Wow I can’t believe it’s time for me to choose my Amazon First Read again. June has gone by so quickly. OK so Amazon Prime Members can choose one or eight books that are due to be published the following month. This months choices are:
What You did by Claire McGowan. Pages: 283. Publication Date: 1 August 2019
Synopsis: A vicious assault. A devastating accusation. Who should she trust, her husband or her best friend?
It was supposed to be the perfect reunion: six university friends together again after twenty years. Host Ali finally has the life she always wanted, a career she can be proud of and a wonderful family with her college boyfriend, now husband. But that night her best friend makes an accusation so shocking that nothing will ever be the same again.
When Karen staggers in from the garden, bleeding and traumatised, she claims that she has been assaulted—by Ali’s husband, Mike. Ali must make a split-second decision: who should she believe? Her horrified husband, or her best friend? With Mike offering a very different version of events, Ali knows one of them is lying—but which? And why?
When the ensuing chaos forces her to re-examine the golden era the group shared at university, Ali realises there are darker memories too. Memories that have lain dormant for decades. Memories someone would kill to protect.
World War II Fiction
A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean. Pages: 432. Publication Date: 1 August 2019
Synopsis: From the USA Today bestselling author of A Curve in the Road comes a spellbinding novel about one woman’s love, loss, and courage during wartime.
After a crushing betrayal by the man she loves, Gillian Gibbons flees to her family home for a much-needed escape, but when she finds an old photograph of her grandmother in the arms of a Nazi officer, Gillian’s life gets even more complicated. Rattled by the discovery, Gillian attempts to unravel the truth behind the photos, setting her off on an epic journey through the past…
1939. England is on the brink of war as Vivian Hughes falls in love with a handsome British official, but when bombs begin to fall and Vivian’s happy life is destroyed in the blitz, she will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves…
As Gillian learns more about her grandmother’s past, the old photo begins to make more sense. But for every question answered, a new one takes its place. Faced with a truth that is not at all what she expected, Gillian attempts to shine a light not only on the mysteries of her family’s past but also on her own future.
This gorgeously written multigenerational saga is a heart-wrenching yet hopeful examination of one woman’s struggle to survive, perfect for fans of The Nightingale and Beneath a Scarlet Sky.
Forgotten Bones by Vivian Barz. Pages: 298. Publication Date: 1 August 2019
Synopsis: An unlikely pair teams up to investigate a brutal murder in a haunting thriller that walks the line between reality and impossibility.
When small-town police officers discover the grave of a young boy, they’re quick to pin the crime on a convicted criminal who lives nearby. But when it comes to murder, Officer Susan Marlan never trusts a simple explanation, so she’s just getting started.
Meanwhile, college professor Eric Evans hallucinates a young boy in overalls: a symptom of his schizophrenia—or so he thinks. But when more bodies turn up, Eric has more visions, and they mirror details of the murder case. As the investigation continues, the police stick with their original conclusion, but Susan’s instincts tell her something is off. The higher-ups keep stonewalling her, and the FBI’s closing in.
Desperate for answers, Susan goes rogue and turns to Eric for help. Together they take an unorthodox approach to the case as the evidence keeps getting stranger. With Eric’s hallucinations intensifying and the body count rising, can the pair separate truth from illusion long enough to catch a monster?
Lies we tell Mothers by Suzy K Quinn. Pages: 247. Publication Date: 1 August 2019
Synopsis: Bestselling author of the Bad Mother books Suzy K Quinn reveals the truth behind the lies we tell mothers, one sleepless night at a time.
Suzy and Demi were carefree twenty-somethings. They had fun! They didn’t have responsibilities! And then they decided to have a baby. Goodbye lazy weekends, hello sleepless nights, arguments and an addiction to industrial-strength hot chocolate.
In the midst of this major life change, Suzy discovered that most parenting advice should be taken with a pinch of salt—or ten.
#1 Lie—Just go with your mother’s instinct. But what if your instinct is telling you to hide under the stairs?
#10 Lie—Your new baby will tell you what it needs. Not if it can’t talk it won’t.
#23 Lie—You should never bribe your children. You will ALWAYS bribe your children.
Follow Suzy on the ultimate make-over—from nervous-wreck new mother to happy families. In this hilarious and refreshingly honest account for parents who prefer the realistic to the utopian, Suzy debunks the myths and takes us all along for the (bumpy) ride.
Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn. Pages: 316. Publication Date: 1 August 2019
Synopsis: In 1920s New York, the price of a woman’s independence can be exorbitant—even fatal.
