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by Riley Sager. Confabulated lives. The book within a book/ghost story was a successful structure. Without that, rather a flimsy read. The haunted house in Vermont was not a vivid character and added little to the atmosphere. Lots of loose ends and plot holes. The usual gothic themes, nothing is as it seems. But. Better than Mexican Gothic. And. What’s with the title? Had nothing to do with anything.

Mexican Gothic

by Silvia Moreno-García. Two clunkers in a row. Probably not good to have Kelly Ripa as a source for good reading. Weak writing in general. Stilted dialogue as if it were a bad translation. Setting amorphous. Period, scene, geography vague. Could be any house any time anywhere on a hill in a mining town. No tension or drama of any weight. Silly conceit. Stupid reveal. Skip this one. Sorry, Kelly.

You Are Not Alone

by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. As with The Wife Between Us, not sure why it takes two people to write such a tepid tale. Although better than that anemic novel. Shay is a more sympathetic central character even if she is a bit of a ditz. No one could be quite so gullible. But. You want her to prevail. And. There are glimpses of New York City the way it used to be in normal times. Filled a few September hours.

Notes On A Silencing

A Memoir. By Lacy Crawford. Crawford’s harrowing years at the prestigious St. Paul’s School in Corcord, NH read like a novel. Her chilling and compelling story reveal a complicated legacy of so many women and men alike. All or parts of Crawford’s encounters are relatable to young students, whether in elite prep schools or not. And the dismissal and cover-up of abuse and assault are common to all of them. Crawford’s book was elicited by recent investigations into the school. None of the voluminous allegations ended in any criminal charges.… Read more Notes On A Silencing

28 Summers

by Elin Hilderbrand. Okay. Yes. Another very beachy read. But. Mallory Blessing and Jake McCloud are as appealing as can be. They are well drawn and consistent. A lovely love story with adventures & tragedies. Each of their 28 Nantucket summers begin with a list of what we were talking about during that year. It’s quite a mind-bender. Many events seem impossible to believe that it was so long ago, others don’t seem quite as recent. So. A tear-jerker to be sure, but worth it. Hope and happy prospects in the… Read more 28 Summers

Big Summer

by Jennifer Weiner. Don’t judge. Full-size young woman influencer & model. Okay. Yeah. But. Actually pretty entertaining.  Two books in one. The story of Daphne the bullied teen who takes a stand in a video that goes viral. And a murder mystery in Truro on Cape Cod.

The Guest List

by Lucy Foley. A fun who-done-it. Set in a folly on an island off the west coast of Connemara in Ireland. Graveyards, peat, bogs, cliffs, caves and a lavish wedding with lots of crazy family and friends. Told from the different points of view of the bridesmaid-sister, the bride, the best man, the plus-one and the wedding planner. Red herrings galore.

Woman Booker Redux

This year’s Booker longlist is dominated by women. Broken record alert. There is obviously no need for a separate prize for women. Also. The idea that Mantel’s weighty tome The Mirror & the Light is on the same list as Tyler’s shortish story Redhead by the Side of the Road is ludicrous. Makes me want to re-read Edward St. Auban’s ludic satirical masterpiece Lost for Words. Where a cookbook wins the literary prize. The 2020 full longlist is: Diane Cook, “The New Wilderness” Tsitsi Dangarembga, “This Mournable Body” Avni Doshi,… Read more Woman Booker Redux