Monday, December 31, 2018

ATY and Popsugar reading challenges for 2019!

Reading Challenge 2019I have never before participated in one of the more intense long-term reading challenges such as 
But that is about to change with the start of a new year!
I have decided to fully indulge my love of listing 
books to read and 'scheduling' my reading!
Since I do not have a ton of spare time due to 
working full-time and still working out at the gym and heated therapy pool at least 10-15 hours per week 
to fully rehabilitate these new knee joints 
and get in the best physical shape I can accomplish, 
I will approach this a bit differently than I might 
if I had more reading time.
I will list the books I must read for the book clubs in which I participate first. Then books I own... 
Around the Year in 52 Books And then there will, of course, be some books that are new, or at least new-to-me, that I still need to own and read! :)
Rather than select one book for each prompt, 
I will fit each book into as many prompts as possible, 
thereby guaranteeing that I cover all the prompts with fewer books! Pretty nifty, huh?
Did I mention that both of these groups are located on Goodreads? If not, I should have...
And as much as I despise the fact that Jeff Bezos/Amazon 
owns and manages Goodreads, I am still using it. 
Seems as if Bezos encroaches upon everyone's life in one way or another, if not through Amazon or Goodreads, then IMDB...or Whole Foods...or...? 
I just avoid all the other entities except Goodreads, which serves as my "bible" in so many ways!

On to the listing of book club reads 
currently scheduled for 2019!

Although the company has been bankrupt for some years, 
the book club I founded while working there has survived!
I was absolutely thrilled when the core of six reliable members 
chose to continue the book club after our local store closed!
This group meets each month and we currently have books selected through July 2019:

January 2019: We are Okay by Nina Lacour
I am about one-third through this one and am really enjoying it. 
I admit the cover initially confused me--my immediate thought was this was a graphic novel!
It is not... :)
February 2019: Less by Andrew Sean Greer
2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
(We selected this way before the Pulitzer Prize winners were announced!)
March 2019: Chocolat by Joanne Harris
I have such great hopes for this book! I absolutely loved the movie!
April 2019: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Another one I am anxiously anticipating and just hope I won't be disappointed!
May 2019: The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
That name may look familiar--she was the co-author of 
A book this same club read and everyone loved!
June 2019: On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
The cover image is quite intriguing!
July 2019: Them Bones by Carolyn Haines
This selection is the result of my having purchased one of the later books 
in this Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery series at a library sale for 50 cents.
What can I say? I loved it! 

Sometime this summer we will select another 12 books to read over the following year, 
so there will be at least 5 more books for this book club alone!

The next book club is the Literary Wives online book discussion group.
We "meet" every other month to discuss a book with regard to this question:
What does this book say about wives or about the experience of being a wife?
Our reviews are posted the first Monday of that month.
The cohosts of this club are rather diverse in their opinions and analyses of these books.
It makes for varied reactions and great discussion!
Check it out on Facebook!
Here are the six books selected for 2019...

February 4, 2019: They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple 
This is a Persephone reprint and my copy has already shipped from the UK to me in the US!
I am hopeful it will arrive this week. I believe this one may be intense!
It is a "classic" originally published in 1944.
April 1, 2019: Wait for Me, Jack by Addison Jones
The subject is a marriage that has lasted 60 whole years! Wow!
June 3, 2019: A Separation by Katie Kitamura
August 5, 2019: Ties by Domenico Starnone, translated by Jhumpa Lahiri
Interesting cover image! Makes me wonder!
October 7, 2019: Happenstance by Carol Shields
December 2, 2019: The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Another Persephone reprint that is making it's way to the US and my house!
Anxious to read this role reversal where a stay-at-home wife and mother 
is forced to work outside the home to support her children and newly disabled husband. 
Originally published in 1924!
February 3, 2020: The War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen
(I can cheat and read this in 2019! lol)

This club meets monthly at my favorite bookstore!
There is currently only one book scheduled:
January 27, 2019: The Dry by Jane Harper 
I am quite anxious to read this mystery!
I believe it will be a series 
I will want to continue reading!
Never fear, Laura and Justin, the owners, 
will schedule 11 more for 2019!
I have definitely read outside my comfort zone for this group and have had only one DNF! :)

