Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, 487 pages

"Lilac Girls" is a World War II novel inspired by real people and events.  It tells the story of three women: New Yorker Caroline Ferriday (real person); polish teenager Kasia Kusmerick who was sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp (inspired by a real person); and Dr. Herta Oberheuser (also a real person) who conducted medical experiments on the women of Ravensbruck. 

There are an endless number of stories still to be told about the atrocities, trials, and triumphs related to World War II.  This is a beautiful and sometimes heart wrenching novel that gets the word out about a few more of those stories.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager, 384 Pages

This is a new release that I have been SO, SO anxiously waiting to read. I absolutely loved Sager's debut novel, Final Girls, and so I had very high expectations for this follow-up. Luckily, it lived up to said expectations! It was a little slow getting into it, but once I got to the ending, I couldn't put it down.

Fifteen years ago, 13-year-old Emma Davis is away at Camp Nightingale for the first time. She is shown the ropes by 3 older campers- Vivian, Allison and Natalie. Everything changes when Emma wakes up to the girls sneaking out of their cabin in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, this is the last anyone will ever see of the girls. Now, Emma is a successful artist, based in NYC, and gets all of her inspiration from that night at camp. When her exhibit is visited by the camp's former owner, Franny. During the visit, Franny offers Emma something she just can't resist- a chance to return to Camp Nightingale. Franny sees it as a chance to restore the camp's reputation, but Emma sees it as her chance to finally figure out what happened that night. Immediately upon returning, Emma realizes that something isn't right at Camp Nightingale. Between the sinister clues left behind by Vivian, the security camera that seems to only record her cabin, and the lies that quickly come to the surface from basically everyone around her, Emma realizes she's on her own in figuring out what happened fifteen years ago, and seemingly can trust no one.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham, 224 Pages

This has been on my To-Read list for a long time. I loved Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore in the show Gilmore Girls, and feel so nostalgic when I watch it because I grew up watching it. Lauren talks a lot about the show and her feelings during it also during the revival, so this is a good read for anyone who loves the show. (Graham was also on Parenthood, I haven't seen that one! She does talk about her time on that show as well.) This was a feel-good read, and a nice break from my usual thriller novels.

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman 460 pages

If you loved Pullman's His Dark Materials series, as I did, you absolutely must read this new series!  It was like putting on your favorite, comfy pajamas jumping back into the rich alternate reality of Lyra's Oxford.  Of course, this is a prequel to the other series, so Lyra is just a baby.  The main character is Malcolm, an industrious boy who helps his parents at their inn, does odd jobs for the nuns nearby and jack-of-all-trades tasks up and down the river.  His trusty canoe, La Belle Sauvage, affords him the luxury of accomplishing this in quick fashion.  Strange folk and rumors are moving through his parents' inn and Malcolm gets absorbed in a dangerous mission to protect the mysterious baby that is being sheltered at the nuns' priory.  

This was an absorbing, beautifully written story and I can't wait for the next one in this series!