It’s June. It’s summer. And, boy, did I read a lot of books that scratched that “summer reading” itch! All fiction, mostly historical, these books either teetered on the edge of racy or dove headlong into it. They also all had some sort of mystery or suspense about them, which was fun because it kept the pages turning. And all of them were highly entertaining without making you think too much, which I find to be sheer perfection when it comes to summertime reading.
But, like I said, it’s summer and summer means my kids are home. Therefore, my time to sit here and write about all the things is seriously limited. In fact, just to write this, I had to sit them all in front of a Harry Potter movie and say, “Don’t bother me until I have this post written!” #momwin
So, before they forget themselves and come bother me or it’s time to take them to swim practice… Let’s do this!
Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson
Let’s just say I read this one in two days. I am a total sucker for British war stories and this one that spans the duration of WWI ticks all the boxes. Social class divides, women’s rights, love lost and found, settings in both England and France? Yes, please! The characters are all lovely and the heroine is someone you actually want to root for. While it is a very sweet story, it does take a serious and rather unexpected dive into a racy bedroom scene, but let’s suffice it to say it didn’t bother me one bit.
If you liked Downton Abbey, give Somewhere in France a shot. And then look for the next two books in the trilogy. I know I will!
The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani
In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t actually read this one this month. I think I read it back in April, but then life got busy and I forgot to add it to the list I keep on my notes app. Regardless, I’m just gonna slip it in here since it fits the summer book category quite well.
After many miscarriages, modern day journalist Jaya separates from her husband. Looking to distract herself, Jaya takes the opportunity to travel to India to take care of some family business and learn more about her mother’s family history. Her time in India uncovers more about her mother, her grandmother, and the strength of the women in her family than she ever knew was possible.
In this fast-moving novel, romance and secrets are set against the backdrop of both modern day and 1940s India. And while Jaya was, at times, a bit of an annoying main character, I found her grandmother Amisha absolutely entrancing. This book was recommended to me by a friend and I truly enjoyed it. I hope you do, too.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Let’s see if any of these topics interest you: coming of age story, southern novel, coastal novel, murder mystery, romance, courtroom drama, mid-20th century. Any of that sound good?
Because let me tell ya, this novel is all of that wrapped up in one! Beautifully written with nature metaphors abounding, this story had me crying, laughing, and biting my fingernails all at the same time. And when the end came and the mystery I thought I knew the answer to was actually revealed to be something entirely different? Well, that was icing on the cake.
Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
We all know by now that I love a good Beatriz Williams novel. I’ve talked about her books in many a post already and this, like the others, follows a pretty formulaic pattern. The chapters go backwards and forwards in time, bouncing between a couple different decades. The characters are all intertwined in some way (someone is usually part of her fictional Schuyler family). There is some sort of crime or dangerous/scandalous situation that affects them all. And by the end, it’s all sorted out and they all live happily ever after (…or do they?).
Even so. Even knowing all this and how cheesy it seems — I’m a sucker for it! I stand by my love of Beatriz Williams and her fabulous, slightly trashy, ever so entertaining books. And that goes for this particular one set on Long Island in the 1930s and 1960s, too.
The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
Truth be told, I almost quit reading this book a couple of times. In the end, though, I am so glad I didn’t! What started off kind of slowly and deceptively about one topic morphed into a wonderfully sweet and funny book about something completely different.
Set in modern-day Alabama, this book covers everything from superheroes to step-families, Lewy Body Dementia to pregnancy, race relations to grandmothers to sisters.
I am so glad I didn’t give up on Leia and her family. In fact, I wish the book had gone on even longer so that I could hang out with them a little more. To borrow a very cheesy phrase, they truly put the fun in dysfunctional.
So, what are you reading, friend? What summer reads, beach books, etc would you recommend? Have you read any of these? Do you plan to? Let me know!
And, if my children let me read during the month of July (or, subsequently, if they let me have the time to actually blog about it – or anything else, for that matter), I’ll see you again next month with more from my bookshelf!