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Old 06-13-2017, 01:07 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Closing In by Sue Fortin

This was Sue's second novel but it's the first book by this author for me, and I will be looking for the first book to read, too.

It became clear from the start that there has been problems within Helen's relationship with her partner Toby. She left, disappeared and hid, and got a new identity as Ellen. In fact, she left the country, returning six months later to work as a nanny. She told no-one other than her best friend where she had gone and where she was living.

Strange incidents begin to happen to her new family, and their home becomes one of suspicion and fear. Ellen has to figure out who she can trust.
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:20 PM   #42 (permalink)
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The Silent Child by Sarah Denzil

Sarah Denzil has recently become one of my favourite authors. I loved "The Broken Ones". She has a knack for finding the cracks in people.

Emma becomes a mother at 18 in small English village. Her son, 6, slips away from his school group during a storm and flood. He is never found and 6 years later is pronounced dead. At age 34, Emma has remarried and is pregnant and Aiden, her son, is found. He has been help captive and abused and finally escaped. He is too traumatized to speak. As Emma attempts to reconnect with her teenage son, she must unmask the monster who took him away from her. But she has no idea who took Aiden and abused him. Aiden is the only one who can give her and the police the answers she needs. The suspense and span of emotions was incredible and Sarah Denzil is a very talented author.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:58 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

I loved this book and really could not put it down. I was up in the middle of the night reading. Rachel Caine's books have been mainly in the Young Adult genre. This is her first suspense mystery book. The good news for me is that the book ends with the tease of a follow-up and I will look forward to that.

The book begins with Gina, a suburban housewife with 2 children, discovering that her husband is a serial killer. And, he's an infamous serial killer, meaning he has 'followers', so even though he is on death row, his threats to his family are very real. Gina truly knew nothing of her husband's insanity, but is tried and convicted in the press and social media as an accomplice. She realizes she must 'disappear' with her kids or face horrible threats on social media and real life. The family become nomads because their identity is usually discovered after a few months in a new place and they are no longer safe. I loved this character. She is normal, yet strong, smart, yet not sure who to trust, if anyone. This is a fast-paced journey into a mother's desperate need to save her children, her family.
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:37 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Liar by K.L. Slater

Wow, I am on a roll with excellent books. I was completely enthralled and spell-bound in this clever psychological thriller. This is the third book by K.L. Slater and I’ve loved both of her other books, Blink and Safe With Me. But this one has now become my most favourite book of hers so far!

This is a great story about the deep and disturbing relationship between a controlling and proud mother/grandmother and the beautiful and conniving new girlfriend who appears in her son's life after his wife passes away, leaving him with two young children.

I read this in 24 hours and literally couldn't put it down.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:58 AM   #45 (permalink)
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A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout

Bio/Memoirs are truly my favourite genre to read. And, this book is unforgettable. I read it awhile ago, let it sit in my mind, and then re-read it recently and it's a story of courage, resilience and redemption.

At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress in Canada, Amanda began to save so she could travel. She backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and then to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she decided to become a journalist/reporter, without the university education or any previous experience. She believed she could make this work by going to Somalia “the most dangerous place on earth" and interview locals. On her 4th day, she was abducted and held captive for 15 months by a group of desperate young men who had nothing to lose.

Amanda was chained, kept in the dark, starved and tortured. The 'House in the Sky' was where she went in her mind to hold on to her sanity. My first read through the book left me thinking what a silly, young girl she was. My second read I felt much more compassion for her. She made a horrible mistake and paid a horrible price. The redemption came from the fact her family had to pay the captors over a million dollars for her freedom and her family had no money at all. The guilt and shame she endured over this was overwhelming. The redemption is that she returned to Somalia to try to help get education for young men, like the ones who took her, in hope that it could change their lives.
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It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 06-27-2017, 06:20 PM   #46 (permalink)
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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Another magnificent bio/memoir.

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. His life changed completely in a minute. He and his wife make a difficult decision to have a baby, and she is born 8 months before Paul dies.

Even though the book is incredibly sad, it is ultimately life affirming. And the message Paul left us is simple: make life as meaningful as you can in the time you have. Be grateful.
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It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 07-30-2017, 08:20 AM   #47 (permalink)
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I haven't posted for awhile, not because I'm not reading, but because I have started and not finished at least 6 books. I went through a period where none of the characters were interesting, I didn't care what happened to them so I moved on. Life is too short and there are too many good books to be stuck with a bad one.

Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie

This is a good book!

Geniver has been struggling through life since her baby, a daughter she named Beth, was stillborn eight years ago. Her husband Art has built a successful business and become something of a minor celebrity. She has been unable to move on, devastated at the loss of Beth and the fact that she has been unable to get pregnant again. Her fragile life is shaken when a stranger
knocks on her door and tells her that Beth is, in fact, alive.

All the twists are the result of a story slowly and skillfully being revealed - not the tossing in of red herrings.

It is a novel based on lies and deceit, friends and traitors, and horrendous pain and suffering.
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 08-11-2017, 11:21 AM   #48 (permalink)
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The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti

I had a period of mediocre books and then a couple of great ones. This book had me caught up in it right from the start. It's a domestic psychological thriller and kept me interested all the way though. Zoe is a beautiful woman with a questionable past. She changed her identity and moved on. Her husband, Wall Street tycoon, Henry Whittaker, begins to show signs of controlling behaviour.
As the story unfolded, I became more compassionate with Zoe and understood how she could have gotten herself in to such a marriage.

I am really looking forward to reading her next book, 'Thought I Knew You'.
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 08-11-2017, 12:21 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

I can't remember if you recommended this, Anna, but I am getting pretty close to the end and it is one of those books I hate to finish. Grabbed my attention immediately and kept me turning pages.

Catherine Bailey has been enjoying the single life long enough to know a catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic and spontaneous, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell.

But what begins as flattering attentiveness and passionate sex turns into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon learns there is a darker side to Lee. His increasingly erratic, controlling behavior becomes frightening, but no one believes her when she shares her fears. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape.

Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—compulsively checks the locks and doors in her apartment, trusting no one. But when an attractive upstairs neighbor, Stuart, comes into her life, Cathy dares to hope that happiness and love may still be possible . . . until she receives a phone call informing her of Lee’s impending release.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:13 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Oh yes Suki, I loved that book. I thought she captured the mindset of someone who has to live with OCD. I also loved 'Dark Tide'. She comes up with excellent characters.
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Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 08-21-2017, 12:52 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Give Me the Child by Mel McGrath

This book had me hooked from the start and it did not let me down.

Cat Lupo is a neuroscience researcher, married and with a 12 yr old daughter. She had a psychotic break late in her pregnancy and the fallout from that episode is still with her. Out of the blue, her husband's 11 yr old love-child that she knew nothing about, appears on their doorstep to stay. I didn't immediately love Cat's character, because the scientific side of her came through more than the emotional side. But, as the story continued, I began to admire her strength and determination. Not knowing who to trust made me feel incredibly uncomfortable at times and that only got worse, the more we found out about those kids.
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 08-31-2017, 05:38 PM   #52 (permalink)
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The Child by Fiona Barton

This is Fiona Barton's second novel, the first being The Widow. While I enjoyed The Widow, I liked this one much better, as I found the characters more fully developed in The Child. Many twists and turns with a surprise ending.

The story is told from the view point of four women, Emma, Angela, Kate & Jude. The characters are very interesting and, unlike some novels moving from character to character, these women are easy to distinguish from one another. . These are strong and engaging female characters

I'm almost never surprised by an ending with the twist, but this novel had an ending which actually caused me to stop and breathe and take it all in.
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 09-08-2017, 07:08 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Worth Fighting For by Lisa Niemi Swayze

Back to my favourite genre, Memoir/Bio. I LOVED this book and everything about it.

Patrick and Lisa were married for 34 years. This is Lisa's story about the almost two year period after Patrick Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer until his death. And, it's so much more than I hoped for. Yes, it's sad in places, but more than that it's the story of the strength of spirit of these two people.

Patrick was an alcoholic and their marriage had the usual difficulties associated with addiction. At one point, Lisa moved out for a year, and even when she moved back she felt there was too much hurt to make it work, 'the door had closed and in my mind I was already gone'. And, yet, refusing to give up they had a brief session with a counsellor who they credit for turning things around. As Lisa said, 'We opened ourselves to each other and took the leap together'.

