First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

First Comes LoveFirst Comes Love by Emily Giffin
Published by Ballantine Books
Review copy provided by Netgalley

From the publisher:

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.

I love books featuring sisters. I have a sister with whom I have a very complicated relationship. I love my sister a lot but we are very different people and that has caused issues between us over the years. As we’ve grown up, we’ve grown much closer and I am extremely grateful that I have her and I know she feels the same. But still – relationships between sisters are extremely complex, and what I’m saying is that I know firsthand just how difficult they can be. So I expected to love this book.

Love it I did not. I didn’t hate it but overall the novel just never fell into the groove for me the way all of Giffin’s previous books have. I have always really loved the way that Giffin creates complicated main characters who make bad choices and hurt people, but you as the reader understand their motivations and love them anyway. That was not the case in First Comes Love. These two women, Josie and Meredith, are SO unlikable that it’s almost funny. I honestly couldn’t care about either of them enough to want to sympathize with their situations. Nothing either of them did or said showed me that they were actually people I could relate to, people I could see myself in, people who were essentially okay humans just trying to get through life somewhat unscathed. Since I didn’t get any of that, the book overall fell really flat for me.

It’s disappointing because this is truly the only Emily Giffin novel I haven’t enjoyed. Which I guess is an okay thing – the woman has written like ten books and I’ve mostly loved all of them. So I guess she’s allowed to have one I don’t love every now and then. But still, quite a disappointment for me.

If you want to read Emily Giffin, please do! She’s actually quite an incredible writer. May I suggest you start with her first novel, Something Borrowed? Now THAT is a book about a good person making bad, hurtful choices but you love her anyway.

I’ve been MIA for over a month?

Wow, sorry guys. I did not intentionally disappear for over a month, but even before my sudden departure it was pretty clear that writing reviews had taken a backseat to something – okay, everything – else in my life. Typically I wouldn’t like to just go MIA without at least saying that I’d like to take a little break but that’s what happened.

I’m here. I’m back. I don’t know how much writing I’ll be doing but I am around, and I’ve been periodically checking in with some of you and leaving sporadic comments here and there.

But to be honest, there’s some personal stuff I’m going through right now that is really hard and really not stuff I want to talk about. And it’s such a huge distraction from the things I would like to be doing – reading, writing, etc. – that the blog and even reading in general has really gone by the wayside over the past couple of months. I WANT to read. I WANT to write about books. But my brain is all over the place these days and it’s been really hard for me to focus. I’m trying to get back into the mental headspace where things are a little more calm and I will be able to focus on reading and other things in my life that truly bring joy, but I’m not sure I’m quite there yet. Working on it.

So please forgive me if I post sporadically or not at all. There are several books I want to tell you guys about, and a few other posts I’ve been drafting in my head, but we’ll see if I can get myself together enough to make it happen.

I am here, though. Send good thoughts and peaceful vibes my way because right now, I need all the positive feelings and love I can get.

Thanks, friends.

The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen

The Perfect NeighborsThe Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen
Published by Washington Square Press
Review copy provided by Netgalley

From the publisher:

Bucolic Newport Cove, where spontaneous block parties occur on balmy nights and all of the streets are named for flowers, is proud of its distinction of being named one the top twenty safest neighborhoods in the US.

It’s also one of the most secret-filled.

Kellie Scott has just returned to work after a decade of being a stay-at-home mom. She’s adjusting to high heels, scrambling to cook dinner for her family after a day at the office—and soaking in the dangerous attention of a very handsome, very married male colleague. Kellie’s neighbor Susan Barrett begins every day with fresh resolutions: she won’t eat any carbs. She’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour. And she’ll stop stalking her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. Gigi Kennedy seems to have it all together—except her teenage daughter has turned into a hostile stranger and her husband is running for Congress, which means her old skeletons are in danger of being brought into the light.

Then a new family moves to this quiet, tree-lined cul-de-sac. Tessa Campbell seems friendly enough to the other mothers, if a bit reserved. Then the neighbors notice that no one is ever invited to Tessa’s house. And soon, it becomes clear Tessa is hiding the biggest secret of all.

The Perfect Neighbors was a fairly run-of-the-mill women’s fiction story about a bunch of women with secrets. To be honest, it felt very formulaic, like I’ve read this same story before, but with different character names and slightly different secrets. However, I did enjoy it and it certainly held my interest. I liked all of the women and was interested in figuring out how their lives would turn out, how these issues presented would end up resolving themselves.

