As much as I love fall, I’m kind of struggling with it. Whenever someone asks me what my favorite season is, I usually answer fall. But then I immediately start explaining why, and then it becomes this whole long explanation of how I also love spring and summer. I should probably just start saying, I love all of the seasons except winter.
Why am I struggling with it? Because it means winter is lurking around the corner, ready to pounce. I shouldn’t be so pessimistic, especially since we’re still enjoying 60 degree weather, but I know in just a couple of short months we will be facing snow and cold. The one thing I do love about winter? Snuggling up on my couch and reading. Granted, I do that all year long, but in the winter, I love curling up with a glass of wine or hot chocolate, my heated blanket and my nook.
Thankfully, we’re not there yet, and I’m still trying to soak up the warm sun and the outdoors as much as humanly possible. I didn’t read as much as I had hoped, or wanted too, in September. Why? Eryn E Photography has been very busy with photo shoots and editing. We’ve been working on house projects, so we can begin to get settled in our new home. And simply trying to enjoy life.
Enough rambling. You’re really here just to hear about what I read. Not why I didn’t read as much as I would have liked. On to the books I read in September.
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The Winter Sea– Susannah Kearsley
Synopsis (from Goodreads):In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write. But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her.
Verdict: This was the first book I read by Susanna Kearsley, and it will not be my last. I was never a huge fan of historical fiction until a couple of years ago, and now it’s one of my favorite genres to read. Depending on the subject matter of course. This particular title has a beautiful love story, both in the historical part and the modern day, and Kearsley’s use of words and storytelling made this book come to life. Even if you’re not a fan of historical fiction, I recommend you take some time and at least read of her books. I know I’ve added nearly all of her other titles to my wish list.
The Girl Who Came Home– Hazel Gaynor
Synopsis (from Goodreads): A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . . .
Ireland, 1912 . . .Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.
Chicago, 1982 . . .Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanic that she’s harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago. Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy’s impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.
Verdict: I’ve had a fascination with the Titanic since I was in 6th grade and the movie came out in theaters (Thank you, Jack Dawson.) I wouldn’t consider myself a Titanic buff by any means, but I do love reading about and hearing stories surrounding it. When this popped up as a deal on Barnes & Noble, I took advantage of it. I figured, worst case scenario, I would find it boring but didn’t spend much on it. Let’s just say, I ended up with the best case scenario. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want to put it down. If I could have read straight through, I would have finished this in a day. Easy. I loved it that much. And looking back over all of my September reads, this was most definitely my read of the month!
The Nurses– Alexandra Robbins
Synopsis (from Goodreads): The Nurses is told through the real-life stories of four women in different hospitals: Molly, funny, well-loved, and confident enough to quit a longtime job after her hospital ramps up its anti-nurse policies. Lara, a superstar nurse who tries to battle her way back from a near-ruinous prescription-drug addiction. The outspoken but compassionate Juliette, a fierce advocate for her patients. And Sam, a first-year nurse, struggling to find her way in a gossipy mean-girl climate she likens to “high school, except for the dying people.” The result is a riveting page-turner, insightful and thought-provoking, that will leave readers feeling smarter about their healthcare and undeniably appreciative of the incredible nurses who provide it.
Verdict: I read Pledged during a summer trip in between my junior and senior year of college, and really enjoyed it. Maybe it was because I was in college, so I understood what was happening despite not ever setting foot in a sorority. I wish I could have said the same for this one. While it was good, and I enjoyed learning more about the world of nursing, I wasn’t enthralled with it. In fact, there were times I was downright bored. But that’s probably because I’m not in a medical field, nor is someone close to me in a medical field. If you are or know someone who is, then you’ll probably love this book.
Us– David Nicholls
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen-year-old son, Albie; then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.
The timing couldn’t be worse. Hoping to encourage her son’s artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family, and she can’t bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway. Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage and might even help him bond with Albie.
Narrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves and learning how to get closer to a son who’s always felt like a stranger.
Verdict: I really wanted to love this book, especially with the reviews it had. And considering how much I enjoyed One Day, but I just didn’t. I was bored. I had a really hard time paying attention to it. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mindset to read it? Perhaps, I should have waited until I had a bit more free time to sit back and enjoy it. I’m not sure. I just know that I felt like I was really struggling with it. There were a few parts that I found good, but then it would quickly go back to boring. Sorry David Nicholls, I gave it a shot.
SEPTEMBER PICK OF THE MONTH: The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor