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Best Books of August

This month was all over the place with different genres! I love the different writing styles and topics, however, and I think you will also enjoy this variety! These are my favorite Books of August!

My favorite books this month include an immigration story, a Stephen King classic, a fantasy-romance, and a prohibition-era novel. Sounds like fun, I know!

Book reviews for the month of August. Includes Delores Claiborne, Hang the Moon, The Fourth Wing, and All the Broken Places.

All the Broken Places by John Boyne

Eighty years after fleeing Poland with her mother, Gretel Fernsby is living with a secret.

Mother and daughter fled in shame as it was discovered that Gretel’s father was the Nazi commandant of Auschwitz.

At age 91, Gretel now lives in an exclusive apartment in London guarding her secrets and taking care of her neighbors. One in particular is an integral part of the story.

The chapters of this amazing book alternate from present-day to Gretel’s past, telling her story slowly as it intertwines with current events. After spending a few years with her mother in Paris, the two women left in shame. Eventually, Gretel emigrated to Australia but did not stay there for very long. Upon her return to London, she did marry and had a son.

It isn’t until a new neighbor moves into the apartment building that Gretel’s past begins to catch up with her. A young couple with a 9-year-old son moves in and their secrets create disturbances that Gretel, unfortunately, is in the midst of. Despite her efforts to not interfere with the family, Gretel finds herself trying to help the young mother and son.

I found this book moving, heart-breaking, and very well-written. I could not turn the pages fast enough. It is one of the few five stars books I have read lately. I highly recommend that you try it. (It is a sequel to the book called The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.)

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

How did I miss this book? Published in 1993, it has long been a popular book that I somehow overlooked. From my favorite author.

I promise you this book is superb. I listened to it and recommend that you do the same. The narrator was amazing.

Dolores begins her story during an interrogation at the local police department. It seems that Dolores was the primary caregiver and housekeeper for Vera Donovan for many, many years. At Vera’s untimely and suspicious death, Dolores must defend herself.

Suspicion is cast on Dolores because it seems that her husband also died a suspicious death years before. Some in the community have always harbored the feeling that Dolores was responsible for her husband’s death. When Dolores begins to speak about her life she tells the whole story.

And it is mesmerizing. She tells every little detail and you feel as if you were there. She spills the darkest secrets of her past as the detective listens. And, because this is Stephen King after all, there are some twists and turns that will make you sit up straight.

I LOVED this book! It will definitely be on my Best Books of 2023 list. Listen to it– the voice of Dolores will pull you into the story and you will not want it to end. 5+ stars!!

The Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

I chose this book because it is wildly popular. You cannot look at social media without seeing this book and being told it is the best book ever read.

Ummm…well, let me start with a quick summary of this fantasy book.

Violet is a 20-year-old headed to the Scribe Quadrant to become a lifelong scribe. This means she will live in a library of sorts, transcribing and storing the history of her people. She has always wanted to be a scribe.

Yet, when she arrives she is sorted into the Rider Quadrant and immediately embarks on challenges from she will succeed or die. Violet’s mother, who happens to be the commanding general has ordered her to do this. She will become an elite member of the force and be paired with a dragon. By the way, the interactions with dragons were some of the best parts of the book.

Violet immediately draws attention as she trains in the rider’s arena. She is, after all, the daughter of a ruthless general and plenty of people hate her and feel a need to kill her. She must constantly defend herself and use her knowledge from an older sister and brother. She also befriends several young people and has teammates helping her.

Violet also meets Xaden Riorson. He is a powerful wing leader and a ruthless opponent. And, just happens to be gorgeous. Despite being warned to stay away from Xaden, of course, Violet finds herself involved with him because he is the group’s leader.

That’s all I will reveal about the storyline. It’s a lengthy book with suspense, battles, dragons, and romance. It has shocking moments and sad moments. It is more than slightly R-rated.

I will say 4.5 stars. It is mesmerizing and believable, and I enjoyed some of the characters. I did love Violet but hated her mother. I loved Violet’s bodyguard but hated her best friend Daine. It was suspenseful and had some really funny moments. The ‘romance’ scenes were over-the-top which I think was unnecessary to the story, but you might love them. Try this one! As I said, it is lengthy but I read it quickly (which tells you it was pretty good).

Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls

Sallie Kincaid is the daughter of a successful man in a small town. Prohibition has its grip on the country and most of the people of the Virginia community are beholden to the Kincaids.

In the middle of the family’s seeming prosperity, Sallie’s mother dies tragically.

Very quickly her father, Duke, remarries and young Sallie soon has a little brother. Another tragedy strikes and Sallie is banished from the home and sent to live with an aunt. Her step-mother rules the Kincaid household and Duke bends to her will. (Although you will discover he is a powerful man, but one led by the women he lives with.)

In the meantime, Sallie lives with Aunt Faye, goes to school, and works to help Faye stay afloat. And then, another tragedy.

Sallie returns to the Kincaid Big House at the age of 17. Her main job at this time was to be a babysitter for her younger brother, Eddie. Sallie, however, has other ideas including working for her father at his establishment called The Emporium. Her job consists of visiting local tenants that pay Duke for renting the property they live on- that just happens to belong to Duke.

There is also the matter of local people making whiskey to sell to pay their bills. It is the small sales they make that keep their families fed and also get money to pay Duke.

That is the premise of the story and you will soon discover that one tragedy after another befalls these people. Sallie weathers it all with her quick wit and bold demeanor. There is a good bit of violence, lots of lying, shootings, angry encounters, and of course, the constant family feud with the Bond brothers.

This book is a wild ride and I loved it! Definitely 4.5 stars!

I told you my genre selections were all over the place this month. I did enjoy the featured books. Have you read any of them?


A Few More Favorite Books from this Month

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