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The Old Ducksโ€™ Hen Do

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ โ€œWe were born to be real, not perfectโ€. A sweetly wistful tale of aging, regrets, and second (or third, or even fourth) chances as we follow the Mallorca-based adventures of a group of British sixty-ish female friends, charmingly naming themselves โ€œthe Old Ducksโ€. A Hen party in sunny Spain,…

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The Damages

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ A complex, challenging and thoroughly mesmerizing read. Rosalind Fisher is eighteen years old, a freshman at a preppy Ontario University. An unlikable character, Rosalind is self-absorbed, shallow, and focused on the single-minded pursuit of the โ€˜coolโ€™ kids, who she believes will automatically bolster her own insipid image. And Rosalind…

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The Vanishing Half

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ A gripping and evocative look at identity, belonging and the quest to resolve both, particularly when in conflict with societyโ€™s expectations. Stella and Desiree are identical twins, black by heritage yet so light-skinned they could pass for white, a possibility that holds promise in the racially explosive nineteen-sixties and…

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Strange Sally Diamond

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸโž• Wow. This is an exceptional read - one that is truly unique and deeply, profoundly, unsettling. Strange Sally Diamond is indeed strange, but she is also heartbreakingly vulnerable, a character written with such authenticity that once you get to know her, her voice will begin to haunt you. One…

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Remarkably Bright Creatures

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ โ€˜Remarkably Bright Creaturesโ€™ is a remarkably charming book. Narrated, in part, by an Octopus (yes you heard me right), Marcellus McSquiddles, is a sixty-pound Giant Pacific, who has lived the vast majority of his life in an aquarium tank in Puget Sound. Without giving this wonderful plot away, (no…

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Small World

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ’ซ Quietly spectacular, this story, and the two sisters whose lives are revealed, slowly and uncomfortably, through its pages, creeps up on you, slipping into the corners of your heart and leaving you dazzled. As Joyce, our forty-nine year-old first person POV narrator, and her sister Lydia, both divorced and…

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๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ What, after all, is a storyteller? In this seething exposรฉ, itself the work of a fictional storyteller crafted by a real-life storyteller, โ€œripping through bone and gristle to the tender bleeding heartโ€, June Hayward, aka Juniper Song, takes us deep into the โ€œgrotesqueโ€ world of commercial publishing, from a…

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Mating For Life

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸโž• Like slipping into a treasured sweater, this book will wrap you up in layers of emotion, familiarity and warmth, as you come to know, and love, the characters in this book. Sisters Liane, Ilsa, and Fiona, each in their thirties, are the children of Helen, a successful folk-singer of…

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The Breakaway

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ’ซ A feminist look at love, empowerment and body image, which has admirable intentions and several thoughtful and appealing elements but did not completely hit the mark for me. Abby is a plus-sized woman who has been treated shamefully by her mother (and likely others) since childhood. This part of…

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The Rachel Incident

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ1/2 A stylistic love-child of sorts, Joanna Trollope meets Marian Keyes, rich with vulnerable, mildly self-informed people, seeking a way forward in lives that feel filled with hardships. That arenโ€™t necessarily so. If one could just shift perspective, ever so slightly. The story is written in the voice of Rachel…

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