I can’t believe that is already the time for summer reading. Next week I am going to try and round-up a few of my favorite beach reads for your summer enjoyment. I am running a bit behind on my May reviews, but only because I really wanted four really great books to share with you.
If you are looking for a little inspiration this new year, be sure to check our MomAdvice fan page for a weekly check-in on what everyone is reading each week on our Facebook Fan Page. I hope you will swing by on Fridays and share about the books you are working on or request recommendations with one another. So far it is a huge success and I have gotten a few new ideas for my own stack!
Just as a reminder, I read many more books than are just featured here, but try to feature the ones that are my absolute best picks of the month here. If you want to read more, please feel free to friend me on GoodReads! You can find me right here and I am always happy to connect with people there too! There is nothing more motivating than seeing what other people are raving about and my to-be-read pile continues to grow with all of my new friends on there! In fact, many of the books featured are ones that I have found through my friends on GoodReads.
The Healing by Jonathan Odell
A Mississippi plantation mistress, Amanda Satterfield, loses her daughter to cholera after her husband refuses to treat her for what he refers to as a, “slave disease.” In turn of these events, Amanda begins to lose her mind and decides to take a newborn slave in as her own, taking her from her family that loves her. She renames the little girl Granada, and begins to parade her around in her daughter’s clothing and allowing her to be part of family dinners, despite her husband and their friends discomfort.
Troubled not only by his wife’s mental illness, but by the plague that seems to be sweeping through his slave population, Master Satterfield purchases Polly Shine, a slave who is known to be a healer. When Polly sets eyes upon Granada, she knows that she has the gift and requests that Granada be removed from the home so she can shadow Polly.
Seventy-five years later, Granada is now known as Gran Gran and takes in an abandoned girl in her care. To help the girl to come out of her shell, she shares with her the powerful story of learning to let go of the girl that she thought she was to be to the mistress, to the amazing road of being a healer herself.
I guarantee that you will love this book if you are fans of The Kitchen House, Dry Grass of August, or The Help. The story is achingly beautiful and written in such a way that you will long remember it in your heart. I can’t recommend this one enough, friends!
(MomAdvice Rating- 5 Stars out of 5 Stars)
The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch
If there is one author that I rely upon for really good chick lit, it is Allison Winn Scotch. I really loved her latest book a lot, but have to say that, “Time of My Life,” still resides as my all-time favorite piece of literature that she has written. She delivers another strong book though that would be perfect beach reading material.
In this book the author explores who we are without our memories and how much of our future seems grounded in our past. While many of her books have a magical spin to them, this one offers a more real-life slant while still exploring the, “what if’s,” that I think you will really enjoy.
Nell Slattery awakens in a hospital without a single memory of who she is or was after being only one of two survivors in a tragic plane crash. She now must piece together her life with the help of her family and friends. What she doesn’t realize is that each of the people in her life have their own agenda and have found themselves having a fresh start with Nell.
Nell is constantly questioning everyone in her life whether it is her mother about where her father is, her sister and the business that they have created together, or her husband who seems overly thrilled at her attention.
Nell begins to piece together her past through the bits and pieces she discovers in her home and office. What she discovers is that maybe she doesn’t want to be who she was anymore, but if she isn’t who she was….who is she?
(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)
Sister by Rosamund Lupton
I have never read a book by Rosamund Lupton before, but after reading this one, I immediately picked up her next book. Sister is a combination of a murder mystery, a medical thriller, and the beauty of love between two sisters.
Beatrice grew up in London and has made a new life for herself in New York. She has everything that she could ever want- a fiance, her own place, and a promising career. Her life is forever changed when she receives a call and is told that her sister, Tess, has gone missing. She abruptly leaves her New York life behind to assist the police in their missing persons case.
Tess has never been the responsible sister and lives her life in a small apartment as an art student. She was pregnant when she went missing and had been having an affair with an art teacher. With her history and the people she has in her life, everyone is a suspect in her murder.
With a list of suspects a mile long, the writer takes you on a case that is woven with many layers and possible suspects. The reader learns all the aspects of the case through Beatrice’s eyes as she assists in the murderer’s trial by sharing how she figured out who he/she is.
This book has a very slow build which could turn off some readers. The final twist at the end of this book though makes the building of plot worth pursuing. This would be a great book to add to your beach bag this summer!
(MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars)
The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain
Diane Chamberlain is one of those authors that rarely disappoints and her books are always my go-to books when I am in a reading slump. The Good Father is an amazing emotional novel about what a young father will do in order to provide for his daughter.
Travis Brown is a single father in his early twenties on the verge of being homeless and is the sole provider for his beautiful daughter Bella, who is only four years old. He desperately moves to Raleigh in hopes of finding a great job as a contractor, but once he arrives, things turn out very differently. The job that he is to take as a contractor is actually a job that could put him in prison. Sadly, he has no money for food or shelter for his little girl and he decides to take the job to make some quick cash until they can get back on their feet again.
Bella has never met her mother, but Robin is leading a life that is in sharp contrast to her own. She is engaged to a wealthy politician and leading a life of luxury, assisting the family with their bed & breakfast. She hasn’t really thought about the daughter she gave up until recently. When the family faces their own controversial teen pregnancy, it is when she begins to reflect on her own and wonder what has happened to her daughter and to Travis.
Erin and her husband have recently lost their own four year old daughter in a terrible accident on a pier. Erin spends her life on forums for parents that have suffered the loss of a child and finds herself detached from the real life. As she is chatting on her forum in a coffee shop, she meets Travis & Bella, and immediately becomes drawn to them. She has no idea what an important part she will play in Bella’s future, but their lives will soon collide in an unexpected way.
Told in alternating points of view, as is characteristic of Diane’s novels, you get to see the story from many different angles. It is a gripping novel that I read in a mere 24 hours and promptly handed on to my girlfriend so I had someone to discuss it with. I know you will love it too!
(MomAdvice Rating- 5 Stars out of 5 Stars)
Not enough great reads for you? Check out our Books section of our site for monthly recommendations and ideas for making reading a priority again in your busy mom life!
Books I have read in 2012 (so far):
Disclosure: All of the links above are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate the books quickly and easily. Feel free to order a book, but we encourage utilizing the library system and buying me a latte instead. Then we both would be really happy and we could have our own little book club together! Wouldn’t that just be so much more lovely? Happy Reading!
What has been in your book stack this month? Feel free to share your book recommendations or feedback on any of the books that have been mentioned above! I love getting new suggestions for my book pile!