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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Welcome in to another week of reading. I’ve been reading review and library books as both are a little ‘brimming over’ at the moment.  I am occasionally getting outside to walk as the weather improves, some days better than others of course. My viewing is piling up as any time I go that way its mainly to see what is going on in England with the death of the Queen and the new King. They do pomp and ceremony so well.

What I read last week:

Both great reads.

What I am reading now:

Another review book for a blog tour.

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Dewey Decimated.  Allison Brook

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Book Connections

2022 Books I want to Read

I like to keep my eye out on what is publishing that I might want to read and of course at this time of the year the publishing world seems to be planning lots of goodies! These are books that are publishing May or have published already.

I am not sure which one I’ll go after first, but I hope to work my way through them via audio, library or a …. buy! I have already been pricing some of them and seeing where it is the cheapest for me to buy! The Book Depository is now quite expensive so if I can get it here it is much the same.

Flirting with FiftyFlirting With Fifty. Jane Porter

A  later in life romance that sounds good. I like Jane Porter’s books and haven’t read one for ages. May read this via audio or print. Not sure yet. However it is already published.

Nightwork

Nightwork Nora Roberts. Her latest which comes out on the 24th of this month in audio format and this is most likely the way I will go. Read by male narrator and will be suspense but haven’t even read the blurb.

The wedding dress sewing circleThe Wedding dress Sewing Circle.  Jennifer Ryan. I have enjoyed her other books and publishes at the end of May. It is set in WW2. I may go for audio or print.

Book LoversBook Lovers Emily Henry.    This too is on audio or may  read it in print. I’ve requested this one from the library.

Bloomsbury Girls

 Bloomsbury Girls. Natalie Jenner.   story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world. I know this is on audio but so far isn’t available for my part of world so may have to go for print which I can do. Heard the audio is great though.

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Review

The Good Wife. Jane Porter

The Good Wife  Book cover

The Good Wife
Jane Porter
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Date: 2013
Format: Kindle ebook
Pages: 432
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Own book
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Always considered the beauty of the family, the youngest Brennan sister, Sarah, remains deeply in love with her husband of ten years. Boone Walker, a professional baseball player, travels almost year-round while Sarah stays home and cares for their two children. Her love for her husband is bottomless—so much so that her sisters say it will end up hurting her.<

Living apart most of the time makes life difficult, especially since Sarah often wonders whether Boone is sharing his bed with other women on the road, even though he swears he’s been true to her since his infidelity three years ago. While she wants to be happy and move forward in her life, Sarah constantly fears that Boone will break his promise. Now with Boone facing yet another career change, tension rises between the two, adding more stress to an already turbulent marriage. Emotionally exhausted, Sarah can’t cope with yet another storm. Now, she must either break free from the past and forgive Boone completely, or leave him behind and start anew . . .

My thoughts banner
The third book in the Brennan Sisters – I again loved this last one.  This is Sarah’s story, however we catch up with the rest of the family as well and I liked that.  Even getting to know more of Sarah’s Dad was satisfying.  The book pretty much opens where the second one – The Good Daughter left off.  There is one expected sad event taking place – and very soon after another one takes place.
This second event leaves Sarah remaining on with her family on the West coast, instead of rejoining her husband who is travelling around playing baseball.  They have  true love for each other, except that Sarah finds it very hard to let go and forgive Boone for being unfaithful three years ago.  It is a constant struggle for her to forgive and trust again.  I began to be annoyed with her, but of course as the reader I was given Boone’s side of it as well – so it was easy for me!  Sarah was a young, very confident, competitive young woman when she and Boone first met, yet now she seems to be just the home holder, caring for the children and the home while Boone is away often.  I felt perhaps her final resolution came a little quickly towards the end – but then again it was satisfying and just the first step, and a very important one; I believe lasting one.
Boone was a very likeable man, – not perfect but very loving and strong.  He is near the end of his career, and almost at the end of his tether with coping with Sarah’s constant niggling and lack of trust. I like how he handled it, strong and loving.  He didn’t always get it right – at times he didn’t really ‘hear’ what Sarah was saying, for example her worry about their son Brennan and his hyperactivity. However he got it right where it counted.
Out of the blue another character, Lauren appeared, she had a back story but at first I didn’t see why she was in the book – however there was meaning eventually and an important one, so I was reconciled! 
We were given updates on Meg and Kit, the first was a surprise and the second was delightful.  Brianna still has a story to be told and so does Cass – the sisters sister-in-law.  I was pleased to hear that this just might happen and another book will be written in this series.
This book explored difficult emotions, loss and grief, worry and distrust, fear, love and the difficulty of forgiveness and trusting again.  It made me think of how difficult it is for couples who are separated often because of one partner away often as a professional sportsperson.  Usually the male! Also how important it is for the female, not to lose sight of herself and her dreams in a marriage.  A great read.  I have loved all three books in this ‘trilogy’ and have felt strongly about the characters.  I have liked how they have explored infidelity and the impact on the partner and family.  
5 stars

Review

The Good Daughter. Jane Porter

Book Cover

The Good Daughter
Jane Porter
Published: Berkley 2013
Genre: Women’s Fiction – Contemporary
Format: ebook
Pages:384
Source: Own book

Love was given to all, except herself . . . Kit Brennan has always been the most grounded of her sisters. A Catholic school English teacher for seventeen years and a constant giver, her decisions have been sound–just not very satisfying. Her fortieth birthday is right around the corner, causing Kit to consider some wilder notions, like skipping right past the love and marriage to raising a child all by herself . . . A girls’ weekend away is just the reprieve Kit needs from school, Mr. Wrongs, and life-changing decisions.

