Posted in Books and Shows

November: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello! Happy December 1st! I can’t believe it’s already December. Sometimes I feel like 2021 has moved at a snail’s pace, and other times I feel like it’s flown by.

Today, I’m sharing the books I read this month.

This month I read:

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Not a Happy Family:

Summary:

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets–especially the dead. Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there. And they don’t come much richer than Fred and Sheila Merton. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered the night after an Easter Dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their capricious father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did one of them snap after that dreadful evening? Or was it someone else that night who crept in with the worst of intentions? It must be. After all, if one of your siblings was a psychopath, you’d know.

Quick Thoughts:

This book had pretty short chapters, and there was an interesting dynamic between the siblings. All three of kids had motive for killing their parents because they’d all inherit the money, so, as a reader, I didn’t feel like they were very likeable. The ending fell a little flat for me because I expected there would be more of a twist.

Rating:

4 stars but maybe more like 3.5 because of the ending.

Christmas in Peachtree Bluff:

Summary:

When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother, Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband, James, announce they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island?

Quite a lot, as it turns out.

As the “storm of the century” heads toward Peachtree Bluff, Ansley and her husband, Jack, with Vivi in tow, are grateful they’re planning to leave for the trip of a lifetime. But Vivi’s recklessness forces the trio to shelter in place during the worst hurricane Peachtree has ever seen. With no power, no provisions, and the water rising, the circumstances become dire very quickly…and the Murphy sisters, who evacuated to New York, soon realize it’s up to them to conduct a rescue mission. With the bridges closed and no way to access Peachtree Bluff by land or air, they set sail on Caroline’s boat, The Starlite Sisters, determined to rebuild their beloved town—as well as their family.

In “pitch-perfect tones” (Publishers Weekly) and written with her signature Southern charm, New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey explores the magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family in a tale that reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, home is always where we belong—especially during the holidays.

Quick Thoughts:

I loved this book so much. (I actually won the book from a Goodreads giveaway!) It was the perfect way to start the holiday season. I’ve read the entire Peachtree series, and this book felt like such a bonus! The family relationship is so special. The sisters, along their mother Ansley, all remain close through the challenges in life whether it’s death, divorce, or a hurricane. The town seems so charming and is the perfect backdrop to tell this Christmas story. This is definitely a must read this holiday season.

Rating:

The Girls in the Stilt House:

Summary:

Ada promised herself she would never go back to the Trace, to her hard life on the swamp and her harsh father. But now, after running away to Baton Rouge and briefly knowing a different kind of life, she finds herself with nowhere to go but back home. And she knows there will be a price to pay with her father.

Matilda, daughter of a sharecropper, is from the other side of the Trace. Doing what she can to protect her family from the whims and demands of some particularly callous locals is an ongoing struggle. She forms a plan to go north, to pack up the secrets she’s holding about her life in the South and hang them on the line for all to see in Ohio.

As the two girls are drawn deeper into a dangerous world of bootleggers and moral corruption, they must come to terms with the complexities of their tenuous bond and a hidden past that links them in ways that could cost them their lives

Quick Thoughts:

Like Not a Happy Family, I got this book suggestion from Shay and Erika. I haven’t listened to their podcast with their thoughts on it because I only just finished it Monday, but I loved this book. I’d never heard of it before which was a bonus because I didn’t know anything going into reading it.

This story, set in Mississippi in the 1920s, grabbed my attention from the first page. The chapters focused on Matilda and Ada who were both strong and resilient women. Their relationship was distant at first, but then they grew to really rely on each other even as they kept their guards up. This book had the loneliness of Crawdads, the heartache of Four Winds, the solidarity of The Giver of Stars, and the empowerment of all.

These ladies will have you pulling for them from the first page. As Ada said, “You find a way, is what you do.”

This book is definitely a top read for me in 2021.

Rating:

I set a goal to read 40 books this year. I thought I may read more after reading quite a few this summer, but then I had a couple of slow months. At this point, I’ve read 37 books in 2021. So, I hope to meet my goal by wrapping up the year with Christmas reads.

Christmas Reads:

Like last December, I’m going to only read Christmas books this month.

Here are my Christmas book suggestions from previous years:

December is always a great time to read more light-hearted books, and I’m looking forward to doing so by the twinkle of my Christmas tree.

Tomorrow, I’m recapping the month of November with my Sentence a Day post.

Take care and happy reading!

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

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

  1. Of course all 6 of my library books came in at the same time and one of them is Not a Happy Family. After reading your review I think I’m going to take that one back and focus on the other books! Peachtree Bluff is on my list! Hopefuy I’m able to squeeze it in before Christmas!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading Peach Tree right now. I don’t think I will read the other two. I’m keeping it light with my reading Rn. I need to go to the library soon! I didn’t count my books read this year, but it was not a big reading year for me!

    Like

  3. I have both of those books on my TBR pile from the library to read in January. I don’t think I’ll read Happy Family though. Your review and some others sound like it isn’t my kind of book. I loved Peachtree Bluff so much! It is such a great Christmas book!!

    Liked by 1 person

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