IUPUI Book Club
Perhaps I left this one for last because it is my favorite book club!!
Why? Simple. It offers the greatest diversity among the participants:
including faculty, staff, and students of varied ethnicities, 
geographic origin, and life experience. 
All this variety creates such wide-ranging reactions and opinions! 
I love that!
IUPUI is a joint venture higher-education institution located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The school is administered by Indiana University (main campus in Bloomington, Indiana), 
but includes Purdue University School of Engineering and School of Science.  
Unfortunately, this group meets just 3-4 times per year.
The next book selected is An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. 
Yes, THAT Hank Green! Brother to and cohost with brother John Green. 
Check it out on YouTube: Vlog Brothers!
There will be another three books or so selected for this group in 2019 as well!

Now that I have this posting done, I will work on a page 
for each the ATY challenge and the Popsugar challenge! 

I have at least one book listed for almost all 102 prompts--
52 for ATY and 50 for Popsugar. 
However, there are way fewer than 102 books listed overall.
Remember, I am counting each book for every prompt it fits!

You are welcome to return to follow my progress!

How about you? Have you ever participated in either or both of these events?
If so, please let me know your thoughts!
If not, why not?!? ;)

Happy reading!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

2019 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge at Passages to the Past


I am determined to get back into the blogging game in 2019.
I made a restart in 2018, but not nearly as much as I would like...
The good news is that with all the exercising I've been doing, 
both of my knee joints are in considerably better shape 
and causing little to no disruption to my daily activities. 
Though per my surgeon, no jumping allowed, 
Though I honestly don't remember the last time I ever actually tried to jump! ;)
which is hosted once again by Amy of Passages to the Past.

There are six different categories:
Twentieth Century Reader--2 books
Victorian Reader--5 books
Renaissance Reader--10 books
Medieval Reader--15 books
Ancient History--25 books
Prehistoric--50 books

While I would love to think I could read and review 50 historical fiction novels 
in 2019, I am forcing myself to be more realistic! 

My goal is to read and review at least 5 books for the Victorian Reader level.
But I am really hoping to make it to 
the Renaissance Reader level with at least 10!

What are some of these books that I hope to read in 2019?
Wait for Me, Jack by Addison Jones
Wait for Me, Jack by Addison Jones
This is a historical fiction novel about a marriage
that has lasted for 60 years. 
Wow...that is unbelievable to me! 
I am anxiously anticipating reading this in March 
for the Literary Wives April 1st 2019 review postings. 
Please join us on Facebook!
Cover image for Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I admit I have always been fascinated by this book and am very anxious to finally read it!
It happens to be the April 2019 selection for the 
face-to-face book club I facilitate! 
There is romance, fantasy, 
and this is also classified as historical fiction! 

The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
The Home-MakerThis is the December 2019 selection for the 
Literary Wives online discussion group. 
I am quite interested in reading this one. 
The main character is a "stay-at-home mom." 
However, due to unforeseen circumstances, roles are reversed when she is forced to work outside the home to support the family, which now includes a disabled husband. This book explores the repercussions for 
her children and marriage in the ensuing upheaval. 
This is listed as a feminist read, so I expect it to be fascinating, given that it was initially published in 1924!
I wonder how it might compare to A Lady and Her Husband 
which we technically reviewed in December 2017, 
though my own review was not published until January 1, 2018. 

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
This is the May 2019 selection for the face-to-face book club 
I facilitate and is another historical fiction novel! :)
(Wow...I may have 5 historical fiction novels just among those already scheduled for book clubs in 2019! Cool!)
I think this will be an excellent read!
Annie was the co-author of 
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
another historical fiction novel and one that 
each member of this same book club absolutely adored! 
That bodes well for this book! This is all about secrets!

The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro
Oh, my! I did not realize 
(or remember from watching the movie) 
that this is historical fiction based upon 
the legend of the Amazonian fish-god!
I cannot describe just how much I loved this movie and on so many levels! 
As soon as I discovered the book, 
I had the owner of my favorite used bookstore 
order it in for me! 
This is the book I plan to read on New Year's Day.
I just cannot wait. 
I am fascinated with the whole story 
from watching the movie 
and though I rarely rewatch movies, 
I will definitely be doing so with this one! 

