with false eyelashes and padded bras. She’s still a fierce campaigner, but she isn’t sure where to direct her rage. Meanwhile Margot holds a haunting resentment that her youthful ambitions have always been shelved to attend to the needs of others. And as the two women turn to the past for solutions for the future, Margot’s family is in crisis. Laurence travels in a bid to repress his grief, daughter Lexie loses her job after twenty years, and younger sister Emma hides her pain with shopping binges.

eAudio Books

Those Hamilton Sisters by Averil Kenny [BorrowBox]

Also available at the BMCC Library as Hardcopy and eBook

Will their mother’s scandalous past decide their futures?

The Sunday train which snaked into Noah Vale that verdant, midwinter afternoon brought with it fire, sending an inferno of small-town gossip roaring up the valley . . . Beautiful, irrepressible Esther Hamilton had a reputation in the small Queensland town of Noah Vale. That was until she ran away, twenty years ago, under a cloud of shame.

It’s now 1955 and following their mother’s death, the Hamilton sisters – Sonnet, Fable and little Novella Plum – have returned to Noah Vale to live near their aunt and uncle. Sonnet, twenty years old and legal guardian to her siblings, has never stepped foot in Noah Vale, yet has been the talk of the town for decades.

Fable, at twelve-years-old, is a talented artist and lovelier than even her heartbreaking mother had been. And three year old Plum is just a little girl who’s lost her mother and been taken away from the only home she’s ever known.

As the years pass, the three sisters settle into their new life, working in the town, going to school and swimming in the perfect waterfalls nearby. But suspicion and judgment continue to follow the Hamilton sisters wherever they go. In a small town where everyone thinks they know everything about each other, it’s hard to escape the past. And when Fable falls in love with Noah Vale’s golden boy, is history destined to repeat itself?

For readers of Lucinda Riley and Kate Morton.

We are all the same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin [IndyReads]

Available at the BMCC Library as Hardcopy and Audio Book

The discovery of a girl abandoned by the side of the road threatens to unearth the long-buried secrets of a Texas town’s legendary cold case. Ten years ago Trumanell Branson disappeared, the only clue she leaves behind a bloody handprint. Her pretty face still hangs like a watchful queen from the posters on the walls of the town’s church, police station and high school. They all promise the same thing: We Will Find You. Meanwhile, her brother, Wyatt, lives as a pariah in the old family house, cleared of any involvement by the police but tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion and now in a sensational TV documentary about the crime. So when Wyatt finds a lost girl dumped in a field of dandelions, he believes she is a sign, someone to lead him to his sister and finally clear his name. Instead she leads him to young police officer Odette Tucker.

The Other Woman by Laura Wilson [Libby]

Available as Hardcopy

Shortly after Christmas, a message arrives at Sophie’s house, scrawled across her own round robin newsletter: HE’S GOING TO LEAVE YOU. LET’S SEE HOW SMUG YOU ARE THEN, YOU STUPID BITCH. Perhaps she should ignore it, but she ignored the last one. And the one before that. Now it’s time to take action. But when a simple plan to identify and confront the other woman goes drastically and violently wrong, Sophie must go to extreme lengths to keep her life and her family together, all the while guarding her devastating secret.

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