I comment every month how surprised I am that yet again it’s time to choose my Amazon First Read. What is more surprising is that the books to choose from are due to be published on 1 December 2019.
Meaning that the count down to Christmas has begun. I know some people will have already started planning their Christmas Festivities, maybe even purchased all of their Christmas presents too. I am sadly not one of those people any more, I still have to put the finishing touches to my Christmas cards. I usually have them made by April or May, so I don’t have to rush them. So I better get them finished over this week and next week. As I like to put them in the post on 1 December.
Home Truths by Tina Seskis, Pages: 324, Publication Date: 1 December 2019
Synopsis: A strong marriage can cope with the unexpected. But can it survive the unimaginable?
American nanny Eleanor was never meant to meet Alex. But when she walks into his London police station to report a stalker, everything changes for them both. He’s convinced he can protect her from anything and anyone. She hopes her darkest days are behind her.
As they settle into their life together, two hundred miles away another young couple faces an uncertain future. Christie knows Paul is a decent man, but she can’t shake a clairvoyant’s warning: ‘Never trust your husband . . .’ When a work trip tests their bond, will she overcome her fears for the sake of her family?
Ten years later, both couples are still together, for better or worse. But as doubts and resentments begin bubbling steadily to the surface, all four of them start to question the choices they’ve made.
At least the secrets they all brought into their marriages are still well hidden.
Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie, Pages: 373, Publication Date: 1 December 2019
Synopsis: A laugh-out-loud debut novel for anyone who’s tried to live the perfect life—and learned the hard way there’s no such thing.
Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect moms in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. Turns out wearing pink piggy pyjama bottoms while dropping off her kindergartener late to the first day of school wasn’t her best look.
Not to mention Holly’s worried her husband may be having an affair, she can’t get her daughter to stop sucking her thumb, her hard-won film degree is collecting dust, and to top it all off, the power-hungry PTA president clearly has it in for her…
To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighbourhood mystery—right as her own crazy mother shows up in Primm “to help.” Through it all, Holly begins to realise her neighbours may be just as flawed as—and even wackier than—she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mom?
In The Dark by Loreth Anne White, Pages: 407, Publication Date: 1 December 2019
Synopsis: A secluded mountain lodge. The perfect getaway. So remote no one will ever find you.
The promise of a luxury vacation at a secluded wilderness spa has brought together eight lucky guests. But nothing is what they were led to believe. As a fierce storm barrels down and all contact with the outside is cut off, the guests fear that it’s not a getaway. It’s a trap.
Each one has a secret. Each one has something to hide. And now, as darkness closes in, they all have something to fear—including one another.
Alerted to the vanished party of strangers, homicide cop Mason Deniaud and search and rescue expert Callie Sutton must brave the brutal elements of the mountains to find them. But even Mason and Callie have no idea how precious time is. Because the clock is ticking, and one by one, the guests of Forest Shadow Lodge are being hunted. For them, surviving becomes part of a diabolical game.
The Penmaker’s Wife by Steve Robinson, Pages: 255, Publication Date: 1 December 2019
Synopsis: In Victorian England, a mother is on the run from her past—and the truth about what she did.
Birmingham, 1880. Angelica Chastain has fled from London with her young son, William. She promises him a better life, far away from the terrors they left behind.
Securing a job as a governess, Angelica captures the attention of wealthy widower Stanley Hampton. Soon they marry and the successful future Angelica envisaged for William starts to fall into place.
But the past will not let Angelica go. As the people in her husband’s circle, once captivated by her charm, begin to question her motives, it becomes clear that forgetting where she came from—and who she ran from—is impossible.
When tragedy threatens to expose her and destroy everything she’s built for herself and William, how far will she go to keep her secrets safe? And when does the love for one’s child tip over into dangerous obsession?
Alias Grace meets Peaky Blinders in this tale of obsession, ambition and murder in Victorian England.
Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies by Hayley Nolan, Pages: 331, Publication Date: 1 December 2019
Synopsis: A bold new analysis of one of history’s most misrepresented women.
History has lied.
Anne Boleyn has been sold to us as a dark figure, a scheming seductress who bewitched Henry VIII into divorcing his queen and his church in an unprecedented display of passion. Quite the tragic love story, right?
In this electrifying exposé, Hayley Nolan explores for the first time the full, uncensored evidence of Anne Boleyn’s life and relationship with Henry VIII, revealing the shocking suppression of a powerful woman.
So leave all notions of outdated and romanticised folklore at the door and forget what you think you know about one of the Tudors’ most notorious queens. She may have been silenced for centuries, but this urgent book ensures Anne Boleyn’s voice is being heard now.
Once Night Falls by Roland Merullo, pages: 359, Publication Date: 1 December 2019
Synopsis: A harrowing historical novel of the extraordinary acts of ordinary people in Nazi-occupied Italy.
Italy, 1943. Luca Benedetto has joined the partisans in their fight against the German troops ravaging the shores of his town on Lake Como. While risking his life to free his country, Luca is also struggling to protect Sarah, his Jewish lover who’s hiding in a mountain cabin. As the violent Nazi occupation intensifies, Luca and Sarah fear for more than their own lives.
In the heart of their village, their mothers have also found themselves vulnerable to the encroaching Nazis. But Luca’s mother, undeterred, is devising her own revenge on the occupiers. With Mussolini deposed and Allied armies fighting their way up the peninsula, the fate of Italy hangs in the balance, and the people of Lake Como must decide how much they’re prepared to sacrifice for family, friends, and the country they love.
The most trying of times will create the most unexpected heroes and incredible acts of courage in this stirring narrative as seen through the eyes of those devastated by war-torn Italy.
If You Tell by Gregg Olsen, Pages: 410, Publication Date: 1 December 2019
Synopsis: #1 New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen’s shocking and empowering true-crime story of three sisters determined to survive their mother’s house of horrors.
After more than a decade, when sisters Nikki, Sami, and Tori Knotek hear the word mom, it claws like an eagle’s talons, triggering memories that have been their secret since childhood. Until now.
For years, behind the closed doors of their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, their sadistic mother, Shelly, subjected her girls to unimaginable abuse, degradation, torture, and psychic terrors. Through it all, Nikki, Sami, and Tori developed a defiant bond that made them far less vulnerable than Shelly imagined. Even as others were drawn into their mother’s dark and perverse web, the sisters found the strength and courage to escape an escalating nightmare that culminated in multiple murders.
Harrowing and heartrending, If You Tell is a survivor’s story of absolute evil—and the freedom and justice that Nikki, Sami, and Tori risked their lives to fight for. Sisters forever, victims no more, they found a light in the darkness that made them the resilient women they are today—loving, loved, and moving on.
This Book is Grey by Lindsay Ward, Pages: 40, Publication Date: 1 December 2019
Synopsis: Gray just wants to be included. But the other colours are always leaving him out. So he decides to create his own project: an all-grey book. Once upon a time, there lived a wolf, a kitten, and a hippo…
Gray just knows it’s going to be perfect. But as he adds page after page, the Primary and Secondary colours show up…and they aren’t quite so complimentary.
A book within a book, this colourful tale explores the ideas of fitting in, appreciating others, and looking at things from another perspective and also uses personality and wit to introduce basic colour concepts.
*** Which book will you choose? This month I chose The Penmaker’s Wife ***