The main takeaway from this book for me is that in a distressing situation you don't need to have all the answers, you don't need to know the right thing to say or do, but you do need to show up, every day. That's what Lisa did. She focused on remaining calm, battled anxiety and overwhelming fear, and she showed up every day and did what she could. It's the triumph of the human spirit where these two people managed to have 'moments of joy' in the face of a terminal illness.
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 09-15-2017, 09:12 AM   #54 (permalink)
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A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite

I was so excited to get this book because it's a memoir, my favourite genre. And, it sounded intriguing. But, it was a disappointment.

The writing was actually very good. The author switched back and forth between what happened before the moment of betrayal to what happened after that moment. It was very effective and easy to read.

But, oh my goodness, this woman was so immature and self-centred. The story is classic case of a relationship that is 'too good to be true' and finding out that indeed, it wasn't true. Jen was in her mid-twenties, an aspiring actress, when she met Marco, a bartender. He was a user who told her everything she needed and wanted to hear. They married and she facilitated his life in every way and he pretended to be a good husband, while having multiple affairs. At age 30 they had a child, and it was immediately after the birth that she discovered Marco's girlfriend. She proceeded to obsess about him and stalk him on social media, insisting that is how she would find closure. She involved her parents in ALL the details of her marriage and Marco's relationship with his girlfriend. I guess you can tell I'm being really judgemental. I'm surprised that a publishing company would take on this book. Yes, it is well-written and entertaining, but this kind deceit and break-up happen all the time.
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 09-17-2017, 12:37 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Cravings: How I Conquered Food by Judy Collins

For those of you born in the 60's you likely know of Judy Collins as the iconic folk singer/songwriter with the beautiful blue eyes and a serene demeanour. But, Judy suffered through a lifetime of addiction to alcohol and to food that she was lucky to have survived. This book takes us through her issues with alcohol, bulimia, weight loss/weight gain, losing her only son to suicide and finally finding peace in her life. I knew of her struggles with alcohol from her previous memoir, but I had no idea that food controlled her life for decades.

The book is interspersed with various diet gurus like Dr. Atkins, and I skipped those chapters because I had zero interest there. In the end, Judy has found that what works for her is a very strict diet involving no sugar, no wheat, etc and eating 3 small meals a day and never, ever snacking. Clearly this is very strict, but having lived through decades of food controlling her life, this is what works for her. She uses AA and OA on a regular basis.

I have read numerous books on eating disorders and this is the most extreme case I've heard of.
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 09-22-2017, 04:03 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

I had been so looking forward for Shari's second book because I loved her first novel The Couple Next Door. And, she did not disappoint at all. I really couldn't put it down.

Karen & Tom are happy newlyweds until Tom arrives home from work one day and finds Karen gone, leaving behind her purse and phone. He discovers that Karen has been in a serious car accident and is hospitalized. Karen is not badly injured but her memory of why she raced out of the house and drove to a questionable neighbourhood is completely gone.

The police have a lot of persistent questions and doubt the amnesia is real. And, when Karen returns home, things have been moved ever so slightly and she fears she is being watched. She has become a stranger in her house and it seems that everyone has a secret to keep.
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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Old 10-05-2017, 12:16 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Sophie Hayes Trafficked: The Terrifying Story of a British Girl Forced Into the Sex Trade

Once again, back to my favourite genre, Memoir/Bio.

This book is about human trafficking. Vulnerable children, usually girls, as young as 12, are coerced into sex work. These children and teens come from every race, creed and socio-economic background. Human trafficking exists everywhere and is a multi-billion dollar industry.

Sophie was scoped out and chosen by her predator who first noticed her at a dance club that she went to with her girlfriends. He learned that she was a people-pleaser with very low self-esteem and she loved her family very much - a perfect target. He was kind to her until he wasn't , and then he threatened he would hurt her mother and younger brothers if she left him. And, so it began, her life as sex-worker.

Sophie is not a hero. She is not a strong woman. But, she is a survivor. She did not escape. She was rescued. Even a year after she was rescued, she allowed her captor into her new home. She was incapable of refusing him. It was as if the emotional and physical abuse he hurled at her, comforted her. It was as if, she felt most comfortable in the abusive situation.

Her healing was long-term and very difficult. She has dedicated herself to helping other young women who are trafficked and works at a non-profit, sophiehayesfoundation.
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


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