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Book Review: An American Marriage

This book had me hooked on the very first page. "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who leave home, and those who don't."- Great first sentence.

"Home" is an interesting theme throughout this book. Roy and Celestial are newly married and at the precipice of living the American dream. After only a year of marriage, Roy is accused of a crime that his wife knows for a fact that he did not commit. But after he is arrested and sentenced to spend time in prison (this isn't a spoiler, the book jacket sets the scene right away). He's ripped away from the home they thought they were going to build together. 

This couple started out with a once-in-a-lifetime love, one that they thought would stand the test of time and anything life might throw in their path. But maybe they were just being naive. I was equal parts happy and sad throughout this entire book. My heart was torn in two for this couple. 

What I love most about the book is the courageous hearts of Roy and Celestial. African American roots have made their sense of family and pride strong. Celestial is strong, independent and determine have the life she always wanted. 

But what she wanted was a successful career and lifetime of happiness with her husband by her side. And that's not what she got. What she got was 12 years of uncertainty and a broken heart, because the man she loved has been accused of an unthinkable crime. Does she stay by his side? Is she strong enough to live without him but still keep their marriage intact? How can a woman who has built her own success from the ground up, who has always been independent and head strong, have so much need for a man? And for Roy, how can a man accused and shamed for something he says he did not do, keep his pride?

Can Celestial stay married to a man behind bars? Is he the same man she married? Is it fair to ask her to wait for him? Is a marriage based on love or circumstance? All of the questions are beautifully answered in this unforgettable story. 

There are twists in this book; secrets that the characters are keeping from the reader that come as a shock and make you doubt if you even like them anymore. But in the end, you will love them and you'll never forget this story.

Readers- there is a REASON this book is a Book of the Month Club pick, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, AND the Belletrist February book...It's that good. 

Book Review: Mrs. by Caitlin Macy

First of all, can we all take a moment to talk about this cover? It's so gorgeous it makes "judging a book by its cover" a GOOD thing. And trust me, the book itself is just as delectable.

I would love to meet Caitlin Macy. Judging by the wit and cunning charm woven into this story, I am sure she is clever and interesting. All of these characteristics are what make Mrs. such an engrossing read. 

Though the writing is a bit heavy and some sentences were hard to get through, the writing style painted vivid pictures. I just had a hard time reading this leisurely, I really had to pay attention and read quite slow in order to follow along but that's all about of the experience. There are details woven through out the book that you must pay attention to. 

This book is set in the Upper East Side. The women are elegant, rich and suspicious. Newcomers are not welcome and people who know deep secrets from your past are enemies that you still have to keep close. 

High on the social latter, Philippe Lye isn't keeping up with the Jones'-she is the Joneses, so when two women come into her circle who threaten to uncover secrets, things start to unravel. The characters' social circle are "forced to confront the rot at its core and the price it has paid to survive"- quoted from the book jacket because that perfectly describes this book and I couldn't think of any other words! 

This is Big Little Lies mixed with that the girls on Gossip Girl would act like if they grew up and had kids of their own. 

I received a copy of this from the publisher, Little Brown & Co., but all opinions are my own. #partner

3 Books from Knopf You Need To Know About

This is a great month to be a book shelf, guys. SO. MANY. BOOKS.

I am lucky enough to partner with Knopf Publishing to tell you about 3 new fantastic books out this month! Two of the following books are out today! (Feb. 6) and the other comes out next Wednesday, my birthday! Check out these books and tell me which ones you think you'll be adding to your #tbr list! 

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell (on sale February 6)
A completely unique memoir told entirely through the author’s seventeen near-death experiences. You may know Maggie for her wonderful, evocative novels (This Must be the Place, Instructions for a Heatwave…). I’ve always loved her novels, but her memoir really wowed me. She tells incredible stories in this book: of the childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive, of her teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster, of an encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter—for whom this book was written—from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life's myriad dangers. Ann Patchett loves the book and says, "I Am I Am I Am is a gripping and glorious investigation of death that leaves the reader feeling breathless, grateful, and fully alive. Maggie O’Farrell is a miracle in every sense. I will never forget this book."

Madness is Better than Defeat by Ned Beauman (on sale February 13)
Ned Beauman is one of Granta’s twenty best young British novelists, and his previous book was Glow. His latest is a literary thriller about Manhattan and Hollywood in the 1930s, Mayan gods, and a CIA operation gone terribly wrong. Intrigued yet? Plus, the jacket is gorgeous. Early reviews have been great: "A rowdy, thoroughly satisfying literary adventure. . . . Exquisitely comic and absurd, Beauman's imaginative novel brims with the snappy dialogue, vivid scenery, and converging story lines of an old Hollywood classic."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin (on sale February 6)
This debut novel has an extraordinary six-year-old narrator at its center. Think Room meets Jodi Picoult’s issues-based novels. The author Rhiannon Navin came home one day to find her son hiding from a “bad guy” under the dining room table.  That day at school his kindergarten class had had their first lockdown drill.  It was a moment that struck her deeply and that in many ways was the genesis of ONLY CHILD, an absolutely page-turning story about a family forced to face what no family should have to face. Real Simple, Glamour, and Marie Claire have all praised this debut.

I hope this month brings you a ton of reading joy! If you need me, you can find me in my reading chair. ;)