The Lines Between Us

Featuring a group of conscientious objectors fighting wildfires, The Lines Between Us is packed with little-known historical facts. This novel feels like a fresh look at WWII fiction!

Book Review

The Lines Between Us by Amy Lynn Green

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

In January, I had the privilege of reading Amy Lynn Green’s debut novel, Things We Didn’t Say, and I adored it! (You can see my review for that book here! Trust me. You don’t want to miss it either!)

Needless to say, this new novel The Lines Between Us was immediately placed on my most-anticipated reads of 2021 list. And, chances are, that won’t be the last list it hits either! Can anyone say top-ten favorite reads this year?

(Keep reading for my full thoughts!)

About The Lines Between Us:

(From the publisher): A WWII novel of courage and conviction, based on the true experience of the men who fought fires as conscientious objectors and the women who fought prejudice to serve in the Women’s Army Corps.

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hooper and his buddy Jack Armitage have stuck to their values as conscientious objectors. Much to their families’ and country’s chagrin, they volunteer as smokejumpers rather than enlisting, parachuting into and extinguishing raging wildfires in Oregon. But the number of winter blazes they’re called to seems suspiciously high, and when an accident leaves Jack badly injured, Gordon realizes the facts don’t add up.

A member of the Women’s Army Corps, Dorie Armitage has long been ashamed of her brother’s pacifism, but she’s shocked by news of his accident. Determined to find out why he was harmed, she arrives at the national forest under the guise of conducting an army report . . . and finds herself forced to work with Gordon. He believes it’s wrong to lie; she’s willing to do whatever it takes for justice to be done. As they search for clues, Gordon and Dorie must wrestle with their convictions about war and peace and decide what to do with the troubling secrets they discover.

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October 2021 Mini-Challenge

October 2021 Mini Challenge from The 52 Book Club

Our October 2021 Mini-Challenge is here! We have three brand new prompts — perfect for all the spooky and thrilling reads you’d set aside for this month.

Don’t like scary reads? That’s okay! Feel free to interpret these prompts as creatively you like. Romance reads or thrillers, non-fiction or horror, it’s all up to you! Just don’t forget to share your creative ideas so the rest of us can see your brilliance too!

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All The Little Hopes

All the Little Hopes is a coming of age novel with a rich and moving prose that transported me to a land of tobacco fields and purple honey.

Book Review

All the Little Hopes by Leah Weiss

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From the acclaimed author of If the Creek Don’t Rise comes a Southern story of friendship forged by books and bees. Set during WWII in North Carolina, All the Little Hopes is a stunning coming-of-age novel. Following the thirteen-year-old characters of Lucy Brown and Allie Bert Tucker, this book has a rich and moving prose that transported me to a land of tobacco fields and purple honey. … (Keep reading for my full review!)

About All the Little Hopes:

(From the publisher) Deep in the tobacco land of North Carolina, nothing’s the same since the boys shipped off to war and worry took their place. Thirteen-year-old Lucy Brown is curious and clever, but she can’t make sense of it all. Then Allie Bert Tucker comes to town, an outcast with a complicated past, and Lucy believes that together they can solve crimes. Just like her hero, Nancy Drew.

That chance comes when a man goes missing, a woman stops speaking, and an eccentric gives the girls a mystery that takes them beyond the ordinary. Their quiet town, seasoned with honeybees and sweet tea, becomes home to a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp—and more men go missing. The pair set out to answer the big question: do we ever really know who the enemy is?

Lush with Southern atmosphere, All The Little Hopes, is the story of two girls growing up while war creeps closer, blurring the difference between what’s right, what’s wrong, and what we know to be true 

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Denial

Denial by Beverley McLachlin -- an extremely thorough, procedural-type legal thriller. Even for those who know nothing about Beverley McLachlin, readers are left with no doubt that this author has extensive knowledge of the law!

Book Review

Denial by Beverley McLachlin

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Not only is she the first woman to ever hold the role of Chief Justice of Canada, but the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin is also a novelist to watch for! Having read her memoir, “Truth Be Told,” I was very excited to receive an advance copy of her new legal thriller, Denial. (Keep reading for my full review!)

About Denial:

Denial by Beverley McLachlin

When everyone is in denial, how do you find the truth?

Jilly Truitt has made a name for herself as one of the top criminal defense lawyers in the city. Where once she had to take just about any case to keep her firm afloat, now she has her pick—and she picks winners.

So when Joseph Quentin asks her to defend his wife, who has been charged with murdering her own mother in what the media are calling a mercy killing, every instinct tells Jilly to say no. Word on the street is that Vera Quentin is in denial, refusing to admit to the crime and take a lenient plea deal. Quentin is a lawyer’s lawyer, known as the Fixer in legal circles, and if he can’t help his wife, who can?

Against her better judgment, Jilly meets with Vera and reluctantly agrees to take on her case. Call it intuition, call it sympathy, but something about Vera makes Jilly believe she’s telling the truth. Now, she has to prove that in the courtroom against her former mentor turned opponent, prosecutor Cy Kenge—a man who has no qualms about bending the rules.

As the trial approaches, Jilly scrambles to find a crack in the case and stumbles across a dark truth hanging over the Quentin family. But is it enough to prove Vera’s innocence? Or is Jilly in denial herself?

Thrumming with tension, Denial is a riveting thriller about the lengths we will go to for the ones we love and the truths we hold dear.

