My best books of this month are all very different. Two were page-turners, one was slow-moving, and one was difficult to finish. Nevertheless, here are my favorite books of April!
I will confess that one of these books might not be a choice as a ‘best book’, however, its reviews say it should be. That means you may love it!
The other three in this review were all great and I loved them!
The Circus Train by Amita Parikh
It is 1938 and Lena Papadopoulos is part of a traveling circus train. Her father, Theo, is the headliner of the circus as an illusionist.
Lena does not have an active part because she suffered a bout of polio as a toddler and now uses a wheelchair.
The story takes place over 20 year period. Lena’s life was difficult because children her age did not play with her. She spent most of her time with her governess, Clara.
Then we meet Alexandre. He is a Jewish boy escaping the ravages of the upcoming war. He keeps his identity and his family history secret.
Lena finds friendship and encouragement from Alexandre, who has a talent for sleight-of-hand maneuvers. Alexandre is taken in and trained as Theo’s apprentice.
As the train travels across Europe with the war looming, we watch the paths of Lena and Alexandre as they cross and then part. Lena has a vision for her life that she tackles fearlessly. She wants to one day walk and she wants to attend a boarding school and eventually become a doctor.
This book was refreshing and I enjoyed it. There are some surprises near the end that I did not see coming. 4 stars.
By the way, this book was one I chose from the Book of the Month club. This is a monthly service that includes a small fee for the book you choose. (By small fee, I mean less than you would pay for a hardback book from a store.) Every month the BOM site lists 5-7 books from which to choose. Many of the choices are books that have not yet been published. If you want to try this service you can use the link below (it is an affiliate link).
I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai
This book has very mixed reviews. And, I have a mixed review, too!
There were times I really liked it. There were times I was bored with it. And, when the Audible version I was listening to congratulated me on finishing it I could not believe the book was over. That was it?
So, what is the story?
A professional podcaster, Bodie Kane, is offered a job back at her New Hampshire boarding school. She will teach a short course on podcasting for high school students. She decides they should create their own podcasts for the course and she guides the students to tape a true crime show.
The problem is that they will be investigating a long-ago murder of a Granby School student. And that student just happened to be Bodie’s roommate at the school.
It seems that the man arrested for the murder might have wrongfully been accused and he is spending his life in prison. The book takes on so many social topics and tries to maneuver through them all. But in a repetitive way that made the book way too long.
And, Bodie is just not a likable main character. There I said it.
Anyway, I listened to this book read by my very favorite narrator. That made it bearable, but I just did not like the storyline or the main character. I give it 3 stars. You may be one of those that loves this book!
I Will Find You by Harlan Coben
The book opens with the narrator, David, letting you know he is in prison for killing his 3-year-old son. But, he didn’t.
And now he is shown proof the boy is alive. But, is he?
David has served five years of his life sentence and a visit from a relative changes everything. The story takes off at this point and does not stop.
It is one thriller of a book. I listened to the book but finished it in record time. The narrator was perfect for telling the story. In fact, I have added him to my list of narrators to search for in order to listen to books they read for Audible.
The story is told from the point of view of David and you will also meet his sister-in-law, Rachel, and the FBI agents assigned to his case. David’s determination to find the real killer of his son drives this fast-paced story.
Of course, since David is in prison his pursuit of finding his son means he might need to be out of jail. I’ll let you read to find out if he does this and how.
There are many twists and turns and some over-the-top unbelievable parts, but I enjoyed it all anyway!
I would give this one 4.5 stars and recommend you listen to the audiobook version.
A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella
This book opens with Chuck Ayers trying to decide if he will trek to Hilton Head Island for the winter. Less than a year has passed since his wife died and he cannot think about the long drive and staying somewhere they loved- without her.
Delivering newspapers one very early morning is Ella Burke. This is her second job. Ella also works at a local bridal shop. Her thoughts every minute of every day are about her missing young daughter, Riley. Riley disappeared a few months previously and no one can find any signs of where she might be.
At a local animal rescue business another woman thinks daily about her father. Kirsten Bonato’s father was murdered in a convenience store robbery. Her plan to go to veterinary school has changed completely with the loss of her father.
Each character mourns a loss and is just living one day, one hour at a time. Waiting for something, anything to bring peace.
I loved this book. The three people are unlikely ever to meet but somehow their lives intersect. Is it possible that each will find a way to move forward?
This one will be on my Best Books of 2023 list. 5 stars!
Try them all! My Best Books of April list is part of a fun month of reading!
BOOKS I ALSO READ THIS MONTH
- The It Girl by Ruth Ware 4 stars (only because it was sooo long)
- Good for You by Camille Pagan 4 stars (typical chick-lit but enjoyable)
In this post, for your convenience, you may find Amazon Affiliate links to resources. This means that Amazon will pass on small percentages to me with your purchase of items. This will not create extra costs for you at all! It will help me keep this blog running!