Spring has sprung and I’m happy to report there are lots of great novels out right now. Here are three that I tore right through, enjoy! Gonna dive into a new pile, as always, please share suggested reads!!
On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
I love wacky Faith. Trying to rediscover herself at 32, she’s given up on Brooklyn and returned to her hometown in Massachusetts….but things are off to a rocky start. Her parents have separated due to her fathers artistic mid-life crisis, her job-hopping single brother has started a plowing and towing business and her boyfriend Stuart has left on foot cross-country to find himself…with her credit card. On a whim, she buys the house on Turpentine Lane and quickly recruits her (adorable) coworker Nick to be her housemate, after discovering it may very well be haunted. Who can blame her based on the number of people who have died there and the local police sniffing around her basement? Lipman’s dialogue and relationships are charming and genuine in this sweet tale, a quick amusing read.
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
A little hard to explain, but oh what a wonderfully woven tale we are given here…. In present day, outside London we meet Anthony, a successful elderly writer who has spent 40 years mourning the sudden death of his beloved fiancé, Therese. In the meantime, our title character, who once lost an item of great significance, has been collecting lost trinkets and labeling them (gems, puzzle pieces, most recently a biscuit tin filled w someone’s remains….!) After his demise, he leaves the house (and all the lost things) to his lonely housekeeper, Laura, with instructions for her to try to return as many of the lost things as possible. In a parallel story line in 1975, at precisely the time of Therese’s death, we meet Eunice and Bomber, two lovely characters working at a London Publishing company. Their friendship continues from that point to present day…I waited anxiously to see them all come together (it does not disappoint, sniff!) Laura, whose dark past had caused her to withdraw into Anthony’s quiet life, begins to come alive again among the lost things with the help of the home’s handsome gardener and the very special Sunshine, who lives across the street. Stories about the lost things pop up throughout….are they fictional stories Anthony wrote about the owners of lost things? Or are the objects telling their stories? Absolutely magical.
The Strays by Emily Bitto
I read this one in 24 hours… While I’m not usually a huge fan of period pieces, the setting of the Trentham enclave in 1930s Australia brought to mind the almost mythical tales of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, who played as hard as they worked to defend and create their art. Lily is eight-years-old when she meets Eva, the enchanting middle child of three sisters born to bohemian artists, with the luxury of old money. As the girls enter their teen-age years, parents, Evan, the temperamental artist and Helena, his spoiled muse, turn their sprawling home into an artist colony, inviting a small but ferociously talented group of artists to live among them. When tragedy strikes her family and Lily officially moves in with group, she officially becomes one of the strays, blissfully submerged in their exotic, often debaucherous lifestyle. As often happens in such a setting, young girls and attractive young artists become the catalyst for the unraveling of the entire Trentham clan.