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Review: Count The Ways

Count The Ways

Count The Ways
By Joyce Maynard
William Morrow, 9780062398277, July 13, 2021, 464pp.

The Short of It:

An amazingly heartfelt story about a family.

The Rest of It:

The easiest way to describe Maynard’s newest story is to say that it’s a story about life. The life that you and I know,  have lived or are currently living. As I was reading it, I could relate to different parts of the story as well as different characters as they were walking through it.

At a young age, Eleanor scrimped and saved to buy a farm and the small but lovely house that came along with it. Having some success writing children’s books, she built a small, humble home for herself and when she falls in love with Cam, he immediately becomes her future. The talk of kids and family and raising them on the farm is all that matters to them and so they waste no time. Three children later, Eleanor’s writing career is somewhat on pause due to raising her young children, Eleanor and Cam struggle to make ends meet. Cam? Not concerned. He has what he wants. He’s creating his burl bowls in his workshop and he’s surrounded by his family.

Although the bowls he creates are beautiful, they don’t sell and with Eleanor’s writing career on hold, she slowly begins to resent Cam’s easy going attitude about making, or not making a living. He is the fun parent. Always stepping in to whisk the kids away to the waterfall, or play with them all day long while Eleanor sits in the house trying to come up with new story ideas. During these times, the cracks begin to show. The cracks in their marriage. All is not gold. Is it ever?

This is such a reflective type of read. Eleanor feels every bit of her age as her children grow. The hours spent feeding them, changing their diapers, tending to their every need. It all leaves a mark. At the same time though, it’s exactly what she wanted from life. A home. A family. A loving man to call her husband. As the home life she creates begins to unravel around her, she wonders why she never wanted more for herself.

I loved this story. There is so much to ponder. Especially for me, as my own kids leave this nest we’ve created. I’d turn a page and read something that I’d have to sit with for a little while before moving forward. I’d go to bed thinking about this family, about missed opportunities and about friends and the idea of home and what it means to each of us. This family will stay with  me for a very long time.

Simply put, get yourself a copy. It doesn’t matter if you are married, single, have had kids or not. There is something here for everyone. Highly recommend.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Falling

Falling

Falling
By T.J. Newman
Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster, 9781982177881, July 6, 2021, 304pp.

The Short of It:

Lots of hype over this book!! Turned down 41 times before getting published, I can happily tell you that it’s the page turner you want right now.

The Rest of It:

There are 143 passengers on board headed to New York. What they don’t know is that their pilot’s family has been kidnapped and unless he brings the plane down according to the orders he’s been given, his wife and two children will be killed.

Captain Bill Hoffman decides right then and there, that they will NOT kill his family and he will NOT crash the plane. Although he’s told not to alert his crew, he doesn’t see how it can be avoided. He owes it to the passengers to have every chance at survival that they can have.

What a ride.

What you will notice right away is that there is an air of authenticity to the story and that’s probably because T.J. Newman spent years as a flight attendant. The attention to detail puts the reader right on the plane with those passengers. You are in the galley, in the jump seat, scrambling through the cabin trying to save lives. It’s riveting.

Some of the story may not seem plausible but at the same time, given limited means, it’s what the average person would do in that same situation. The last quarter of the book gave me high blood pressure and I could not put it down.

This is what you want in a thriller. Characters you care about, a fast pace, a seemingly impossible situation. It’s good. Throw this in your beach bag and you won’t leave the beach until you’ve turned the last page.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.