Friday, July 12, 2024

Book Review: Sandwich by Catherine Newman



Pages: 240
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: June 18, 2024
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
 
 
Goodreads says, "For the past two decades, Rocky has looked forward to her family’s yearly escape to Cape Cod. Their humble beach-town rental has been the site of sweet memories, sunny days, great meals, and messes of all kinds: emotional, marital, and—thanks to the cottage’s ancient plumbing—septic too.

This year’s vacation, with Rocky sandwiched between her half-grown kids and fully aging parents, promises to be just as delightful as summers past—except, perhaps, for Rocky’s hormonal bouts of rage and melancholy. (Hello, menopause!) Her body is changing—her life is, too. And then a chain of events sends Rocky into the past, reliving both the tenderness and sorrow of a handful of long-ago summers.

It's one precious week: everything is in balance; everything is in flux. And when Rocky comes face to face with her family’s history and future, she is forced to accept that she can no longer hide her secrets from the people she loves."
 
 

Each year, for the past twenty years, Rocky's family rents a ramshackle  cottage on Cape Cod. They have been doing this since the kids were little and now they are in their twenties. Rocky, in her fifties,  has a lot of thoughts regarding life, marriage, her aging parents, her adult children, and what it means to be a woman. Summer at her favorite beach house is the perfect time to think back to summer's past and the secrets that she is still harboring. One thing Rocky knows is that parenting is all about constant change and this summer reminds her of that even more so. Catherine Newman's Sandwich is one of the best books of  the year and if you are a parent or a woman in your 40s or 50s, it shouldn't be missed. It should be required reading!

I adored Rocky from the start. Her witty sense of humor, her outrage at the injustice of things women must endure, and her dedication to her children made me really enjoy her in Sandwich. I think so many women, whether their children are grown or are still young, can relate to all of Rocky's joys and frustrations. Sandwich is filled with flashbacks to when her children were young, which was so relatable and so very laughable at times. In fact, I found myself absolutely cackling with her observations on menopause, marriage, and young children. It felt therapeutic in the sense that I can say no one has written, that I've read in the past twenty years, as honest and raw about what it means to  be a mother, a daughter, and a wife.

But Sandwich isn't all sunny day on the Cape with your family. It includes Rocky coming to grips with her issues as well as a secret she has kept  hidden for years. So, the novel does tackle some difficult topics, but it covers them so well that it never feels heavy since the hefty topics are in between lighter, laugh-out-loud moments.

Sandwich is easily one of my favorite books of the summer, if not the best book of the summer. Newman's writing is outstanding and it reminded me of Patchett in that she can take a slice of life moment and make it so profound. Sandwich should not be missed and I toggled back and forth between the audio, which was narrated by Nan McNamara, who did not disappoint.

My favorite quote from Sandwich that had me nodding: "And this may be the only reason we were put on this earth. To say to each other, I know how you feel. To say, Same. To say, I understand how hard it is to be a parent, a kid."

Is Sandwich on your summer TBR list? Have you read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Can't Wait Wednesday: The King's Messenger

Can't Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!  

 

The King's Messenger by Susanna Kearsley

Pub. Date: March 4, 2025

 



Goodreads says, "New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Susanna Kearsley explores romance, court alliances, and the limits of one's duty in this rich story of an ordinary man in service to a treacherous king, and the mission that brings him to love and his true calling.

In 1613, King James sends his messenger Andrew Logan to Scotland to arrest his late son's close advisor Sir David Moray. Accompanied by his aloof neighbor Phoebe Westaway, Andrew slowly untangles the real point of his mission—to frame Sir David for Prince Henry's death. But Andrew is unwilling to bring an innocent man into a treacherous betrayal.

Andrew's feisty and lovely neighbor Phoebe Westaway has always been stand-offish to Andrew, having heard malicious gossip against him. But as they journey to Scotland and back, Phoebe has the opportunity to see Andrew for the honorable and loyal man that he is, and her change of heart may open new possibilities for them once their mission is complete.

 

I love all of Kearsley's novels and am looking forward to this one. What do you all think? Are you a fan of Kearseley as well? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Book Review: Swan Song by Elin Hilderbrand


 
Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: June 11, 2024
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co
Source: Personal Copy
Other Books By Author: 28 Summers, Golden Girl,  
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "After thirty-five years serving as the Chief of Police on the island of Nantucket, Ed Kapenash's heart can no longer take the stress. But his plans to retire are thwarted when, with only three days left to serve, he receives a phone call. A 22-million-dollar summer home, recently purchased by the flashy new couple in town, the Richardsons, has burned to the ground. The Richardsons are far from hurt—in fact, they're out on the water, throwing a lavish party on their yacht—but when news of the fire reaches them, they discover that their personal assistant has vanished. The Chief is well-acquainted with the Richardsons, and his daughter is best friends with the now-missing girl, leaving him no choice but to postpone his retirement and take on the double case.

On a small island like Nantucket, the Richardsons shook things up from the second they stepped on to the scene, throwing luxurious parties and doing whatever they could to gain admittance to the coveted lunches at the Field & Oar Club (with increasing desperation). They instantly captured the attention of local real estate agent Fast Eddie, and the town gossip Blond Sharon, both dealing with their own personal dramas. Blond Sharon is going through a divorce, and in order to avoid becoming a cliché, she's enrolled in a creative writing class, putting her natural affinity for scandal towards a more noble purpose. To solve the case of the fire and track down his daughter's best friend, the Chief will have to string together the pieces of the lives of all of these characters and more, rallying his strength for his final act of service to the tight-knit community he knows and loves.

