Monday, September 29, 2008

Going Down South by Bonnie J. Glover

Summary: From the author of The Middle Sister comes a heartwarming tale of second chances and the unparalleled love between mothers and daughters.

When fifteen-year-old Olivia Jean finds herself in the “family way,” her mother, Daisy, who has never been very maternal, springs into action. Daisy decides that Olivia Jean can’t stay in New York and whisks her away to her grandmother’s farm in Alabama to have the baby–even though Daisy and her mother, Birdie, have been estranged for years. When they arrive, Birdie lays down the law: Sure, her granddaughter can stay, but Daisy will have to stay as well. Though Daisy is furious, she has no choice.

Now, under one little roof in the 1960s Deep South, three generations of spirited, proud women are forced to live together. One by one, they begin to lose their inhibitions and share their secrets. And as long-guarded truths emerge, a baby is born–a child with the power to turn these virtual strangers into a real, honest-to-goodness family. -- Ballantine

Check out Booking Mama's review of this lovely tale, Going Down South! You can then check out Dawn's review at She is too fond of books.

Published: July, 2008
Pages: 272
Author's website:
Reader's guide: Random House

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner

I am not usually a fan of historical fiction, but maybe I need to rethink this? Julie P. at Booking Mama gave a great review of The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner. Read it here. I usually love Julie's choices so am thinking I need to reconsider my stance against historical fiction.

I know there have been lots of other bloggers that have loved this book too. I will search them out and add the links.
Lisa at Books on the Brain
Amy at The Friendly Book Nook
Shana at Literarily

Hardcover: July, 2008 (new publisher)
Pages: 384
Author's website:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Professor's Wives Club by Joanne Rendell

"THE PROFESSORS' WIVES' CLUB would make a great book for a lot of book clubs, especially if yours is like mine and enjoys women's fiction... I found THE PROFESSORS' WIVES' CLUB to be a fun, light read; and I recommend it to those readers who enjoy books about women and relationships. "

The above is a direct quote from Julie on Booking Mama. She read The Professors' Wives' Club by Joanne Rendell and enjoyed it.

Product Description:
A debut novel about the intertwining lives of college faculty wives.

Nestled among Manhattan University’s faculty housing, there is a garden where four women will meet—each with a scandalous secret that could upset their lives, destroy their families, and rock the prestigious university to its very core.

With its maple trees, iron gate, and fence laced with honeysuckle, Manhattan U’s garden offers faculty wives Mary, Sofia, Ashleigh, and Hannah much needed refuge from their problems. But as Mary’s husband, the power-hungry dean, plans to demolish their beloved garden, these four women will discover a surprising secret about a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript—and realize they must find the courage to stand up for their passions, dreams, and desires.

Published: September, 2008
Pages: 352
Series: None
Author's website:
Reader's guide: Questions for bookclubs

An additional review can be found at Redlady's Reading Room.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagan

A mystery/thriller that is also a great book club book! I was so excited to read Booking Mama's review of Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagan. This book sounds like a great match to many book clubs (and to me!) and is an award winner as well!

It was the summer on Vliet Street when we all started locking our doors...

Sally O'Malley made a promise to her daddy before he died. She swore she'd look after her sister, Troo. Keep her safe. But like her Granny always said-actions speak louder than words. Now, during the summer of 1959, the girls' mother is hospitalized, their stepfather has abandoned them for a six pack, and their big sister, Nell, is too busy making out with her boyfriend to notice that Sally and Troo are on the Loose. And so is a murderer and molester.

Highly imaginative Sally is pretty sure of two things. Who the killer is. And that she's next on his list. Now she has no choice but to protect herself and Troo as best she can, relying on her own courage and the kindness of her neighbors. -- NAL/Penguin

Read Julie's, of Booking Mama, review here. It includes more information about the book and a short excerpt. She links to an interview with the author.

Julie's book club was able to have a chat with author Lesley Kagan. She will be posting more on that chat.

Published: May, 2007
Pages: 336
Series: None
Author's website:

Friday, September 5, 2008

The River, By Moonlight by Camille Marchetta

Why does someone commit suicide? Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Reading read an interesting book about just that - The River, By Moonlight by Camille Marchetta. It explores the topic from the view point of the people around the person who committed suicide. Click here to see Trish's great review.

Summary from Amazon:
In 1917, the United States was on the brink of entering World War I, and art was moving away from Impressionism toward a more modern view. Meanwhile, Lily Canning, the daughter of a well-to-do family and an artist on the verge of fame, seems to have everything going for her--good looks, a loving family, wealth and talent. Despite appearances, however, Lily is supremely unhappy, a fact not unnoticed by her friends and family. Nevertheless, when her widowed mother receives a call revealing that Lily has jumped into the Hudson River and died, everyone is shocked. She had seemed happier since she left her husband and was anticipating her first art opening at a New York gallery. Suicide seems unfathomable. As her loved ones speculate about Lily's last hours, Marchetta slowly reveals the heroine in layers through the narration of those closest to her, such as her best friend, her cousins and her estranged husband. Each character's memories of Lily are interrupted by daily minutia and woven together with feelings about their own lives, as well as fears about the impending war and the morality of Lily's last act, mirroring the same realistic style in which Lily painted. Eventually, Lily herself reveals the truth behind her death. There is nothing particularly surprising about the ending and no fancy plot devices. Marchetta's prose is elegant in its simplicity, its rhythm gently carrying the reader forward like the Hudson River that figures so prominently throughout the story.

Published: August, 2007
Pages: 376
Series: None
Authors website:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

An Absolute Scandal by Penny Vincenzi

This one sounds like an interesting book that would cause a little bit of uncomfortable-ness (is that even a word?) and would make a great discussion!

Summary of An Absolute Scandal from Amazon:
Britain's bestselling Vincenzi (Sheer Abandon, etc.) sets this doggedly optimistic epic at the sunset of Thatcherism, and the bleak economic landscape proves fertile territory for a saga of families whose futures and fortunes become entwined in a court battle with the prestigious London insurer, Lloyds. There's Elizabeth, wife and mother of three with a Very Big Job in advertising; her charming husband, Simon, a banker with an eye for the ladies; posh Lucinda, who falls for working-class Blue and then risks everything to save her ex's fortune; Debbie's frustrated by her insensitive husband, Richard, afraid of her formidable mother-in-law and devoted to her three kids; and reporter Joel, who helps bring a Lloyds scandal to light and falls in love with one of its victims. Vincenzi deftly imbues the Greed Decade with all the twisty turns of an overheated soap—couples trapped by boredom, wives tortured by infidelity, singles hamstrung by convention, children buffeted by circumstance. The general stiff-upper-lipped attitude may sound tinny to American ears (even the Yankees sound like Brits-in-training), but this chickensian drama delivers all the goods required for a sizzling summer read.

For a great review, check out Melissa's guest review at Booking Mama. Thanks to Julie P. at Booking Mama for bringing us this review.

Published: June, 2008
Pages: 592
Series: None
Authors website:
Review Questions: Random House