Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review: Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly (audio)

Title: Lost Roses
Author: Martha Hall Kelly
Series: Lilac Girls, #2 Prequel
Narrator: Kathleen Gati, Tavia Gilbert, Karissa Vacker, Catherine Taber
Published: April 2019, Random House Audio / Ballantine Books
Length: 15 hours 21 minutes / Hardcover 448 pages
Source: Audio - Personal copy via Audible / Print - Personal copy

The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline's mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.
It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov's. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia's Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya's letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.

From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre's who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history.

My thoughts:  I was so glad that this book was selected as a Barnes and Noble book club selection. I would have read it anyway, but it just made me read it sooner, and having just read Lilac Girls, which I am glad I read first, though it doesn't really matter, I enjoyed this one just as much and was just as fascinated by.

Before I get into my review, let me just start by talking about the "order/series" of these books. Lilac Girls is about Caroline Ferriday. This book, which in some instances is being called a prequel, is about Caroline's mother, Eliza Ferriday. It takes place prior to the events happening in Lilac Girls. Having now read both books, it really doesn't matter which one you read first. They are completely separate stories. And the third book, untitled as of yet, will be set prior to Lost Roses, and is going to be about Caroline's grandmother. So in essence, Martha Hall Kelly is writing the history of these women - all real women - in backwards order. 

Once again, I found myself completely entranced by the story that Martha Hall Kelly weaves here, and somehow am flabbergasted that again, I knew nothing about the topic she selected here - the White Russian women and all that happened to them. I know very little about the Bolshevik Revolution, so perhaps that is why I never came across this before, but again, now I am desperate to know more...something I love about reading historical fiction - that spark that leaves you wanting to read more about a certain topic.

This story follows three strong, remarkable women: Eliza, Sofya and Varinka. Eliza is American and comes from a privileged background. She is also Caroline's mother, who we meet in Lilac Girls. Sofya and Varinka are both Russian and their stories are captivating, yet will break your heart. Just as in Lilac Girls with the alternating view points, the story would often switch just at a time when something would happen, leaving us to wait until we got back to that character...these little cliffhangers really hook you and keep you waiting with baited breath.

This story is one where you can really get involved in and lose track of time. I found myself invested in all of the major characters and what they were going through. I was sad to see the book end, but am excited that there will be another one coming soon. Martha Hall Kelly truly has a way of storytelling, of pulling you into her book and not letting go. I will be counting the days until her next book is available!

Audio thoughts: Once again, I did a combination of print and audio and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I find that with longer books/audios, it helps to get through a bit faster. This one also had a good cast, with different narrators for each of the main characters. They each had good accents, especially those who did the Russian characters and used just the right amount of emotion when needed. 


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Review: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly (audio)

Title: Lilac Girls
Author: Martha Hall Kelly
Series: Lilac Girls, #1
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell, Kathleen Gati, Kathrin Kana, Martha Hall Kelly
Published: Audio - April 2016, Random House Audio / Print - February 2017, Ballantine Books
Length: 17 hours 30 minutes / Paperback, 502 pages
Source: Audio - Library / Print - Personal copy

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and secrets that were hidden for decades.
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

My thoughts: This book had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time and it wasn't until I joined the Barnes and Noble book club and they announced Lost Roses as their April book club pick that I finally had the impetuous to read it. If you know me at all, you know I'm a little particular about reading books in the order the author wrote them, so while I know these books aren't a series per say, I just felt I should read Lilac Girls first and I'm glad I did...especially knowing a third book is in the works!

I absolutely loved this book...I was captivated by the three story lines and even though horrific events occur at times during this story, it's still a powerful, memorable book - one that is based on real people and real events. As I've said before and I will say again, this is why I love reading historical fiction - I find it so fascinating learning about all these people and what they endured. I had never heard about "the rabbit's" during the war. Why not? We learned about the war in school and I even remember taking a history class in college about this specific time period and yet this topic has never come up? And that professor was amazing - he was one of the better ones that really sparked great conversations and had awesome primary source materials to show us, but never once did this subject come up? Why is that?

I particularly loved how with the way the story was told, alternating between the three points of view, we would at times get little cliff-hangers. While I was equally invested in all three points of view, I would be so eager to get back to where we had just been to find out what was going to happen next each time this happened!

This is the type of book that will stay with you for a long time. Yes, there are parts that are hard to hear, but we can't put our heads in the sand because we don't want to know about it. History is such an important part of how we learn and grow and it's people like Caroline Ferriday and Kasia Kuzmerick, and even Herta Oberheuser that need their stories told. We need the good, the bad and even the ugly to help us move forward in hopefully a better way. Read this story if you haven't already and just know it will be an emotional and heart-wrenching story.

