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The Girls of August

Every August, four women would gather together to spend a week at the beach, renting a new house each year. The ritual began when they were in their twenties and their husbands were in medical school, and became a mainstay of every summer thereafter. Their only criteria was oceanfront and isolation, their only desire to strengthen their far-flung friendships. They called themselves the Girls of August. But when one of the Girls dies tragically, the group slowly drifts apart and their vacations together are brought to a halt. Years later, a new marriage reunites them and they decide to come together once again on a remote barrier island off the South Carolina coast. There, far from civilization, the women make startling discoveries that will change them in ways they never expected.
My review........2 stars
The good thing I have to say about this book is that it was a quick read. And the beach house they stay at sounded wonderful. Unfortunately, it paled for me in just about every other way.
The story was so predictable, I felt like I had read it all before! The women were shallow, and never really developed in the story. They all had some secret that they brought to the beach weekend, very predictable to guess as the story progresses. I really didn't find myself liking any of them. I felt that the description of the house was better written than the women.
Overall a disappointment for me. I think there are lots of chick lit books out there to read, this is not one to bother with unless you want a quick read about a beautiful beach house 🙂

Elizabeth Is Missing

by Emma Healey

In this darkly riveting debut novel—a sophisticated psychological mystery that is also an heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and aging—an elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences.

Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, whom she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger.

But no one will listen to Maud—not her frustrated daughter, Helen, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth's mercurial son, Peter. Armed with handwritten notes she leaves for herself and an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth and save her beloved friend.

This singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud's rapidly dissolving present. But the clues she discovers seem only to lead her deeper into her past, to another unsolved disappearance: her sister, Sukey, who vanished shortly after World War II.

As vivid memories of a tragedy that occurred more fifty years ago come flooding back, Maud discovers new momentum in her search for her friend. Could the mystery of Sukey's disappearance hold the key to finding Elizabeth?

My Review.......4 stars

This was a wonderful read! My heart was breaking for the main character Maud, who is in the later stages of dementia. The author did a wonderful job of giving us a sense of what it's like to live in this world. I also loved the supporting characters of Maud's daughter Helen, and her granddaughter Katie. The struggles they went through in dealing with Maud to help her maintain some sense of dignity, while keeping her safe, were very well written. The parallel story of Maud's sister Sukey, who also went missing years before, kept the story moving back and forth in time, but it was not confusing to follow.

The only reason that I gave this 4 stars instead of 5, would have to be the ending. I just didn't feel like it summed things up sufficiently for me. Since this was written from the perspective of Maud, I realize that it was the only way it could have ended, what with her confusion taking over her mind. I still wish I could have followed some of the other characters just a bit farther, to see how things ended for them. I guess that's what happens when you get so invested in these characters, which is of course, the sign of a good writer 🙂

Definitely worth a read!


Hi there, and welcome!

I'm Donna, and I've decided to delve into the blogging (specifically book blogging) world. I've been reading so many great blogs by readers, and it's given me a great selection of new books to read (to say nothing of the amount my "to be read" pile has grown!). I thought I would like to start reviewing the books I've read, to hopefully help others discover if a book sounds like a good fit for them. While I occasionally go outside of my normal style, I mostly read literary fiction, and chick lit books. I will also add any fun articles I find relating to the book world.

So if that is of interest to you, by all means keep coming back to check out what's new on "D" bookshelf 🙂