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The Last Mona Lisa

The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer -- A decades old mystery full of art, action, and forgeries. Inspired by the real-life theft of the Mona Lisa in 1911, you can't help but 
be intrigued by this story!

Book Review

The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For both art lovers and mystery fans, The Last Mona Lisa is a compelling read that follows the decades-old tale of a man who once stole the world’s most famous painting.

About the book:

The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer

August, 1911: The Mona Lisa is stolen by Vincent Peruggia. Exactly what happens in the two years before its recovery is a mystery. Many replicas of the Mona Lisa exist, and more than one historian has wondered if the painting now returned to the Louvre is a fake, switched in 1911.

Present day: Art professor Luke Perrone digs for the truth behind his most famous ancestor: Peruggia. His search attracts an Interpol detective with something to prove and an unfamiliar but curiously helpful woman. Soon, Luke tumbles deep into the world of art and forgery, a land of obsession and danger.

A gripping novel exploring the Mona Lisa’s very real theft in 1911 and the present underbelly of the art world, The Last Mona Lisa is a suspenseful tale, tapping into our universal fascination with da Vinci’s enigma, why people are driven to possess certain works of art, and our fascination with the authentic and the fake.

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Dark Roads

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens -- a suspenseful, sinister read. Chevy Stevens is an author you don't want to miss!

Book Review

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Chevy Stevens, Dark Road book cover

(From the publisher) For decades, people have been warned about the Cold Creek Highway. Hitchhikers have vanished along it over the years, and women have been known to have their cars break down… and never be seen again. When Hailey McBride decides to run away from an unbearable living situation, she thinks that her outdoor skills will help her disappear into the Cold Creek wilderness, and she counts on people thinking that she was the victim of the killer.

One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek to attend a memorial for the victims of the highway, but it might as well be one week for the amount of pain that Beth is still dealing with after her sister, Amber, was murdered the previous summer. Beth has quit university, is lying to her parents, and popping pills like Tic Tacs. Maybe this will finally bring her peace.

When she gets a job at a local diner where Amber once worked, she connects with people who knew her sister. Beth wants to find who killed her sister and put her own life back together, but as she gets closer to the truth, she learns that there is more than one person lying in Cold Creek.

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On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor

Jaime Jo Wright's best book yet! On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor. A haunted manor, lost confederate gold, hidden codes -- this ghostly tale has it all!

Book Review

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ghosts. Confederate gold. Haunted houses. Secret codes. Kidnappings. This story has it all.

And honestly? I think it’s Jaime Jo Wright’s best novel yet!

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor has all of the components of a traditional Wright story. (Check out our review of Wright’s The Haunting of Bonaventure Circus.) Its dual-timeline features two strong, female characters who are each wounded by their past and searching for their own set of answers. Individually, the two timelines are well developed with strong mysteries of their own. But they also come together beautifully! The mystery of Foxglove Manor weaves itself across the decades to create a suspenseful and haunting read.

If you like eerie, historical stories (Brontë sisters, anyone?) this is one you won’t want to miss! Be sure to keep reading for the rest of my review!

About On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor:

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor book cover

1885: Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor–a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior–Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life.

Present day: Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.

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Unknown Threat

Book Review

Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Looking for an action-packed but completely clean read? A story with a little romance, a little faith, and a fast-paced plot? Look no further than Lynn H. Blackburn’s newest novel, Unknown Threat!

About Unknown Threat:

Unknown Threat book cover

US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He and his team are experts at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.

FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she’s assigned. She’s been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke’s life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it’s hard to know how to fight back when you don’t know who the enemy is.

Luke has teamed up with Faith before, but he’s not convinced she’s up for the job and she’s not convinced he’s telling her everything he knows. As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to learn to trust each other and work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.

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The Last Flight

Book Review

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

What was the last book YOU read in one sitting?

The Last Flight by Julie Clark kept me hooked from page one until the very last line! It was the sort of story where I had to rewarm the bathwater three times because I needed to read just one more chapter! This book was a thrilling, non-stop adventure. (See my full review below!)

About The Last Flight:

The Last Flight by Julie Clark book cover

Two women. Two flights. One last chance to disappear.

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns bright and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move.

What he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish. A plan that takes her to the airport, poised to run from it all. But a chance meeting in the airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision.

The two women switch tickets, with Claire taking Eva’s flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico crashes, Claire realizes it’s no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva’s identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

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Find You First

Find You First by Linwood Barclay -- I couldn't read quick enough. This fast-paced story had me on the edge of my seat.

Book Review

Find You First by Linwood Barclay

Rating: 4 out of 5.

About Find You First:

(From the publisher) Tech millionaire Miles Cookson has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of—except time. He has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and there is a fifty percent chance that it can be passed on to the next generation. For Miles, this means taking a long hard look at his past . . .

Two decades ago, a young, struggling Miles was a sperm donor. Somewhere out there, he has kids—nine of them. And they might be about to inherit both the good and the bad from him—maybe his fortune, or maybe something much worse.

As Miles begins to search for the children he’s never known, aspiring film documentarian Chloe Swanson embarks on a quest to find her biological father, armed with the knowledge that twenty-two years ago, her mother used a New York sperm bank to become pregnant.

When Miles and Chloe eventually connect, their excitement at finding each other is overshadowed by a series of mysterious and terrifying events. One by one, Miles’s other potential heirs are vanishing—every trace of them wiped, like they never existed at all.

Who is the vicious killer—another heir methodically erasing rivals? Or is something even more sinister going on?

It’s a deadly race against time . . .

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