In 1924 Manhattan, women’s suffrage is old news. For sophisticated booklover Julia Kydd, life’s too short for politics. With her cropped hair and penchant for independent living, Julia wants only to launch her own new private press. But as a woman, Julia must fight for what’s hers—including the inheritance her estranged half brother, Philip, has challenged, putting her aspirations in jeopardy.
When her friend’s sister, Naomi Rankin, dies suddenly of an apparent suicide, Julia is shocked at the wealthy family’s indifference toward the ardent suffragist’s death. Naomi chose poverty and hardship over a submissive marriage and a husband’s control of her money. Now, her death suggests the struggle was more than she could bear.
Julia, however, is skeptical. Doubtful of her suspicions, Philip proposes a glib wager: if Julia can prove Naomi was in fact murdered, he’ll drop his claims to her wealth. Julia soon discovers Naomi’s life was as turbulent and enigmatic as her death. And as she gets closer to the truth, Julia sees there’s much more at stake than her inheritance…
The Loot by Craig Scheafer. Pages: 329. Publication Date: 1 August 2019
Synopsis: She fought for her country. Now she’s fighting for her family.
When Sergeant Charlie McCabe returns from fighting in Afghanistan, she hopes to leave the war behind. Instead, she comes home to a father whose gambling has put him in deep trouble with a violent loan shark. She finds work as a professional bodyguard, but to save her father, she needs to get serious cash together fast.
However, her father isn’t the only one who needs saving. When Charlie’s first client—a wealthy executive with a shady past—narrowly escapes a bomb plot, Charlie’s investigation leads her into the heart of Boston’s criminal underworld. Along the way, she stumbles upon clues about a diamond heist gone wrong that’s been unsolved for decades.
With the clock ticking and chaos descending, Charlie sees a solution to both problems, but it won’t be easy, and it won’t be pretty. A “normal” life may await Charlie on the other side of this mess, but part of her knows that the battle has just begun.
The Boy Between Worlds by Annejet Van Der Zijl. Pages: 218. Publication Date: 1 August 2019
Synopsis: From the Amazon Charts bestselling author of An American Princess comes the true story of an unconventional family divided by war and prejudice during WWII.
When they fell in love in 1928, Rika and Waldemar could not have been more different. She was a thirty-seven-year-old Dutch-born mother, estranged from her husband. He was her immigrant boarder, not yet twenty, and a wealthy Surinamese descendant of slaves. The child they have together, brown skinned and blue eyed, brings the couple great joy yet raises some eyebrows. Until the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands explodes their promising life.
What unfolds is more than the astonishing story of a love that prevailed over convention. It’s also the quest of a young boy. Through the cruelty of World War II, he will fight for a connection between his father’s South American birthplace and his mother’s European traditions. Lost and displaced for much of his life, but with a legacy of resilience in his blood, he will struggle to find his place in the world.
Moving deftly between personal experience and the devastating machinations of war, The Boy Between Worlds is an unforgettable journey of hope, love, and courage in the face of humanity’s darkest hour.
Prognosis by Sarah Vallance. Pages: 275. Publication Date: 1 August 2019
Synopsis: The searing, wry memoir about a woman’s fight for a new life after a devastating brain injury.
When Sarah Vallance is thrown from a horse and suffers a jarring blow to the head, she believes she’s walked away unscathed. The next morning, things take a sharp turn as she’s led from work to the emergency room. By the end of the week, a neurologist delivers a devastating prognosis: Sarah suffered a traumatic brain injury that has caused her IQ to plummet, with no hope of recovery. Her brain has irrevocably changed.
Afraid of judgement and deemed no longer fit for work, Sarah isolates herself from the outside world. She spends months at home, with her dogs as her only source of companionship, battling a personality she no longer recognizes and her shock and rage over losing simple functions she’d taken for granted. Her life is consumed by fear and shame until a chance encounter gives Sarah hope that her brain can heal. That conversation lights a small flame of determination, and Sarah begins to push back, painstakingly reteaching herself to read and write, and eventually reentering the workforce and a new, if unpredictable, life.
In this highly intimate account of devastation and renewal, Sarah pulls back the curtain on life with traumatic brain injury, an affliction where the wounds are invisible and the lasting effects are often misunderstood. Over years of frustrating setbacks and uncertain triumphs, Sarah comes to terms with her disability and finds love with a woman who helps her embrace a new, accepting sense of self.
*** This month I’ve gone for the Biography, The Boy Between Worlds by Annejet Van Der Zijl. This isn’t my usual genre but for some reason it’s captured my interest. What book will you choose? ***