BOOKISH FRIDAY: “UNTETHERED”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is from an Amazon Vine ARC called Untethered, by Julie Lawson Timmer.

 

 

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Beginning:  Char slumped low in the pew, fretting about the casket.  It took her brother, Will, a moment to realize what she was doing.  Like everyone else, he had risen with the priest’s invitation and was waiting, a hand extended, to help her up and walk her to the social hall.

***

56:  Char gasped and covered her mouth with one hand while she reached out with the other, holding the towel to Morgan.  Morgan snatched it, wrapped herself in it, and ran to the bathroom.  As the bathroom door closed, the sound of the teenagers’ voices and footsteps rose from the staircase.

***

Synopsis:  When Char Hawthorn’s husband dies unexpectedly, she is left questioning everything she once knew to be true: from the cozy small town life they built together to her relationship with her stepdaughter, who is suddenly not bound to Char in any real way. Untethered explores what bonds truly form a family and how, sometimes, love knows no bounds.

Char Hawthorn, college professor, wife and stepmother to a spirited fifteen-year-old daughter, loves her family and the joyful rhythms of work and parenting. But when her husband dies in a car accident, the “step” in Char’s title suddenly matters a great deal. In the eyes of the law, all rights to daughter Allie belong to Lindy, Allie’s self-absorbed biological mother, who wants to girl to move to her home in California.

While Allie begins to struggle in school and tensions mount between her and Char, Allie’s connection to young Morgan, a ten-year-old-girl she tutors, seems to keep her grounded. But then Morgan, who was adopted out of foster care, suddenly disappears, and Char is left to wonder about a possible future without Allie and what to do about Morgan, a child caught up in a terrible crack in the system.

***

What do you think?  Does this family novel with its complex issues resonate with you?  Do you want to keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “FALLING”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today I’m featuring my next read, Falling, by Jane Green, a novel about the pleasure and meaning of finding a home—and family—where you least expect them…

 

 

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Beginning:  “It’s lovely,” she lies, in her most gracious of voices, looking around at the tired wood paneling lining the walls of the living room, floor to ceiling.  As she looks down, her gaze lands on well-worn salmon-pink shag carpeting and quickly conceals her horror.

***

56:  Emma wakes up early the next morning, crawls out of bed to make some coffee, then brings it back with her, slipping between the sheets again, reveling in the luxury of a lazy morning.

All those years she dashed out of bed, went running, on a literal or proverbial treadmill from the minute her feet hit the floor to the minute her head hit the pillow later that night.

***

Synopsis:  When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn’t the life she wanted either.
 
On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son.
 
Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.
 
But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all. 

***

I love novels of discovery, starting over, making changes.  I love stories that take me into gorgeous settings, whether they are in the city or a village somewhere.  What do you think?  Does this one pique your interest?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “IN TWENTY YEARS”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is the newest release from one of the authors I enjoy.  Allison Winn Scotch’s In Twenty Years tells a story of splintered friendships and a reunion that could heal the wounds.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue – 1998 – Late May- Bea)

Admittedly, it was an overly nostalgic idea.  But, so what?  If there were ever a time for nostalgia, it was tonight, our last night together at Penn, our last night under the same roof, our last night as a six-point star.  Besides, if I didn’t insist on it, none of them would have been willing.  Frankly, and this is the part that somersaulted my stomach, none of them would have even considered it, thought of it in the first place….

***

56:  (Annie)

Breathe.  This is what that therapist used to tell her, the one her OB-GYN insisted she see when she broke down on the exam table at her six-month postnatal appointment, her legs still aloft in the stirrups, the rest of her quaking so much the thin paper sheet beneath her shredded in two.  Breathe.  In.  Out.  In.  Out.

***

Synopsis:  Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.

But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.

***

Reunions can be traumatic, with the past rearing its ugly head, forcing it to be confronted and reexamined.  Would you keep reading this one?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MULTIPLE LISTINGS”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is from an author that is new to me, and it is also an ARC from NetGalley.  Publication Date:  March 8, 2016.

Multiple Listings, by Tracy McMillan, speaks poignantly—and often hilariously—about the ties that bind families of all types together.

 

 

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Beginning: (Prologue – Down Payment – Nicki)

My doorbell just went off.  It’s the worst possible moment—I’m in the middle of putting the food on the table for a family dinner, which never happens.  Between my very busy day job, the restaurant my boyfriend and I are in the process of opening, and my teenage son, we almost never eat a meal together, so the fact that I managed to pull this off is a big deal.

***

56:  But I know the deal:  to engage with Jake will only open the door to him again.  Arguing with Jake is like eating potato chips—the moment you eat that first one, there is no possible way to stop. (56%).

