Why does summer always go by so quickly? I used to think it was just because I didn’t want to go back to school as a kid, but even as an adult I just seem to lose track of the time. July was a busy, whirlwind month for me and while I made a little time for reading, I didn’t make time for blogging, so I’m going to get caught up with some flash reviews. So here are a couple of the books I’ve been up to.
Book #32 The Chaperone, Laura Moriarty
Synopsis: Cora volunteers to chaperone a young Louise Brooks for the summer in New York City in the 1920s. Louise is there to become famous; Cora is there to dig into her past. Cora’s earliest memories are of her life at the New York Home for Friendless Girls, before she was put on an orphan train and adopted in the midwest. Cora is trying to set a good example of decorum for Louise, but in the late 20’s Louise is intent on breaking all the rules while she joins a modern dance troupe on her way to becoming a silent film star. At the end of the summer, Cora goes back to her life, but she and Louise will cross paths again.
My Impressions: While the first part of the story was as advertised, and the character back stories were strong, the years following the initial “chaperone” summer didn’t have a lot to do with the original story line. The book started out strong, but the storyline deviated a lot for me to stay interested.
Read if you liked: The Paris Wife (Paula McLain), Orphan Train (Christina Baker Kline), A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
Book# 33 The Home For Wayward Ladies, Jeremy Scott Blaustein
Synopsis: Nick, Hunter and Eli have been friends since college and now they are roommates in New York City. Each trying to make their way in the NY theater scene, each searching for something, each with their own vices in their way. When Nick meets Mr Right, he gets a chance to do a one-man show tour and his producer boyfriend gets Eli and Hunter a gig as the director and choreographer of a summer stock production in the Poconos. Since nothing can go smoothly, the Ladies have to pull together for each other to make through the summer.
My Impressions: For starters, this book is not PG for anyone scanning for a book to read. There is a lot of sexual reference and humor. But there is a lot of humor! This was a really funny book with great character relationships and truly shows the heart of life-long friendships. And gay men making vagina jokes is a good time! Full disclosure: the author is a high school friend of mine… But I’d still recommend his book even if I’d never driven him home after school play rehearsal.
Read if you liked: Sex and the City (Candace Bushnell); Someday, Someday Maybe (Lauren Graham)
Book #34 Lost Lake, Sarah Addision Allen
Synopsis: Kate opens er eyes on moving day, one year after her husband was killed in an accident. Her mother-in-law is in charge of the move and waiting to settle-in Kate and her daughter, Devin, in her home across town. But instead of driving to the house, Kate keeps driving and ends up at Lost Lake, where she spent the summer as a child. Her estranged aunt, Eby, owned the lake-side retreat with her husband and she is struggling to stay afloat. This will be the last summer at Lost Lake. Eby welcomes Kate and Devin with open arms, but knows there is more to the story of why they’ve come.
My Impressions: While this was a sweet story with a whimsical side, it was fairly predictable. There was a twist in the back story that kept it interesting and it’s a quick read. This is great light-reading vacation book.
Read if you liked: Garden Spells (Sarah Addison Allen), The Last Camellia (Sarah Jio)
Books 32-34 in the bag!
“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” ― Mortimer J Adler