Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Reading Recap

 The Secret Keeper of Jaipur is the sequel to The Henna Artist which I read earlier in the year and I loved it even more than the Hanna Artist which I LOVED!

"It’s the spring of 1969, and Lakshmi, now married to Dr. Jay Kumar, directs the Healing Garden in Shimla. Malik has finished his private school education. At twenty, he has just met a young woman named Nimmi when he leaves to apprentice at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal Palace. Their latest project: a state-of-the-art cinema.

Malik soon finds that not much has changed as he navigates the Pink City of his childhood. Power and money still move seamlessly among the wealthy class, and favors flow from Jaipur’s Royal Palace, but only if certain secrets remain buried. When the cinema’s balcony tragically collapses on opening night, blame is placed where it is convenient. But Malik suspects something far darker and sets out to uncover the truth. As a former street child, he always knew to keep his own counsel; it’s a lesson that will serve him as he untangles a web of lies."

I loved the mystery/intrigue aspect of it, I loved that it was written from multiple point of views (it was fun to get to feel like you were inside Malik's head) and I loved feeling like it was a continuation of the first book... but not in a totally linear way... it dove deeper into the characters but told a totally different story.  It was enchanting and beautiful and if you can listen to it in audiobook I highly recommend it because the narrator is fantastic.

It's been years since I read a Ken Follett Book but I loved his Kingsbridge series as well as his Century Trilogy (I really want to read both of those again!) and when The Eye of the Needle came across a recommended book list I decided to give it a shot.

"One enemy spy knows the secret to the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin -- code name: "The Needle" -- who holds the key to ultimate Nazi victory.

Only one person stands in his way: a lonely Englishwoman on an isolated island, who is beginning to love the killer who has mysteriously entered her life.

All will come to a terrifying conclusion in Ken Follett's unsurpassed and unforgettable masterwork of suspense, intrigue, and the dangerous machinations of the human heart."

I had forgotten how much I loved Follett's writing style - he's SO GOOD at historical fiction - it reads believable and he weaves in so many details that you almost forget it's not true.  He writes from multiple viewpoints and the suspense in this book was awesome.  I found myself thinking about the book when I wasn't reading it and would highly recommend if you enjoy historical fiction.

I listened to  The Girl Who Lived and while it was good it wasn't anything great.  It has TONS of amazing reviews so maybe it was just me but it felt a little too far-fetched for my taste.

As the anniversary of the murders approaches, Faith Winters is released from the psychiatric hospital and yanked back to the last spot on earth she wants to be—her hometown where the slayings took place. Wracked by the lingering echoes of survivor's guilt, Faith spirals into a black hole of alcoholism and wanton self-destruction. Finding no solace at the bottom of a bottle, Faith decides to track down her sister's killer—only to discover that she's the one being hunted.

How can one woman uncover the truth when everyone's a suspect—including herself?

I did enjoy it, but it felt slow at parts and I didn't find any of the characters particularly endearing and worth rooting for.  If you love psychological thrillers it's worth a shot but I'd read a few reviews before diving in.

I just finished  The Gifted School and I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!!

"Set in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, The Gifted School is a keenly entertaining novel that observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies. Seen through the lens of four families who've been a part of one another's lives since their kids were born over a decade ago, the story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group's children, sibling relationships, marriages, and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate. It's a humorous, keenly observed, timely take on ambitious parents, willful kids, and the pursuit of prestige, no matter the cost."

The book tells the stories of four families and while it was kind of a "slow burn" I definitely felt like I knew each of the families and their members intimately.  I felt like they were relatable in different ways and the way the families all "intertwined" seemed natural as well.  It was Big Little Lies-esque and felt like I was watching a movie in my head.  HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

I'd love to know what you've been reading and loving lately - leave me a comment and let me know!

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


  1. I just read And Then She Was Gone. It was a great thriller, I couldn’t put it down!

  2. I was excited to see this review. I just finished The Henna Artist.

  3. Thanks for the recommendations! I was a huge Ken Follet fan - might need to get back to his books!
    I completely agree with your opinion on The Girl Who Lived. I read it a while back and was underwhelmed.
    Happy Tuesday!

  4. I wish I had a recommendation for you this time….I’ve been catching up on some series books but have never seen you review anything like that. It’s been awhile since I’ve “lost sleep” over a book (chosen to read instead of sleep) - maybe one of these will hit the mark!
    Thanks for the review!

  5. You should get the Prince Warrior books by Priscilla Schrier for your boys. My son, 11, loved them! It has biblical principles tucked into good verses evil. They were great, I read them too.

  6. Have you read any books by Rachel Hauck? I recently read The Fifth Avenue Story Society and The Memory House and loved both of them!


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