***

Blurb:  What would you do if your ex-con father suddenly came to visit…indefinitely? Family drama ensues when Nicki’s dad unexpectedly wants to move in with her, her son, and her boyfriend in this comedic novel from successful TV writer Tracy McMillan.

Nicki Daniels owns a home appraisal business, but real estate is her true passion: she lives for open houses and really knows her way around a floor plan. And especially at this juncture of her life, real estate has come to signify the stability she is trying to build with her teenage son, Cody, and her much younger boyfriend, Jake. She’s finally ready to find the perfect house for the three of them and work on a new business venture with Jake that she thinks will jump-start their lives together.

Meanwhile, Ronnie, a longtime inmate at a nearby correctional facility, is getting some good news for once—there was a mistake in his sentencing, and he’s eligible to get out of prison. Ronnie decides his best option to avoid homelessness is to move in with his estranged daughter: Nicki. Even though they haven’t spoken in years, her door is always open to him, right?

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading this one?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SILVER BAY”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today I am happy to feature a book from one of my favorite authors.  It has been on my Kindle for a while, so let’s “dust” it off and take a look.  I downloaded this book, Silver Bay, by JoJo Moyes, in August 2014.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue – Kathleen)

My name is Kathleen Whittier Mostyn, and when I was seventeen I became famous for catching the biggest shark New South Wales had ever seen:  a gray nurse with an eye so mean it still looked like it wanted to rip me in two several days after we’d laid it out.  That was back in the days when all of Silver Bay was given over to game fishing, and for three straight weeks all anyone could talk about was that shark.

***

56:  She ripped it open, flanked by her friends.  They were all growing up, I noticed, losing the skinny little legs and the chubby cheeks.  In a couple you could already see the women they would become.  I had to fight my sadness at the thought that some would end up like Suzanne.  Dissatisfied, nagging…faithless.

***

Synopsis:  Liza McCullen will never fully escape her past. But the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves—if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah. That is, until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt’s hotel.
The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and distracting eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbors her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love—never deserve to love—again.

For his part, Mike Dormer is expecting just another business deal—an easy job kick-starting a resort in a small seaside town ripe for development. But he finds that he doesn’t quite know what to make of the eccentric inhabitants of the ramshackle Silver Bay Hotel, especially not enigmatic Liza McCullen, and their claim to the surrounding waters. As the development begins to take on a momentum of its own, Mike’s and Liza’s worlds collide in this hugely affecting and irresistible tale full of Jojo Moyes’s signature humor and generosity.

***

What do you think?  Does this story grab you?  Come on by and share your own snippets.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BROOKLYN”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

My featured book today is a recent addition to Pippa, my Kindle:  Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin.

 

 

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Beginning:  Eilis Lacey, sitting at the window of the upstairs living room in the house on Friary Street, noticed her sister walking briskly from work.  She watched Rose crossing the street from sunlight into shade, carrying the new leather handbag that she had bought in Clerys in Dublin in the sale.

***

56:  Mrs. Kehoe, who owned the house, was from Wexford town and loved to talk to her about home, about Sunday trips to Curracloe and Rosslare Strand, or hurling matches, or the shops along the Main Street in Wexford town, or characters she remembered.

***

Synopsis:   Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the years following World War Two. Though skilled at bookkeeping, she cannot find a job in the miserable Irish economy. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn to sponsor Eilis in America — to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood “just like Ireland” — she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, a blond Italian from a big family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. He takes Eilis to Coney Island and Ebbets Field, and home to dinner in the two-room apartment he shares with his brothers and parents. He talks of having children who are Dodgers fans. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

By far Tóibín’s most instantly engaging and emotionally resonant novel, Brooklyn will make readers fall in love with his gorgeous writing and spellbinding characters.

***

I am eager to read this one…and I also want to see the movie.  What do you think?  Have you read it?

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BOOKISH FRIDAYS: “GRAY MOUNTAIN”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is an e-book that I’ve had since September, from an author I enjoy, but haven’t read in a while.  John Grisham’s Gray Mountain is a story about what happened to one woman who was downsized when the recession hit…and about the risk she took to get her job back.

 

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Beginning:  The horror was in the waiting—the unknown, the insomnia, the ulcers.  Co-workers ignored each other and hid behind locked doors.  Secretaries and paralegals passed along the rumors and refused eye contact.

***

56:  “That’s certainly a harsh way to treat people,” Chester said.

“Trusted employees just tossed into the street,” Mattie said, shaking her head in disbelief and disapproval.  Samantha nodded and kept chewing.

***

Synopsis:  The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer’s career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track—until the recession hits and she is downsized, furloughed, and escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, all for a slim chance of getting rehired.