Audio thoughts: I did a combination of print and audio with this book and let me tell you, the audio is fantastic! The three narrators were excellent, each one narrating the separate sections, giving voice to each of the three main characters. I was familiar with two of the narrators - Cassandra Campbell and Kathleen Gati (love her on General Hospital, but first time listening to her as a narrator) but Kathrin Kana was new to me. They all did a fantastic job bringing their character to life, bringing out just the right emotion as needed, and at times, it was quite emotional and raw. At times, I would go back to reread what I listened to because I needed to see the words in print. This was a fantastic audio production and if you don't mind the length, I highly recommend listening.


Friday, May 24, 2019

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Earlier this week, Catherine Ryan Hyde's latest novel, Have You Seen Luis Velez?, was published, and to help the publishers get the word out, I'm hosting a giveaway! You can see what others have to say and then be sure to enter the giveaway below!!!

Title: Have You Seen Luis Velez?
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Published: May 2019, Lake Union Publishing
Format: Paperback, 320 pages

From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a moving novel about two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear.

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?

Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.

Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.

What readers are saying:

“A master of making a heartwarming tale feel authentic and socially urgent, Hyde (Just After Midnight, 2018, etc.) deftly sketches the plights of Raymond and Millie, weighting their friendship with worries and regrets that echo as true…A tender tale of new families born of chance and the determination to bring light into darkness.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Hyde (Heaven Adjacent, 2018) has crafted a spellbinding coming-of-age story deepened by the satisfaction of belonging, the vibrancy of community, and the power of connection. Fans of Liane Moriarty and Kristin Hannah will adore the deep connection between the unlikeliest of friends.” —Booklist

“Heartwarming…This touching portrait of Raymond’s sorrow, and his quest for understanding the world and why it seems so unfair, is a solid choice for book groups with a lot of important issues to discuss.” —Library Journal


Giveaway Details -- (US Only) 
Thanks to the publicist, one reader will win a copy of  Have You Seen Luis Velez?  by Catherine Ryan Hyde. To enter the giveaway, please fill out the rafflecopter by May 31st.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends May 31st.

Good Luck!!! 

Review: The Disappeared by Kristina Ohlsson

Title: The Disappeared
Author: Kristina Ohlsson
Series: Fredrika Bergman & Alex Recht, #3
Published: March 2015, Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Format: Paperback, 432 pages
Source: Personal copy

The body of a young woman is found carved up and buried in a forest glade in an innocuous Stockholm suburb. As Fredrika Bergman and her colleagues in the Stockholm Police continue to excavate the site, several more bodies are unearthed. Meanwhile, the name of a children's fiction author keeps cropping up in the investigation. All the bodies in the mass grave appear to have some connection to the old author and her enigmatic circle of friends - The Guardian Angels - who formed an elitist film club in the 60s. But the elderly writer is mute and incapable of helping Fredrika with the investigation.

But the complex case starts causing rifts within Alex Recht's team and new revelations cause them to enter morally ambiguous ground. Now under investigation by Internal Affairs, the unit approach the case's resolution with a sense of impending doom. The author has kept a dark secret under wraps for decades, but now that the truth is seeping out only one question remains: which will be the next body to turn up in the grave when the killer returns to the forest?

My thoughts: This is the third book in Kristina Ohlsson's Fredrika Bergman and Alex Recht series and I cannot read these books fast enough. I am so enjoying getting caught up in this series - having read book 5, The Chosen, a few years back and finally deciding to go back and start at the beginning.

There is nothing I love more than a series with great character development and that is what we have here with this series. Each book so far has really balanced the time between the case and the personal lives of the main detectives, and that is never so important as it is in this latest installment. Each of our three main characters' lives are personally affected by the investigation they are working on, so much so that there is an internal investigation and the way this book is written, you aren't quite sure until the very end what exactly is under investigation. There are snippets of the interviews here and there that lead you down a few different paths, but it's not until the end that it all comes together...I loved this because it really keeps you on your toes the entire time. And the case itself is so twisted and complicated that it really could go in any direction.

I think this might be the strongest installment in this series and I really have enjoyed all the books so far. There is just such so much character development here and I am such a fan of that. Yes, the mystery element is strong as well, and I do read this series for that, too, but I can't discount the fact that I stick with this series for the character development. And as I've said before and I will say again, I highly recommend starting this series from the beginning.  While I did start with book 5, I am glad that I have gone back to the beginning and I definitely will be rereading book 5 when I get up to it again.

