Book Report | March 2014

Hello folks!  I’ve decided to start doing the monthly book report posts towards the end of the month.  That seems to make the most sense to me.  This past month, I read some REALLY good books, so I’ve been anxious to share those with you!  So, let’s get started, shall we?

Things We Set on Fire

by Deborah Reed

Things We Set on Fire was the book my Book Club read for March.  I really liked it and that seemed to be the consensus of the club.  It’s a rather sad story that centers around a rather dysfunctional family (and that’s putting it mildly!).  Don’t let that rather drab description turn you away, though.  This is a very heartfelt story about the reuniting of a grandmother with her two young grandchildren.  The circumstances surrounding this also bring her two adult daughters into the mix.  One of whom (the mother of the children) had avoided her for years.  The strain on the family dates back 30 years to the tragic shooting of their father and the effects of that event altered the course of all of their lives.  Now, with another tragedy on the horizon, the family tries to pull together against the odds.

It’s a very well written and thought out story.  Don’t be so sure that there’s not a lot more to what you see on the surface!


Sycamore Row

by John Grisham

Ahh…who doesn’t love a good John Grisham novel!  I devoured his books in college 20 years ago, but haven’t really read anything written by him since then.  But, I saw good reviews for Sycamore Row so I decided to give it a read.  Boy, am I glad I did!  What a great book!  If you read A Time to Kill then you’re already familiar with the main characters.  The main lawyer in that book – Jake Brigance –  is the main lawyer in this book, just 3 or 4 years later.  This is set in late 1980s Mississippi, so there is a lot of racial issues in the mix (just in case that isn’t your preference).

The main storyline features Seth Hubbard, a wealthy local resident, that kills himself due to a terminal illness.  The will he leaves in his wake sets off a firestorm of controversy and instigates a nasty legal battle where Jake fights to uphold the last will and testament of Mr. Hubbard.  I do have to say it’s a bit predictable, but how they get to those points are what keeps the story interesting!

If you like legal dramas, than this is the book for you!

All the Summer’s Girls

by Meg Donahue

AlltheSummersGirlsA great read for the upcoming summer, All the Summers Girls, focuses on the friendship of three women.  They’ve been friends since they were little kids, but now in their late 20’s they’re leading completely separate lives in different cities.  They try to stay in touch, but differing life paths makes this a challenge to continue feeling that connection they once shared.  In order to bond after a personal tragedy for one of the women, they all descend upon the shores of New Jersey where they used to go for summers in high school.  Here they face past demons as well as new controversies as they try to navigate their old friendship.

This is a quick read and kept me intrigued throughout the story.  I liked each of the characters and rooted for each one along the way!


The Traitor’s Wife

by Allison Pataki

TraitorsWifeOk, this book is one of THE BEST books I’ve read in quite some time!  It’s one of those where you want to just cancel all of your plans, curl up on the couch and bury yourself in the book until you reach the last page.  I was hooked from page one and COULD NOT put it down!  The Traitor’s Wife is a historical fiction about Benedict Arnold.  It’s told from the perspective of his wife’s maid, which was a fascinating point of view from which to view that historic time and events.

The story begins when the maid, Clara, is hired on as the maid for Miss Peggy Shippen.  She’s the belle of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War and Clara witnesses her courtship with a dashing British officer, John Andre.  After the British abandon Philadelphia for New York and the Hudson valley, heartbroken Peggy sets her sights on the city’s newest arrival…Benedict Arnold.  Much her senior, he falls immediately in love with her and they eventually get married.

The path they take to their treasonous act is based on speculation, but there are documented letters and testimonies to indicate this is what may have happened.  At the time, it was believed Peggy Shippan Arnold was ignorant of her husband’s treachery, but since then, documents and other evidence have come to light that show she may have played a significant role in Benedict Arnold’s activities (his main contact on the British side was none other than his wife’s former suitor, John Andre).

This is a fascinating read and really paints the picture of this epic time in our history.  I want to say I’ve heard there are talks to make this into a movie, to which I say, YES YES YES!!  But, don’t quote me on that!  I’m not sure if that’s just a rumor!

If you read nothing else from this month’s book report, read this one!


If you’ve missed any of my past book reports, be sure to check those out HERE!

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