Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The Clark family live in a marshland home with no running water or electricity. There were five children, but when the book begins only two remain in the house.
Then, Kya, at age 7, watches one morning as her mother dresses nicely (as nicely as she can as they are living in extreme poverty) and walks down the roadway to leave the family forever. She never looks back.
Kya is left with her brother, Jodie, and her drunken and abusive father. She must quickly learn to take care of herself and Jodie because the dad is often absent. It doesn’t take long for Jodie to also leave and Kya must fend for herself. This includes walking to the town to shop for food with the tiny bit of money dad allows her. She endures one day of school but the taunting and mistreatment from her classmates keep her from ever going back.
Kya’s next few years go by with her virtually alone in the marshland shack they live in. Her dad is frequently absent and eventually, he leaves and doesn’t return. She earns money from selling mussels and fish to a local riverman and somehow survives.
As a young girl, Kya met Tate and he continues to be her only friend- until he leaves for college. Then she encounters a town hero named Chase.
This is all I will share about the book because I want you to read it! I loved this book- even though the sadness is unsettling at times. I highly recommend this one! 5 Stars!
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
Erin and Mark are newlyweds on their honeymoon in Bora-Bora. On a diving trip, they come across strange things in the ocean and then discover a life-changing find. They decide to cover their tracks and take off with their discovery.
Back in England, they soon find that there might be people following them. And the wild ride begins! Erin makes a lot of silly mistakes while attempting to continue to keep something that does not belong to them. For every lie that has to be told, the two rationalize it and justify their duplicity.
Erin relies on a convicted man to help her solve some of her dilemmas. She is a documentary filmmaker and has been filming several convicts for her show. She is able to contact one of the convicts with questions about how to keep moving forward without getting caught.
Sounds intriguing? Trust me- this was one crazy book! There were times that the improbable situations were just too much and I wanted to throw things at Erin for doing so many dumb things. But at the same time, it was totally mesmerizing!
One tip: Listen to the audio version of this book! The narrator was spectacular! She did not just read the book – she acted it. 5 Stars for this one!
Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle
Ethan is the 8-year old that disappears on a school overnight camping trip. Kat, his mother, is alerted to this by officers that escort her to the camp. The clues are sparse and no one is talking. So, what happened to Ethan?
So begins this nightmare for Kat. She is helped in the search for Ethan by Mac, the officer, and a childhood friend named Lucas. Her ex-husband, Andrew, also arrives to hunt for his son.
The few clues lead nowhere- except for the possibility that Ethan was taken away by car, but why? Who would take him? In talks with some of the adults, Kat discovers that Ethan did not sleep in his own sleeping bag, but had traded with another boy. That boy, Sammy, happens to be the mayor’s son. Did the kidnapper take the wrong child?
Chapters in the book alternate from the point of view of Kat and Stef, Sammy’s mother. Details about the mayor’s office and politics emerge along with secrets that point to why a child was taken.
5 stars for this one! I read it very quickly and could not put it down! The alternating chapters kept me reading as the stories of these two mothers converged!
My Oxford Year by Julie Whelan
She arrives and is getting acclimated when she meets a pompous jerk- who, of course, turns out to be one of her professors. She also is befriended by three other students as she learns her way around the town and school.
In the meantime, Ella also has a long distance job as a political director and she handles the work by phone. Although Ella’s distaste for the professor was bordering on hatred, she quickly learns more about him and they start a romantic fling.
Now, I know what you are thinking- this is a chick lit book! But, it really is not. It was quite different and had some surprises along the way. I loved the poetry included throughout and Ella is priceless. You will enjoy her a lot!
I cannot tell you more about what happens with Ella and Jamie without giving away the story- just grab this one! 5 stars!
Everything Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
The book opens in London in 1939 when a wealthy young lady, Mary, leaves her school and volunteers for the war effort. She is assigned to teach, even though she is very young and knows nothing about teaching. It turns out she is a natural that fiercely loves the students. It is through her teaching job that she meets Tom and Alistair.
Mary becomes involved with Tom as Alistair volunteers for the duty in the Royal Army. He is deployed. And if these relationships are not complex enough there is also Mary’s best friend, Hilda.
Throughout the war, these four are written about in details that are rich in description and quite haunting in their sadness. It is war, after all. Mary’s teaching job is gravely affected by the evacuation of the children to protect them from air raids. She befriends a young orphan named Zachary over her mother’s objections that she not take care of him due to his race. Eventually, Mary and Hilda take on a new job of driving an ambulance in response to air raids and bombings. This leads to a poignant event between the two of them – that I will not divulge.
The story of these four people caught in the unbelievable cruelty of this war and the atrocities they live through is well done. 5 stars for this one! I promise you will love this one and learn so much.