In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about. Samantha’s new job takes her into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, where laws are often broken, communities are divided, and the land itself is under attack. But some of the locals aren’t so thrilled to have a big-city lawyer in town, and within weeks Samantha is engulfed in litigation that turns deadly. Because like most small towns, Brady harbors big secrets that some will kill to conceal.

***

What do you think?  Do these excerpts pique your interest?  Come on by and share your thoughts and your links.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAYS: “THE CROSSING PLACES”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s spotlight is shining on a book I recently added to my shelves:  The Crossing Places, by Elly Griffiths.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue)

They wait for the tide and set out at first light.

It has rained all night and in the morning the ground is seething gently, the mist rising up to join the overhanging clouds.  Nelson calls for Ruth in an unmarked police car.  He sits beside the driver and Ruth is in the back, like a passenger in a minicab.

***

56:  ‘Do you think she was murdered?’

Ruth looks at the detective, who is leaning forward across his untidy desk.  It seems strange to hear the word ‘murdered’ on his lips, as if her Iron Age body is suddenly going to form part of his ‘enquiries,’ as if he is planning to bring the perpetrator to justice.

***

Synopsis:  The first entry in the acclaimed Ruth Galloway series follows the “captivating”* archaeologist as she investigates a child’s bones found on a nearby beach, thought to be the remains of a little girl who went missing ten years before.

Forensic archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is in her late thirties. She lives happily alone with her two cats in a bleak, remote area near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants—not quite earth, not quite sea. But her routine days of digging up bones and other ancient objects are harshly upended when a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach. Detective Chief Inspector Nelson calls Galloway for help, believing they are the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing a decade ago and whose abductor continues to taunt him with bizarre letters containing references to ritual sacrifice, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson receives a new letter—exactly like the ones about Lucy.

Is it the same killer? Or a copycat murderer, linked in some way to the site near Ruth’s remote home?

***

I am excited about starting with the first book in this series that I’ve heard so much about.  What do you think?  Does it grab you?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “COP TOWN”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

In last week’s Bookish Friday, I enjoyed excerpting “Who Do You Love.”

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a mystery from Karin Slaughter:  Cop Town.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue, November 1974)

Dawn broke over Peachtree Street.  The sun razored open the downtown corridor, slicing past the construction cranes waiting to dip into the earth and pull up skyscrapers, hotels, convention centers.

(Day One – Monday – Chapter One)

Maggie Lawson was upstairs in her bedroom when she heard the phone ringing in the kitchen.  She checked her watch.  There was nothing good about a phone ringing this early in the morning.

***

56:  Maggie nodded.

“So this is how day one goes down:  Our boys are gonna throw every pimp they can find into the slammer.  Lock up the pimps, then the girls spend all day getting high and sleeping.”

***

Blurb:  Karin Slaughter, author of the bestselling Will Trent novels, is widely acclaimed as “one of the best crime novelists in America” (The Washington Post). Now she delivers her first stand-alone novel: an epic story of a city in the midst of seismic upheaval, a serial killer targeting cops, and a divided police force tasked with bringing a madman to justice.

Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It’s also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who’s feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart.

Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, Cop Town is Karin Slaughter’s most powerful novel yet—a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.

***

What do you think?  Does this one grab you and make you want to keep reading?  I know I’m eager.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: EXCERPTING “WE NEVER ASKED FOR WINGS”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I enjoy sharing excerpts from books…and connecting with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today I am eager to share the newest book from an author I have enjoyed.  As I read the opening lines of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s lovely book We Never Asked for Wings, I was delighted to see that I was very familiar with the settings, because I live just miles from one of the places mentioned.  The themes of this book resonate with me, too.

My copy is an ARC from Amazon Vine, to be released on August 18, 2015.

 

 

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Beginning:  It wasn’t too late to turn back.  Driving through the fog at a quarter past midnight, Letty waited for the exit signs that appeared without warning, willing herself to swerve off the freeway and return the way she’d come.  But at each split-second opportunity she wavered just a moment too long.  The exits came and went, and she was left with nothing but a wall of fog and the tequila in her water bottle, pushing her forward—past San Jose and Los Banos and Coalinga and through the sour cloud of Harris Ranch, accelerating until even the short length of yellow line she’d been following for over two hundred miles transformed into a rush of white.

She’d left her children.

( I lived in Coalinga for fourteen long months in the 1970s, and I am all too familiar with the heavy fogs and the “sour cloud of Harris Ranch”).

***

56:  “I think he likes me,” she said laughing.

“He must,” Sara said.  “In turtle-steps I think he walked about a thousand miles to see you.”

“Tortoise,” Alex corrected, not able to contain himself a second time.  “Not turtle.  It’s land-dwelling.”

***

Blurb:  From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.

Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.

***

I am ready to immerse myself in this book.  What do you think?  What are you sharing today?

***