Tuesday, August 29, 2017

4 Books You Should Read

August was a really good month for reading.  I read four books and I would recommend all of them.  I know the month isn't over just yet but I'm currently reading an extremely long book (over 1,000 pages) and there's no way I'll have that finished this week.

I have this weird thing where I always finish every book I start.  A few years ago, I picked up a nonfiction book (with high ratings) and dropped it after the first chapter.  It was just not my thing.  If I didn't have a list of books waiting for me to read, then yes, I would have completed it.  Last week, I picked up a sci-fi book and after two pages knew it wasn't for me.  I felt guilty for not giving it a try but it was over 500 pages long and I really didn't want to invest that time in a book I truly was not interested in.  I did read about 20 pages or so, just in case.  I'm not a sci-fi fan but sometimes novels related to future worlds are, unfortunately, sci-fi.

If you're a fan of historical fiction, add this one to your reading list ASAP.  (Even if you're not a fan of historical fiction, I would still highly recommend this.)  Although fiction, this is based on the real life scandal surrounding the Tennessee Children's Home Society and its Memphis director, Georgia Tann.  An unknown number of children were kidnapped or removed from their families in unethical manners and placed in the care of the Tennessee Children's Home Society in the 1920s up until 1950.  In some cases, mothers (often poor and/or single) were told their newborn babies had died and asked to sign papers consenting to their burial.  The papers actually gave custody of the babies to the Tennessee Children's Home Society.  Georgia Tann was a child trafficker and sometimes referred to as a serial killer as hundreds of children under her care passed away or simply disappeared.

Prior to reading this novel, I had no idea that this had happened.  I've since read through summaries and such related to the topic and it really is mind blowing.  Names and birth dates of children were changed so even when the adoption records were finally unsealed, some families were never able to reconnect.

I usually don't like historical fiction that flips back and forth between the present and the past because the current day portions of the book often feel like filler content.  That was not the case with this book.  The present day chapters added to the story and didn't read like filler at all.  It's so easy to give this one a five star rating.              

Personally, I was sucked into this book from the beginning.  Some readers have complained how they felt the first part of the book was too slow but I wasn't bothered with the pace.  To me, this was a page turner because I wanted to see what would happen next.  Clara's husband, Nick, is killed in a car accident while their four year old daughter, who was in the backseat, is uninjured.  The crash is ruled an accident but Clara can't believe it, especially when their daughter begins to have nightmares related to the accident.  The story alternates between Clara's point of view after the accident and Nick's life in the months leading up to that day.

I enjoyed reading this book because it had a bit more depth to it than some of your typical page turners.  I think maybe it has lower ratings because not everyone is a fan of the ending.

I enjoyed reading this book despite knowing part of the ending from the beginning.  How did I know?  Well, I thought it was easy to figure out and I don't want to say why because I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

Cass can't stop thinking about the woman sitting in her car on the side of the rural road the night of a storm.  The woman who was murdered.  If Cass had gotten out of her car to help, could she have saved the woman or fallen victim as well?  And now she's receiving silent phone calls and suffering from early memory loss.  She can't remember where she parked her car or ordering a stroller when she doesn't have a baby.  Her life is falling apart.

There were some twists along the way and more was revealed in the ending.  If you like suspense, I would definitely recommend this.  I don't know that I would describe it as the "gripping thriller" it's advertised to be but it's still a very good read.

There was some suspense in this but it also contained quite a bit of depth and was very well written.  Character development was excellent.  Violet and Finn have the perfect marriage until Finn packs up and disappears for unknown reasons with their son during a beach vacation.  Their story is told from different characters' points of view with the chapters flipping from past to present.  This is the kind of book you sink into and enjoy.  Check it out!

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Erika said...

I haven't heard of Before We Were Yours, but I am absolutely going to have to read that! My mind is blown just reading your summary. Thanks for the reviews and recommendations!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I have Behind Closed Doors so I will read that one first and then get this one.

Also the last one sounds great - thanks :)

Christi said...

I'll be adding some titles to my super long to read list now! Thanks Sarah for the reviews.

Kareninaz said...

I read breakdown and enjoyed it. Would you be willing to email just to discuss the part of the ending you knew from the start? Karenmkennelly@gmail.com ty
The others sound interesting, will add to my bottomless list!!