The week in review

We spent six days on Orcas Island, where we had very little cell coverage, and the kids got to be very free range. So that means I got a lot of reading in. Perfect trip all the way around.

Too bad it was so damn ugly there.

Then She Was Gone was hard to believe, and impossible to put down. I definitely had some issues with some of the character interactions feeling a little off, but it’s so rare that I enjoy a thriller so I don’t want to nitpick. There are some pretty ruthless moments in this book and I love the author for not pulling punches. This one’s going to stay with me.

I know authors hate this line, but…I really wanted to love Visible Empire but it just didn’t do it for me. This is based on a true event that I’m unfamiliar with; a chartered plane bound from Paris to Atlanta crashed, killing a group of wealthy Atlanta elite in 1962. I mean, that is a treasure trove of race and class issues right there. Sadly this just isn’t well executed. No character feels authentic, and the story is doing all the heavy lifting. I was disappointed in this one.

I’m happy to say The Incendiaries more than lived up to the hype. I felt incredibly invested in these people. It’s kind of a spin on your basic love triangle, except that instead of another man, Will’s losing his girlfriend to a cult. This was so painful and frustrating to see as it unfolded. I flew through this one and I absolutely loved the ending. Please write a million more books, ok thanks.

All We Ever Wanted is a great summer read. Fast, gripping, you can really sink your teeth into this. I was immediately drawn into this story of a very wealthy couple whose teenage son does a very shitty thing involving a girl at school and social media. So this was very topical, and I felt it was very well done. I really never tire of rich WASP stories. My only quibble with this is that I felt she went too easy on Nina, the boy’s mother. I thought she was much more culpable in how her son turned out and she let herself off the hook more than was warranted. This would be a great book club pick, especially for parents of teens.

I owe such a big thank you to the ever fabulous Michelle Gable for recommending The Coincidence Makers. I. Loved. This. Book. Sometimes I drive myself crazy thinking about the scenarios that led me to meet Rich and some of my closest friends and I realize how easily we all could have missed each other. (The path that led Laura and me together now seems especially unlikely.) So this concept that there are coincidence makers behind the scenes who make sure to lead you where you’re supposed to go, even get you fired if you’re supposed to be an artist, was so nicely reassuring. I mean, I guess this is how religious people feel all the time but it’s new to me. This was so creative and cool, and I loved that the main character’s previous job was Imaginary Friend, and that there’s a hit man known as The Man With The Hamster. There was an utterly charming play on the butterfly effect at the end. Everyone go get this book.

Pretty tough act to follow, but I’m liking Fruit of the Drunken Tree so far. I haven’t really been able to give it much of a chance so far because I’ve been super busy since we got back, so I hope to devote some real time to it later today. This has a lot of hype and so far it seems worthy of it. My kids are going to SLEEPAWAY CAMP next week so I will definitely have time to read and to keep you posted!