Update: we’re thrilled to announce that the winner of this book is Marie. Thanks to all who entered! And don’t forget to check back soon. We have lots of great giveaways lined up for the rest of this year.
Today we asked three members of our Blog Network to share a book recommendation with you. And the really great news? We’ll be giving away all three of these books to one lucky winner. Leave a comment on this post telling us about a good book you recently read and you’ll be entered to win!
IS THIS TOMORROW by Caroline Leavitt, recommended by Anita LeBeau
Ava is a divorced single mother living in suburban Boston. The year is 1956, Ava and her twelve year old son Lewis are the only Jewish family on her block, and the combination of divorce and Jew have their little family mostly ostracized. Lewis is friends with the only other fatherless kids on the block, Jimmy and Rose, their father passed away when they were very young. Jimmy likes hanging out at Lewis and Ava’s house, he even likes it when Lewis isn’t home. He has a bit of a crush on Ava. Ava isn’t like most of the other moms. She’s a working woman, a typist for a plumbing company, and she dresses younger and trendier than the other moms. Ava turns heads, not something admired by the other women trying to keep a close eye on their husbands.
One ordinary spring day Ava shoos Jimmy out of her house because she has to head to work. Lewis is on his way home from a dentist appointment and he’s planning on meeting up with Jimmy later. Ava watches as Jimmy heads just down the street to his own home. Hours later Lewis is late coming home, and it’s an important night, he was going to meet Jake, Ava’s boyfriend. Jake is the first man Ava has wanted to introduce to her son, he’s also the first who has shown this interest. Hours pass, and then Ava learns both Jimmy and Rose are missing too. When Lewis and Rose show up after 10pm there is relief, but where is Jimmy?
This book is about so much more than just the mystery of a missing boy. Leavitt takes the reader back to an era of discrimination of the sexes, religious divides, where divorce is seen as a moral deficit. Ava’s character is so well developed, the reader is can picture her in those slim cut, side zip, slacks…not what the typical suburban mom is wearing. The reader can feel the lonely soul of Ava, she has no friends, she longs for the love of another man, but each date she has is scrutinized by her and anyone who sees her. Life post divorce is portrayed as an alienated life….so sad.
THE GUEST HOUSE by Erika Marks Recommended by Tamara Welch
Erika Marks takes characters- characters that feel as real as can be and writes stories for each set of characters that take the reader to a happy place. Erika’s characters are heartwarming and full of life- they are real, flawed and imperfect- yet, beautifully written and understandable. In The Guest House, Erika writes about 2 families- families that have known each other for years because of summer life in a New England town.
What the reader knows at first is that mother and daughter (at different time frames) have had their hearts broken by the men in this other family. What the reader does not know is the why and how- and that is where Erika Marks and her writing shines. As I read, I wanted to know more- I needed to know. Piece by piece was revealed- and the end was a story that was satisfying, touching and a book that should be read by fans of women’s fiction.
THE RIVER OF NO RETURN by Bee Ridgway, recommended by Jennifer Smeth
By picking up The River of No Return you will need to forget everything you thought you knew about the way time works–this novel literally turns our understanding of the world as we know it on its head, creating an alternate and compelling world within our world–one controlled by the Guild. Now I must confess my initial interest in Bee Ridgway’s debut was superficial: I fell in love with the gorgeous cover! And I’m so glad I picked it up! Because all I have to say is — WOW. Perhaps it is true what they say — go ahead and judge that book by its cover! Go on! You will be so glad you did!
The story begins in 1815, with 22-year-old Julia Percy at her grandfather’s bedside as he takes his last breaths. Julia believes his secret power – the manipulation of time – has died with him and she dreads the arrival of her unpleasant cousin Eamon, the new earl. The scene then switches to Vermont in 2013, where Nick Davenant, the wealthy owner of several farms, lives a content yet complicated life. Nick is not what he seems: he is a member of the Guild, an organization made up of those who, like Nick, have ‘jumped’ through time and found themselves in an age not their own. At the moment of his near-death in 1812, he was transported to 2003 and after a strange and painful period of adjustment, he has made peace with his unconventional existence. That is, until he receives a summons from the Guild which contradicts one of its own cardinal rules: you do not return. Does this mean the principal law of the Guild – that there can be no return – could be broken too?
As I was pulled into this story – this multi-layered plot – I found a book that I was unable to put down. Ridgway opens a door to another time and space that is both terrifyingly unimaginable and imaginative. A world that will have you on the edge of you seat, flying through the pages of this well-paced reading experience.