Book Review: The Ramblers

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Are you looking for a good summer read? I think this book should definitely be considered.

The Ramblers takes place in New York City and is told from 3 different points of view. All three are somewhat lost souls – they have all had really significant things happen to them, and none of them have really been able to move on.

Clio is an ornithologist (she studies birds), and is in a somewhat new relationship that is turning serious. She has some commitment issues and is still dealing with her dysfunctional childhood and the death of her mother. Smith is Clio’s best friend. She is a professional organizer, and she is trying to survive her younger sister’s wedding while still processing her own broken engagement.  Tate is a former school mate of Clio and Smith’s, and he has just returned to the city after having his own heart broken.

 

The Ramblers was really good and really well written. It is about love, loss, grief, friendship and hope. I loved that the characters were all dealing with their own form of loss, and all trying to process it and pick up the pieces. And it takes place in one week, Thanksgiving week, which makes it even more interesting.

Book Review: The Nest

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As soon as I saw The Nest, I wanted to read it. Truth – it was because of the awesome cover. I didn’t even know what it was about, which really tells you how important book covers are to me.

And the inside of the book did not disappoint.

The Plumbs are extremely dysfunctional.  In fact, they barely speak to each other. But the one thing they have in common is the four Plumb siblings – Leo, Bea, Jack and Melody – have all been anxiously awaiting the day they would receive their trust fund (The Nest). Though their father died years ago, he set it up so that when the youngest Melody turned 40, they would all receive their shares.

But when the oldest Leo gets into trouble (think drunk driving with a young woman who isn’t his wife, a hefty payoff and a trip to rehab), their mother decides to spend the Nest on aiding Leo, which does not please the other siblings. The three other siblings plead that Leo repay them, though he claims he doesn’t have the money. Two of the four Plumbs really need the money, and the other is really only wanting Leo’s approval.

The Nest is really funny and smart and a fast read. It is a really interesting look at the dynamics of this super dysfunctional family, and the ways that the one brother’s actions really impact the other 3 siblings (in more ways than just the money).

 

I highly recommend The Nest. I know it sounds like it is all about the money, but it really isn’t.

Liane Moriarty Books

So I have told you I am obsessed with Liane Moriarty. I am telling you again. I am obsessed with her. I think she is such a fantastic writer. She is funny and smart and really makes you think. And since the new HBO series Big Little Lies (based on her book) is starting February 19th, I thought it would be a good time to tell you a little bit about each of her books and the way I would rank them.

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Truly, Madly, Guilty

This is Moriarty’s most recent book. It revolves around the events that occur at a barbecue, and the aftermath of these events. You know early on that something horrible happened at the barbecue, but it slowly unfolds what happens, which is kind of her thing. You can read more of my review here.

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Big Little Lies 

Big Little Lies centers around 3 women who are all moms at a school and friends.  The main event is a school trivia night, and the book goes from the present (which is the trivia night) to the time leading up to it. You know at the beginning someone has died, but you don’t know who. (Read more here).

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The Husband’s Secret

The Husband’s Secret is about the secrets we all have and the choices we make. The book follows three women who are the main characters, and really centers around a letter than one of the main character’s finds written to her from her husband. (Read more here).

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What Alice Forgot

Alice wakes up and is being take to the emergency room after she has fallen in an exercise class, which is weird because she doesn’t exercise. As it turns out, Alice has forgotten 10 years of her life after her fall. She remembers being pregnant with her first child, but doesn’t remember having her three children. And her marriage has fallen apart and she doesn’t remember that either. So she tries to connect the dots, figure out what has happened and how to fix things.

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The Hypnotist’s Love Story

Ellen is a hypnotherapist who works out of her beach house. She has a great life, but no husband (or boyfriend) or children. And she has made her peace with that. But then she goes on a date with Patrick, and she really likes him. On their date he reveals that he has a stalker, which would send most women running but Ellen finds to be really interesting.

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The Last Anniversary

The main character Sophie inherits a house on a tiny island from her ex-boyfriend’s aunt Connie (Sophie completely broke his heart). The island is home of the famous unsolved Munro Baby mystery – where a couple disappeared from the island and left behind their baby. The family of the people who found the baby (Aunt Connie found the baby with her sister) are the ones that own the island and run a museum centered around the mystery. Sophie moves to the island and becomes involved with the family, where everyone has secrets.

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Three Wishes

Lynn, Cat and Gemma are triples, and all completely opposite. Lynn is super organized and somewhat of a perfectionist, Cat thought she had the perfect marriage (until she learns a big secret) and struggles with infertility, and Gemma is he free spirit – afraid of commitment and dumps every boyfriend after a few months. It deals with love and relationships, sibling rivalry, secrets and the trials and tribulations of being a triple.

