Lillian and Madison have been friends since boarding school, continuing to keep in touch through letters that have gotten scarcer through the years. Madison has married a widely successful politician and keeps busy bathing in media spotlight, while Lillian's life has been... less grand. When Lillian receives a letter from Madison, begging for her help raising her newly orphaned twin stepchildren, to say she's surprised would be an understatement. Madison offers Lillian anything she could possibly need in exchange for this arguably straightforward task. She forgot to mention, however, that the children tend to spontaneously combust under stress. Thus ensues a wonderfully heartwarming tale of found family, coping with grief, self-acceptance, and fire children. Great for fans of The House in the Cerulean Sea.
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At 85, Eudora Honeysett believes she is done living and wants to go out on her own terms. She starts to make plans to travel from her home in London to a clinic in Switzerland to make that happen. However, when 10-year-old dynamo Rose moves in next door, Eudora finds herself enjoying spending time with her. Another neighbor closer to Eudora's age, Stanley, also joins them on their adventures. Slowly, Eudora begins to question her decision to end her life.
Interspersed throughout the novel are scenes from Eudora's life--from growing up during World War II to the loves of her life and her relationships with members of her family. Despite the somber underlying theme of one's choice to end their life, the book is quite humorous at times.
The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett (2020) by Annie Lyons is a great choice for readers who enjoyed The Story of Arthur Truluv and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Check out eMediaLibrary to read the ebook and eaudiobook.
In this dark comic novel, widower Felix Pink is an "Exiteer." He, along with a partner, sits with someone who is terminally ill as the client takes their own life. It's all done within the law, but one day it goes horribly wrong as he and his colleague, Amanda, mistakenly aid the wrong person. Felix wonders what exactly went awry and if he'll be charged with murder. Exit (2021) recounts the tale of the police--specifically PC Calvin Bridge--unraveling the crime that was committed and arresting who's responsible. Felix, meanwhile, tries to make amends with the man mistakenly left alive. With its wide cast of characters and interesting puzzle, this book by Belinda Bauer was a real treat.
It's the 22nd century and the Pan American Navy aero-submarine Coldwater is in trouble. Coldwater's antiquated engines, anti-gravity screens, and communications have all failed. The vessel heads for the English coast for repairs. Devastating war has left Europe a forbidden zone for 200 years. Nevertheless, Lieutenant Turck and a few crewmen use a small boat to find food and fresh water ashore. Instead, they find civilization living in primitive camps and wild beasts, descendants of escaped zoo animals, prowling free.
This is classic Edgar Rice Burroughs. What makes this edition special is the narrator. Finn J. D. John teaches New Media Communications at Oregon State University. He begins The Lost Continent (1916, originally titled Beyond Thirty) with a foreword that sets the background for the book and a thumbnail biography of Burroughs. His organization, Pulp-Lit Productions, features annotated editions of Blackwood, Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Lovecraft, and Seabury Quinn.
In present day England, Emma has been hired to revive the gardens at Highbury House that Venetia Smith designed in 1907 for the Melcourt family. Venetia Smith was quite famous for her garden designs, so Emma is thrilled to be working on the project and hopes that the current lady of the house, Sydney, can unearth some documents that will aid her in restoring the gardens to their former glory. A second storyline tells the story of Venetia and her time working at Highbury and falling in love while there. In addition, the novel recounts life at Highbury House in 1944, when the estate was used as a hospital for soldiers during the war. Specifically, it tells the stories of Beth (a Land Girl), Stella (the cook at Highbury) and Diana (Sydney's great grandmother). The Last Garden in England(2021) by Julia Kelly is an engaging story of several women's lives over a century. An added plus was all the descriptions of the flowers and creating the gardens.
Set in the near future, after an airborne disease has wiped out much of the population of the planet, Station Eleven (2014) follows a troupe of traveling musicians and actors as they migrate from town to town to put on shows. The plot bounces back and forth in time describing the first days of the pandemic then returning to the future, showing the evolution of the characters. Emily St. John Mandel skillfully brings these seemingly disparate storylines together as the main characters converge in the end.
Eternal is a historical fiction novel based in Rome, Italy during WWII and follows the lives of 3 best friends as they navigate life and love during some horrifying events. Elisabetta is a waitress struggling to make ends meet, Marco finds a job in Mussolini's government, and Sandro is a Jewish mathematician. These 3 find out a lot about romantic love (love triangle), love of country and love and loyalty of friends and family.
I enjoyed this book because I have read a lot in this genre but rarely one based in Italy during Fascism. I also think Lisa Scottoline did a great job of keeping the reader engaged and invested in all the characters, including that of the family members.