The Books of Spring

Today’s post by Marybeth Whalen and yours truly | @MarybethWhalen and @ArielLawhon

The Books of Spring

It’s funny how we end up picking our book club selections for each season. There’s always a theme. Always. We don’t plan it this way but it just happens. And this time around the theme is family. These novels take place in different times and places and even countries. But at the heart of each lies a family threatened by disaster, either emotional or literal. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense that Marybeth and I would be drawn to these novels during this season of our lives. We’ve both made conscious decisions to invest more in our families this year, to pay attention to what’s going on at home. So it makes sense that we would be drawn to stories where family dynamics are at play. And these novels, all very different (a literary novel, a psychological thriller, and a domestic drama) set their stage upon the battleground of the family. Brilliant, really. And very human. So we invite you to read them with us over the next two months and to participate in the various conversations we will have online.

To celebrate the announcement of our Books of Spring, we’ve got a copy of each novel up for grabs today. See the entry form below for details.

The Precious OneTHE PRECIOUS ONE by Marisa De Los Santos

From the New York Times bestselling author of Belong to Me, Love Walked In, and Falling Together comes a captivating novel about friendship, family, second chances, and the redemptive power of love.

In all her life, Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary has given her heart to only three men: her first love, Ben Ransom; her twin brother, Marcus; and Wilson Cleary—professor, inventor, philanderer, self-made millionaire, brilliant man, breathtaking jerk: her father.

Seventeen years ago, Wilson ditched his first family for Caroline, a beautiful young sculptor. In all that time, Taisy’s family has seen Wilson, Caroline, and their daughter, Willow, only once.

Why then, is Wilson calling Taisy now, inviting her for an extended visit, encouraging her to meet her pretty sister—a teenager who views her with jealousy, mistrust, and grudging admiration? Why, now, does Wilson want Taisy to help him write his memoir?

Told in alternating voices—Taisy’s strong, unsparing observations and Willow’s naive, heartbreakingly earnest yearnings—The Precious One is an unforgettable novel of family secrets, lost love, and dangerous obsession, a captivating tale with the deep characterization, piercing emotional resonance, and heartfelt insight that are the hallmarks of Marisa de los Santos’s beloved works.

Read an excerpt of THE PRECIOUS ONE here.

The BooksellerTHE BOOKSELLER by Cynthia Swanson

A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?

Read an excerpt of THE BOOKSELLER here.

The DaughterTHE DAUGHTER by Jane Shemilt

In the tradition of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Ruth Rendell, this compelling and clever psychological thriller spins the harrowing tale of a mother’s obsessive search for her missing daughter.

Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.

But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.

As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised.

Read an excerpt of THE DAUGHTER here.


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37 Responses to The Books of Spring

  1. Melia April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Thinking about books about family, I love Barbara O’Neal’s “The Lost Recipe For Happiness”. Allowing ourselves to let go of the past, thinking about all the ways families are made, it is a wonderful book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Susan Ashton April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    3 very different stories, and they all sound good! i would love to read them!

  3. Vicki April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I love Cathy Bryant’s Miller’s Creek series. Love the characters, the town and the feeling you get while reading them.

  4. Rhonda April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    little women& Anne Tyler’s books,

  5. Kay April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    These are 3 good picks. I’ve already read The Daughter and enjoyed it very much. And have heard really good things about the other two. I’ll be watching for your posts about them and try to join in.

  6. Kelly M April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Hello from the Gillespies

  7. Bethany Clark April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    So exciting! I can’t wait to get started!

  8. Barb from CNY April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    These sound wonderful! Thanks for the change to win, and as always for the great work you do finding new reads for us!

  9. Claudia April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    My favorite novel about family is The Secrets of Midwives because of the strong bonds between the women in that family.

  10. Bonnie Franks April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I would have to agree with Claudia as far as a family book. The Secrets of Midwives really does a good job with that. There are others, I’ve been reading a long time….and I’ll remember them some other time when I least expect it. Can’t remember them now.

  11. jjt April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Always think of Gone With The Wind as the ultimate family story. BTW – was just with my family discussing how much we all enjoyed The Wife The Maid and The Mistress. Those who read it span 3 generations.

  12. Caitlyn B. April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    My favorite family novel is tge classic To Kill a Mkckingbird.

  13. Amanda April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    These all sound so good! I especially want to read The Bookseller. 🙂

  14. Suzy April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper.

  15. Amanda April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    My favorite novel that centers around a family is Pride and Prejudice. Love those crazy Bennetts!

  16. Carl April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    What a great collection of different stories for spring. My favorite family-centered book would have to be To Kill a Mockingbird. Those characters and their relationships will always live on in my mind. Thanks!

  17. Gwyn April 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    What great ideas to read for spring. I love the story “Calling Me Home” by Julie Kibler

  18. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories April 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Little Women is one of my favorite family novels.

  19. Kelly B April 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Most of my favorite books center around families, but I’ll go way back and say “Little Women” for my answer here.

  20. Bonnie K. April 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    There are many books about family that I loved. Some old ones such as The Little Women, Shell Seekers, Little House on the Prairie. A most recent one that I’ve finished, Secret of Midwives.

  21. Sonja Bailey April 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I have missed reading, my life was interrupted with a move that separated me from part of my family…

  22. Laurice April 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

  23. Melissa L. April 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I love family oriented books. A recent one I read that is still with me is “Not In The Heart” by Chris Fabry. It epitomizes genuine sacrificial love. There is a lot of back-story too that engages the reader. I couldn’t put it down nor the tissues that I had to hold too.

  24. Nicole April 7, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I liked the Beach House series by Mary Alice Monroe. These three books look fascinating!

  25. Mystica April 7, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I read Inside the O’Briens last week. Very much a book which relates to family.

  26. Stacie Gorkow @SincerelyStacie April 8, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Little Women, Little House on the Prairie, and The Brennan Sisters in Jane Porter’s series of books!

  27. Kimberly April 9, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    My favorite is not one book, but a series. I love Jane Porter’s Brennan sisters trilogy.

  28. Hailey Fish April 10, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    My favorite book about family is This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper because it’s the first book that made me laugh out loud and the family has a lot of imperfections!

  29. Davida Chazan April 11, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Of the three, the one that sounds most interesting is The Bookseller.

  30. Lynne WelchThese April 15, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    These look very good. I will recommend a great funny read by J Morgan McGrady, is her site. Her book It’s a Ball is hilarious and I read it and suggested it to our book club and now and reading it again!


  1. {Announcement} She Reads Books of Spring | Traveling With T - April 8, 2015

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