Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties

“It’s an age-old story: woman meets man, man woos woman, woman spends her best years believing their love is the everlasting kind.”

Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties
By Camille Pagán
Published: February 2018
Source: Advance review copy

With two grown children and almost 28 years of marriage, Maggie thinks her life is pretty settled but the rug is pulled out from under her when her husband tells her that he’s unhappy and is leaving her for another woman.

Maggie is understandably shocked and confused. She gave up her career, her identity to be wife and mother to her family and now she is adrift. As she’s coming to terms with the news, she realizes that the anniversary trip they had booked to Italy is all paid for so she decides she owes it to herself to go and live her life.

I know this may sound like the typical book where the main character goes to Italy or France and finds love and adventure and life is immediately better but while Maggie does meet some interesting people, this story is about her path to a new life even after the trip and it’s not always easy.

As Maggie is coming to terms with her new life a family emergency gives her another option. So what will Maggie do?

I really enjoyed this book because I felt like Maggie’s path seemed realistic. It wasn’t all grand adventures and fantastic times. Actually lots of indecision, lots of questioning her choices but most of all this book is a reminder that whether you are busy working or caring for a family or both, it’s important not to lose sight of yourself.

Women In Translation

Here we are middle of the month and I’m just now realizing that August is Women in Translation month. I know some of you have mentioned this in your blogs and thought I’d join in with my own reading list.

First I’d like to share a list of books that I’d recommend:

All Yours by Claudia Piñeiro
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende (Chile)
Ice Cold by Andrea Maria Schenkel (Germany)
Confessions by Kanae Minato (Japan)
The Heart Has Its Reasons by María Dueñas (Spain)

And, here is the list of books by authors I’ve not read before but are on my radar.

Little Reunions by Eileen Chang (China)
Before by Carmen Boullosa (Mexico)
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland)
High Tide by Inga Abele ( Latvia)
Purge by Sofi Oksanen (Finland)

If you need more suggestions here is a list by Words Without Borders on the 31 Authors to Read Now. I am sure I’ll be adding more books to my list. Let me know if you’ve read some of these or if you’ve got a great book to recommend.

I hope you have a great weekend and more bookish talk soon!

After Nightfall

“Lauren is flirting with my fiancé over the dinner I spent hours preparing. She gets this way when she’s had too  much wine. I’m not far behind her; I’m already into my second glass of merlot. I’m not even sure why I’m drinking – I usually don’t. But tonight, Nathan and I are planning to announce our engagement.”

After Nightfall
By A.J. Banner
Published: August 2018
Source: Advance review copy

The celebratory dinner should have been just that, a time to celebrate her upcoming wedding but Marissa’s enthusiasm is diminished by some of the actions of her guests and her own growing sense of unease at having brought her best friend back into her life.

The dinner is fraught with tension from all of the guests, snide remarks, unreadable looks and Marissa lays all fault with her friend after all Lauren has always been selfish and self-centered. The next morning on her walk to the beach she finds Lauren’s body, bruised and lifeless along the shore.

Marissa recalls details from the previous evening that make her question those around her and their intentions. Who could have wanted to hurt Lauren and who would have the most to gain by her death? In addition Marissa is now unsure of her own feelings towards her fiancé but when she questions him she doesn’t know if she is wanting to hear the truth.

I thought this novel started out with a lot of great tension, and I could clearly envision a dinner gone awry. As the novel progresses everyone is a suspect and the author provides the reader just enough background to go from believing it is one suspect to doubting yourself and moving on to the next. I found this to be a good thriller and will look for more by this author.