So I know I will at least have 5 historical fiction books 
read and reviewed in 2019! 
Who knows? 
Maybe I will make that Renaissance Reader level with 10! 
And each of these can be used to fulfill multiple prompts
for both the ATY 2019 and Popsugar 2019 reading challenges! 

How about you? Do you enjoy historical fiction?
Have you ever participated in this challenge?

Happy reading!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday for December 18, 2018!

    Here are previous Smoke & Mirrors Top Ten Tuesday posts.
This meme was created by The Broke and the Bookish and hosted by that site 
until January 2018 when That Artsy Reader Girl took on the hosting duties!

Today's theme is Winter 2018 TBR!

Oh, so many! I currently have 6833 books on my Goodreads "Want to Read" shelf!
Of those, here are some I am most anticipating reading this winter...

Becoming, Michelle Obama's autobiography, 
is a definite read for me 
during this winter. 

She and Barack are 
two people for whom 
I have the utmost respect. 

I also really want to finally read his two books:

Dreams From My Father: 
A Story of Race and Inheritance 
The Audacity of Hope: 
Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

I just feel the need to remind myself that there will be a return to 
decency, compassion, and intellect among those occupying 
the main leadership positions of this country... Those changes cannot arrive too quickly!

The January 2019 
read for the face-to-face book club 
I facilitate is 
by Nina LaCour. 

And then there is The Dry by Jane Harper for the Second Flight Books Backlist Book Club in January. I have a feeling I will immediately want to follow this with Force of Nature. These are book #1 and #2 in her Aaron Falk series.

But...before any of these 
I am currently finishing 
I have found this to be even more interesting 
and informative than I at first imagined 
it might be. I am enjoying his writing 
as well as the details of his life.
Immediately following that is 

I selected both of these books for Nonfiction November, a reading event 
 cohosted by the following five bloggers: 

And although November has come and gone, I am determined to complete these books before 2019 arrives! (Better late than never!) I have anxiously anticipated reading both of these books for sooooooo long!  :)

Sometime during January, I will read and review 
They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple 
for the February 4, 2019, 
Literary Wives review posting. 
This is a Persephone reprint 
so I'll definitely be ordering a copy!
It sounds rather intense!

Also in January I will be 
reading and reviewing 
James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room 
for the Classics Club Spin #19
I was totally enthralled by his book
Go Tell It on the Mountain.

The Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge group 
is hosting a group read of 
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle 
by Stuart Turton 
for January 2019.
I am intrigued by this book for many reasons. 
It would fulfill quite a few prompts 
for the Popsugar 2019 and ATY 2019 challenges as well.
Both of these challenges are on Goodreads.
 If you're interested, look for them in "groups" on Goodreads.

And then? I have so many more I want to read...
How about you? What is on your Winter 2018 to-read listing?

Happy reading!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Literary Wives #36

My copy of this totally enthralling book was the hardcover with the image on the right. 
However, I prefer the cover image on the left 
as I feel it better portrays Grace.
I started reading this at about 10:30PM one 
Saturday night and stayed up until 3:30AM 
on Sunday morning, trying to finish it, but just
couldn't get those last 10 pages or so read 
before I was so tired I had to call it quits! 
That is exactly how enthralling I found this 
book to be. Totally!! 
It has been a very long time since a book kept me so interested...

Having read and enjoyed Body Surfing, I have decided that Anita Shreve 
belongs on my favorite author list! I have been wanting to read The Pilot's Wife in forever, and think that has definitely moved up on my TBR listing! 
It was an Oprah Book Club selection, so even more encouraging...
But I digress...on to my review of this current Literary Wives selection!

I was thrown off just a bit by the title of the first chapter, "Wet." All I read about this novel talked of drought. Huh? But ironically, the spring prior to the extreme summer drought was very wet and damp with much rain. I used a clothes line when I lived in the country and thoroughly enjoyed Shreve's description: 
On the last beautiful afternoon, over two weeks ago, there was wash on the line in every 
front porch and backyard. With white sheets, undershirts, and rags flapping in the wind, 
it looked as thought an entire town of women had surrendered. (3)
That was the end of the first paragraph and it made me laugh out loud. Definitely a good start! As the rains continue, Grace hangs clothes in the house to dry. Then leaves burners lit on the stove at night to make provide enough heat to dry them! 
They live in a shingled bungalow two blocks inland from the ocean. 
Good investment, Gene always says. (4)
Indeed, I could imagine living that close to the ocean with constant rain and all the humidity that would gather and just hang in the air, even inside the house. That would get old! And the children wouldn't be able to go outside and play nearly as often. Once dryer weather reappears and Grace is walking through Hunts Beach, she
thinks the fluttering sheets and clothes are not, after all, 
a sign of surrender, but instead a symbol of survival. (17)
It all depends upon your perspective, doesn't it? 

