The Books Of Fall

Today’s announcement by Marybeth Whalen and Ariel Lawhon | @MarybethWhalen and @ArielLawhon

The Books of Fall

Three months ago we decided to make a major change in the way we announce our book club selections. For five years we’ve been picking one book per month. And that format worked really well. But our goal has always been to focus on conversation, community, and connection. This is a safe place for book lovers to gather. You may have noticed over the years that we don’t post negative reviews. We don’t trash talk authors or novels. Our goal is something else entirely: to support the things we love. And since She Reads is five years old this month we decided that this was the perfect time to pursue that goal in earnest. So instead of announcing our book club picks month by month we’ve decided to announce them seasonally, beginning today.

“The Books of Fall” are THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN by Lisa Jewell, THE DISTANCE by Helen Giltrow, THE SILENT SISTER by Diane Chamberlain, and THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS by Ariel Lawhon. (And yes, for those who remember, we did feature this book in February, but we’ve decided to add it as the bonus paperback this time around as well)

Why the change? We found ourselves running a bit frantic each month picking the books and getting the details in order. Doing it this way allows us to slow down. To focus. To really have a conversation about each novel. It allows room to build relationships between authors and readers. And that, my friends, is valuable. Because we’re all in this together.

This format also allows us to provide a little something for everyone. This time around we have women’s fiction (THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN), we have a thriller (THE DISTANCE), we have a contemporary suspense (THE SILENT SISTER), and we have historical (THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS). So there’s no reason for anyone to sit out in case our selected book isn’t quite their up of tea. However, if you’re anything like us, you may just love each and every one of them. We certainly hope you do.We chose these novels carefully and couldn’t put them down as we read. And we are excited about spending the next three months discussing these books and getting to know the authors. We truly hope you’ll join us.

To celebrate this new way of doing things, we’ll be giving away five complete sets of our “Books of Fall,” starting with one today. (See entry below for details)

And now, for the fun part, a bit about each of the novels we’ve selected as our featured book club selections this fall:

The House We Grew Up InTHE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN by Lisa Jewell

“Clever, intelligent…wonderful” — Jojo Moyes, New York Times bestselling author of ME BEFORE YOU.

Meet the Bird family. They live in a simple brick house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching just beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together each night. Everybody in town gushes over the two girls, who share their mother’s apple cheeks and wide smiles. Of the boys, lively, adventurous Rory can stir up trouble, moving through life more easily than little Rhys, his slighter, more sensitive counterpart. Their father is a sweet gangly man, but it’s their mother, Lorelei, a beautiful free spirit with long flowing hair and eyes full of wonder, who spins at the center.

Time flies in those early years when the kids are still young. Lorelei knows that more than anyone, doing her part to freeze time by protecting the precious mementos she collects, filling the house with them day by day. Easter egg foils are her favorite. Craft supplies, too. She insists on hanging every single piece of art ever produced by any of the children, to her husband’s chagrin.

Then one Easter weekend, tragedy occurs. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass and the children have become adults, found new relationships, and, in Meg’s case, created families of their own. Lorelei has become the county’s worst hoarder. She has alienated her husband, her children, and has been living as a recluse for six years. It seems as though they’d never been The Bird Family at all, as if loyalty were never on the table. But then something happens that calls them home, back to the house they grew up in—and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.

Delving deeply into the hearts and minds of its characters, The House We Grew Up In is the gripping story of a family’s desire to restore long-forgotten peace and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.

Read an excerpt of THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN here.

Add this book to your Goodreads to-read list.

The DistanceTHE DISTANCE BY Helen Giltrow

“Fast, hard, and very, very good.” — Lee Child, internationally bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers

A dark, ultra-contemporary, and relentlessly paced debut thriller about a London society woman trying to put her secret criminal past behind her, and the hit man who comes to her with an impossible job she can’t refuse.

Charlotte Alton is an elegant socialite. But behind the locked doors of her sleek, high-security apartment in London’s Docklands, she becomes Karla. Karla’s business is information. Specifically, making it disappear. She’s the unseen figure who, for a commanding price, will cover a criminal’s tracks. A perfectionist, she’s only made one slip in her career—several years ago she revealed her face to a man named Simon Johanssen, an ex-special forces sniper turned killer-for-hire. After a mob hit went horrifically wrong, Johanssen needed to disappear, and Karla helped him. He became a regular client, and then, one day, she stepped out of the shadows for reasons unclear to even herself. Now, after a long absence, Johanssen has resurfaced with a job, and he needs Karla’s help again. The job is to take out an inmate—a woman—inside an experimental prison colony. But there’s no record the target ever existed. That’s not the only problem: the criminal boss from whom Johanssen has been hiding is incarcerated there. That doesn’t stop him. It’s Karla’s job to get him out alive, and to do that she must uncover the truth. Who is this woman? Who wants her dead? Is the job a trap for Johanssen or for her? But every door she opens is a false one, and she’s getting desperate to protect a man—a killer—to whom she’s inexplicably drawn. Written in stylish, sophisticated prose, The Distance is a tense and satisfying debut in which every character, both criminal and law-abiding, wears two faces, and everyone is playing a double game.

