from Lisa Kropp:
Centered around a private high school, Testimony relates what happens to lives, both young and old, when one horrible decision spirals out of control. The story is told through the voices of different characters, so instead of traditional chapters, the pages alternate from character to character; each adding their own pieces to the complex puzzle that is spreading out on the pages for the reader to follow. Fans of Anita Shreve’s other titles, and those who like Jodi Piccoult’s works, should try this book.
From Ellen Druda:
Just finished listening to Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving on compact disc. It was a l0ng set of 20 discs, but by the time I finished up the last one, I had the satsified and fullfilled sense of completing a long journey. Irving typically writes complicated characters that deal with extraordinary circumstances and this was no exception. We get to know the main characters quite well, but the supporting cast are also very fully imagined. We follow them all as they move back and forth and round in circles through the plot that twists from beginning to end to beginning again like the title river. If you like to lose yourself in a book, John Irving is an author to try.
From Susan Martin
The Mending String, by Cliff Coon
This novel has all aspects of life covered: loss, grief, love, humor, guilt, prejudice, reconciliation, etc. It is very well written and I wanted it to continue.
From Susan Martin
The Best Gift/Gift From the Heart, by Irene Hannon
These two novels are romantic/inspirational and are pleasant reading. The characters encounter challenges that we can all recognize in our lives. Irene Hannon also writes romantic/suspense and I would highly recommend her “Heroes of Quantico” series.
From Gina Scaglione:
I finished The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb the other night, and I am still reeling. This is definitely a book that can get you thinking. It makes you ponder the unfairness of life, but the fact that bad events can often turn out positively, even when you least expect it. In this book, the main character experiences one miserable event after another, and just when you think he can not take much more, the silver lining appears. This book could make the most skeptical believe too:)
From Donna Southard:
The Gatehouse, by Nelson DeMille
This is the sequel to DeMille’s novel, The Gold Coast. I had look forward to reading this book, but I was very disappointed in it after I read it. I found the narrative of the main character to be very repetitive and it became annoying to read. The action consisted of the last 50 or so pages of the novel and I found it to not to be worth the time it took to read it.
Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold
This novel begins with the main character reflecting on how her life was before and after she killed her mother. I found some of the analogies to be well written. However, I found the book to be very conflicting and overall depressing. There are a lot of emotional roller coaster moments.
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, by Steve Harvey
This is a funny guide for women to understand how men “think” in a romantic relationship. Harvey writes like a script from one of his stand-up performances. I found myself laughing quite often. This was a fun read and very different from the average self-help book.
The Host, by Stephenie Meyer
I found this book to be very interesting. It was geared to teens, but I was quickly hooked into reading it. I found it fascinating how the author created the interactions of alien life forms with humans. In my opinion, I feel that Meyers created a suspenseful plot, that was a little creepy, and I feel that she did an excellent job in developing her characters. This book made me really think about “life” as we know it.
The Wednesday Letters, by Jason F. Wright
The novel begins with the introduction of a happily married couple of almost forty years who owns a bed and breakfast in the Shenandoah area of VA. One night the couple dies within hours of each other. When their three children arrive to make funeral arrangements, they discover boxes full of letters that their father wrote to their mother every Wednesday of their marriage. The letters reveal information that the adult children have to reflect on and understand. This is a quick read with several twists. It makes one wonder about writing their own “Wednesday Letters” to their significant other.
The Alibi Man
In this thriller by Tami Hoag, former undercover cop Elena Estes investigates the murder of her friend and co-worker Irena Markova. Elena discovers that in Irena’s attempt to snag a rich husband she got herself mixed up with some very wealthy and powerful, but corrupt Palm Beach men. Their group of men is called the Alibi Club because they always provide alibis for each other. This makes the investigation difficult because they were the last to see the victim alive. The plot gets complicated when we become aware that Elena was once engaged to Bennett Walker, the prime suspect and Alibi Club member. In addition, his attorney turns out to be Elena’s estranged father.
As we get to know Elena, a character Hoag introduced in Dark Horse, we find out she had been let down by the men in her past. She is angry, short-tempered and afraid of commitment. All in all, she’s not a very likable character, but she is a tough, smart and thorough investigator. Even though it is not hard to guess the murderer, it’s still interesting to see how Elena figures it out. For me, the pages turned quickly and the plot has enough suspense to keep me interested until the end.
Reviewer: Carol Leifer