By: Curtis Sittenfeld
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase
This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.
Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.
I’ve been fairly wary of retellings of familiar classics like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice but I’ve heard fairly good reviews of this book and the modernisation in this retelling sounds intriguing so I picked it up.
Before the Fall
By: Noah Hawley
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear 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 a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.
With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy 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 crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely 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–all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.
The fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.
Sort of picked this book up and started reading before I went on holiday; this was the time when I was in a book slump and nothing was piquing my interesting so after the first chapter or so I had put this book back down. After sort of overcoming my book slump upon returning from holiday, I picked this book back up again to finish it 🙂
Two By Two
By: Nicholas Sparks
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear…and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding-one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.
As I told a few people, I haven’t read anything by Nicholas Sparks in a number of years. One of my closest friends recommended me this book and reading it, it does sound different from his other books, and I was curious to see how he would tackle the subject of a single father. So I picked it up 🙂 Contains some SPOILERS ahead as I will go over a few plot points!
China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2)
By: Kevin Kwan
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over-the-moon. She has a flawless Asscher cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiancée willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birth father, a man she never knew, won’t be able to walk her down the aisle. Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel in to a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore’s It Girl Astrid Leong is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly-minted Tech Billionaire husband.
A romp through Asia’s most exclusive clubs, auction houses, and estates, China Rich Girlfriend brings us into the elite circles of Mainland China, introducing a captivating cast of characters, and offering an inside glimpse at what it’s like to be gloriously, crazily, China-rich.
At long last, after reading Crazy Rich Asians (review) some two years ago, I’m reading the follow-up. His books are perfect reading for the summer, so I reckon I’ll be reading the third installment next year 😛 Contains some spoilers if you haven’t read either book in the series!
Here’s Looking at You
By: Mhairi McFarlane
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Anna Alessi – history expert, possessor of a lot of hair and an occasionally filthy mouth – seeks nice man for intelligent conversation and Mills & Boon moments.
Despite the oddballs that keep turning up on her dates, Anna couldn’t be happier. As a 30-something with a job she loves, life has turned out better than she dared dream. However, things weren’t always this way, and her years spent as the ‘Italian Galleon’ of an East London comprehensive are ones she’d rather forget.
So when James Fraser – the architect of Anna’s final humiliation at school – walks back into her life, her world is turned upside down. But James seems a changed man. Polite. Mature. Funny, even. People can change, right? So why does Anna feel like she’s a fool to trust him?
Alas, here I am at the last Mhairi McFarlane book left on the list that I haven’t read. Actually, that’s not entirely true–she did release a novella a few weeks ago called After Hello following after the events of You Had Me At Hello (review)–but still, this was the only novel left on the list that I had yet to get around to.