The Mourning Parade

By Dawn Reno Langley; Reviewed by Carolyn Burns Bass

The Mourning Parade by Dawn Reno LangleyPerhaps I should begin with a disclaimer. Dawn Reno Langley is a friend of mine and we are critique partners for each other’s work. I read her latest novel, The Mourning Parade, long before anyone else, and in several forms—most recently the audiobook performed by Tavia Gilbert.

Dawn and I had been exchanging pages of our novels for some time when she took a vacation to Thailand and came back exploding with a new story. She set aside the novel she had been working on and plunged into a new book about a woman who retreats to Thailand to volunteer at an elephant sanctuary after losing her two sons in a school shooting.

Girl Sent Away

By Lynne Griffin; Reviewed by Karen Struble, Ph.D.

Girl Sent AwayLord Acton’s famous saying, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” rings deafeningly true in Lynne Griffin’s new novel, Girl Sent Away. For parents of rebellious adolescents, Griffin’s story is a Nightmare with a capital N.  Basing her work on actual reports from teenagers sent to remote wilderness therapy camps, the author spins a harrowing tale of mental health care gone awry.

The novel’s main character, Ava Sedgwick, is a sixteen-year-old Massachusetts girl haunted by the unresolved trauma of losing her mother and sister during the 2004 tsunami that wreaked havoc on Thailand’s …

Rainy Day Sisters

By Kate Hewitt; Reviewed by Stephanie Kamerman

Rainy Day SistersUSA Today bestselling author, Kate Hewitt, begins a new series, Hartley-By-The-Sea Novels, with Rainy Day Sisters—a story of two half-sisters who long for love and acceptance, and find it in each other. Kate’s next book in the series, Now and Then Friends, is due out in August 2016.

Lucy Bagshaw’s life as a barista and aspiring artist in Boston ends abruptly when her mother, artist and liberal commentator, Fiona Bagshaw, writes openly on how she doesn’t support Lucy’s artistic capabilities and how the fame she has will not be given to Lucy. After the humiliating article is printed for all of Boston to read, Lucy’s partner…

Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders

By Julianna Baggott; Reviewed by Billie Hinton

Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of WondersJulianna Baggott’s newest novel, Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders, is brilliant and beautiful, quirky and captivating, a multigenerational tale told from four unique points of view: Harriet Wolf’s, her daughter Eleanor’s, and those of her granddaughters, Ruth and Tilton.

Baggott uses the passage of time and very specific individual experiences in a family of women to reveal the ways in which mothers and daughters—and all of us—connect. She embroiders in rich detail…

Love Sick

By Autumn J. Bright; Reviewed by Carolyn Burns Bass

Love SickDebut author Autumn J. Bright’s Love Sick spins a gritty tale of one woman’s break from the dysfunction and lies of her past and toward a reinvention of herself as an independent woman capable of breaking the abusive generational habits that have bound her life. Toni Jones is a rising star in Charleston’s competitive radio scene. Her husband is a man on the move, ambitious, charismatic and passionate. He’s everything Toni could want in a husband, and more. He’s violent, possessive and a mean drunk. Toni’s family has never approved of Marvin, which makes Marvin resent Toni…

The Glass Kitchen

By Linda Francis Lee; Reviewed by Stefanie Kamerman

The Glass KitchenLinda Francis Lee, author of Emily and Einstein, brings forth another story of a New York Minute and second chances. The Glass Kitchen is a story about a native Texan in the Big Apple, dreaming of a better future while escaping the past. I found myself laughing out-loud numerous times while reading despite the initial serious tone the book set. The Glass Kitchen is hilariously charming and romantic. Portia Cuthart is licking her wounds from a very public divorce. Her charmed life as a politician’s wife …

The Idea of Love

By Patti Henry Callahan; Reviewed by Stefanie Kamerman

The Idea of LoveNew York Times Best Selling author Patti Henry Callahan pens another southern tale about two people who learn to love despite the lies and distance separating them. “Hunter” arrives the small town of Watersend under the guise of being a travel writer looking to document the town, but what Hunter really is looking for is inspiration for his next Hollywood script….

The Cherry Harvest

By Lucy Sanna; Reviewed by Stephanie Kamerman

The Cherry HarvestLucy Sanna’s debut novel, The Cherry Harvest, takes you to Door County, Wisconsin, during the Second Great War, where one woman’s unseen madness weaves a web of secrets, deception, love, and murder.

Charlotte Christensen keeps a vigil while her beloved son, Ben, is away at war. While she waits…

Hugo & Rose

By Bridget Foley, Reviewed by Stefanie Kamerman

Hugo and RoseIn her debut novel, Bridget Foley brings us Hugo & Rose an honest, witty, and creative novel about the mundane of motherhood and the strange endeavors some go on to get away. Rose isn’t feeling appreciated by her own family. Her husband, and college sweetheart, Josh, logs in long hours as a surgeon and is seldom home leaving the care of their three young children…

Walking on Trampolines

By Frances Whiting, Reviewed by Linda Lindsey Davis

Walking on TrampolinesWalking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting presents the universal themes of growing up: best friends, first love, losing and finding your way, rebirth and renewal. The story is set in Juniper Bay, a small coastal Australian town, where two young girls become best friends. Tallullah (“Lulu”) de Longland is the poster child for good behavior at St Rita’s School for Girls in Juniper Bay. She is the toothy, freckled, 12-year-old in the well-pressed school uniform, holding up the seventh grade girls class sign for school pictures… read more here…

The Secrets of Midwives

By Sally Hepworth, Book Review By Linda Lindsey Davis

The Secrets of Midwives, Sally Hepworth’s first novel, focuses on women: their lives, their work, their cross-generational connections and conflicts, and their secrets.

The story is told in sequential chapters by three generations of women in one family: Neva, Grace and Floss. They have three things in common: They all are midwives by profession, they are all strong, independent women… Read more here…

Necessary Lies, By Diane Chamberlain

Reviewed by Linda Lindsey Davis

Ivy and Mary was here.

These five words are carved into the closet door of an old Raleigh North Carolina home. No one knows the origin of the words but each of the previous owners has been cautioned by their predecessor not to remove the words or cover them up.

Diane Chamberlain’s latest mystery is set in the South of the 1960s, when the social realities of … Read more here.