The last of Elin Hilderbrand's bestselling Nantucket novels, Swan Song is a propulsive medley of glittering gatherings, sun-soaked drama, wisdom and heart, featuring the return of some of her most beloved characters, including, most importantly, the beautiful and timeless island of Nantucket itself.


Ed Kapenash, the police chief of Nantucket, hopes to retire very soon, especially after his recent health issues. Just before his impending retirement, a house goes up in flames under questionable circumstances, and his daughter's friend, Coco, goes missing. This won't be the relaxing weekend he had planned. The house that burned down was Leslee and Bull Richardson's home, the wealthy newcomers. The couple moved here and caused an upset on the island of Nantucket. Their lavish parties and hardcore partying have made everyone vie for an invite as well as upset the apple cart on the island. Coco, the Richardson's concierge, is new to the island as well. By the time the house goes up in flames, she is missing, which also sends the island into a tizzy. Elin Hilderbrand's final Nantucket novel, Swan Song, includes everything Hilderbrand fans have come to love about her summer novels. There are Easter eggs galore, rich people behaving badly, delectable dinner parties, romance, and a mystery, too that will keep her readers flipping the pages.

Swan Song is told from various perspectives, but I felt myself drawn to Coco's the most. She met the Richardsons while bartending in the Virgin Islands, and accepted their job as their personal concierge. Bull Richardson produces movies and Coco has a screenplay she is working on, so Coco feels she has an opportunity here once she has proven a valuable asset. Coco is new to the island, but thankfully has befriended the chief's daughter, who is home from California to escape her own problems. Which leads me to the Chief. I have always enjoyed his character throughout the Nantucket novels, and his impending retirement is not going smoothly. With a house fire under questionable circumstances and then a missing person whom he knows personally, this won't be an easy way to end his career.

Hilderbrand also includes chapters from Blonde Sharon's point of view, which I have actually come to enjoy. Sharon is working on the second act of her life after her husband cheated on her and I found myself rooting for her despite the fact that she loves to stir up some gossip. There are other characters from The Rumor and The Castaways, so I am glad I read those novels before diving into 
Swan Song.

Hilderbrand is known for her glorious descriptions of the food, parties, drinks, restaurants, and the idyllic life on Nantucket. I really enjoyed being back on the island and a part of it all. Nantucket has become a character throughout her novels and I will certainly miss it. Her fans won't be disappointed with all the beautiful descriptions, the juicy gossip and rich people antics that will definitely keep the reader absorbed.

While 
Swan Song isn't my favorite of Hilderbrand's novels, it is a solid ending to what feels like an era. Will summers be the same without a Hilderbrand novel? It doesn't feel like it, but what a ride it has been. I will most definitely miss visiting Nantucket each summer through her novels, so I plan on reading some of her backlist novels I've missed to hopefully fill the void.
 
Have you read
Swan Song? Are you a fan of Hilderbrand? What's your favorite  of her novels? Mine are 28 Summers and Golden Girl. Let me know your  thoughts in the comments below.

 

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Happy 4th of July!


 

Happy 4th of July from Confessions of a Book Addict. If you celebrate the holiday, I hope you spend it doing something you love....maybe some time at the pool with a book? That's my plan!

I am finishing up Swan Song by Elin Hilderbrand and I am taking my good old time with this one. I am also listening to A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston, which has been a nice change of pace. Let me know in the comments what book you are enjoying this holiday. 

 

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

10 Books To Read This Month


 

June just flew by, didn't it? I can't quite believe July is here. Now is the time to read all the beach reads and enjoy lazy days by the pool, a lake, or ocean with a good book. There are so many good ones coming out this month. What books do you plan to read this July?

 

July TBR List:


1. The Summer of Yes by Courtney Walsh  (7/2)

I've read some great reviews for this clean and heartwarming romance. 

 

 

2. The Cliffs by J. Courtney Sullivan (7/2)

A novel of family and secrets set on the cliffs of Maine.



3. The Summer Pact by Emily Giffin (7/9)

I'll read anything Giffin writes and I love that this story of friendship takes place in Italy.



4.  The Spellshop by Sarah Beth Durst (7/9)

How adorable is this cover? Sometimes I need a break from all the beach reads and this cozy fantasy is calling my name.



5. The Briar Club by Kate Quinn (7/9)

 

 Quinn's historical novels are always so good and this one takes place in Washington, D.C during the McCarthy era.

 


6. Ladykiller by Katherine Wood (7/9) 

I've had my eye on this summertime thriller filled with its fast-paced suspense and unreliable narrator. 



7. One Big Happy Family by Jamie Day (7/16)

We've got another summertime suspense that I hear will keep readers on the edge of their seats. 



8. A Novel Summer by Jamie Brenner (7/16)

This one is a sweet beach read about second chances and there's a beach town bookshop, too!  



9. The Summer Club by Hannah McKinnon (7/23)

This one is all about an exclusive New England beach club. Cue the summer drama! 



10. The Haunting of Hecate Cavendish by Paula Brackston (7/23)

When you need a break from all the beach reads, this historical fantasy sounds really intriguing.



What books do you hope to read this month? Are any of these books on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 
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