There have been many great books enjoyed by the pool this past month! Here are my recos. Please click on titles for more information or to purchase – almost all are on sale, and all books ship free from Chapters Indigo all summer!
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.
And then she was gone.
Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?
The Life Lucy Knew by Karma Brown
One woman is about to discover everything she believes—knows—to be true about her life…isn’t.
After hitting her head, Lucy Sparks awakens in the hospital to a shocking revelation: the man she’s known and loved for years—the man she recently married—is not actually her husband. In fact, they haven’t even spoken since their breakup four years earlier. The happily-ever-after she remembers in vivid detail—right down to the dress she wore to their wedding—is only one example of what her doctors call a false memory: recollections Lucy’s mind made up to fill in the blanks from the coma.
Her psychologist explains the condition as honest lying, because while Lucy’s memories are false, they still feel incredibly real. Now she has no idea which memories she can trust—a devastating experience not only for Lucy, but also for her family, friends and especially her devoted boyfriend, Matt, whom Lucy remembers merely as a work colleague.
When the life Lucy believes she had slams against the reality she’s been living for the past four years, she must make a difficult choice about which life she wants to lead, and who she really is.
If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar
A woman in a coma.
The man who could save her life—if only he could speak.
When young, beautiful Cassie Jensen arrives unconscious to the intensive care ward at St. Catherine’s hospital after being struck in a hit-and-run while out walking her dog, chief nurse Alice Marlowe thinks she looks familiar. She starts digging deeper into Cassie’s relationships, only to discover something about her patient that she’d been keeping secret from everyone, including her devoted husband and family. Soon Alice finds herself obsessed with her patient’s past and future, even willing to put her own career on the line in her single-minded search for answers.
Frank, a patient on the same ward who has locked-in syndrome, can hear and see everything around him but cannot speak. Soon he comes to understand that Cassie’s life is still in danger. While the police continue to look for clues, only Frank holds the truth, but he’s unable to communicate it.
As the novel flashes between points of view, the reader will get closer and closer to the truth of who Cassie Jensen was, and why she was out on the road that fateful night . . .
The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet
Be careful who you let in . . .
When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap–from their city flat to a townhouse in a leafy, upscale London suburb–they jump at the chance for a week away from home, their daughter and the tensions that have pushed their marriage to the brink.
The house is stark, pared back and almost sinister in its emptiness: a blank canvas upon which they can try to start again, and rebuild what has been lost between them. But slowly, Caroline begins to uncover some signs–signs that connect to her life. The flowers in the bathroom and the music in the CD player might seem innocent to anyone else–but to her they are clues. It seems the person they have swapped homes with is someone who knows her, who knows the secrets she’d hoped to forget
Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser
When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.
By Monday morning, one of them is gone.
Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce-and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her-and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions-especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.
As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors-and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.
The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir
Esther Ann Hicks–Essie–is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage–and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media–through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell–Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?
This last one is my only nonfiction pick of the month – and did I mention that I made Randi Zuckerberg’s day when I shared it in my InstaStories?
Pick Three: You Can Have It All (Just Not Every Day) by Randi Zuckerberg
In this motivational handbook—both a business how-to and self-help guide—the New York Times bestselling author of Dot Complicated takes on the fallacy of the “well-balanced” life, arguing that the key to success is learning to be well-lopsided.
Work. Sleep. Fitness. Family. Friends. Pick Three.
In an increasingly demanding world, we’ve been told that we can do everything—maintain friendships, devote ourselves to work, spend time with family, stay fit, and get enough sleep. We just need to learn to balance it all. Randi Zuckerberg doesn’t believe in being well-balanced. We can’t do it all every day, she contends, and trying to do so only leaves us frustrated and feeling inadequate. But we can succeed if we Pick Three.
Randi first introduced the concept of Pick Three in a tweet—”The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma”—that went viral. Now, in this book, she expands on her philosophy and inspires others to follow her lead. From entrepreneurs to professionals, busy parents to students, Randi can help everyone learn to reject the unrealistic burden of balance and enjoy success in their own lives—by picking the most important areas to focus on in any given day.
This practical handbook includes stories from Randi’s career learning that there’s no such thing as a perfect balance—as well as insights and examples from other professionals at the top of the biggest businesses in Silicon Valley, new moms searching for permission to focus on family, and recent graduates convinced they should have it all under control, including Arianna Huffington, Reshma Saujani, Laurie Hernandez, and Brad Takei. We can’t have it all every day, and that’s okay, Randi reminds us. Pick Three is her much-needed guide to learning to embrace the well-lopsided life.