Dear Emmie Blue

Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis

Published:  July 14, 2020 – Atria/Emily Bestler Books

E-galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

At sixteen, Emmie Blue stood in the fields of her school and released a red balloon into the sky. Attached was her name, her email address…and a secret she desperately wanted to be free of. Weeks later, on a beach in France, Lucas Moreau discovered the balloon and immediately emailed the attached addressed, sparking an intense friendship between the two teens.

Now, fourteen years later, Emmie is hiding the fact that she’s desperately in love with Lucas. She has pinned all her hopes on him and waits patiently for him to finally admit that she’s the one for him. So dedicated to her love for Lucas, Emmie has all but neglected her life outside of this relationship—she’s given up the search for her absentee father, no longer tries to build bridges with her distant mother, and lives as a lodger to an old lady she barely knows after being laid off from her job. And when Lucas tells Emmie he has a big question to ask her, she’s convinced this is the moment he’ll reveal his feelings for her. But nothing in life ever quite goes as planned, does it?

Emmie Blue is about to learn everything she thinks she knows about life (and love) is just that: what she thinks she knows. Is there such thing as meant to be? Or is it true when they say that life is what happens when you are busy making other plans? A story filled with heart and humor, Dear Emmie Blue is perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Evvie Drake Starts Over. (publisher)

My take:  I don’t consider myself the intended reader (demographic) for this novel but I love a good RomCom so accepted the offer to read – and I’m so glad I did. I thought the start was a bit slow but maybe that was just me getting to know several characters. The novel picked up speed as I got to know Emmie, Lucas, and his brother. By the end I really cared about these characters. A plus was that I loved most of the supporting characters and I’d truly love to know what happens with Emmie’s work friends!

Lia Louis’ novel is full of hopes and dreams and written with so much heart. I love turning the last page of a novel while smiling and knowing I’m going to miss these people.


About the author:

Lia Louis lives in the United Kingdom with her partner and three young children. Before raising a family, she worked as a freelance copywriter and proofreader. She was the 2015 winner of Elle magazine’s annual writing competition and has been a contributor for Bloomsbury’s Writers and Artist’s blog for aspiring writers. She is the author of Somewhere Close to Happy and Dear Emmie Blue.

Twitter: @LisforLia

Instagram: @lialouisauthor


Praise for DEAR EMMIE BLUE:

“Like My Best Friend’s Wedding plus an unfairly gorgeous Frenchwoman, mixtapes, and miles of inside jokes, Louis’s latest novel blends all the highs of a romantic comedy with the lows of one woman’s complicated family history. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (2017) by Gail Honeyman will adore Emmie’s journey of self-discovery. Exploring that feeling of being left behind as everyone else appears to be moving on to bigger and better things, Dear Emmie Blue will resonate long after readers turn the last page.” Booklist

 

“DEAR EMMIE BLUE has everything–it oozes charm and wit and speaks beautifully about friendship and love, and the differences between the two. The British Marian Keyes
– Laura Pearson, author of I WANTED YOU TO KNOW

 

“An absolute treasure of a book. A love story to cherish.”
– Michelle Adams, author of MY SISTER

 

“DEAR EMMIE BLUE is the new Eleanor Oliphant. Deftly crafted descriptions and characters who jump off the page and drag you into the story. I loved every moment of it.”
– Bella Osborne, author of A WALK IN WILDFLOWER PARK

 

“I loved it so much. Such a perfectly crafted story that made my heart swell. So many parts gave me a severe case of goosebumps. Emmie is fabulously funny and real, and wow – that ending was perfect. People will not be able to resist Emmie Blue.”
– Jessica Ryn, author of THE EXTRAORDINARY HOPE OF DAWN BRIGHTSIDE

 

“This book is f**king perfect, buy it now.”
– Julia Whelan, critically-acclaimed author of MY OXFORD YEAR

 

“Beautifully captures the heartache and frustrations of carrying our teenaged selves with us wherever we go, and yet we would never be without them. LOVED IT.”
– Anstey Harris, author of GOODBYE PARIS

 

“This gorgeous and clever book is a heartfelt story about love and friendship, which certainly didn’t end the way I expected. Fresh and funny writing, with a heroine (and heroes!) I adored.”
– Holly Miller, author of THE SIGHT OF YOU

 

“I will happily read every word Lia Louis ever writes, from novels to shopping lists, this is a very special book by a very special writer. DEAR EMMIE BLUE is sweet, sparkling and heartwarming, the perfect book to remind you dreams can come true.”
– Lindsey Kelk, internationally bestselling author of ONE IN A MILLION


BUY LINKS

Hardcover:

·         Amazon

·         Barnes & Noble

·         Books-a-Million

·         IndieBound

eBook:

·         Amazon’s Kindle Store

·         Barnes & Noble

·         Books-a-Million

·         Google eBookstore


 

Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel

Published:  July 2020 – Atria/Emily Bestler Books

E-galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: they’re loving, compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that they’re strictly friends seems to get lost on nearly everyone; after all, they’re as good as married in (almost) every way. For three decades, they’ve nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trio—a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to become one of the classical music world’s reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.

Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home with her boyfriend Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling, dutifully following his ex-wife’s advice, breaks up with her over email and her twin twenty-somethings arrive unannounced, filling her empty nest with their big dogs, dirty laundry, and respective crises.

