REVIEW: My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor



My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor

Published June 16th 2016 by Twenty7


When Heidi and Jason first meet at a group for parents with missing children, they have no idea they will soon be married. Grief brought them together. Six years ago Heidi’s daughter, Lauren was abducted and murdered. Just a year later, Jason’s son, Barney disappeared. Jason and Heidi have an instant connection. They are able to talk freely about their children and they finally feel like someone else understands what most don’t. After six months of a long-distance relationship, Jason asks Heidi to come live with him, and they marry soon after.

A couple of years later, on a completely ordinary day, Heidi happens across a boy that looks like Barney. She stops at an off-license to get some wine after a long day, and comes face to face with a boy she’s positive is Jason’s son, Barney.  Immediately she gets Jason to come have a look. Jason goes into the store but comes back out almost immediately and states that it’s not Barney.  Heidi feels like Jason barely looked at the boy but he says he’s positive it’s not his son.

However, Heidi can’t seem to ignore how strongly she reacted to the boy and it continues to bother her. It’s not long before she starts her own investigation.  As she uncovers many secrets and lies, her world starts to unravel.

This was a really unique missing child story and I was engrossed from beginning to end. I was determined to figure out who did what and why – but I was often way off base. I did find a few things a bit unrealistic and confusing, but overall I enjoyed the story.

I think this was a well written debut novel. It was gripping and well-paced and I was completely shocked by the ending. Wow…what an epilogue. I even had to go back and re-read the last few pages before it all made sense. I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending but it sure was unexpected. Quite a twist!

“life is a series of trade-offs, of choices considered and choices made. I have made my choices.”

I look forward to reading more from Deborah O’Connor.

Throwback Thursday: Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg



Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is: Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg



Published April 12, 1994 by Random House (NY)

Goodreads Description:
 “Until that moment, I hadn’t realized how much I’d been needing to meet someone I might be able to say everything to.”

They met at a party.  It was hate at first sight.  Ruth was far too beautiful, too flamboyant.  Not at all Ann’s kind of person.  Until a chance encounter in the bathroom led to an alliance of souls.  Soon they were sharing hankies during the late showing of “Sophie’s Choice,” wolfing down sundaes sodden with whipped cream, telling truths of marriage, mortality, and love, secure in a kind of intimacy no man could ever know.  Only best friends understand devil’s food cake for breakfast when nothing else will do.  After years of shared secrets, guilty pleasures, family life and divorce, they face a crisis that redefines the meaning of friendship and unconditional love.

My Thoughts:


I was positive that I had already selected this book for Throwback Thursday. It’s one of my favorite books!

I was twenty-one when “Talk Before Sleep”  first came out. I read it and then immediately gave it to my mother to read. I remember trying to get all of my friends to read it too.

I was interested in the friendships of the women in the story and now that I am older, I feel I relate even more to the issues surrounding them. Elizabeth Berg really knows how to write about women. This was a beautifully written story about true friendship, love, and loss. The feelings of love the friends have for each other will strike the hearts of those readers lucky enough to have friends like the women in this novel. My copy is worn out but well-loved, and will remain in a place of honor on my bookshelf.

An excellent book that will stir up all your emotions, so have a box of tissues nearby

Highly recommended!!



REVIEW: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Published September 12th 2017 by Penguin Press


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Little Fires Everywhere” is my first read by Celeste Ng, but I’m pretty sure that it won’t be my last. I could easily have read this book in just one or two sittings but life got in the way (in this case life being a glass of 7up, a knee jerk and “Oh Nooo! Save the books!”). But once I dried the book (and my tears), I picked it up again and didn’t stop until I finished the last page.

Everything in Shaker Heights is planned and there are rules that residents must follow. Houses can only be painted certain colors (to ensure aesthetic harmony), garbage is never put out in front of the house, lawns must always be cut promptly, etc.

