Tag: sisters

Book Review:   Our Little World, by Karen Winn

Image belongs to Penguin Group Dutton.

TitleOur Little World     
Author:  Karen Winn  
Genre:  Fiction  
Rating:  3.8 out of 5

July 1985. It’s a normal, sweltering New Jersey summer for soon-to-be seventh grader Bee Kocsis. Her thoughts center only on sunny days spent at Deer Chase Lake, evenings chasing fireflies around her cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids, and Max, the boy who just moved in across the street. That and the burgeoning worry that she’ll never be as special as her younger sister, Audrina, who seems to effortlessly dazzle wherever she goes.

But when Max’s little sister, Sally, goes missing at the lake, Bee’s long-held illusion of stability is shattered in an instant. As the families in her close-knit community turn inward, suspicious, and protective, things in Bee’s own home become increasingly strained, most of all with Audrina, when a shameful secret surfaces. With everything changed, Bee and Audrina’s already-fraught sisterhood is pushed to the limit as they grow up–and apart–in the wake of an innocence lost too soon.

This was definitely not a light and fluffy read. I found it pretty dark. Part of that could be that my younger brother was diagnosed with type one diabetes in 1988—about two years after Drina was—and the issues Drina had with her disease felt so, so familiar. Even leaving that out, Bee is not a happy narrator, and I felt that on every page.

Karen Winn lives in Boston. Our Little World is her debut novel.

(Galley courtesy of Penguin Group Dutton in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: A Walk Along the Beach, by Debbie Macomber

a walk along the beach
Image belongs to Random House/Ballantine.

TitleA Walk Along the Beach
AuthorDebbie Macomber
Genre:  Romance
Rating:  5 out of 5

The Lakey sisters are perfect opposites. After their mother died and their father was lost in grief, Willa had no choice but to raise her sister, Harper, and their brother, Lucas. Then, as an adult, she put her own life on hold to nurse Harper through a terrifying illness. Now that Harper is better and the sisters are living as roommates, Willa has realized her dream of running her own bakery and coffee shop, bringing her special brand of caretaking to the whole Oceanside community.

Harper, on the other hand, is always on the go. Overcoming a terrible illness has given her a new lease on life, and she does not intend to waste it. When Harper announces her plan to summit Mount Rainier, Willa fears she may be pushing herself too far. Harper, for her part, urges Willa to stop worrying and do something outside of her comfort zone—like taking a chance on love with a handsome new customer.

Sean O’Malley is as charming as he is intriguing—a freelance photographer whose assignments take him to the ends of the earth. Soon Willa’s falling for him in a way that is both exciting and terrifying. But life has taught Willa to hedge her bets, and she wonders whether the potential heartache is worth the risk.

Life has more challenges in store for them all. But both sisters will discover that even in the darkest moments, family is everything.

I love everything Debbie Macomber writes, and this was no exception. This was such a good book—although at times I wanted to slap some sense into Sean. The sisters’ relationship is so wonderful, and I enjoyed reading it immensely. Be prepared to laugh and cry while reading this!

Debbie Macomber is a bestselling author. A Walk Along the Beach is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Random House/Ballantine in exchange for an honest review.)