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You’d think with retirement looming in front of me I’d be feeling relaxed and have lots of time on my hands. I think I’ll eventually get there, but not quite yet. My home makeover projects are nearly behind me and in September my brother, sister and I are getting together to go through the last of our mom’s things. After that, I hope to have enough time on my hands to get a little bit bored! In the meantime, I’m trying out a new format for reviews, where I’m only going to be focusing on a few favorites from each month. So, today I’m sharing Three August Books I Loved, and if you’d like to see ALL my reviews for this month, please visit me on Bookstagram @novelvisits.
As I write this the month isn’t quite over, but I’ve already finished 13 books and am sure to get in a couple more. Weirdly, the three I’ve liked the most all published on August 3rd, but they are also all very different from each other. I had many other books that I liked a lot, so check out those using the Instagram link above!
Songbirds by Christy Lefteri
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Length: 336 pages
My Thoughts: 𝙐𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙂𝙚𝙢 𝘼𝙡𝙚𝙧𝙩! 𝐒𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐁𝐈𝐑𝐃𝐒 by Christy Lefteri is the latest book I’d add to this list. Beautifully written, this is the story of Nisha, a Sri Lankan maid/nanny who has disappeared on the island of Cyprus. We only meet Nisha through the memories of her employer, Petra, and her lover, Yannis. Before she vanished, Yannis wanted more of a life with her, but on Cyprus foreign maids weren’t allowed to have personal lives. They worked to send money home to their families and pay off the “agency” that had found them jobs. For Petra, this was the norm and she’d never bothered to really think about Nisha as a separate person in the ten years she had faithfully served Petra and her daughter.
When Petra and Yannis both try to track down Nisha, each is changed as they begin to consider more and more about her. Yannis, a poacher of songbirds, is forced to take a hard look at his disreputable life. Petra, even more so, as she comes to realize just how dismissively she’s treated Nisha, failing to ever really consider Nisha’s life beyond her own front door.
“𝘞𝘩𝘰 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘮 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘸 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘺𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧? 𝘈 𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘸, 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘴𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘺𝘦𝘴.
𝘐𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘤𝘬 𝘮𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘐 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘸.”
I found Lefteri’s migrant story touching on so many levels. That, and the mystery surrounding Nisha’s disappearance had me flying through this book. Truly, 𝘚𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘥𝘴 is a book I know many would love. Grade: A-
Note: My thanks to Ballantine Books for a finished copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.
The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
Narrator: Julia Whalen
Publisher: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster Audio)
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Length: 368 pages (11 hrs. 8 min.)
My Thoughts: I know it’s a great audiobook when I’m just sitting out on my porch listening hour after hour. It takes two things for that to happen, a fabulous story and excellent narration. I got both in 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗣𝗘𝗢𝗣𝗟𝗘 𝗪𝗘 𝗞𝗘𝗘𝗣 by Allison Larkin. All I really need to say about the narration is Julia Whalen. (If you’re an audiobook fan, you know what I mean!) As always she did a beautiful job telling the story of 16-year old April who has been dealt a terrible hand in life. Abandoned young by her mother, and completely neglected by her father, living alone in a rundown motorhome, with no clear path to a better life, all April really has going for her is a talent for singing. Her father crushes even that when he destroys her guitar, finally pushing April to clearly see that there’s nothing for her in Little River. She steals a car and flees.
What follows is April’s three year journey, singing gigs, meeting strangers (kind and scary), learning what’s important to her, growing up, and finding what home really means. Along the way she has to figure out how to let people in and how to know when to hang on and when to let go. Larkin did a great job bringing April to life. Her story was rich and full of unforgettable characters, many who I came to love. If you haven’t read this 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘞𝘦 𝘒𝘦𝘦𝘱, I highly recommend it and if you’re on the hunt for your next great audiobook, you’ve found it! Grade: A-
Note: I received an ALC of this audiobook from Simon & Schuster Audio in exchange for my honest thoughts.
The Turnout by Megan Abbott
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Soins
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Length: 352 pages
My Thoughts: To say I was excited to read 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐓𝐔𝐑𝐍𝐎𝐔𝐓 by Megan Abbott would be an understatement. I’ve long been a fan of Abbott. Her thrillers are exactly the way I like them…smart, and 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘵 was no exception. Set in the world of ballet, it’s the story of sisters, Dara and Marie, and Dara’s husband, Charlie. All were former dancers, taught by the girls’ mother, and now together they own the dance studio that was once hers. Theirs is a strange relationship. We don’t quite get it, and that sets up much of the mystery.
Thrown into the mix is a contractor, called to repair fire damage to one of the studios. His presence rocks the equilibrium of the trio just as they’re entering their most trying time of the year, Nutcracker season. I refuse to give anything more away, but want to assure you that I was engrossed in this book’s secrets, twists, and turns from start to finish. Abbott’s writing was stellar, and, as in every thriller I truly love, I never needed to roll my eyes. That’s the true mark of a great thriller. You’re going to want to read 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘵! Grade: A-
Note: I received an ARC of this book from Putnam Books in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Which August books have been your favorites?
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