Books in this series:   
  1. Unwanted
  2. Silenced
  3. The Disappeared
  4. Hostage
  5. The Chosen   


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Review: The Night Before by Wendy Walker

Title: The Night Before
Author: Wendy Walker
Published: May 2019, St. Martin's Press
Format: ARC Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Publisher

First dates can be murder.

Riveting and compulsive, national bestselling author Wendy Walker’s The Night Before “takes you to deep, dark places few thrillers dare to go” as two sisters uncover long-buried secrets when an internet date spirals out of control.

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date.

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…

My thoughts: I have been a fan of Wendy Walker's books since first reading All is Not Forgotten. She has such a way of telling a story that just pulls you in. I was completely captivated with this story - a most basic premise that was turned upside down in only the way Wendy Walker can do!

I loved the way this story is told - we have two narrators and a few different time periods and it all comes together to not only hook you into this story, but to keep you guessing as to where it is all going. The story alternates between Laura's point of view from the night before, Laura from a few months ago, and Rosie's point of view the next day. I was engrossed in all three viewpoints and every time I thought I had worked out a clue, I was proved wrong - which is fine by me. I like when I am kept on my toes the entire time and believe me, this is one book that will absolutely keep you guessing until the very end!

I also loved the pace of this book. It moves fast. You can't help but flip through those pages, desperate to figure out what the heck is going on. I love books like that. This is one where you really don't want to put it down once you start it, so be forewarned! 

This book will have you questioning the characters and their motives. It will have you questioning who two sisters, who grew up in the same household, could be so different. It's a thrilling, addictive read that I highly recommend and I cannot wait to see what is next from this talented author!


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Blog Tour & Review: You, Me and the Sea by Meg Donohue

Title: You, Me and the Sea
Author: Meg Donohue
Published: May 2019, William Morrow
Format: ARC Paperback, 368 pages
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

From the USA Today bestselling author of All the Summer Girls and Dog Crazy comes a spellbinding and suspenseful tale inspired by Wuthering Heights that illuminates the ways in which hope—and even magic—can blossom in the darkest of places.

To find her way, she must abandon everything she loves…

As a child, Merrow Shawe believes she is born of the sea: strong, joyous, and wild. Her beloved home is Horseshoe Cliff, a small farm on the coast of Northern California where she spends her days exploring fog-cloaked bluffs, swimming in the cove, and basking in the light of golden sunsets as her father entertains her with fantastical stories. It is an enchanting childhood, but it is not without hardship—the mystery of Merrow’s mother’s death haunts her, as does the increasingly senseless cruelty of her older brother, Bear.

Then, like sea glass carried from a distant land, Amir arrives in Merrow’s life. He’s been tossed about from India to New York City and now to Horseshoe Cliff, to stay with her family. Merrow is immediately drawn to his spirit, his passion, and his resilience in the face of Bear’s viciousness. Together they embrace their love of the sea, and their growing love for each other.

But the ocean holds secrets in its darkest depths. When tragedy strikes, Merrow is forced to question whether Amir is really the person she believed him to be. In order to escape the danger she finds herself in and find her own path forward, she must let go of the only home she’s ever known, and the only boy she’s ever loved....

My thoughts:  After finishing this book, I found out that Meg Donohue was inspired to write this book after being haunted by a question for ages: If Catherine had lived in Wuthering Heights, who would she have chosen? Now, I have never read Wuthering Heights, but this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book - though am I curious to now go pick it up to see how it does compare to this book because for the most part, I did enjoy it.

Don't let the cover fool you into thinking this book is going to be a fun, beachy read - though that cover is quite eye-catching. Rather, this book is about the complexities of love and delves into family dynamics. The characters come alive on the page and you will definitely have feelings about these characters - for good or bad - but you will have feelings. It's an emotional read for sure.

I loved that the characters in this book were so dynamic, especially Merrow. She's complex and flawed. She has a vulnerability to her that comes out in spades. This story gives a lot to think about because when you think you really know someone, it turns out the bond might not be as strong as you originally thought. 

This book is part coming of age and part love story. I was completely caught up in the lyrical writing as soon as I opened the book and while I loved the story, I wasn't quite thrilled with the ending. I thought it was a bit abrupt. Maybe because I don't know the story of Wuthering Heights, so I didn't know what to expect with this book or maybe because I was expecting something different...I'm not sure. Overall, I really did enjoy the book. I thought it was good, but I needed a bit more to wrap it up. Maybe there needs to be a sequel?


About the Author: Meg Donohue is the USA Today bestselling author of How to Eat a Cupcake, All the Summer Girls, and Dog Crazy. She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a BA in comparative literature from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, three children, and dog.

