"The Year We Turned Forty" by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke is a what-if novel about three friends who get the chance to go back to their fortieth birthday and re-live the next decade the way they think they were meant to live it (in hindsight).
It's a good premise, well executed. An interesting variation on the usual "make things un-happen" theme, this book does not allow to go back far enough to erase mistakes - it only allows to handle the blowout from the mistakes differently.
The novel asks important questions about fate, karma, the definition of happiness, and - ultimately - about the meaning of life.
“The Fifth Letter” by Nicola Moriarty is a chick lit page-turner.
You really have to keep reading till 3am to find out what happened. The style is different to that of Liane Moriarty, though fans will recognise some of the themes.
Four friends . . .
Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina have been best friends since high school, sharing a
bond that has seen them through their teenage years and into adulthood. But
now, time and circumstance is starting to pull them apart as careers, husbands,
and babies get in the way. As their yearly vacation becomes less of a
priority—at least for three of the women—how can Joni find a way to draw the
four of them back together?
Four secrets . . .
During a laughter and wine-filled night, the women dare one another to write
anonymous letters, spilling their deepest, darkest secrets. But the fun game
turns devastating, exposing cracks in their lives and the friendships they
share. Each letter is a dark confession revealing shocking information. A
troubled marriage? A substance abuse problem? A secret pregnancy? A
Five letters . . .
Late on one of their last nights together, after the other three have gone to
bed, Joni notices something in the fireplace—a burnt, crumpled, nearly
destroyed, sheet of paper that holds the most shattering revelation of all. It
is a fifth letter—a hate-filled rant that exposes a vicious, deeply hidden
grudge that has festered for decades. But who wrote it? Which one of them has
seethed with resentment all these years? What should Joni do?
Best friends are supposed to keep your darkest secrets. But the revelations
Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina have shared will ripple through their lives with
unforeseen consequences . . . and things will never be the same.
"My not so perfect life" by Sophie Kinsella is a fun, fun, fun read. The heroine's voice pulls you right in, from the first sentence. Katie/Cat Brenner has a dream: to live and work in London. Katie's widowed father also has a dream: for Katie to stay on their farm in Somerset.
This is not an "issues" book, but if you go looking, there is substance. You get the father-daughter motif, but also the female boss mentor or tormentor question. You get the "what's real" of social media, and the eternal romance question: do you go for the dependable and boring, or for the exhilarating and heart-breaking?
"When you get to the point where you know the worst thing about someone you love,
you know the truth about yourself."
Last Will by Bryn Greenwood is a beautiful love story with a lot of substance. Following the death of his grandfather, Bernie Raleigh is now rich. Super-mega rich. The problem is, he doesn't know how to handle the public life and the obligations that come with his vast fortune. Enter his quirky housekeeper, Meda Amos, a single mother and a beauty queen. She's tough and wise, and exactly what Bernie needs.