Books I Read This Week 2020 – 04

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I also have an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

The Love Story of Missy Carmichael (5 stars): “She marched to the beat of her own drum, whereas I seemed to listen out for everyone else’s.”

I loved and adored this story. This is the story of Missy Carmichael who is living by herself at the beginning of a new stage of her life where she’s lost her husband and is estranged from her daughter and so far away from her son who lives in Australia. She is living a contained life.

“To be open with one’s emotions, to reveal one’s devotion so obviously, seemed reckless, as if inviting a knock?back.”

As she meets her next-door neighbor Alice, her life begins to open up and thanks to a series of small-seeming events she starts building a community around herself. She touches people’s lives and allows them to touch hers. She mends relationships. She learns about herself. She grows up and opens up.

“The magic doesn’t stop the worst happening. The worst happens all the time, every day. And then life goes on. And you just hang on and hope that you can keep whatever crumbs and tiny white teeth are left.”

The magic of letting others help you, of expanding your life, of leaning in and on others is at the heart of this gem of a novel. And it shows you what happens when a person is supported and loved and blooms under the care of that love.

“I’d never seen myself like that before. The first photo summed me up, mostly, but the second had exposed my other self, the tiny part of me that could laugh like that. I wanted to poke my way into that part like I’d delved into the envelope, widen and open it up so that it overwhelmed the stiffness and self?consciousness and all the other weaknesses I despised.”

It’s not possible to read this beautiful novel, full of beautifully rich characters and not to feel your heart growing a size bigger. I have loved my time with it and it will stay with me for a long while.

with gratitude to netgalley and Penguin Group Putnam for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Big Lies in a Small Town (4 stars): Diane Chamberlain is such a master storyteller. I loved both of the characters’ storylines here and I loved how they came together in the end. I felt both of the characters (and worlds) were well developed and interesting on their own which is relatively rare in novels like this. I enjoyed every moment I spent with this story and if you’re a fan of Chamberlain this one won’t disappoint.

Love Her or Lose Her (3.5 stars): I enjoyed my time with this sweet romance novel. I loved that it was about saving a marriage as opposed to a new budding romance. I loved how each of the characters were flawed and yet also wonderful. They were three-dimensional. I liked the therapist a lot, too. Most of the novel was reasonably predictable but it was sweet and endearing.

The Camera Never Lies (3 stars): The premise of this story was so compelling to me that I checked it out from the library multiple times. I had read that it was by a Christian author and I don’t usually read novels of that genre so I couldn’t decide if I should read this. But I kept coming back to it so I finally decided to just read it. And I am glad I did. The story was interesting and despite several reviews to the contrary I actually thought the characters weren’t 100% stereotypical. I liked the premise and i liked the overall lesson that hiding things are not good for you. I believe it’s really important to live aligned with your values and that when you’re out of integrity with who you are, you suffer. This story was a good reminder. I enjoyed it.

And there we go, another week of reading in 2020.

Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

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