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The Husband's Secret offers a carefully woven tale of three Australian women whose lives intersect and unfold in truly dramatic fashion. The characters are developed at length and the build-up is a bit slow, but Moriarty paints each role with unique charm and wit. Admittedly, it isn't hard to figure out the contents of the letter long before Cecilia opens it, but the ending is full of twists and turns that surely nobody can predict.
Set in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the late eighties and early nineties, this rich atmospheric novel unfolds like a mystery. Gripping from the opening line, My Sunshine Away blends beautifully descriptive writing with thrilling suspense. The story comes together through the adolescent memories of the narrator, a neighborhood boy infatuated with Lindy Simpson – the athletic and popular teen that lives down just down his suburban street. Lindy is brutally raped one summer evening, and the narrator happens to be one of the four suspects in the unspeakable crime. With glowing praise from best-selling authors Katheryn Stockett and Anne Rice, this debut novel is not to be missed.
Looking for the next Gone Girl? This fast-paced psychological thriller from Paula Hawkins just might be it. Addictive from the start and told from the perspective of not one but three unreliable narrators, The Girl on the Train delivers engrossing twists and turns in every direction. Rachel, the self-destructive protagonist, is equally sympathetic and appalling, and you can’t help but immerse yourself into her distorted and chaotic world in an attempt to unravel this tightly woven mystery.
The story of Robert Peace is both heartbreaking and compelling. Written in narrative nonfiction style by Rob’s former Yale roommate Jeff Hobbs, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace documents the life of a brilliant and big-hearted young man that rises from poverty to graduate from the Ivy League – only to struggle to shake the anchor that binds him to the streets of Newark. While the book’s outcome is a given from the title, the gripping narrative voiced by George Newbern leaves you helplessly rooting for Rob throughout every stage.
This quirky debut novel by Marie-Helene Bertino is just the right mix of despair and optimism. Set in downtown Philadelphia, the story unfolds the morning of Christmas Eve Eve and follows the interconnected lives of three charming but flawed characters over the next 24-hours. There’s Madeleine, a smart-mouthed and talented nine-year-old who recently lost her mother; Sarina, her newly divorced fifth grade teacher; and Lorca, the forlorn owner of the once legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas. The events of the day gradually weave the characters closer together until they finally intersect during one unforgettable late night rendezvous at the city’s #2 jazz club. 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas packs both heart and punches and is sure to delight readers and book clubs alike.
Don’t let the cover fool you, Me Before You is a gut-wrenching original novel that will repeatedly tug at your heart and then stomp all over it – only to leave you coming back for more. In this thought-provoking story, Jojo Moyes has painted unforgettable characters that are honest and captivating, challenged with the impossible, and brought to life by a brilliant multicast performance.
Elizabeth Is Missing is a captivating and original debut novel from author Emma Healey. It’s told from the perspective of Maud, a lovable but forgetful 82-year-old woman whose grip on reality is slowly slipping away. She’s convinced herself that her friend Elizabeth has gone missing, and sets out on a scattered crusade to uncover the truth behind the disappearance. As Maud’s memory of the present fades, her past becomes more vivid and soon her efforts to find Elizabeth uncover clues to the mystery of her sister Sukey’s disappearance more than half a century earlier. The story comes together in the form of a methodically crafted jigsaw puzzle – sporadically transitioning from past to present and fully immersing the listener into the fragmented and terrifying experience of dementia.
One Man Guy is a dazzling coming-of-age tale about embracing your roots while discovering who you really are. Fourteen-year-old Alek Kherderian comes from a traditional Armenian family. He quietly goes through life following the rules until his suburban world is suddenly turned upside down by a surprise friendship with his classmate Ethan, who opens his eyes to a world Alek can't help but know he was always meant to be a part of. With the help of a few New York City adventures, a sprinkling of Rufus Wainwright lyrics, and some mouth-watering Armenian dishes, Alek soon discovers himself, love, and acceptance in the most unexpected places.
Michael Chernus expertly narrates the young teenage protagonist - his voice balancing shy hesitation with bold confidence at all the right moments. One Man Guy is a book so heartwarming and adorable you'll want to nuzzle it long after you're through.
This book warmed my heart. Auggie's character is honest and loveable, showing courage and perception well beyond his years. Wonder develops through the viewpoints of multiple characters - each captured through a unique and fitting voice - adding depth and personality to a beautifully written story of family, friendship, acceptance, and the never-ending struggle to fit in.
The multi-cast narration was spectacular, bringing the complex characters to life in all their flawed glory.
I was immediately drawn to Arthur Opp. He's loveable in his tragic loneliness and I found myself rooting for him to open up and celebrating his tiny steps forward.
I've listened to Kirby Heyborne in 'Gone Girl', and his performance in Heft was equally gripping. This was my first listen from Keith Szarabajka and he's now on my radar.
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