Authors Links:  Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook    |   Instagram
Purchase Links:   HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Be sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour and follow the tour on Twitter (hashtags:  #TLCBookTours & #youmeandthesea).


Monday, May 20, 2019

Review: Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen (audio)

Title: Only Ever Her
Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Narrator: Joshilyn Jackson, Eric G. Dove
Published: May 2019, Brilliance Audio / Lake Union Publishing
Length: 9 hours 17 minute / 298 pages
Source: Audio - Brilliance Audio / Print - Paperback via Little Bird Publicity

It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts? Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

My thoughts: I've read Marybeth Mayhew Whalen's last few books and have really fallen in love with her writing. She has such a way of creating that small-town life with characters that just come alive on the page. This one in particular, while still suspenseful, is a bit more character-driven that her previous books, but still just as good!

I loved that almost every character in the story has a secret or some kind of is...and the more you get to know them, the more you become anxious to find out what it is they are hiding. This is definitely a slow-burning kind of read and I loved that - I was fully invested in what was going on and more than ready to take all the time needed to get to where Marybeth was taking us until everything was out in the open...and what an emotional journey we end up taking.

Annie Taft is all set to get married in four days - it's all anyone can talk about...until she vanishes. Did she get cold feet or did something happen to her? Of course, it just so happens that the man convicted of killing her mother twenty years ago has been found wrongly accused and has just been released. Is he involved in her disappearance?

I loved the way the book was told by multiple perspectives, including a few chapters from Annie herself. This really allowed for us to get a chance to know all the characters and get a feel for how they were connected to Annie. In fact, the book really does take on that sense that it really isn't all about Annie, but rather this small town and the journey each of these characters take because of Annie's disappearance. 

I was captivated by this book once I started it. Again, it's not a thriller nor a fast read. It's a slow-burning, character study that captures the essence of small-town life and gives you quite a bit to think about at the same time.

Audio thoughts: How could this audio be anything but awesome with Joshilyn Jackson narrating a huge part of it? I love listening to her narrate and she did such an amazing job with this book. And Eric Dove did a great job with the bits he narrated, too. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio production and would highly recommend this audio book!


Friday, May 17, 2019

Book Spotlight: The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda -- with link to #BookGiveaway!!!

Next week, Kaira Rouda's latest book, The Favorite Daughter, will be released. I was lucky enough to be sent 2 copies and so I am going to give away the finished copy to one lucky reader!!! I will be reading this book very soon and am so excited - I love Kaira's books and this one sounds so good! But just take note...the Giveaway it happening on my Instagram page!!!

Read on to see what others have to say and then you can find out where to enter the giveaway below!!!

Title: The Favorite Daughter
Author: Kaira Rouda
Published: May 2019, Graydon House
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages

From the author of the page-turning domestic suspense Best Day Ever, comes another gripping novel of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community, for fans of B.A. Paris and Shari Lapena.

The perfect home. The perfect family. The perfect lie.

Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.

It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days—and nights—at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl—dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?

The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…

Early Praise: 

"[An] exceptional psychological thriller...Suspense fans will be amply rewarded." --Publishers Weekly 

"My favorite of Kaira Rouda's books so far. I took it down in two afternoons. Compulsively readable and deeply satisfying psychological suspense." --Christina Alger, USA TODAY betselling author of The Banker's Wife

"A chilling glimpse behind the façade of the perfect family that leaves you wanting more." --Liv Constantine, author of the national bestseller The Last Mrs. Parrish

"A smart, wickedly plotted psychological thriller brimming with dark surprises...At the top of her game, Rouda and The Favorite Daughter will have you flying through the pages deep into the night." --Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author

"Intense, creepy, and classic Rouda. A chilling story, told so well. Don't miss it!" --J. T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author

"Alfred Hitchcock meets Patricia Highsmith in this masterful novel of psychological suspense. Quietly horrifying, tightly wound and diabolical, The Favorite Daughter is a stunning page-turner." --A. J. Banner, USA TODAY and #1 Amazon bestselling author

"Smart, surprising, and 100% satisfying." --Kimberly Belle, nationally bestselling author

"Right up my dark, twisty alley. A beguiling narrative and a deliciously creepy perspective." --Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author

"A roller coaster of a ride that will have you twisting and turning. Just when you think you know what happens, the plot pivots once more--leaving you guessing until the very end!" --Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, bestselling authors  


Giveaway Details -- (US/Canada Only)

Thanks to the publicist, one reader will win a copy of The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda. To enter the giveaway, please head over to my Instagram page to this post. The giveaway ends Thursday, May 23rd and is not affiliated with or by Instagram.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Book Spotlight: Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer by John Glynn -- with Giveaway!!!