I enjoyed the time I spent with this novel but in the end, I’m finding it somewhat forgettable which isn’t the greatest thing. I will keep this short and just say, pick it up if you like this kind of thing, otherwise it’s probably okay to give it a pass. It was a fun, quick read for me that won’t stick in my brain much longer.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Before the FallBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Review copy provided by SheReads

From the publisher:

On a foggy summer night, eleven people—ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter—depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs—the painter—and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members—including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot—the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

This is one of those books that absolutely everyone is talking about, and for good reason. The novel starts out with a bang – literally – as there is a plane crash within the first few pages, and it continues to move at an extremely rapid pace as the two survivors fight for their lives, swimming miles and miles to get to shore and finally surviving both the crash and their arduous journey to safety. The rest of the book goes back and forth in time, shedding light for the reader on the lives of everyone before the crash while at the same time, letting the reader see the way the crash affected the two survivors and their relationship with each other. I loved that the story was told that way – it gave me such a complex and complete view of these characters, but slowly, over the course of the book.

There is definitely a thriller aspect to Before the Fall, but I wouldn’t put it firmly in that category. A lot of time is spent getting to know the characters and seeing how the various players were involved with one another and, in some cases, basically strangers. Much can be said of the fact that they were all keeping secrets, all hiding major things which could have possibly contributed to the reason for the crash – that’s the suspenseful part of the book. The suspenseful part is the fact that you KNOW one of these people was somehow, directly or indirectly, responsible for this horrific thing that happened, but it could be so many of them for so many reasons. I guessed a lot of things but didn’t figure it out until the very end – Hawley did a great job leading me astray, that is for sure.

Several people I’ve spoken to about this book didn’t like the ending at all. I’m not sure that I quite fall into that camp but I definitely didn’t love the ending, either. It felt like a cop-out just a bit, although it was definitely plausible. I don’t know. I liked the book so much that I kind of don’t care how I feel about the ending, does that make sense?

Anyway. Before the Fall. I liked it a lot. Definitely recommended!

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

Flight of DreamsFlight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon
Published by Doubleday
Review copy provided by the publisher

From the publisher:

On the evening of May 3rd, 1937, ninety-seven people board the Hindenburg for its final, doomed flight to Lakehurst, New Jersey. Among them are a frightened stewardess who is not what she seems; the steadfast navigator determined to win her heart; a naive cabin boy eager to earn a permanent spot on the world’s largest airship; an impetuous journalist who has been blacklisted in her native Germany; and an enigmatic American businessman with a score to settle. Over the course of three hazy, champagne-soaked days their lies, fears, agendas, and hopes for the future are revealed.
 
Flight of Dreams is a fiercely intimate portrait of the real people on board the last flight of the Hindenburg. Behind them is the gathering storm in Europe and before them is looming disaster. But for the moment they float over the Atlantic, unaware of the inexorable, tragic fate that awaits them.

Brilliantly exploring one of the most enduring mysteries of the twentieth century, Flight of Dreams is that rare novel with spellbinding plotting that keeps you guessing till the last page and breathtaking emotional intensity that stays with you long after.

This is the second time that Ariel Lawhon has impressed me by writing about a historical event that I previously thought I cared nothing about. (The first time was The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress and it is a super great book!)  She took this event in history, about which there is very little in the way of actual historical facts, and took what research was able to give her about the historical context and the major players, and created this incredibly compelling story filled to the brim with characters I deeply cared about. And the book was so much fun.

There’s an author’s note at the end of the book which details what Lawhon speculated versus what in the book is actual fact, but honestly I couldn’t have cared less what was true and what was speculation on Lawhon’s part – I loved every minute I spent with this story and these characters. From the stewardess, to the journalist, to the navigator, to the cabin boy, to the American – I loved them all and loved how Lawhon told this story from each of their different points of view. There’s also a love story here, major secrets being kept, and possibly some kind of conspiracy – Lawhon gives the reader just enough details on what’s going on to make the wheels in your head turn constantly, yet feel the desperate need to keep turning pages in the hopes of learning more.

I also enjoyed getting to learn more about this now-extinct form of travel that I didn’t know much about and about the last flight of the Hindenburg in particular. I really find it fascinating that it was possible to travel this way and that it was done for such a short period of time in history. I particularly loved how Lawhon described the way the ship looked and felt, how everything was laid out – I can completely picture the whole thing in my mind, and it made the book so much better because I was playing out scenes in my head almost like a movie. Can this be a movie? It would be a great movie.