 

Two things I love about Moriarty’s writing style – 1. I love the way you slowly find things out. For example, in Big Little Lies, you know someone died but it takes a long time to find out who. The suspense if great. 2. I love the way she weaves the characters’ lives together, and they all tend to connect in some way in the end. Kind of like Love Actually.

 

Out of all of them, Big Little Lies is my favorite. But I think it is because I read it first. My aunt read The Husband’s Secret first and that is her favorite. So with those two, I really think it depends on what you read first. After that, I would say What Alice Forgot is next. My least favorite is Three Wishes. It isn’t that is isn’t good, but it was her first book so I feel like maybe it isn’t quite as strong as the others. In the middle are Truly, Madly, Guilty, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and The Last Anniversary. All are really good but in different ways. Honestly, the only one I didn’t think was stellar was Three Wishes, and again, it is really good just not as good.

 

Have you read any (or all) of Liane Moriarty’s books? I suggest you start with Big Little Lies, if you haven’t, so then you can watch the series and we can talk about it (Reese Witherspoon is in it, it can’t be bad!!)  Are you excited about the show?

 

Anyway, I highly recommend you read them all. Happy reading!

Book Review: Truly, Madly, Guilty

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Let me start with – I love Liane Moriarty. Love love her. I think she is crazy talented. I have now read all of her books, and I am ridiculously sad I won’t be reading another one from her for a while, since Truly, Madly Guilty just came out and I flew through it.  I will be posting my thoughts on all of her books soon, but you can read my reviews for Big Little Lies here and The Husband’s Secret here.

 

“This is a story that begins with a barbecue.” Truly, Madly, Guilty bounces back and forth from the past to the present- the day of the barbecue and two months after the barbecue. The story revolves around 3 couples – Clementine and Sam, Erika and Oliver, and Vid and Tiffany. And as Moriarty generally does, it shift perspective to different characters and how the events of the barbecue have effected everyone.

Clementine and Erika are best friends, but they have an extremely complicated relationship. They have been friends since they were children, but Clementine feels obligated to remain friends with Erika. Clementine and Sam have two little girls, and Erika and Oliver have no children. Vid and Tiffany are Erika and Oliver’s neighbors, who invite the two couples for a barbecue at their house.

It is obvious immediately that something horrible happened at the barbecue, but Moriarty lets it ever so slowly unravel throughout the book, which is something else she usually does and I love it. One thing the characters keep coming back to is “What if we hadn’t gone?”

Her books tend to have similar themes – marriage, friendship, the interesting interworkings of different relationships, infertility… This one also deals with guilt and regret.

 

Truth – I didn’t think this was as good as Big Little Lies (my favorite) or The Husband’s Secret. But that isn’t to say I didn’t think it wasn’t good. I really enjoyed it. I read some of the reviews on Amazon where people were bashing it. I am not sorry I read it nor do I think it is a bad book. But having read everything from her, I think that Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret are the absolute best. (I also really really like What Alice Forgot…).

 

So if you are looking for a pull you in from the start, interesting, somewhat surprising read, I most definitely recommend it. And if you like Liane Moriarty, you should definitely read it. And if you haven’t read Big Little Lies or The Husband’s Secret, go read those.

 

You know what, just go on and purchase all of her books. You won’t regret it!

Book Review: Room

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Wow. Wow. Wow. That is really all I need to say about Room. This book was incredible. I know I am a little behind on this – it was on the best seller list for forever, there is an award winning movie. But to be honest, I was a little bit nervous to read it. I was afraid it would freak me out. But I am so so glad I did.

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Jack is 5 years old. His entire world is his Ma and Room. Jack and his Ma have lived in Room since he was born. In fact, Jack doesn’t know there is anything outside of Room. Jack and his Ma spend all of their time together – they read his books, they have physical education, they cook, they watch tv, they clean, they play games. At night, Jack has to sleep in Wardrobe when Old Man Nick comes to see his Ma.

 

Here is why I was nervous about reading the book – I knew that it was about a woman who had been kidnapped and was held with her son in a room and that was all there was. It was a frightening idea, especially in the world we live in today where these things actually happen. But the story is told from the point of view of 5 year old Jack. So you see the world through his eyes. He doesn’t understand the things that are going on – that they can’t leave Room. He loves Room. It is all he knows. The love between Jack and Ma is so amazing, and the writing is fabulous.

 

Every so often I read a book and when I finish, I want to immediately re-read it. Also, I am jealous of the people who haven’t read it yet because I want to read it again (but for the first time). This was one of those books. I cannot say enough good things about this book. Yes, it has a heavy and dark subject matter, but it also has such a light and uplifting feel to it as well.

 

So now I am dying to see the movie. Unfortunately there are so few movies that are as good as the books. But I know this won a ton of awards, and Jake Tremblay who plays Jack is like the cutest little thing ever.

 

Please, please go read this book. And then let’s talk about it. OK?