I admit that the fact that Grace is a smoker was a bit unsettling to me. And then Dr. Lighthart smokes, too! Yikes! Though this was a different day and age, in 1947, when no one gave a second thought to smoking cigarettes. We learn that during this time there is an encouragement to ration and cut back to help "feed Europe." 

As I got to the part of the book where an uncontrolled and uncontrollable fire destroys all of Hunts Beach, the Camp fire was similarly burning in California. It felt a bit surreal. Thankfully, Grace had piece of mind to not only get herself and children into the edge of the ocean and covered with water-soaked materials, but also to instruct Rosie to do the same. Neither husband was home when the fire hit, so these women had to think for themselves and survive it intact. The aftermath is what would seem unbearable to me. No home. No job. No money. Completely displaced. And for Grace, no husband. 

Grace, her mother, and her children, stay with some of her mother's friends temporarily, until she realizes that her mother-in-law's house is empty. There is no word of Gene, though Grace checks everywhere and with everyone she can. (Communication is not instantaneous as it is now with the internet, cell phones, etc.) She decides to move her mother and children into her husband's inherited house. The first time she enters the  house, she realizes with a start that someone is in the house and playing the piano! This person has also been displaced and was simply squatting in the house/on the property. However, Grace decides to allow Aidan to remain in the house as long as he pays rent. This works well, and Aidan and Grace provide each other company in the evenings as they both read and converse. Slowly but surely, Grace realizes she is falling in love with Aidan and they finally consummate their relationship. Then Aidan gets a job and must resume traveling on the road from concert to concert, leaving Grace with her children and mother once again. A very much different and wounded Gene reappears in their life. Though extremely scarred and injured by the fire, he has survived months of hospitalization to return home. He is a completely different person, and not in a good way. How will Grace bear caring for a husband who is belligerent at best and violent at worst? 

We are here to answer the Literary Wives question:

What does this book say about wives or about the experience of being a wife?

Please make sure you read 
the other hosting bloggers' reviews:

Naomi of Consumed by Ink

I thought this book had much to say about 
"being a wife"!

As Grace and her family sit at the dinner table that first night, she thinks to herself:
These are her happiest moments, with her family in harmony. 
In many ways, she thinks, her family is perfect. 
Two beautiful children, a boy and a girl; a husband who works hard at his job 
and doesn't resist chores at home. Every night, Gene washes the dishes... (4)
We do learn that Gene is often gone 2-3 nights during the week due to his work as a surveyor on the Maine Turnpike Project. However, it appears that when he is home he is a good father and husband, making their home tranquil.

As Grace considers her plans for the day and what Gene might wish her to do for his mother, rather than going to visit with her own mother, she wonders 
Would he care or would that go into the category of "women's work," 
a subject that allows him to dismiss it? (7)
Oh, boy. Did that ever bring back memories. One of my ex-husband's favorite things to say was that something or other was "women's work" and therefore, he shouldn't do it...and trust me, he wouldn't! Even after I returned to work full time with three young children! Ugh! Bad memories... I shook my head as I read this. Poor Grace... I know how that feels.

When Grace walks into her mother's home, she has a sensation of great warmth and safety.
This doesn't occur in her own house despite the fact that at night and on Sundays, 
there's a man to protect her...Even in the vestibule...the familiar scent--from the walls, 
the rugs, the coats hanging on hooks--transports Grace to a universe before she met Gene, 
before life became uncertain and even a little frightening. (12) as soon as page 12 we begin to get a different impression of Grace's home life other than that picture of a "perfect" family. And she eventually loses this comfortable haven as her mother's house also burns down in the  Maine fires. 
That night, after Grace has put the children to bed, she slips her slicker from a hook 
and walks down her front path to the sidewalk. 
She has maybe a minute before Gene will notice her absence. 
It isn't much, but it's everything. She is who she is, nothing more. (15)
I could very much relate to her feeling that just for a minute she could do whatever, think whatever, just be...without anyone needing or wanting her for anything. Having spent 13 years at home with my own young children, I definitely knew times like that.

