Thursday, August 18, 2022

Reading Recap

The German Wife is in my top five books of all time.  I ADORED IT! 

Berlin, 1930—When a wave of change sweeps a radical political party to power, Sofie von Meyer Rhodes’s academic husband benefits from the ambitions of its newly elected chancellor. Although Sofie and Jürgen do not share the social views growing popular in Hitler’s Germany, Jürgen’s position with its burgeoning rocket program changes their diminishing fortunes for the better. But as Sofie watches helplessly, her beloved Berlin begins to transform, forcing her to consider what they must sacrifice morally for their young family’s security, and what the price for their neutrality will be.

Twenty years later, Jürgen is one of the many German scientists offered pardons for their part in the war, and taken to America to work for its fledgling space program. For Sofie, this is the chance to exorcise the ghosts that have followed her across the ocean, and make a fresh start in her adopted country. But her neighbors aren’t as welcoming or as understanding as she had hoped. When scandalous rumors about the Rhodes family’s affiliation with Hitler’s regime spreads, idle gossip turns to bitter rage, and the act of violence that results will tear apart Sofie’s community and her family before the truth is finally revealed.

I adored so many things about this book.  I had never heard of Operation Paperclip before and really enjoyed learning about the rocket program in America post WWII (yes, this is a fictional take on it but it was based on a real operation).  I loved BOTH Sofie and Lizzie and found myself caring deeply and cheering for both of them. One of my favorite quotes from the book was "It's not always the strongest trees that survive the storm. Sometimes it's the trees that bend with the wind." and really made me think about the lengths people go to protect their families and if sometimes those lengths actually end up hurting them.  It was immensely thought provoking, different from any other WWII novel I've read, had my crying on a couple of different occasions, had me thinking about it long after I was finished and had me immediately ordering a copy for my mom.  I think it would make an amazing book club read and HIGHLY recommend.

People We Meet on Vacation was a fun, light and fairly typical beach read kind of book.

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven't spoken since.
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

I really liked both Poppy and Alex and found their connection/opposites attract storyline endearing.  There were quirky/funny parts and it had a little bit more depth than other similar books I've read.  If you're in the mood for something cute and light (albeit a bit predictable) give it a try!

Magpie was

"Marisa and Jake are a perfect couple, and Kate, their new lodger, is the perfect roommate--and not just because her rent payments will give them the income they need to start trying for a baby. Except no one is perfect. Sure, Kate doesn’t seem to care much about personal boundaries and can occasionally seem overly familiar with Jake, but Marisa doesn’t let it concern her. Kate will soon be gone, and it will just be her, Jake, and their future baby.

Conceiving a baby is easier said than done, though, and Jake and Marisa’s perfect relationship is put to the test through months of fertility treatments and false starts. To make matters worse, Kate’s boundary-pushing turns into an all-out obsession--with Jake, with Marisa, and with their future child. Who is this woman? Why does she seem to know everything about Marisa and Jake?

In her quest to find out who Kate really is, Marisa might destroy everything she’s worked so hard to create: her perfect romance, her perfect family, and her perfect self. Jake doesn’t know the half of what Marisa has created and what she stands to lose. Magpie is a tense and twisting novel about mothers and children, envy and possession, and the dangers of getting everything you’ve ever dreamed of."

Magpie was twisty and kind of weird and I REALLY didn't see the "mid-book plot twist" (trying not to spoil things) coming.  It definitely held my attention and was a unique concept which I really enjoyed.  I felt like it REALLY portrayed infertility in a realistic and raw manner - it was tough to read and enlightening as to the toll that journey takes on couples BUT might not be something I'd recommend reading if you're trying to conceive or struggling with infertility.  Overall I really liked this one and would recommend!

The It Girl by Ruth Ware is what I'm currently reading and had hoped to have it done in time for this review but, alas... teacher/mom life is kicking my tail right now and when I finally crawl into bed at night I read about half a page before passing out ;). Hopefully I'll have it done for next months' book post and hopefully it won't be the only book on the post. HAHAHAHA

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've read any of these and/or current reads you're loving and recommending.  HAPPY Thursday, friends!!!

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1 comment :

  1. I love these reviews -- thank you for taking the time!! My MIL just got the Warsaw Teacher and said it's another aspect she hasn't yet read about in other novels. I can't wait to try all of these. I recently read Lessons in Chemistry and LOVED it. I know Shay did not, but I listened to the audio and I wonder if that made the difference? I think you would like it too :)
    I'm currently reading a Taylor Jenkins Reid book, Maybe In Another Life and am really liking it. It starts with the setting/background of the main character and then, on her first night back in her hometown she has a decision to make -- go home with her HS boyfriend or go home with her best friend. She makes a decision. . .and then in the next chapter she makes the alternative decision. Every other chapter shows where she would be if she had done one or the other. I can't wait to see how it all comes together.
    Good for you, reading at all during the school year!!! I'm jealous you are able to do it :). It just means that you are better about giving yourself permission to do something "just for you" -- a good example for me.


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