Stranded on Vail Mountain

Stranded on Vail Mountain by Desiree L. Scott

This book follows the life of Joan Clayton and her interactions with those around her while she is on a week-long vacation at a mountain resort with her husband, her best friend, Stacey,who showed up out of the blue, a few other guests at the resort, and the employees at the resort. Shortly after her arrival to the resort, her friend makes an unannounced welcome to the resort as well. She just happens to be staying at the same resort, for the same amount of time. Joan soon learns that it is too good to be true and leaves the resort on a trek in efforts to calm herself down. While out and about, she gets stuck and a storm is about to ensue. Stephen is assigned the task of rescuing her and completes the task, but not without a few surprises along the way back down the mountain, good and bad.

Once back at the resort, Joan hides herself away from everyone, including her now ex-best friend. Joan is beside herself with grief over all that has happened to her and those around her. When she finally agrees to talk to Stacey, she learns that the truth is not as easy and as crystal clear as it always seems. Her life is turned upside down once more. When the storm finally dies down enough for her and the remaining guests to leave, they do so, but Joan doesn’t do it without some hesitation about leaving Stephen behind. Stacey urges her to stay and Stephen urges her to come back soon. But with both people leading such completely different lives can she give up everything for one and move forward with her life?

This book was a quick, easy read. Great for a cold,winter evening! There is minimal language in this book and despite a few Kindle glitches (nothing that interfered with the reading), this book was interesting and held my interest the entire time.

Maybe happy endings do exist, we just have to take the risks and know where to find them…

What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

This book is definitely an interesting read. It begs the question: What would you do if you forgot the last ten years of your life? Would you be the same person? Would you change who you are? Would you become someone knew? What would the 10-years-younger you say about the choices you are making today? What would you think about who you have become and what you are doing with your life?

Alice Love doesn’t have to ask these questions; she is living it. She falls during a spin class at her gym and bumps her head. When she comes to, moments later, she has no recollection of where she is, who the people around her are, nor does she realize it is 10 years later than what she remembers. Her bump caused 10 years of memories to disappear. She comes into a world where she is on the edge of a divorce with the love of her life, she has three kids, her relationship with her sister has gone astray, she has different priorities which includes a pesky, bossy voice in her head, and for once in her life, she is skinny. None of this seems normal to her and she has to navigate her way through her new life to try and find her old self, while still being true to her actual self. This gives Alice a second chance at life, relationships, as well as how she does things. With each day, more memories are revealed to her and she realizes more and more of why she acts the way she does/did or why people act certain ways around her. She realizes she is a busy mother who never slows down to enjoy life. Her 10-years-younger self finds it hard to keep up, but does her best to make a new way in her already set-in-stone life.

As books would have it, she has another massive fall ending with a bump on the head towards the end of the book, and after that bump it seals the fate of how she will act and what she will do with the rest of her life.

This book did switch back and forth between Alice, Frannie’s letters (family friend), and Elizabeth’s (Alice’s sister) homework. This switching back and forth takes a while to get accustomed to, but the more I read, the more I realized why their letters were so important to the rest of the story. It gave a more unbiased view to all the situations and it helped the reader to understand why certain characters acted in certain ways. It gave the reader information that sometimes Alice might not, and cannot know because of her memory loss, but it leads to a deeper understanding.

For the most part we as the reader are on the same journey with Alice, trying to recover her memory and figure out who she is, was, and wants to be going on into the future.

Another great book from Liane Moriarty!

The Last Anniversary 

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty 

I apologize for the month long hiatus, work got really busy, but I’m back with another book review!

This is  another book by Liane Moriarty. I am usually not much for romance novels, but hers are worth it, overall. 

This book mainly follows Sophie’s story, but we do jump to other character’s minds as well during the story. We learn that Sophie is set to inherit the house of an ex-boyfriend’s recently passed away aunt. While one family member is furious, the others are excited about her coming back to live on the exclusive family-only-after-dark island. 

Everything on their island revolves around the Enigma baby mystery. This baby that Alice and Jack just left behind when they disappeared out of nowhere. Everything from tours of the house to authentic, this is what the house looked like when left, to a yearly anniversary of the event.

Everyone in the family always debates  about what really happened, but don’t get out find out until they are forty and deemed mature enough to handle it.

The story follows Sophie and the residents that live there as they  go through character changes. The reader does learn the truth behind the mystery and the story drops off soon after that. After the truth is learned, loose ends are tied up.

This story deals with loss, depression, along with other topics that can’t be told without giving away part of the mystery. It was a good read, but it dragged on once the full truth was out and in the open.