Once she returns to the house she knows that Gene will say "he is going up." 
...she must listen to the inflection in his voice and watch his face to know if she is to go up 
with him, or whether she can sit at the kitchen table and have another cigarette. (15)
Oh, my. This is not a good relationship. She must basically read his mind? About when she is supposed to go to bed? Yikes! And then we learn that their sex life is anything but satisfying. As Grace describes their sexual encounter that night, I couldn't help but think that Gene was raping his own wife. And causing her pain--purposefully! In the aftermath Grace realizes that although Gene uses a poignant nickname, Dove, for her, 
It seems unlikely now that she will ever have a fond nickname for her husband. (16)
Yeah. No kidding! Neither would I! What an asshole. Of course, then I had to consider...had Grace actually told him that it hurt her where the episiotomies had been performed? As mousy as she seemed to be with him, perhaps not? I don't know, but I do know that the sexual encounter she described seemed in no way pleasurable to her...or maybe even to him. And I could relate. It took six months following the birth of my first child before sex became bearable due to the site of the episiotomy. :( 

Then there is the night Gene brings home a wringer washer and helps her learn how to use it, ending with him tilting her face up to his so he can leave "a gentle kiss on her lips" and calls her "Dove." She immediately wonders if a wringer washer can save a marriage...and believes the answer may be "yes." :) Isn't it true? No matter how bad a relationship it seems that every once in awhile your partner does or says something that immediately makes you feel good and then you wonder...and hope...that maybe...just maybe...

If not for Grace's next-door neighbor, Rosie, I'm not sure what might have happened to Grace. Rosie helps to ground her, to keep her sane, and to provide a reality check periodically to Gene's behavior(s) and her reactions to them. When Grace admits that Gene makes her feel guilty about his mother's death:
If I had gone to see his mother once in a while, she wouldn't have gotten breast cancer. 
[Rosie] That's the stupidest thing I ever heard.
[Grace] "Yes, well." She thinks for a moment. "But you know what? It feels true." 
It feels true that she might have wished her mother-in-law gone. Not dead, just gone. 
It feels true that she caused the hurtful night in bed, even though she sort of knows she didn't. 
She does know, however, that it's been too long since she and Gene have had sex.
It feels sort of true that she doesn't want to start up again. (23)
I am not a bit surprised. Gene does nothing to try to ensure Grace's happiness on an interpersonal level. He provides for his family. He buys a wringer washer and surprises Grace with it, but as a partner on a personal level, he sucks! Big time! Though this is set in a different time when men were not expected to be considerate and women were simply expected to acquiesce. 

Grace had become pregnant from the last unpleasant sexual encounter with her husband, and she loses the baby in the aftermath of the fire. She admitted to having had some doubts about a child conceived in a such a violent manner, then figured that was an old "wives tale." Upon Gene's return her life becomes pure and absolute drudgery. Her mother leaves as she can't handle the isolation and constant caregiving her two grandchildren require.Once Grade admits to her that she wants to leave Gene, her mother informs her, "You have to stay." And when Grace asks "Why?" She replies, "You're married." So being married can seem like a death sentence? Evidently, according to her own mother. 

