Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Reading Recap

"Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name—and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The new season of Rachel's podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation—but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered—and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases—and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved."

 I LOVED The Night Swim by Megan Goldin!  LOVED IT!  I seriously couldn't put it down.  The two stories tied together SO WELL, it was thought provoking, I loved the character development and I really enjoyed the podcast element.  Both story lines revolve around sexual assault so keep that in mind.

"Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does."

The Henna Artist wasn't like anything I've ever read before and I'm still thinking about it (and have the sequel on my reading list).  I enjoyed Lakshmi SO MUCH and found her compelling, endearing and strong while also being relatable.  The writing was beautiful and I was completely entranced by 1950's India.  

"In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny…and it’s a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate.

Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief."

I listened to The Things We Cannot Say and enjoyed it so much.  I didn't read any reviews before listening and was so pleasantly surprised by the present day story being interwoven with Alina and Tomasz's story.  The present day story is Alina's granddaughter helping her grandmother find the answers she seeks while finding herself in the process.  It was heartbreaking and beautiful and having grandparents who lived in occupied Holland during the Holocaust it struck a chord with me and made me wish my grandparents were alive to talk to.

"Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.

In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style—but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.

Invited to participate in an escape room challenge as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high-rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.

Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?"

The Escape Room was highly entertaining and a super original premise.  I loved the elevator/escape room plot and enjoyed how the chapters alternated between the elevator scene and Sara's story and felt like it was done really well (sometimes that can be confusing - in this case it worked really well).  The second half of the book was better than the first and I found myself having a hard time putting it down.  If you're into thrillers I highly recommend!  PS - you'll never ever look at investment bankers the same ever again!

If you have a great book to recommend leave it in the comments! Happy Tuesday, friends!!!

PS - this post contained affiliate links - thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!


  1. The Things We Cannot Say.... such an amazing story!

  2. I just read The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth and it was really good. Finished it in a day and I never do that!

  3. Thanks Andrea for the great recommendations! Your book posts are my favorite. I'm currently reading lots of Lauren Denton's books. They're comforting, southern reads that make my heart smile.

  4. Added a couple of these to my list. I read 'The Things We Cannot Say' and enjoyed it as well. I have also enjoyed books by T. Greenwood lately.

  5. I HIGHLY suggest these books: The Book of Lost Names (outstanding), The Nature of Fragile Things, The Woman With the Blue Star, Project Hail Mary (so fun and so good), and the movie 7 Yards- The Chris Norton Story (your whole family will enjoy)

  6. Have you read, 'The Nightingale?' One of the best books I've ever read. It's on audio books also.

  7. I LOVED The Things We Cannot Say and couldn't wait to see how those story lines were going to intersect with all the details. I also loved the Nature of Fragile Things that Sitesx6 recommends.

  8. If you enjoy historical fiction, then I recommend Eternal. It is a fascinating read about life in fascist Italy during World War 2. The story follows the friendship of three teenagers and how each of their lives unfolds during the war.

  9. Because you enjoyed The Henna Artist, I thought you may enjoy this interview of the author, Alka Joshi. She was interviewed by a women writers' club in Pasadena. It's really an informative interview on so many levels; her personal journey writing this book, inspiration for the story, and understanding the book's intent and meaning. I hope you can listen/watch this interview.



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