Anyway. I loved Flight of Dreams! Highly recommended.

Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood by Claire Hoffman

Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent ChildhoodGreetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood by Claire Hoffman
Published by Harper
Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours

From the publisher:

When Claire Hoffman is five-years-old, her mother informs her and her seven-year-old brother Stacey, that they are going to heaven—Iowa—to live in Maharishi’s national headquarters for Heaven on Earth. For Claire’s mother, Transcendental Meditation—the Maharishi’s method of meditation and his approach to living the fullest possible life—was a salvo that promised world peace and enlightenment .

At first this secluded utopia offers warmth and support, and makes these outsiders feel calm, secure, and connected to the world. Claire attends the Maharishi school, where her meditations were graded and she and her class learned Maharishi’s principals for living. But as Claire and Stacey mature, their adolescent skepticism kicks in, drawing them away from the community and into delinquency and drugs. Eventually, Claire moves to California with her father and breaks from Maharishi completely. A decade later, after making a name for herself in journalism and starting a family, she begins to feel exhausted by cynicism and anxiety. She finds herself longing for the sparkle filled, belief fueled Utopian days in Iowa, meditating around the clock.  So she returns to her hometown in pursuit of TM’s highest form of meditation — levitation. This journey will transform ideas about her childhood, family, and spirituality.

Greetings from Utopia Park takes us deep into this complex, unusual world, illuminating its joys and comforts, and its disturbing problems. While there is no utopia on earth, Hoffman reveals, there are noble goals worth striving for: believing in belief, inner peace, and a firm understanding that there is a larger fabric of the universe to which we all belong.

This book sounded interesting to me because I am always up for learning about a different religion, especially one considered to be strange or, even better, cult-like to outsiders. I knew almost nothing about Transcendental Meditation before reading this book, so in that area this was a total win for me, as Hoffman does a pretty good job familiarizing the reader with the religion and explaining why they do certain things and what it’s all supposed to mean. I was fascinated by this religion, and specifically loved when Hoffman went into details about the different rules and rituals, the symbolism of different aspects of the faith, and some of the history behind the faith and its leader, Maharishi. This was by far my favorite aspect of the book – every time she started getting into details about the faith and the practice of meditation that seemed to be the bedrock of that faith, I was riveted to the page, eager to take in more and more information.

Unfortunately, that’s kind of where the love for this book starts and stops with me. I didn’t really connect to Hoffman, so that made it really difficult for me to latch onto any specific aspect of her personality OR care about her story. I was interested, yes, but did I care what happened to her? No, not at all, which is a definite issue when reading a memoir – for me, at least, I kinda have to give a crap about the person telling me their story. And in this case, for whatever reason, I just couldn’t.

The other issue I had was that when I turned the final pages, I was still asking myself why. Why did Hoffman choose to write this book? What story was she really trying to tell? Was the point for her to explore how and why people blindly follow religious figures, even to their personal detriment? Or was the point to say that, sure this religion is kind of messed up and weird, but lots of people who follow it are normal and just looking for a spiritual path, and actually they might be right about doing it this way? The fact that I can’t really tell where Hoffman falls on the wide spectrum between those two ideas is strange to me, and I don’t enjoy not understanding what the whole point of her telling this story actually was. Maybe this is a weird thing for me to be annoyed by, but it really turned the book into one that I just couldn’t fall in love with.

So. I was definitely interested in parts of Greetings from Utopia Park, but overall the book did not thrill me. I’m not sure if I’d read more from this author, but I’m glad I got the chance to learn about a faith practice that I had no previous knowledge about before picking up the book.

Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

Invincible SummerInvincible Summer by Alice Adams
Published by Little, Brown and Company
Review copy provided by Netgalley

From the publisher:

Inseparable throughout college, Eva, Benedict, Sylvie, and Lucien graduate in 1997, into an exhilarating world on the brink of a new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and eager to shrug off the socialist politics of her upbringing, Eva breaks away to work for a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who’s pined for Eva for years, stays on to complete his PhD in physics, devoting his life to chasing particles as elusive as the object of his affection. Siblings Sylvie and Lucien, never much inclined toward mortgages or monogamy, pursue more bohemian existences-she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional partyer. But as their twenties give way to their thirties, the group struggles to navigate their thwarted dreams. Scattered across Europe and no longer convinced they are truly the masters of their fates, the once close-knit friends find themselves filled with longing for their youth – and for one another. Broken hearts and broken careers draw the foursome together again, but in ways they never could have imagined.

