May turned out to be one crazy, busy, but wonderful month! My youngest son received his driver’s license!! My oldest son graduated from high school, with honors, and we had many celebrations for that! We had a wonderful visit with family, from Tennessee, and it seems that before I knew it-May had already come and gone!
With that, I did not do much reading that month! However, I sure have made up for it, during the month of June! Below are the book reviews for the books of the month, through She Reads.
May Book of the Month:
On a sultry summer’s day in 1980, five friends stumble upon an abandoned lakeside cottage hidden deep in the English countryside. For Kat and her friends, it offers an escape; a chance to drop out for a while, with lazy summer days by the lake and intimate winter evenings around the fire. But as the seasons change, tensions begin to rise and when an unexpected visitor appears at their door, nothing will be the same again.
Three decades later, Lila arrives at the same remote cottage. With her marriage in crisis, she finds solace in renovating the tumbledown house. Little by little she wonders about the previous inhabitants. How did they manage in such isolation? Why did they leave in such a hurry, with their belongings still strewn about? Most disturbing of all, why can t she shake the feeling that someone might be watching her?
The title and cover didn’t grab my interest too much, so it’s not a book that I would have gravitated towards on my own. However, I am SO glad that She Reads selected this book as our May selection. This is one of those moments: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!
From the moment I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. I read the book in about 2 nights, with me sneaking a chapter or two throughout the day. While the setting is 1980, it felt more like 1960/1970′s. I think that is why the book seemed real to me, because I kept imagining the time period a little more dated. With 5 college friends deciding to turn away from the world, they decide to live on a lake, in a run down cottage. With drug infused moments and “free” love, the group of 5 all find themselves in a situation that will challenge their friendships and loyalties.
Told in alternating viewpoints, Hannah Richell weaves together this incredible story that will make readers stop doing chores, not want to go on Disney rides, and be willing to sit in the heat for hours, if only to read a few pages. Oh wait….that was me! LOL!
Okay, back to the review….
One of the main characters, Kat, is disillusioned with her love for Simon, will do whatever she needs to so that she earn his love and will risk the lives of those closest to her. She will definitely not be someone that readers will align themselves with-which I love that Richell creates this character whose voice readers have to hear-in order to know what happens next! Readers won’t be able to just close the book without knowing what happens next.
Lila is a character that many will feel compassion towards to and will root for, as she figures out the fate of her marriage, comes to terms with her miscarriage, and finds answers to what happened during that “Shadow Year”.
This book can easily have a sequel, as I would love to know what happens! It’s an excellent book for book clubs to discuss, dissect the characters, and find closure with what happens at the end! This is a book that will stir emotions for readers, will keep them up late at night reading, and will ultimately be a fantastic summer read!
* A huge thanks to She Reads and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
June Book of the Month:
During the month of June, She Reads gave the bloggers a month off! However, we also had the opportunity to read a book, from a selection of titles. I chose one that I loved!
A novel based on the true story behind Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic pink suit.
On November 22, 1963, the First Lady accompanied her husband to Dallas, Texas, dressed in a pink Chanel-style suit that was his favorite. Much of her wardrobe, including the pink suit, came from the New York boutique Chez Ninon, where a young seamstress, an Irish immigrant named Kate, worked behind the scenes to meticulously craft the memorable outfits.
While the two women never met, Kate knew every tuck and pleat of the First Lady’s polished, perfect image. When the pink suit Kate created becomes iconic for all the wrong reasons, her already fragile world–divided between the excess and artistry of Chez Ninon and the traditional values of her insular neighborhood–threatens to rip apart.
The Pink Suit is the unforgettable story of an ordinary young woman with extraordinary access to glamour and fashion, living in an America on the brink of transformation.
I love Coco Channel and have read books on her, seen movies about her, and even have her perfume: Coco Mademoiselle! So, it was a real treat to find her among the pages of this fantastic book! I am not a fashionista, by any means. I am not the shopper, who can look at clothes for hours on end. I don’t even like looking at the magazines, with just pictures of fashion. I just love to read the articles! I love to read, period.
So, this book was a departure of books I typically am interested in. However, I have always been fascinated with “The Kennedy’s”, especially Jacqueline Kennedy. Nicole Kelby writes an incredibly amazing storyline that really does revolve around the making of the “pink suit”. However, this book also has more! The story also includes a love story, the struggles of an Irish immigrant couple, and the beginning of unions, in the streets of New York.
Told with such vivid detail, this book comes to life as readers are introduced to Kate. She is the seamstress, who is assigned to replicate the masterpiece, that was first crafted by Coco Channel. As the country deals with employment hours, wages, and job availability, “The Wife” buckles under the pressure of buying French couture. Her staff hires Chez Ninon, an American stylist, who then has to find a way to remake the iconic suit.
I was amazed at the detail the garment took, the fittings that took place in secret, and how this suit becomes the garment most people associate with The First Lady. There is so much interesting information, weaved into a fantastic storyline, that it is a book many will certainly enjoy!! Readers do not need to be fashionistas. The storyline becomes a way to capture this one suit in time, and thread by thread, weaves the story with a love story and a way to celebrate American art.