Grace is abandoned to a 'hell on earth' trying to deal with Gene who is determined not to help himself, as well as raise her children. She has managed to get a job and has a vehicle, but Gene sabotages the car and then has it sold. She must quit work due to no transportation and once she learns of Gene's interference, and the true reason he married her, she is determined to leave. After unwittingly discovering her mother-in-law's jewelry stash, she decides to leave Gene to his own devices. Though she does hire a full-time therapist to oversee his care and recovery before leaving with the children. I don't know that I could have been so generous, although it isn't as if his current health is his fault; he was trying to fight the fire when he was hurt... He was trying to do the right thing and help himself and others. I was reminded of Celestial's similar situation in An American Marriage regarding commitment to a man/marriage, though Roy was unjustly incarcerated, whereas Gene had suffered physical and mental anguish, both Grace and Celestial faced the same conundrum--when is a "wife" released from duty and commitment to a marriage in seemingly unbearable conditions? It is easy for those who have never been faced with such life events to berate a wife who doesn't remain committed faithful to her marriage vows, but I believe none of us really knows for certain how we might react in similar situations. I do know I remained committed to my first marriage an additional 12 years beyond when I was "happy," but we all must make our own decisions. In Grace's letter to Gene in the wake of her departure, she states
I think that if the fire hadn't happened, we'd have continued as the little family that we were. 
In time, I believe, we would have come to care about each other in a way that was companionable. But the fire did happen, and that changed everything.
I hope you'll be happier and that your injuries will heal. (221)
She does reassure him that she will bring the children to visit him in the future and not deny him access to them. All in all, I thought she was quite kind and generous. Though I felt "companionable" is not the goal to which a marriage should strive. Shouldn't there be some true love, caring, and kindness? That just made me sad, because I couldn't help thinking how different things might have been had Grace not discovered the jewelry and been able to sell it for cash to leave and create a new life for herself and her children. And the irony that her mother-in-law inadvertently provided a way out of her marriage to Gene was not lost on me! I bet she was turning over in her grave! I couldn't help but wonder what the woman's goal was in sewing the jewels into her clothing, other than to hoard what she had so no one else would discover it? It just seemed like such a greedy action!

What goes around, comes around! And it is Rosie who now rescues her! Grace has enough money from the jewelry to build a house and settle down in Canada next to Rosie and her family. As she and Rosie discuss Gene's physical and mental state, and the implications for his relationship with Grace and his children, Grace tells Rosie, " and Tim are so good together!" To which Rosie replies:
Oh, we are. But, you know, a marriage is a marriage. (237)
For me, this statement reflects the fact that after enough years together there will always be times when each partner frustrates the other, usually at least in small ways, but many times in much more substantial ways, creating a stressful relationship to some degree. It is never all good all the time...and requires effort from both parties to work on a daily basis. So while marriage does require commitment, when can that be abandoned? For Celestial in An American Marriage it took years before she could no longer bear remaining committed to her marriage. For Grace it required only weeks. I feel it was much more intense for her having to deal with Gene face-to-face. I felt Gene was at least suffering from PTSD and possibly other mental/emotional challenges in the wake of months spent comatose as well as other physical injuries. Should Grace have stayed? Was that to be her only option as his wife? I don't know. There is no easy yes or no answer to these questions, in my opinion. I watched as my uncle remained faithful (as far as any of us knew, anyway) and committed to his wife, my mother's sister, in the wake of her diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and her intermittent institutional treatments, and wondered, even as a child, at his ability to do so. Much as I feel marriage should be an overriding commitment, there are exceptions, in my opinion. One person's happiness shouldn't necessarily be totally sacrificed to keep a commitment once the situation is so drastically altered, should it? Though I feel as of our current society still expects this, just as Grace's mother told her she must stay with Gene because she is "married." Though obviously, her mother feels no similar commitment since she left the situation herself...

And while on a girls-only weekend excursion, Grace discovers a piano concert poster for none other than Aidan's upcoming concert. Needless to say they attend and Rosie leads Grace backstage afterward. She and Aidan reconnect and the book ends with Grace  imagining all kinds of possible scenarios for their relationship into the future, though she is very uncertain, all she knows right now is that Aidan's "grip on her wrist is fierce," so I felt this book ended with some hope for Grace to enjoy a relationship that would give her pleasure, and perhaps without the eternal commitment seemingly demanded of a "wife" as she had recently experienced.

I loved this book and can highly recommend it. 
What do you think? Should Grace have suffered through the remainder of her life with a newly damaged husband? Ironically, when she visits Gene, it appears that his full-time live-in therapist is actually his new partner in life, and his health has improved greatly.
I doubt he would have had such improvement if Grace had stayed.
Perhaps they both needed a new life in order to progress and move forward...
This kinda makes sense to me as I feel we can allow ourselves (especially females) 
to believe it is impossible make drastic changes in our lives and be successful. 
I believe we can and should when we're unable to be happy in the current situation...

I really liked this cover, 
but don't believe it accurately reflects the novel's overall theme.

Our next read for February 2019 is
They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple

This is a Persephone reprint! 
I'll definitely be ordering a copy!

Join us on February 4, 2019!
We will have left 2018 far behind us by then!

Happy reading!