A dazzling depiction of the highs and lows of adulthood, Invincible Summer is a story about finding the courage to carry on in the wake of disappointment, and a powerful testament to love and friendship as the constants in an ever-changing world.

I suppose there have been a few books recently that follow a similar formula – college friends graduate and let’s see what becomes of their lives and their friendships for years after – but I don’t think I’ve read any in recent memory, so the concept was relatively fresh for me when I picked up Invincible Summer. And I really enjoyed the book!

The author definitely allows the reader to get to know Eva better than the other three characters, and as a result I was drawn to her character the most. Either that, or she was the most similar to me in personality – or both. For whatever the reason, I was drawn to her and liked her character quite a bit. I deeply understood her struggle growing up without a ton of opportunities and being immersed in friendships with people who were privileged in every way  – that felt so similar to my own experiences growing up and I just got where she was coming from. I understood her drive and determination to be financially successful in life at absolutely any cost. While I didn’t get her attraction to Lucien in the beginning of the novel, I could certainly relate to falling for the wrong guy – and she certainly fell hard for him, the WAY wrong guy. It’s a good thing that Eva’s story propelled most of the book forward because she was definitely my favorite of the four.

Sylvie was a character I didn’t care for at ALL for most of the book. However, Adams definitely did the most with her character development out of all four of them and I was really impressed with her story. It felt a bit all over the place, but when things kind of settled down, Sylvie was probably the most interesting and remarkable character of the four.

Lucien was just … there. He was the most one-dimensional of all of them, didn’t display much in the way of development, and overall kind of seemed to exist within the novel. I think Adams could have done a lot more with him, to be honest.

Benedict. Oh, Benedict. I was not a fan of Benedict either, and even looking back on the book I can’t quite wrap my head around him as a character. He came across as pretty spineless to me, for almost all of the book, and so many of his actions frustrated the hell out of me. In the end, Adams painted a picture of all of his mistakes and missteps and second-guessing of himself turning into a pretty fantastic life that wouldn’t have become what it was had he not made those mistakes. But still. I don’t know about this guy.

Even with me only liking one of the characters, really, the book was super fun for me to read. I just fell into the story, into their lives, into all the twists and turns that happened to them and that they caused by both good and bad decisions. You could say that nothing really happens in the book, but you could also say that a ton of stuff happens. It was just, honestly, an enjoyable experience and I’ll definitely be looking for what else this author has to offer me.

Also – this trope of following a group of friends for years after school? Can I have more of this, please? Any recommendations of other novels that do this really well?

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

The Kind Worth KillingThe Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Published by William Morrow

From the publisher:

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. But their game turns dark when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.”

From there, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they plot Miranda’s demise, but soon these co-conspirators are embroiled in a game of cat-and-mouse–one they both cannot survive–with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

You know how every thriller these days is advertised as the next Gone Girl or Girl on a Train? And how annoying that is? Well – I’m about to annoy you, because The Kind Worth Killing reminded me so much of both of those books, but only in the best possible way. I’m actually surprised it didn’t get more attention, because this book was SO GOOD.

Right from the start of the book, it’s clear that things here are not exactly as they seem. On the surface, sure – guy meets girl, guy wants to kill his wife, girl agrees to help – sounds simple and uncomplicated, right? (ha!!) Wrong. So much is happening in this book, so many twists and turns that I did not see coming. It’s a hell of a ride.

I’ll be honest and say that for a second there, I thought the book was going to go into a direction I was NOT a fan of – but it didn’t! Even crazier shit happened than what I had been anticipating. There are connections between people that I did not see coming, characters going rogue in ways I could not have imagined, just crazy stuff all over the place. Honestly – I just could not put this thing down. It was so incredibly captivating.

If you’re looking for a great thriller, look no further than The Kind Worth Killing. I was so hooked on this thing from page one. Read it!

April & Oliver by Tess Callahan

April & OliverApril & Oliver by Tess Callahan
Published by Grand Central Publishing

From the publisher:

Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April’s brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April – and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. Even as Oliver attempts to “save” his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets of his own–secrets he hasn’t shared with anyone, even his fiancee. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April’s life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral…towards salvation.

This is not a novel that has a ton of plot, nor is it a book that moves quickly. It is very character-focused – it is a spotlight on these two characters, with a few others factored in, and if you don’t like that kind of book you should probably pass. But if you do, April & Oliver has a lot to offer.

