One of the things I love about going on a beach vacation is having the time to read. Normally, I can only squeeze in a chapter or two on my lunch break a few times a week, which makes it hard to get through books. For months before we left, I stockpiled books in my Kindle, knowing I’d have hours of gloriously uninterrupted time to indulge. This year, although we were gone for two weeks, I had to do some studying, but I still managed to get through six books.
I started with what has become one of my favorite books this year: Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn.
Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
I love crime novels and this is one of the best. It’s also one of the best portraits of a screwed up marriage I’ve ever read. It’s full of creepy, dysfunctional characters, and sharp storytelling, full of tiny details that make you wonder what the real truth is. I couldn’t put down this fast-paced novel.
Beautiful Ruins: A Novel by Jess Walker jumps back and forth between 1962 and present day, and it’s a quirky, imaginative story about love, greed and big dreams.
Off the Menu by Stacy Ballis. This was a Jenn Lancaster recommendation and one of the characters seems to be based on her so, of course, I was in. It was a fun summer read full of food, friendship and love.
Tell the Wolves I’m Home: A Novel by Carol Rifka Brunt. I adored this book. It was a beautiful portrait of the AIDS epidemic in the late ’80s.
Summerland: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand. This was a nice change of pace after Tell The Wolves I’m home. I love her quick-paced, twisty novels that are always set in Nantucket.
Unsaid: A Novel by Neil Abramson. I’m reading this one now and I am riveted. Here’s Amazon’s description.
In this explosive debut novel, Neil Abramson explores the beauty and redemptive power of human-animal relationships and the true meaning of communication in all of its diverse forms.
As a veterinarian, Helena was required to choose when to end the lives of the terminally ill animals in her care. Now that she has died, she is afraid to face them and finally admit to herself that her thirty-seven years of life were meaningless, error-ridden, and forgettable. So Helena lingers, a silent observer haunted by the life she left behind-her shattered attorney husband, David; her houseful of damaged but beloved animals; and her final project, Cindy, a chimpanzee trained to use sign language who may be able to unlock the mysteries of animal communication and consciousness.
When Cindy is scheduled for a research experiment that will undoubtedly take her life, David must call upon everything he has learned from Helena to save her. In the explosive courtroom drama that follows, all the threads of Helena’s life entwine and tear as Helena and David confront their mistakes, grief, and loss and discover what it really means to be human.
Are any of these on your list? Have you read any of these yet?