It’s there that she meets a man who’s dangerous; a man who challenges who she thought she was, or rather “should” be. Kit wants to indulge herself this once, but with one of her students in crisis and the weight of her family’s burdens weighing heavy on her heart, Kit isn’t sure if now is the time to let her own desires take flight.

My thoughts:
This is the second in the Brennan sisters series. At first I thought it was going to chug along, it was interesting and I liked catching up with the family, but it was feeling a little bit blah to me. And then… Delilah the young step daughter of Missy and Michael (Harvey) hits the scene.  After that I found I didn’t want to put it down.  We don’t always know what goes on behind closed doors, and when we do suspect all is not well – what might we do?

I liked Kit, high school English teacher and always the good person in the family. She is genuinely caring towards others, but perhaps not really able to put herself first. She meets Jude, a tough looking biker, she is attracted but repelled at the same time. He doesn’t fit the family image of her. However as the book unfolds there are dark secrets to be revealed and Kit finds unexpected support and love. Issues were revealed although not completely to everyone, the reader knows and some of the characters, but not all.  I was completely happy to see where Kit was placed by the end of the book, but I still longed for more!

I enjoyed catching glimpses of the others in the family, it was sad to watch the family gather in support around there mother as she faces the last stages of her fight with cancer.  I found the small glimpse of Meg annoying – I wanted to know what is really going on in her life.  How are things for her now?  Brianna – twin of Kit had some unexpected issues as well, although as I learned about Kit I should have seen that Brianna would have faced the same situation.

In short, I will be reading The Good Wife, very shortly to learn more of the Brennan family.

5 stars
Books in this series:
The Good Daughter
The Good Wife
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Book Blogger Hop

Billy from  The Coffee Addicted Writer blog has relaunched the Book Blogger Hop. Each week the hop will start on Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt just like before. The hop’s purpose will remain the same as it will give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog

This week’s prompt:  What was the last book you read that was recommended to you by someone else.  Did you like it?

The last book I read was The Good Woman by Jane Porter.  This was recommended by a reader that I follow on Goodreads.  I read her review of The Good Daughter on her blog, then decided  to start with the first one in the series.  (Note: she didn’t recommend it to me personally,  but before reading her review I had not heard of the author or the book.

Yes I did enjoy it, although I disagreed somewhat with how the main character was portrayed. I felt she shouldered more of the blame for the unfaithfulness in her marriage.  I thought the husband should have carried more of it.  However this book had me thinking long after I had finished it, and I will read the next book in this series at some point.

This is my first time taking part in this hop, I thought it might be one I can keep up with, as I also read middle grade and YA which I track on another blog and I join in It’s Monday, What Are You Reading, with that blog.


Review

The Good Woman. Jane Porter. TBR challenge

                                                       The Good Woman                                                                                  

Jane Porter.
Published Kindle September 2012.
368 Pages
Berkeley.
Summary from Goodreads.
The firstborn of a large Irish-American family, Meg Brennan Roberts is a successful publicist, faithful wife, and doting mother who prides herself on always making the right decisions. But years of being “the good woman” have taken a toll and though her winery career thrives, Meg feels burned out and empty, and more disconnected than ever from her increasingly distant husband. Lonely and disheartened, she attends the London Wine Fair with her boss, ruggedly handsome vintner, Chad Hallahan. It’s here, alone together in an exotic city, far from “real” life, that Chad confesses his long-standing desire for Meg.

Overwhelmed, flattered, and desperately confused, Meg returns home, only to suddenly question every choice she’s ever made, especially that of her marriage. For Meg, something’s got to give, and for once in her life she flees her responsibilities—but with consequences as reckless and irreversible as they are liberating. Now she must decide whether being the person everyone needs is worth losing the woman she was meant to be.

This is a very down to earth real book.  We not only meet Meg and her family but her parents and sisters.  Her sisters will be the later main characters of the next books.  They have grown up in a good Catholic family, and have some of that inevitable Catholic shame and guilt in their make up.  There is love and support as well and forgiveness in some measure.

Meg is the eldest and as such was shouldered with a lot of responsibility as a child. There is a significant event in her life that alters her relationship with one sister and causes Meg to forever feel guilty and not good enough.  She does not accept help easily, and soldiers on with somewhat of a martyr complex thrown in. Can be pretty typical for the eldest in families.

In her forties she is in crisis.  She is a capable woman but an unhappy woman.  She has an excellent job that she is good at, and she manages her home and family admirably.  So why isn’t she happy?  She has a sense of loneliness and dissatisfaction with her life.  Her husband Jack is on a totally different ‘planet’, unaware that he has a wife he should be paying more attention to.  Meg’s needs are not being met.  If I could I would want to grasp Jack by the shoulders and say, ” Wake up”.

When Meg indulges in a relationship with her boss, while enjoying it, she feels guilty and finishes it.  Jack is unforgiving and Meg wallows in self pity, guilt and shame.  She sees the pain it has caused Jack and her children.  Eventually Jack and Meg engage in some discussion and she tells him of her needs.  His response, “You should have told me”.  Well yes, I guess so, but something makes me wonder if the Jack earlier on in the story would have just ignored it.  There is no apparent real reconciliation, perhaps this will come.  However both would need counselling and personal growth if Meg is to be truly fulfilled.

I felt Meg was asked to shoulder nearly all the blame for her unfaithfulness.  She attempts a few times to say she is going to be strong and seek what she is entitled to – but it is very wonky and fragile.  I felt Jack was a cardboard character, sure there are moments of humanity shown in the novel, but I can’t say he was somebody I would really want to stay for.  As there are more books about other sisters, perhaps we will be given a little more insight into how this crisis has challenged him and invited him to grow.

I wavered between a three and a four for this book, but finally settled on a four, because it made me think long after I had turned off my Kindle!