I have become such a big fan of Liane Moriarty’s books – especially the audio versions – that I couldn’t wait to listen to Big Little Lies and I wasn’t disappointed in the least. It is yet another fantastic novel from this author. Big Little Lies is the perfect book to pick up on these cooler autumn days. It’ll have you laughing at times and serious at others. I was hooked from the very first page and those sixteen hours of listening was time very well spent!
Big Little Lies is about real life. It has real people that you could see existing in your own life. It’s a story of young ones starting kindergarten and the mom’s with their cliques and such busy lives who probably behave worse than their children ever could. It seems like an easy enough storyline being about the lives of parents, children, and exes but it is far from that. Despite being very witty and funny at times there is a very real serious side to this novel that deals with the darker side of marriage as well as the effects it has on everyone. The reader is also led to believe from the beginning of story that something awful has happened – you are teased with knowing what happened but not how it happened or who did it. I thought it masterful how the author pulled off the whole scenario and at times surprised me with the angles she took on the story. I just loved how this story wrapped up and even though this audio was sixteen hours I still wanted more!
One of the things I loved most about the book were the characters. Moriarty always has the quirkiest and funniest characters in her books. There is always friendship, conflict, gossip, and all that fun stuff that sucks a person in and keeps them wanting more. I listened to the audiobook of Big Little Lies and it’s narrated by Caroline Lee who does an incredible job. There is nothing I like better than a narrator with an accent. I think, for me anyway, it makes me enjoy the story even more. Caroline Lee brought all of these characters to life and portrayed their personalities perfectly. I’ve listened to her before and know I’m in for a great listening experience when she’s the narrator.
Big Little Lies will suck you in from the beginning and have you questioning if you ever really know the people around you. Do you really know what goes on behind closed doors and in the private lives of your friends. Probably not. This story highlights those big little lies that your friends and neighbors keep in order to portray that perfect family. Highly recommended!
Source: Audiobook copy received for review from the publisher. No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.
The Distance by Helen Giltrow is one of the She Reads Books of Fall and it is one fast paced ride through a pretty gritty world. This is one of those books that has you wondering at every second just what will jump from the page next.
In the public eye Charlotte is a society woman but in private she becomes Karla. In her life as Karla she specializes in information. She can find out anything, she can change data, she can literally do pretty much anything with a person’s life including making them disappear. What she does is not considered to be legal which is why it is so secretive so when someone from her past – Simon – shows up Karla knows something is up. Simon is a hired killer and he wants into The Program. The Program is a unique prison in that it is set up as a self-regulating village and Simon wants in. Can Karla get him in? Can Simon find his target and make it out alive?
The Distance is a fast paced thriller that really doesn’t give you a moment to breathe. Both Karla and Simon are great characters but because the book is basically plot driven you never really get to know them therefore the connection there is lost but really not important in this type of story. You know when you watch a horror movie and put your hands over your eyes – well that’s how I felt reading. I kept thinking to myself that these people were all crazy for putting themselves in such situations yet I kept listening. My only complaint is that I found the beginning hard to get into and until I got a grasp on who was who and what they were up to I wasn’t sure I would keep listening but when this story took off it did so in a big way!
I listened to the audiobook of The Distance which is narrated by Rachel Atkins and I thought she did a great job with this book. She had the right tone for the weightiness of the violence and secretive nature of what was going on. I hadn’t listened to her before but I would again. In the beginning when I was having trouble getting into the story it’s her narration that kept me going! One note though is that this is a very graphically violent book so it is most definitely not for the faint of heart so beware. If you’re a fan of heart pounding action then The Distance is the book for you.
Source: Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.
Butternut Summer by Mary McNear was just what I was expecting. A lovely, heartwarming story of a charming little town with a whole host of characters that you won’t soon forget. Butternut Summer is the second in the Butternut Lake Trilogy with the first being Up at Butternut Lake which I read last year and loved. Part of a trilogy this book does stand on its own although the benefit of reading the first book before this one would be familiarizing yourself with the characters a little more and getting a bit of back story. Both books are so wonderful and just perfect for cozying up with now that the weather is cooling off.
