Posted in Books and Shows

May: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello! How’s your week going? Ours is off to a great start! With the month of May wrapping up soon, I’m sharing the books I read this month.

I’ve been keeping up with my monthly average of reading three books…I hope next month to at least read four books!

This month I read…

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

The Wife Upstairs:

The Wife Upstairs

Summary:

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates—a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie—not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—catches up to her?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?

Quick Thoughts:

I’ve seen a lot of people share this book, and, for me, it definitely lived up to the hype. It was a page turner, and I loved it. I figured out about halfway through the Bea situation, but there were still pieces of the puzzle to be explained until the end of the book. This book was a thriller, and I loved the nod to Jane Eyre.

Rating:

The Hurricane Sisters:

Hurricane Sisters

Summary:

Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people’s lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.

Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she’s dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz’s beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.

Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can’t talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.

Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.

So where is Clayton, Liz’s husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father’s love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who’s an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley’s precarious situation. Who’s in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.

The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?

Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.

Quick Thoughts:

I don’t think I’ve read a book by Dorothea Benton Frank, but Elin Hilderbrand has paid tribute to her recently and then Sarah mentioned this book, so I checked it out from the library. I loved the setting of South Carolina, and enjoyed the characters in the book. The complex family and friend relationship weave together the plot which kept me reading. I really enjoyed this and am sure I will read more DBF books in the future.

Rating:

Where the Red Fern Grows:

Where the Red Fern Grows

Summary:

A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn. Little Ann had the brains, and Billy had the will to make them into the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. Where the Red Fern Grows is an exciting tale of love and adventure you’ll never forget.

Quick Thoughts:

I chose this book because Hayden’s class read it recently….and I hadn’t read it since the 7th grade. Hayden said everyone in his class cried at the end! That should have deterred me, but I just thought it would be a good time to re-read it. It was nice to be able to chat with Hayden about it, and I enjoyed it. And, much like Hayden’s fifth grade class, I cried at the end. We are dog lovers, so of course course Little Ann and Old Dan captured my heart!

Favorite quote: “People have been trying to understand dogs ever since the beginning of time. One never knows what they’ll do. You can read every day where a dog saved the life of a drowning child, or lay down his life for his master. Some people call this loyalty. I don’t. I may be wrong, but I call it love — the deepest kind of love.”

and… “It’s a shame people all over the world can’t have that kind of love in their hearts…” ❤️

Rating:

How can you give a classic anything less than 5 stars ? 😂

Summer Reading:

With middle school on the horizon, the kids’ new school is encouraging them to read two books from an approved list. Hayden is fully embracing this. Hadley…not so much.

The kids:

I had the kids choose two book each to read.

Hayden chose Strong Inside and Seas Apart.

Also, Hayden has been loving the Theodore Boone series by Grisham. I just requested books 4 and 5 of the series for him at the library.

Hadley has read a couple of the books in the Mother Daughter Book Club series. That series is on the list, so she *with some major prodding * chose Mother Daughter Book Camp and then seemed interested in Grace, Gold, and Glory (The Gabby Douglas story).

Hayden loves to read before bed, but I’m sure I will implement a designated reading time when needed throughout the summer. When we get home from the pool, it’s usually quiet/cool down time, so maybe they can get some reading done then.

Me:

I’m always altering my “to read” list, but I decided to choose a few “beach/summer” books to read this summer.

Here’s what I’ve chosen to read:

  • The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton
  • That Summer by Jennifer Weiner
  • Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer
  • Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Big Summer Jennifer Weiner

Not sure I will read all of them, but I wanted to try to read some “summer” books June-August. What books do you have on your list for summer reading??

Take care,

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

9 thoughts on “May: What I’ve Been Reading

  1. I’m definitely reading The Wife! Sounds good! I loved Red Fern so much! I’m so glad kids are still reading in school.
    There are a few authors that I just can’t – I am not sure Frank is one or not? Nancy Thayer might be one? Lots of bloggers love these authors but their sentences are simple and they repeat surface details of characters. It’s so aggravating to me! Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m laughing because I know exactly what you are talking about with some authors…but I think that’s why I choose them for summer book…light, easy breezy reading 😂or at least why I overlook it. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am glad you enjoyed The Hurricane Sisters. DBF is a total summer read. I love the low country and how she transports me there. Your summer list looks good! I can’t wait to read Golden Girl! I’m going to get it when I see Elin in June. I am going to get a copy of Reunion Beach, the DBF tribute book, too. I’m trying to convince my Jack to read Hayden’s basketball choice. Fingers crossed.

    Liked by 1 person

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