Read an excerpt of THE DISTANCE here.

Add this book to your Goodreads to-read list.

The Silent SisterTHE SILENT SISTER by Diane Chamberlain

“Chamberlain’s powerful story is a page-turner to the very end. A must for all mystery lovers and those who like reading about family struggles”. — Library Journal

In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager.  Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

Read an excerpt of THE SILENT SISTER here.

Add this book to your Goodreads to-read list.


“Inspired by a real-life unsolved mystery, this mesmerizing novel features characters that make a lasting impression.”–People Magazine

“More meticulously choreographed than a chorus line. It all pays off.”– The New York Times Book Review

They say behind every great man, there’s a woman. In this case, there are three.
 Stella Crater, the judge’s wife, is the picture of propriety draped in long pearls and the latest Chanel. Ritzi, a leggy showgirl with Broadway aspirations, thinks moonlighting in the judge’s bed is the quickest way off the chorus line. Maria Simon, the dutiful maid, has the judge to thank for her husband’s recent promotion to detective in the NYPD. Meanwhile, Crater is equally indebted to Tammany Hall leaders and the city’s most notorious gangster, Owney “The Killer” Madden.

On a sultry summer night, as rumors circulate about the judge’s involvement in wide-scale political corruption, the Honorable Joseph Crater steps into a cab and disappears without a trace. Or does he?

After 39 years of necessary duplicity, Stella Crater is finally ready to reveal what she knows. Sliding into a plush leather banquette at Club Abbey, the site of many absinthe-soaked affairs and the judge’s favorite watering hole back in the day, Stella orders two whiskeys on the rocks—one for her and one in honor of her missing husband. Stirring the ice cubes in the lowball glass, Stella begins to tell a tale—of greed, lust, and deceit. As the novel unfolds and the women slyly break out of their prescribed roles, it becomes clear that each knows more than she has initially let on.

With a layered intensity and prose as effervescent as the bubbly that flows every night, The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress is a wickedly entertaining historical mystery that will transport readers to a bygone era with tipsy spins through subterranean jazz clubs and backstage dressing rooms. But beneath the Art Deco skyline and amid the intoxicating smell of smoke and whiskey, the question of why Judge Crater disappeared lingers seductively until a twist in the very last pages.

Read an excerpt of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS here.

Add this book to your Goodreads to-read list.

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59 Responses to The Books Of Fall

  1. Kate September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Wow – some great choices! Can’t wait to get started on my Fall reading!

  2. Denyalle September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I have a laundry list of books that I just hope to get through in my lifetime! I’m always adding five for every one that I read. These books are definitely going to be added to that list. I’m looking forward to the cooler weather that will allow me to snuggle in with a few good books instead of having to spend the time doing yardwork! I miss my books!

  3. Ann Bresnan September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I was fortunate to read an early copy of The House We Grew Up In and it is an excellent story. Would love to win them and read the rest!

  4. christa Allan September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    You continue to feed my addiction. . .adding these to my list!

  5. Gwyn September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    These all sound like great books !!! I have a week vacation in October and will have to start with this new list. Thanks

  6. Stacie Gorkow @SincerelyStacie September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    The Last Breath is coming up on my list and is one I’m anxious to read. I also want to read THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN and THE SILENT SISTER.

  7. Vicki G. September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    These all look like great books! I have so many books I’m going to try and read this fall, I can’t pick just one! It might have to be one of these! I really want to read The Silent Sister for sure though.

  8. malina September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    These look grea

  9. Sue maxwell September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    All of them! I love to read

  10. Helen @ My Novel Opinion September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    There are so many great books this fall! I think I’m most looking forward to The Silent Sister and also Crooked River by Valerie Geary.

  11. Suzy September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Well done, ladies. I like the quarterly idea a lot.

  12. Carl September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    What a tremendous list, I envy any other reader who’s lucky enough to win these books. They’d keep me busy till Christmas! I’m looking forward to quite a few books this fall, one that comes to mind is The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. It’s been released already but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Thanks again for the chance to win these great books.

  13. Katherine Jones September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Can’t wait!

  14. Judie McDonald September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    All four sound like such interesting stories!

  15. Paula Dolin September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Thank you for all the great recommendations! I’d love to win these books.

  16. Cynthia Robertson September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Love the new format. I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing The House We Grew Up In.

  17. Betty Apsley September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    There are several novels I’m looking forward to this fall, a couple of new James Patterson, Burn and Hope to Die; John Sandford’s new Virgil Flowers, Deadline; and I’ve added all of your fall books to my Goodreads list as well as many of the other books discussed on this website. Also I have Marybeth’s Wishing Tree on my Nook that I hope to get to. Unfortunately, my work schedule keeps interfering with my reading, but if I didn’t work how could I afford my reading addiction?