Bridget has problems of her own: her elderly father announces he’s getting married, and the Forsyth Trio is once again missing its violinist. She concocts a plan to host her dad’s wedding on her ramshackle property, while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight. But to catch the attention of the music world, she and Will place their bets on luring back Gavin, whom they’ve both avoided ever since their stormy parting.

With her trademark humor, pitch-perfect voice, and sly perspective on the human heart, Amy Poeppel crafts a love letter to modern family life with all of its discord and harmony. In the tradition of novels by Maria Semple and Stephen McCauley, Musical Chairs is an irresistibly romantic story of role reversals, reinvention, and sweet synchronicity. (publisher)

My take:  I can’t do better than the publisher’s description so be sure to read it. Musical Chairs would make an enjoyable film. The characters are fairly strong, each unique yet relatable on some level. Multi-generational family dynamics are at the forefront and the Connecticut country house setting seems perfect. Each generation (almost to a person) is on the brink of a new direction – either in personal relationships, career, or residence.  First-world problems seem to rain down on this privileged family which at first made me uncomfortable. But then the humor in Poeppel’s writing started to shine through and I breezed through the novel on a rainy Sunday. There are classical music references sprinkled throughout and I wondered if all readers would appreciate them – but, hey, isn’t that what the internet is for?? At any rate, I became invested in seeing how things would play out for these people. Again, this would be a film I’d see.


About the author:

Amy Poeppel is the author of Musical Chairs, Limelight and Small Admissions, which was first performed as a reading at the Actors Studio. Amy has worked as a stage actress and teacher and now lives with her husband and three sons in New York City and Frankfurt, Germany.

 

 

 

Order links:


 

Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon

Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon

Published June 5th 2018 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Review galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:  On the shores of Cape Cod, the Bailey sisters reunite with their long-lost father for a summer of hope and forgiveness in this heartfelt novel from the author of the “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) Mystic Summer, The Lake Season, and The Summer House, sure to appeal to “fans of Elin Hilderbrand” (Booklist).

Wrenn Bailey has lived all her life on Cape Cod with her mother Lindy, older sister Shannon, and younger sister Piper. Growing up, life was dictated by the seasons with sleepy gray winters where only the locals stayed on, followed by the sharp influx and colorful bustle of summer tourists who swept up the elbow of the Cape and infiltrated their small paradise.

But it wasn’t just the tourists who interrupted Wrenn’s formative years; her father—brilliant but troubled photographer Caleb—has long made a habit of drifting in and out of his girls’ lives. Until the one summer he left the Cape and did not return again.

Now, almost twenty years later, Caleb has come back one last time, suffering from pancreatic cancer and seeking absolution. Wrenn and her sisters each respond differently to their father’s return, determined to find closure. But that means returning to the past and revisiting old wounds—wounds that cause the tightknit Bailey women to confront their own wishes and wants, and admit to their own wrong-doings over the years. In a place that brings both great comfort and great pain, the Bailey sisters experience a summer on the Cape that promises not only hard endings, but perhaps, hopeful new beginnings. (publisher)

My take:  A momentous event resulting in the sudden absence of their father shaped the lives of three young girls. Each had her own perception of the event and was followed into adulthood with the effect of their loss. The novel takes place on beautiful Cape Cod – a setting I love reading about. Sailing Lessons is a story of forgiveness – what can happen when one is allowed to forgive or be forgiven. I had no problem finding sympathy for all of these flawed characters – a credit to author Hannah McKinnon. Recommended to fans of novels about less-than-perfect families. Last year I enjoyed The Summer House and now I look forward to reading the rest of McKinnon’s books.


 

The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon

  • Title:  The Summer House
  • Author:  Hannah McKinnon
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  336
  • Publish date:  June 6, 2017 – Atria/Emily Bestler Books
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  The Merrill family is meeting at their summer house at the Rhode Island shore to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday. Flossy, their mother, has planned the perfect party that will take place on the last night of their week together. She only hopes her adult children won’t kill each other before that night. Each one brings their own drama with them and thinks nothing of reliving sibling rivalries, perceived slights, etc. Paige, the eldest, feels like she’s losing control of her life. Middle child Samuel and his husband lost out on a chance to adopt and worry they’ll never get another chance. Youngest daughter Clem, a widow of two years, is just beginning to feel like she can move forward in her new life as a single parent of two young children. I especially loved the parents, Richard and Flossy.

The Summer House takes place over the course of one week. I loved the setting, the messy family dynamics, and how easy it was to relate to Hannah McKinnon’s characters. One of my favorite scenes is when one of the children gives a speech at the birthday party – it was quite emotional. I really enjoyed my time with this novel and recommend it to fans of the author and family dramas. It makes my  2017 Favorites List, for sure.


About the Author:

Hannah McKinnon is the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer. She lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, with her family, a flock of chickens and two rescue dogs.

FIND HANNAH McKINNON ONLINE:

Website: http://hannahmckinnon.com

Twitter: @hannahmckinnon

Facebook: Hannah McKinnon – Author

THE SUMMER HOUSE by Hannah McKinnon

Emily Bestler Books Paperback | ISBN: 9781501162800 | On-sale: June 6, 2017 | 320 pages | $16.00
eBook ISBN: 9781501162817, $9.99

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