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The Overdue Life of Amy Bylar Book Review

It's recommendation time! 
The Overdue Life of Amy Bylar by Kelly Harms is about Amy, an overworked and underappreciated mom who is in desperate need of a break. So when her guilt-ridden husband shows back up after years away and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts and escapes for New York City. I can’t blame Amy- and I am in love with her bravery and just over all attitude. Funny and refreshing!

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 SYNOPSIS: Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City. Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her f…

Book Recommendation: How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee

Book Recommendation:  How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee

What it's about: 
A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel set in Singapore about a woman who survived the Japanese occupation and a man who thought he had lost everything. For fans of Min Jin Lee's Pachinko and Georgia Hunter’s We Were the Lucky Ones.

Singapore, 1942. As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked, leaving only two survivors and one tiny child.

In a neighboring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is bundled into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel where she is forced into sexual slavery. After sixty years of silence, what she saw and experienced there still haunts her present.

In the year 2000, twelve-year-old Kevin is determined to find out the truth – wherever it might lead – after his grandmother makes a surprising confession on her deathbed, one she never meant Kevin to hear, setting in motion a chain of events he could…

Book Review: Dreams of Falling by Karen White

This beautiful historical fiction is now available in paperback! 
Highlighting a transitional decade in American history,DREAMSOFFALLING by Karen Whitetells the story of three young women battling small-town expectations as they come of age in the 1950s.  Bound by the dictates of the time and their Southern upbringings, the girls decide to keep a terrible secret that will tie them and their families together for the next five decades.
1950s Georgetown, South Carolina. Lifelong best friends Ceecee, Margaret, and Bitty graduate from high school, bound by their shared dreams . . . wishes they write on ribbons and tie to an old tree. Constrained by small town expectations, they plan a last grab at freedom: a graduation trip to Myrtle Beach. But one night on the boardwalk will change everything; and the sacrifices that follow will ripple through three generations.
Present day. Larkin Lanier left Georgetown at 18, promising she’d never return. But when her mother Ivy disappears, Larkin is call…

Book Review: The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves 

Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone. ⁣

Jonathan and Annika are two of the most relatable characters I've ever read about. I identified so vividly with Annika and her anxiety that I felt like I learned more about myself even as I read this. She learned later in life how to react to her own anxieties and it was very comforting for me to see her journey.

This is a great love story because it is so real. They don't just meet, fall in love, have a fight⁣ and break up, only to find each other years later and rekindle their relationship. There is so much more to it than that. These characters have depth, they are complicated and messy an…

Book Review: The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

“This then is the true lesson: there is nothing romantic about love. Only the most niave believe it will save them. Only the hardiest of us will survive it.” -#TheLastRomantics by Tara Conklin ⁣

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Book Review: Elsey Come Home by Susan Conley

Book Review: Elsey Come Home by Susan Conley
She’s a wife, a mother, an artist who doesn’t believe in herself. When her husband Lukas tells her about a retreat called Shashan, she leaves her family for a week of rediscovering herself, waiting for that moment when she is “fixed” from her demons. Here’s an excerpt that really struck me:

 “I worked hard then to remember Lukas loved me and my girls loved me and that I wasn’t being punished. I was being helped. I stayed caught between being weak and being helped and in this way Shashan called on me to clarify something about myself. Did I love myself or hate myself? Until I met Lukas, I didn’t know there were people who liked themselves even with the damage they carried…” 

This is a story about choices we make, addictions we carry and how we can forgive ourselves our past and try to move on. 

Elsey's attention to detail and storytelling is rich. You really get an understanding of what she is going through. However, I think that addiction h…

Book Review: Keeping Lucy

Book Review: Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood 
This book was heart-wrenching. It was the kind of story that will make any parent stop in their tracks and be awe-struck by the pain that Ginny Richardson has to endure and that's all within just the first few chapters.

It's about a mother whose daughter, born with Down's Syndrome, is taken from her against her will and put into a home. It's 1969 and no one understood the gravity of their decisions in regards to those born with developmental disabilities. When Lucy is taken from her, Ginny is devastated but she’s at the mercy of her husband, who convinces her it’s best to let their daughter go. When she hears of terrible conditions at the home they've placed their daughter in, she decides nothing can stand between a mother and her daughter, no matter the cost.

This book is based on true stories from a home for disable children that existed in the 1960s and the fact that it's based on things that may have actually happened…