  18. Rita @ My Home of Books September 8, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I have a very long list of books I am looking forward to reading this Fall. All the books in your giveaway look exciting to me and I thank you for the opportunity.

  19. Bonnie K. September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve had The House We Grew Up In and The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress on my wish list. Thank you for the introduction of the other two books. I have too many books to list that I want to read this fall. Thank you for this great giveaway opportunity. I will soon be reading The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny that came out in late August. I love her Chief Inspector Gamache series.

  20. Vicki September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    What a great selection of books!! I haven’t read any of them, and since they all sound very good, I can’t wait to join you in reading them. Thanks for the chance to win the books!

  21. Vicki September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Whoops, posted a comment before filling out the giveaway form, so didn’t know I had to leave a comment about a novel I’m looking forward to reading in the fall.

    I can’t wait to read Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis

  22. Karen W September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    These look like some great books. Ready to get started on them!

  23. randi September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    They all sound great!

  24. annie September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Thanks for this great giveaway. I am looking forward to reading Garden of Letters.

  25. Debbie D September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Wow – these all sound so good. They are all going on my list!

  26. Jordan W. September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    The Good Girl and The Silent Sister are the two books I’m most looking forward to reading!

  27. christina September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    The cover art is really attractive for the wife, the maid, and the mistress! Diane Chamberlain’s books sounds great!

  28. Rhonda September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    The silent Sister among many on my list.

  29. Amanda Beachum September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Great picks! Now I want them all!!

  30. Susan Gruener September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m thrilled with these! Can’t wait to read and read and read into the night…

  31. GuinR September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I would love to read anyone of the books listed but The Silent Sister by Diane has really peaked my interest.

  32. JJT September 9, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Loved The Wife, The Maid and The Mistress. May re-read it as a fall treat!

  33. Britney Adams September 9, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    What a great lineup! I am excited to read them all!!

  34. Tanya M @ Mom's Small Victories September 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    These are great. I want to read all of these. Thanks for the chance to win them!!

  35. Nicki September 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I have Jan Karon’s newest Mitford novel waiting for me on my nightstand!

  36. Barbara Ann September 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    All of these books look like great reads. I’m especially interested in The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlaine because it’s set in NC which is my home state and because the book’s description promises an engaging read full of twists and turns!

  37. Melanie Backus September 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Great, great books! Thank you for sharing!

    melback at cebridge dot net

  38. Beth Hunter September 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m excited to read The House We Grew Up In

  39. Jennifer Thatcher September 10, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I am most looking forward to reading The Silent Sister and have had it pre-ordered for the last month. However they all look interesting.

  40. Laurie September 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    The Wife, The Maid and the Mistress. Have been eyeing this one since it came out.

  41. Kristie Poovey September 11, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Great job ladies! You continue to amaze with your constant dedication to leading us to really great novels! Can’t wait to delve into this new selection of novels! Happy reading everyone!!!

  42. Nancy September 11, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Just finished a digital galley of “The Distance” — couldn’t put it down. I’m looking forward to reading the others.
    Always enjoy your selections, always looking for more good books. Thank you!

  43. shannon brown September 11, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    They all sound wonderful!!! I want to read them all!!!!

  44. Sally Whitney September 12, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    The Silent Sister looks particularly good. I love suspense novels. Rosamund Lupton is one of my favorite suspense writers. Another book I’m looking forward to reading this fall is Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson.

  45. Jennifer September 12, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve never been part of a book club but after reading this post, I cannot wait to get started. All the books on this list look so good and I look forward to discussing them with everyone here. Thank you!

  46. Ariel September 12, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Welcome, Jennifer! We’re really glad to have you on board. We have a lot of fun around here. Promise.

  47. Emma @ Words And Peace September 12, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    thanks for the awesome giveaway. Looking forward to read Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion

  48. fran September 13, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I met Diane Chamberlain when she lived in VA. She’s a really neat person. I have read evey book she has written and am glad one of her books was selected by Target, gaining her a wider readershp. I’m glad you selected one of her books for your club. Once you read one, you are hooked. Her character development makes you reaaly care about her characters. I’d love to win all the books and find some other new authors to read.

  49. Brenda KLaassen October 1, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I finished reading, ” The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress,” by Ariel Lawhon. Here are my thoughts…
    This book surprised me because I was not expecting to read such a compelling story. The characters and setting were rich. All three women were strong in their own way. This author wrote some real curve balls into the story. Because I was so pulled into the story and compelled to keep reading, I will seek out this author again in the future.

  50. stacybuckeye December 12, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I’m late (so sorry!) but did just review The House We Grew Up In and loved it!! Thanks so much for choosing it.


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