The city motto says it all:

“Most communities just happen; the best are planned”

When Mia Warren and her fifteen year old daughter, Pearl rent a home from the Richardsons, a prominent Shaker Heights family – their lives will become intertwined in ways they never could have imagined.

Mrs. Richardson liked to rent to people she felt were deserving of her help, people who may have had some tough turns in life. She felt it was her way of giving back. When she first meets Mia Warren and her daughter she thinks they are the perfect tenants.

One of the Richardson boys, Moody is curious about the new tenants and heads over to the rental property. Moody and Pearl hit it off immediately. Moody who has never wanted for anything, is surprised at how this mother and daughter make their way. Mia can stretch a dollar (and leftover food) farther than anyone he’s ever seen. It’s not long before Moody brings Pearl home to meet everyone. Soon Pearl is spending much of her time at the Richardson home.

At first everything is fantastic. Mrs. Richardson even hires Mia to do some housekeeping and cooking at the Richardson home. But it won’t be long before the many differences between Mia and Mrs. Richardson cause a divide that will affect the two families in unimaginable ways.

In some ways, I felt bad for Pearl as the nomadic life that her mother had them living would be hard on anyone, especially a teenage girl. However, Pearl also seemed to benefit from the way they lived. At first, Mia came across as incredibly selfish but it wasn’t long before I loved her. Her caring ways were evident and how she responded to the different crises that came up endeared her to me. I may not have agreed with all of her choices but I could certainly see how she would have made them.

Right off the bat I was irked by Mrs. Richardson (the fact that she was rarely referred to by her first name was fitting). Mrs. Richardson was the type who wanted to be seen as someone who cared and helped others. However, you could tell right away that she kept track of all the good things she had done. And you never knew when Mrs. Richardson would want a repayment of her “kindness”. When she offers to buy one of Mia’s photographs and Mia doesn’t fall at her feet with gratitude…

“That’s very generous of you.” Mia’s eyes slid toward the window briefly and Mrs. Richardson felt a twinge of irritation at this lukewarm response to her philanthropy.

Izzy was a firecracker and I adored her impulsiveness and strong feelings about right and wrong. Even at ten years old, setting shelter cats free “They’re like prisoners on death row”, her refusal to conform was thrilling. Mrs. Pissers and the toothpick incident had me giggling. And I hurried to Google to search “This Be The Verse” by Philip Larkin.

There was a lot going on in “Little Fires Everywhere” but I found it easy to keep up. I will say that it had a bit of a slow start but I feel the author was just setting the stage for all that was to come. And once I hit the halfway mark, I was so completely invested into all of their lives and HAD to know what was going to happen next.

The additional story-line of little Mirabelle McCullough/May Ling Chow’s adoption was incredibly thought-provoking and had me asking myself some hard questions. I honestly didn’t know which side I was on half the time. My head was spinning.

“What made someone a mother? Was it biology alone, or was it love?”

I thought that the development of the characters was fantastic. With so many characters and only so many pages, it takes skill to bring them all to life. And in my opinion; Celeste Ng did a phenomenal job. And with the many 90’s references such as Sir-Mix-a-lot, Smashing Pumpkins, Jerry Springer, and Monica Lewinsky – I was taken back to my own adolescence.

This was an intriguing and compelling domestic drama. A story about motherhood, adolescence, race, rules, right and wrong, and so much more. Great characters and an interesting plot made “Little Fires Everywhere” a fast and fantastic read.

Many thanks go to Penguin Press for providing a copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

Goodreads Monday: September 18, 2017

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part,  simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.  Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog too!!

Today the book I’m going to show off is : Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben



Expected publication: September 26th 2017 by Century

Goodreads Description:

With unmatched suspense and emotional insight, Harlan Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town in this powerful new thriller.

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

My Thoughts:
I’ve read quite a few of Harlan Coben’s books over the years and I have always been entertained.  “Don’t Let Go” sounds like another exciting read.  I hope to get my hands on this one very soon!