Three Wishes

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty 

This book follows the travels of three sisters for roughly a year of their life.  The first introduction to the sisters is a scene from an outside perspective watching them at a restaurant when they seem to have an explosive argument. We hear nothing in this snippet from any of the sisters. From there we switch back in time and start hearing their story, switching between the three: Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle. Each sister has an issue to deal with it, be it family, or love life related. All have a mirage built up that is bound to be broken soon. They have secrets they don’t even tell each other. Their relationships strain, together and with others. But, through this one year in their life they also grow stronger and closer. I did enjoy the outside snippets that show various parts of their lives. Though at first it didn’t seem as if they had any correlation to the current story, the more I read, the more clear it became how they interacted and impacted the story. It impacted my viewpoint on the girls too, as it gave another glimpse into them that I would otherwise never have seen. These girls resemble a family, like any other, except they are triplets and that makes them unique to everyone else around them.

Overall this book was a decent read. I liked it enough to keep reading .ore of this author’s books. It is also this author’s first book and that can account for some of the writing not being as grand. It took me a long time to read this one between other obligations and I can’t fully tell if it is because of the lack of a total hook to these characters, because I didn’t care for them as much as I usually do for other characters, or if it took me a long time to read for other reasons. 

Overall the book is a decent read and I am going to give this author another go by reading her next book. 

Lizzy and Jane

Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay

This book will pull at your heart strings in more ways than one. This book follows Lizzy, a chef in New York City with her own restaurant, but when her restaurant manager tells her that her passion is failing and is bringing in extra help, she decides now would be a good time to take time to go visit her father and sick sister, Jane. Jane is sick with cancer and has a family of a husband and two kids. Jane has lost her will to love, to love, to eat, to do anything for most of the week after her chemotherapy.
When Lizzy comes, she uses her cooking skills and expertise to make foods suited Jane’s new palate. Through this Lizzy starts to love cooking again, but that comes with new issues. While living with Jane, Lizzy’s past, as well as her sister’s and father’s comes dredged up. Feelings arise that the family doesn’t want to deal with, along with a husband who appears to not be support of his wife during her sickness. Lizzy is left with Jane and her two kids, learning to balance their lives and helping Jane through treatment. Lizzy meets Nick and his son, and her world changes even more. Lizzy always plans to go back to New York, but then she begins to cook for other cancer patients as well. When things go wary there, Lizzy’s while world changes and she makes mistakes she feels she can’t undo. Lizzy leaves to go back to New York to what she thinks she wants, only to find herself mistaken. To right wrongs, she comes back to her family and Nick, but will they accept her and will her new dream showcase her passion in a way that her restaurant never did?
This story is heartfelt, deals with the loss of loved ones through sickness and distance. It shows that love can conquer all. This book proves that while you may not like a family member, loving them through it all is important. Love is not like. Love is important to have and will help you get through all trials in life, even when you think others don’t care. They will surprise you in the most unsuspecting ways. Through notes, research, a steady hand in the kitchen, the love of a child, and most of all, a second chance.
Keep tissues handy, and happy reading!

Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Samantha Moore is the down-on-her-luck character that many of us are all too familiar with. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Sam hides behind the facade of her favorite books, namely Jane Austen and other similar classics. She has been in and out of foster homes and lives with Father John now. An orphan, at the age of 23, and all attempts at a normal life failed, for another “failed to connect.” She gets the opportunity of a life-time to go to college, all under the donation of an illustrious Mr. Knightley, the benefactor who will pay for all of her educational costs, as long as she gets her graduate degree in journalism. Sam begins by not being too fond of this prospect, but it grows on her and transforms her in ways she never imagined possible. Through the help of Mr. Knightley and journalism, along with new friends that she meets in the most unlikely places, she is able to start overcoming her past and put the book front behind her. She begins to be more courageous. During the book she meets the famous Alex Powell, who she finds herself enjoying more and more time with, but with no basis as to what relationships should be like, she has no basis for what she feels like. Throughout her journey, Mr. Knightley provides her with clothes, an apartment, and a confidant as Sam, to get her education paid for, must chronicle her adventures through school (and life as she deems fit) to him through letters to which he never replies. Sam finds safety and refuge in the letters and is able to open up to her true self, closing doors on her past and opening doors to things she never imagined possible. She finds love, friends, and family, but when she questions the relationship of Mr. Knightley and demands a meeting, does everything crumble?

I enjoyed this book. I was an easy read, though I must digress that I guessed the identity of Mr. Knightley almost immediately. I won’t say when, as that would give it away, but I will say, if you pay attention to the book, it will be easy to figure out who the mysterious benefactor is, and when you do, the story takes a different light.

It is a light-hearted romance in the underlying tones with some references to a dark past for Sam, but it is mixed in with what would be normal college/friend troubles. It seems young and trivial as a reader that she would be thinking that way, but with her lack of knowledge of anything solid and real in the world, I could shrug it off as her learning her way in the world.

Katherine Reay has other books out as well, all with titles that lend to Jane Austen and other similar female authors. Enjoy this book for a light read and don’t look into it for too much of a deeper meaning. It was definitely a cozy read.