So far, I've read four books this year. Quite a feat, considering I rarely get the chance to read anymore. But, with January came a cleared off schedule and lots of down time thanks to snow days, and cold temperatures.
I've read four very different novels this month, and I thought I would share them today...
Friends Forever by Danielle Steele (Not pictured): This book was interesting. It follows the lives of five friends who attend the same school. The story begins as they enter kindergarten following them through Junior High, then High School, and then of course as they disperse ways whether it's for college or pursuing career goals. The friends are tight. They cry together, laugh together, and fight together. But, neither of them realize how quickly and abruptly their lives will change over the course of a few years. SPOILER ALERT: As each character dies off (tragically and abruptly), we are left with two at the end of the story, who, inevitably fall in love with each other. I confess, I did NOT see that ending coming.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: This was hands down the most depressing book I've ever read. The only redeeming quality was the ending, where forgiveness and new beginnings take place. The story follows the Lee family. They are a Chinese American family living in the 1970's. The mother, Marilyn, is an incredibly controlling and selfish character. We see flash backs to early on in their marriage when she abruptly leaves her husband and children without so much as a goodbye. The father is so consumed with fitting in and being accepted that he sacrifices his wedding vows. Each of the children are a mess: Lydia of course is dead. She was the favored daughter, and now her parents don't have anything to live for. The son is consumed with thoughts of leaving and starting is own life. And their youngest, feels as if she is nothing more than a shadow of her sister. With depressing detail, the story unfolds first hiding under the false pretense that this is a murder mystery. It's not, but I'll just leave it at that.
The Princess by Lori Wick: I read this years ago when I was a teenager. I found a copy at a local library sale, so I thought I would read it again. It's a simple and sweet tale. We follow Shelby, a young woman committed to her faith and her family. She makes an impression on a friend of the King, and is asked to marry their son Prince Nikolai on the grounds of an arranged marriage. The prince still suffering the loss of his first wife, has no interest in being a husband. But, duty calls, and a princess must be found to help keep the royal family functioning according to laws. As fairy tales would have it, a sweet lovely story unfolds.
The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz: In true Frantz fashion, we are met with a story of triumph and tragedy as we follow the story of Sophie Menzies. Her family seen as an embarrassment to the community (her father was a sympathizer), and her mother has long been gone. She tries to keep her family's estate running on her own while rebuilding her reputation. Her neighbor, General Ogilvy is considered a war hero and a gentlemen. An unlikely friendship blossoms soon followed by tragedy, mystery and love.