Daisy is home from college for the summer and nothing could make her mother Caroline happier. Daisy will spend the summer working with her mom in their diner called Pearl’s and Caroline is really looking forward to spending time with her daughter. Caroline is in for a surprise though because unknown to her Daisy has been meeting with her father for more than a year. The same father that walked out on Daisy and her mother when Daisy was just a baby. Of course Caroline is still very bitter towards Jack but has always kept that from Daisy and can understand that Daisy wants to have a relationship with her father but that doesn’t mean that Caroline has to as well. However it seems that Jack is thinking exactly that and he doesn’t seem to want to give up too easily in his determination to win Caroline back.
Daisy, on her way to meet her parents, ends up having trouble with her truck and has to stop at the mechanics. She ends up meeting Will a boy she went to school with but he was considered a bad boy then so he wasn’t anyone Daisy associated with. Even now the two have nothing in common. Daisy is on her way back to college at the end of the summer and Will is going nowhere really working at the garage. Secretly though Will remembers the fierce crush he had on Daisy in school and it seems that attraction is still there and now he’s brave enough to act on it. Will it be a summer of love for the two?
I loved this story of love and second chances. I love that the author dealt with some real issues in this novel like alcoholism and the effects that it has on a family. I like that forgiveness and moving on plays a big role as well. Caroline was one of my favorite characters from the first book and it was great getting to know her so much better. I love that she got a second chance at life and love. I thought Daisy was a great character too. For a young woman and especially a young woman in the throes of her first love she still maintained a sensible outlook on things. The author also does a wonderful job of making the reader fall in love with Butternut and it sure made this reader wish she lived somewhere so beautiful. I was lucky enough to snag the audiobook from my local library and it was wonderful. It is narrated by Carrington Macduffie who I’ve not listened to before but would again. She really did a great job of bringing these characters and this story to life for me.
I can’t wait to see whose story will be told in Moonlight on Butternut Lake which is the third and final book in the trilogy. Butternut Summer is perfect for fans of women’s fiction and romances. Highly recommended!
Source: Digital review copy was provided by the publisher however audiobook is from my local library. No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Floats the Dark Shadow by Yves Fey is set in Belle Epoque Paris in the 1890’s and the author vividly evokes all the sights and smells of this time in such a way that the reader feels they are walking the darkened streets themselves. This is a time filled with artists, poets, and writers and the author takes full advantage of this in the building of this story. Along with this is the seedier side of Paris full of dark magic and the occult and it is very, very dark and disturbing. Floats the Dark Shadow is a historical mystery that begs the reader to immerse themselves in its darkness, intrigue, and depravity.
Inspector Michel Devaux is investigating the disappearances of several children and this investigation is leading him deeper and deeper into the darker side of Paris. It also leads him to meeting Theo Faraday who is an American artist living in Paris. Their paths cross because of the missing children and Theo is just as determined to find out who is responsible as the Inspector is. Theo loves the city life and even more her cousin Averill who is a poet and introduces her to the wonderful side of Paris. As more children disappear – children that Theo knows – and the investigation deepens the fingers of accusation begin to point at Averill and Theo is devastated. Could it be that Averill is responsible for the horrific acts being carried out against children? Theo can’t accept that – she won’t. Despite being warned by Inspector Devaux to stay out of danger Theo instead throws herself headlong into the darkest of places. Will she survive? Or end up as a sacrifice to this killer who imagines himself a reincarnation of Gilles de Rais who was once in Joan of Arc’s army but later burned at the stake for his crimes against young children?
There is so much more to this novel than I’ve briefly touched on. This is one of those books that you want to take your time with. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of Paris and I’m a fan of the darker side of things being a horror fan. The author weaved fact with fiction so effortlessly that it’s hard to tell where the truth ends and the story takes over. This is definitely not a novel for the faint of heart though and there were a few parts that I found disturbing but nevertheless it is a beautifully written and well told story. I had some issues getting into it at first but as the story evolved I was sucked completely in and sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for what would happen next. I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Hollie Jackson and I thought she did a fantastic job of bringing this story alive. I kept listening because I enjoyed her narration and I’m glad I did because ultimately I really enjoyed this novel.
Recommended for those who enjoy literary historical fiction and the mysterious darker side of Paris!
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