April had an extremely tough childhood and her adulthood has not been great either. As a result, she is the type of person who walks through her life pretending to be okay, but really she has been shaken to her core from all that has happened to her, and has chosen to react to her grief and pain in inappropriate ways. Oliver is there for her, but he almost tries too hard and ends up letting his own life be affected by her in dangerous ways. Oliver has a fiancee, who can clearly see that there’s some unsaid history between the two of them and is of course suspicious of their relationship.

I found these characters extremely nuanced and interesting. The book has a gloomy, depressing feeling throughout, yet I couldn’t stop reading. I continued to hope, despite clear evidence to the contrary, that April would figure herself out and improve the way she felt about herself and her life circumstances. I continued to hope, despite the fact that Oliver was happily engaged, that the two of them would get together. It just felt like no one understood April like Oliver did and no one would be able to help pull her out of her depression and help her live a happy life like he could.

The writing in April & Oliver was quite beautiful and I think that, in combination with how drawn in I was to these characters, was what kept me turning pages in a book that had very little in the way of plot. One major thing that I didn’t like about the book was the ending, which is problematic. That being said, I did really enjoy the time I spent with this novel and I’ve continued to think about the characters, long after I’ve finished it.

Flight Patterns by Karen White

Flight PatternsFlight Patterns by Karen White
Published by NAL
Review copy provided by Netgalley

From the publisher:

Georgia Chambers has spent her life sifting through other people’s pasts while trying to forget her own. But then her work as an expert of fine china—especially of Limoges—requires her to return to the one place she swore she’d never revisit…

It’s been thirteen years since Georgia left her family home on the coast of Florida, and nothing much has changed, except that there are fewer oysters and more tourists. She finds solace seeing her grandfather still toiling away in the apiary where she spent much of her childhood, but encountering her estranged mother and sister leaves her rattled. 

Seeing them after all this time makes Georgia realize that something has been missing—and unless she finds a way to heal these rifts, she will forever be living vicariously through other people’s remnants. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep…

I am a Karen White fangirl. I love her Tradd Street series, have read and loved several of her standalone novels, and when I met her at SIBA a couple of years back (and got to have dinner with her!) I almost lost my mind. Although I haven’t read any of her recent novels, she’s one of those authors I’ll always go back to for comfort reading. Flight Patterns was a comfortable, enjoyable read, which is what I expected, but I have to admit that it wasn’t one of my favorite of her novels. I liked the book enough, but it didn’t exactly wow me.

There is a lot to appreciate about this book. Georgia is the kind of character the reader really wants to root for – she’s clearly made some mistakes in her life, and is running from something in her past, yet the reader can feel that she’s tried to atone for whatever it is she’s done wrong. It’s obvious that she’s tried and succeeded to make something of her life, something beyond the life that she left behind all those years ago. When Georgia’s mother, Birdie, comes onto the scene it’s apparent that she is at least part of Georgia’s issues, and at least some of the reason why Georgia left her hometown.

Maisy, Georgia’s sister, does not come across as the kind of character that the reader can easily like. She’s prickly and everything she says seems to be a deliberate jab at Georgia. She obviously doesn’t want Georgia around and makes that crystal clear by what she says and does anytime Georgia comes near her. It was difficult to read about this relationship between sisters that was SO strained, but there is some growth to their relationship throughout the book, which was nice to read about and made me come around to Maisy a bit.

Most of White’s books have some kind of romantic intrigue happening, and this book was no different, although it took quite a bit of time to get there. I liked what she did with the romantic elements of the book, but I would have appreciated a little more of it and slightly earlier in the story, too.

What I didn’t love about the book were two major things. One was simply that it felt too long. It felt, to me, that White could have told the exact same story perhaps even a bit better with 50-100 fewer pages. At a certain point, I felt bogged down with too many details, things moving too slowly, and I almost felt bored. The other thing I disliked about Flight Patterns was that there were a few secrets that needed to be uncovered, a few from just the reader and a few from the characters. The major one that was supposed to be a big reveal to the reader was obvious from the very beginning, and that annoyed me. If I was supposed to be surprised by it, I most definitely was not. The other big reveals were less obvious, but still easy to figure out, and maybe not as “big” as to cause the huge repercussions that they caused.

So, Flight Patterns. I liked you but didn’t fall in love with you. Karen White is still an author I can depend upon to deliver sweet, comfortable stories of women finding themselves amidst family drama and sometimes ghosts, and I will continue to seek out her novels. Especially those Tradd Street novels – are there more? Or perhaps another mystery series in development? I’d take some of that, please.