Thanks to the publisher for the complimentary book. All opinions provided are my own.
I’ve tried to start this review for Between Us by Mhairi McFarlane over & over again. Maybe this one will take ;).
But basically this book is so interesting to me! On its own the romantic arc isn’t super convincing but since this book is mainly about Roison, & I would characterize it as women’s fiction, I accepted it as icing on a very well written cake.
This book is about so much—the ending to a 9 year old relationship & also the beginning to something else, as Roisin says.
She & Joe have been together forever. While watching the first episode of a show he’s written, she feels betrayed in how he’s incorporated her past without consent & worries that he has a secret real life, that of a philanderer, which has served as inspo for his writing.
Roison unpacks a lot in this book & I love how that journey is written. She is a lead that I really rooted for: I love her self-awareness & her willingness to see where she has messed up. Her growth is substantial.
I’ve heard great things about Mhairi McFarlane’s books & I can definitely see why. Definitely looking forward to reading more!
Have you read this author? What should I read next?
4.5⭐️. Out now!
CWs: Reference to suspected sexual assault. Cheating. Exile from family. References to swinger parents.
Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Did I read my first December romance in August? Did this book make me want to start celebrating the Winter Soltice? Yes & yes.
Jenny Bayliss’ A December to Remember is a story of sisterhood & community & it all happens when the father of three distant sisters dies & his will stipulates that they spend time together doing two things before they can secure their inheritance.
Focusing on sisterhood, this book shows how people can come back together & how vulnerability is a big part of what allows that to happen.
Each sister also has a romantic relationship they’re working through / starting in the book.
This book addresses quite a lot of serious topics & throughout it all is the community of Rowan Thorp which the sisters are becoming more enmeshed in. The town is adorable, the antiques store is some place I’d like to visit & I love how inclusive it is. That’s maybe my favorite part of the book—watching the various residents’ contributions to their town & to the winter Soltice.
I’d recommend this to anyone wanting a sweet story of sisters coming back together & allowing others in, of relationships that they’re choosing to make stronger.
3.5⭐️. Out 09/26.
CWs: Cancer. Father was absent. Infertility. Miscarriage. Abortion reference. Former boyfriend is stalking a sister on page; former boyfriend’s drug use.
A comedy of manners set in India, Diksha Basu’s Destination Wedding is an entertaining portrayal of a large number of nuanced personalities coming together in Delhi for a wedding.
Tina Das, a reality tv show programmer, is the main character of the novel though it frequently switches to different perspectives throughout.
Having lived in the US since she was born but having been “conceived” in India, as she says, Tina has long been aware of the challenges associated with others' responses to her dual heritage & wonders again & again if she could/should live in India.
Traveling to India with her best friend Marianne as well as her parents gives her an opportunity to explore the place her parents are from & the place she visited often as a child.
Filled with moments that are by turns moving & absurd Destination Wedding seems to celebrate humanity. The characters are flawed, they are sometimes selfish and/or oblivious, sometimes unlikable, they show love & care, & they are hopeful.
There’s only a small amount of romance here and what there is isn’t super convincing to me but that’s not the focus of the story as I see it.
Though the switches in perspective are often jarring I also appreciated seeing things from so many different points of view, from Tina & Marianne, to the former’s parents, to the driver, a matchmaker, & more.
The various narrators’s thoughts on wealth, the complexity of India beyond any stereotype, & the complexity of the people in the story, are compelling.
While there are times the book feels a little too glossy to me, I enjoyed it *&* getting to meet characters who feel real to me.
3.5⭐️. Destination Wedding is available now. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Give me that HEA, please.
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