Stone Creek, by Victoria Lustbader

I just finished Stone Creek, by Victoria Lustbader. I was lucky enough to get a copy of this from Book Club Girl, and I have been savoring it for several days now.

One might consider this a love triangle of sorts, and in some ways it is..but it’s so much more than that. Danny is struggling to maintain balance after the sudden loss of his wife, Tara. He is left with his 5-year-old son Caleb and the only family that he has close to him, includes his bitter, mother-in-law that blames him for her daughter’s death. Danny is consumed by grief and wants desperately to learn how to live again. He is searching for something, but has no idea what. He remains in the small town of Stone Creek but is constantly reminded of what was.

On a trip to the market, Danny’s attention is drawn to a woman in the same aisle. There is something about her.. the way she carries herself, her expression while talking on her cell phone, that piques his interest. Lily, also notices him and although she is married for the better part of 10 years, she is also drawn to him in a way that she cannot explain.

This is a story about love and loss. As you read the story, you feel as if you know these characters… as if they could be your friends or a close acquaintance. Their mannerisms, their preferences, everything about them become real. Lustbader does an excellent job of describing their inner most feelings and leaves you wanting more. Anyone that has experienced pain firsthand will appreciate many aspects of this novel. It is definitely a book that I will recommend.

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The Safety of Secrets, by DeLaune Michel

The Safety of Secrets is about friends Fiona and Patricia and how they cope with a secret from their childhood. Working as successful actresses in Hollywood, their lives are filled with work and husbands and memories that they share. After Fiona learns that she is pregnant..she begins to evaluate the relationship she had with her own mother and tries to come to terms with things that happened to her as a child.

The author does a good job of describing adolescent angst, but as adults..the characters seemed a bit flat. Especially the character of Patricia. I wanted to see the adult relationships explored a bit more especially once we are told what the secret is. There just didn’t seem to be a lot of interaction between Fiona and Patricia once they were adults. I think it is assumed that because they were such good friends as children, that their friendship remains strong even without the interaction, but the actions of Patricia make me doubt that.

Although it was an easy read, I was left wanting more. I received this copy from the Harper Collins First Look program and it includes a reader’s guide. After reviewing some of the questions in the guide, I can see this as a good choice for a book group as there is a lot to discuss.

If you give it a whirl, let me know what you think of it.

Chatting with friends about books and life…