A Book That Takes Place in Your Country of Origin

2018

Mary Jo

This is a sweeping family saga, full of dysfunction, joy, and even death. It’s the fourth in the series about the Quinn family, and although I haven’t read the previous books, the story stood as a stand-alone book. The Quinn family seems like a composite of my family, my in-laws, and the family of a few friends all rolled into one. With a little effort, you’ll probably recognize a few of these characters as members of your own family. I had to wipe away a tear or two at the end.

Winter Solstice is set in Massachusetts, between Boston and Nantucket. I’ve been to Boston, but never out to the islands, and now I’m convinced I need to make a visit.

Mary Jo

I read The Life She Was Given for a book club. It good fit in any number of categories, but I decided to put it here. It was set in the U.S.

At its core, this is a book about family secrets and how they influence our lives over generations. I can’t say too much more without giving away the numerous plot twists, so I’ll leave it that the book was a reminder of both the brutality and triumph that exists amongst families.


I picked this up after binge-watching Big Little Lies (based on a book by the same author). I didn’t find Truly Madly Guilty as compelling, but the popularity of the author made it hard to pass up.

It was “just okay.” Not worth spending a lot of time with, but good for a vacation read (and so many people are looking for just that right now).

I read this book for a book club discussion and was the only one who didn’t love it.

Mrs. Fletcher didn’t shock as much as seem a self-indulgent look at sex, love, and identity in the cultural wars of the ’10s. It felt a little too been there, done that throwback to the 1960s.

It did provoke some lively group discussions, which means it was aptly chosen for the group, and I was alone in finding it pedantic.


I read The Immortalists for a book club and there was a good discussion around its premises – how would you live your life if you knew precisely the date you would die.

This is a family saga, covering three generations, and the way destiny and choice became all balled up in the way four siblings lived their lives. Full of good discussion points for a book club.

I haven’t read one of Lisa Scottoline’s books in a while, so I loaded this one up on my Kindle for a day at sea read while on our Viking Ocean cruise.

Damaged is a legal thriller, one of my favorite genres. It addition to the usual legal maneuverings, this did a fine job of laying out the legal issues regarding education for special needs children. When a thriller encompasses law in an accurate portrayal, it gets my thumbs up.