Earlier this week, John Glynn's debut novel, Out East, was published. To help the publisher get the word out, I am hosting a giveaway for two lucky giveaway is being hosted here & one is being hosted on my Instagram page. 

I just finished reading this book and posted my review earlier today - you can find my review here.  

Read on to see what others have to say and then you can find out where to enter the giveaway below!!! 

Title: Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer
Author: John Glynn
Published: May 2019, Grand Central Publishing
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages

A gripping portrait of life in a Montauk summer house--a debut memoir of first love, identity and self-discovery among a group of friends who became family.

They call Montauk the end of the world, a spit of land jutting into the Atlantic. The house was a ramshackle split-level set on a hill, and each summer thirty one people would sleep between its thin walls and shag carpets. Against the moonlight the house's octagonal roof resembled a bee's nest. It was dubbed The Hive.

In 2013, John Glynn joined the share house. Packing his duffel for that first Memorial Day Weekend, he prayed for clarity. At 27, he was crippled by an all-encompassing loneliness, a feeling he had carried in his heart for as long as he could remember. John didn't understand the loneliness. He just knew it was there. Like the moon gone dark.

OUT EAST is the portrait of a summer, of the Hive and the people who lived in it, and John's own reckoning with a half-formed sense of self. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, The Hive was a center of gravity, a port of call, a home. Friendships, conflicts, secrets and epiphanies blossomed within this tightly woven friend group and came to define how they would live out the rest of their twenties and beyond.

OUT EAST is an indelible story of love and transformation, longing and escape in our own contemporary moment.

What readers are saying: 

"Glynn's memoir is perfectly evocative of long, lazy summers, taking place over a few months in Montauk and charting the blossoming of friendships, the heat of new romances, and the journeys to self-discovery."―Entertainment Weekly

"A moving account of the particular sort of loneliness that descends when you know you're unhappy but don't quite know why, and the boundless devotion of the chosen family who's there while you're figuring it out."―

"This book perfectly captures unrequited love and longing, as John struggles with growing feelings for his fellow vacationer... this one is staying on my shelf forever."―Cosmopolitan

"Sun-soaked and brimming with youth, Glynn's debut memoir chronicles a life-changing summer spent in a Montauk share house. With honesty, heart, and generosity, the memoir explores friendship, first love, and identity."―The Millions

"'We were sun children chasing an eternal summer.' This boisterous chronicle of a summer in Montauk sees a group of 20-something housemates who'll grow to know, to love, and care for one another. They work hard during the week, party hard on weekends, and each will face heartthrob and heartbreak. A coming out story told with feeling and humor and above all with the razor-sharp skill of a delicate and highly gifted writer."
Andre Aciman, New York Times bestselling author of Call Me by Your Name

"Out East is full of intimacy and hope and frustration and joy, an extraordinary tale of emotional awakening and lacerating ambivalence, a confession of self-doubt that becomes self-knowledge. It beautifully charts the dynamics of a group of people in a house share, but it's also about the emergence of its narrator into an exquisite emotional honesty. It's gripping and generous, and hidden in its rollicking naivete is a good measure of authentic wisdom."―Andrew Solomon, National Book Award winner

"No author has captured a millennial milieu better or with more empathy than John Glynn. Out East is a perfectly paced memoir and riveting portrait of a friend group. I loved it."―Anita Shreve, New York Times bestselling author of The Pilot's Wife and The Stars are Fire

"John Glynn wonderfully captures it all: the bars, the clothes, the music, the breakups, the giddiness and terror of being young in New York, searching for yourself all week, searching for someone else on weekends, in one of the world's most hauntingly beautiful beach towns. If you're in your twenties you'll smile and nod at the joy and pain of Glynn's quest. If you're not in your twenties, he'll make you feel as if you are. A gorgeous debut."―J.R. Moehringer, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author of The Tender Bar

"As a microcosmic rendition of a lost summer's drunken rhythms and Glynn's slowly unfolding realization about his own sexuality, the writing resonates with a shimmery tingle."―Publisher's Weekly

"It's at its most personal that his memoir shines brightest, grasping at the many ways there are to love and be and ultimately reveling in them."―Booklist


Giveaway Details -- (US or Canada Only) Thanks to the publisher, two readers will win a finished copy of  Out East  by John Glynn. 

There are 2 options to enter: by the rafflecopter here on this page and by heading over to my Instagram page to this post. You can enter on both if you so choose. Both giveaways will end on Wednesday, May 22nd, and are not affiliated with or sponsored by Instagram or Blogger. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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