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That's Anne (at right) with author Laura Lico Albanese. Anne loves historical fiction, thrillers (especially espionage), Jewish fiction, and romance. She is an avid audiobook listener. Anne recommends...
Yellow Wife by
Pheby Dolores Brown, the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner but also a slave, is supposed to be freed at eighteen. Instead she is sent to a infamous jail in Richmond, Virginia, forced to be the common law wife of the jailer, a slave trader and man notorious for his cruelty. Using her wits and guile, she must find a way to save her children.
Hairpin Bridge by
Cambry Nguyen, returning from a cross country road trip, drove to an isolated bridge in Missouri and jumped to her death. That's what the official police investigation concluded. Even though twin sister Lena was estranged from Cambry, she doesn't believe the suicide report. Positive that Officer Raymond Raycevic killed her sister, Lena plots for months and sets a trap for him. She plans to get his confession on tape and bring him down. There are countless ways this goes wrong, and surprises aplenty, up to the very end, which made for an exciting read. Like his previous book, No Exit, Taylor Adams keeps the story interesting albeit dark, and the tension high throughout.
The Guncle by
Gay Uncle Patrick, aka GUP, aka Guncle, is a former actor, living in Palm Springs and basically hiding out after the devasting loss of his partner. Then his best friend/sister-in-law dies, and his brother Greg needs to go into rehab. Patrick is tasked with taking care of his brother's kids, and has no idea what to do with them. Over the course of the summer, he teaches Maisie and Grant a series of witty "Guncle Rules" on how to exist and have fun, and they teach him how to open his closed heart to love. Despite dealing with serious issues of death, loss, and heartbreak, this is a very humorous and uplifting book with wide appeal.
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by
Two families, the Goldmans and the Weingolds, have jointly owned the Golden Hotel in the Catskills. For almost 60 years, this was one of the most popular places to be. Many famous people performed there, and guests came by the thousands each year, but those days are gone. Now the hotel is in desperate need of an extensive overhaul--or it could be sold for millions to a casino company and thereby close down a legacy. Three generations of both families come together one last time at the Golden to decide its fate. Long-held family secrets, grudges, romances, scandals and memories are revisited in the process, creating a very funny, nostalgic and poignant look at a bygone era. It's reminiscent of the movie Dirty Dancing, and I loved it.
When the Apricots Bloom by
Based on the author's own experiences living in Iraq while Saddam Hussein was in power, this is a fascinating and sobering tale of life under the Mukhabarat--the secret police. Huda is a wife and mother, also a secretary at the Australian embassy, asked to befriend the young deputy ambassador's wife and inform on her every movement. Her son's life is in danger if she doesn't cooperate. Ally, the deputy ambassador's wife, has come searching for information about her long dead mother, who as an American, lived in Baghdad in the golden era of the 70s. By doing this, she stirs up old secrets that have dangerous implications for all. The third woman, Rania, is the daughter of a sheikh and childhood best friend of Huda, but long estranged after a devastating betrayal. Her daughter has caught the eye of Uday Hussein, the notoriously evil and monstrous son of Saddam who preys on young women. As the secret police apply more pressure, Huda, Rania and Ally must decide who to trust and how to survive. This is a great book for book club discussion.
Two major stars of the Outlander series take a road trip around the Scottish Highlands, fueled by whiskey, adventure and history. Enjoy their trip even more with the award-winning audiobook, narrated by actors themselves.
Anne's WWII Fiction Picks