Dreams of Falling by Karen White

Review copy courtesy of Berkley and NetGalley

Description:

On the banks of the North Santee River stands a moss-draped oak that was once entrusted with the dreams of three young girls. Into the tree’s trunk, they placed their greatest hopes, written on ribbons, for safekeeping–including the most important one: Friends forever, come what may.

But life can waylay the best of intentions….

Nine years ago, a humiliated Larkin Lanier fled Georgetown, South Carolina, knowing she could never go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she realizes she has no choice but to return to the place she both loves and dreads–and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home.

Ivy, Larkin’s mother, is discovered badly injured and unconscious in the burned-out wreckage of her ancestral plantation home. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly fifty years–whispers of love, sacrifice, and betrayal–that lead back to three girls on the brink of womanhood who found their friendship tested in the most heartbreaking ways. (publisher)

My take:  Dreams of Falling is told via dual timelines moving from the 1950s to 2010. Karen White’s story is one of friendship and love that changed the lives of all involved – including future generations. The novel has a sultry setting replete with the humid, salty air of coastal Carolina, a town where everyone “knew you when…”, and secrets. Lots of secrets. It’s a time of transition for the three friends who are ready to burst forth on the world having just graduated from high school. They (and the future generations) will discover how strong they can be. They’ll find that in order to survive their mistakes they’ll “have to learn to live with their choices”. Falling isn’t necessarily bad if there’s someone there to catch you. And that someone might not be who you’d expect. I enjoyed this novel but there were times when I was confused about the generational relationships. That took me out of the story at times – but I’m not sure it would for other readers. So I’ll recommend it – especially to fans of southern fiction and Karen White.


 

Advertisements

US Giveaway: The Night The Lights Went Out by Karen White

THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT

Berkley Trade Paperback | March 27, 2018 | ISBN: 9780451488404| $16.00

*

About the book:  (provided by the publisher)

In THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT, recently divorced Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over. But her new beginning isn’t helped by an anonymous local blog that reveals for the whole town the scandalous affair that caused her marriage to fail. And Merilee’s new landlord, the proud, irascible, Atlanta born-and-bred 93-year-old Sugar Prescott, certainly isn’t helping.

 

But off Sugar’s property, Merilee finds herself swallowed into Sweet Apple’s most elite ranks—its inner circle of wealthy school moms—thanks to her blossoming friendship with the belle of the town, Heather Blackford. But behind the tennis whites, shiny SUVs, and immaculate women, lurk generations of secrets and resentments. And Merilee quickly learns that, in a town where appearance is everything, sins and secrets can be found in equal measure in the dark woods on Sugar’s property, and within the gated mansions of her newfound friends . . .

 

THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT is what would happen if ABC’s Revenge followed the machinations of Southern PTA moms instead of Hamptons elite.  For readers of Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Alice Monroe, and Pat Conroy, this novel delivers everything her readers love and more.


About the author:

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.

photo credit: Marchet Butler

 


Praise for Karen White:

“PLUMBS THE DEPTH OF HUMANITY, OF LIFE AND DEATH AND TRAGEDY AND PERSERVERANCE” The Herald Sun“GOTHIC GOLD” The Atlantan “ULTIMATE VOICE IN WOMEN’S FICTION” Fresh Fiction “EMOTIONALLY SATISFYING” Kirkus Reviews • “HER ICONIC MELLIFLUENT, INNOVATIVE NARRATIVE IS HAUNGTINGLY BEAUTIFUL” RT Book Reviews • “CHARACTERS WITH DEPTH” The Fayetteville Observer “ENGROSSING” Parkersburg News and Sentinel (WV) •

“VIVID” Library Journal “SENSITIVE, PRECISE, AND POWERFUL” RT Book Reviews


US Giveaway

Please click here and fill out the form

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED


The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White – plus a US Giveaway of Flight Patterns

  • Title:  The Night the Lights Went Out
  • Author:  Karen White
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  416
  • Published:  April 2017 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.
 
Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.
 
Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather’s world.
 
In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women….  (publisher)

My take:  The Night the Lights Went Out is the story of two women: Merilee, a divorced mother of two young children, and Sugar, the ninety-three year old woman who rents a cottage on her land to Merilee.

Merilee is recently divorced and has moved to a different area of town so her children are enrolled in a new school – where she is quickly taken under the wing of the queen bee mom. Her new friend will do anything for her in the name of friendship – something Merilee isn’t used to but is grateful. Her life has been in a complete state of upheaval so she’s glad to have a friend.

Sugar comes off as aloof and cranky to most people but Merilee can see through that facade and doesn’t back down when Sugar gives her attitude. The two women form a friendship in spite of themselves. I enjoyed their relationship as it evolved as they discovered how much they had in common. And when things got tough they found they could rely on each other.

The Night the Lights Went Out is a story about love, revenge, and friendship. It’s about realizing who your real friends are and what that means. It made me think about my closest friends and how we would step up for each other – no questions asked. And everyone should be so fortunate to have a Sugar in their life.

Recommended to fans of Karen White and contemporary fiction.


Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.


Note:  Flight Patterns, Karen White’s 2016 novel is now available in paperback (with a new cover). I linked the title to my review. FLIGHT PATTERNS tells the story of Georgia Chambers, a fine china expert who left her family years before and is forced to return home and repair the relationships she’s carefully avoided. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep.

The publisher has made available one copy of FLIGHT PATTERNS to a US reader.

US Giveaway

Please click here and fill out the form

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Giveaway ends on May 3rd, 2017

Blog Tour – Flight Patterns by Karen White

  • Flight Patterns (6:30 blog tour)Title:  Flight Patterns
  • Author:  Karen White
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  416
  • Published:  May 2016 – NAL
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  Georgia Chambers has spent her life sifting through other people’s pasts while trying to forget her own. But then her work as an expert of fine china—especially of Limoges—requires her to return to the one place she swore she’d never revisit…

It’s been thirteen years since Georgia left her family home on the coast of Florida, and nothing much has changed, except that there are fewer oysters and more tourists. She finds solace seeing her grandfather still toiling away in the apiary where she spent much of her childhood, but encountering her estranged mother and sister leaves her rattled. 

Seeing them after all this time makes Georgia realize that something has been missing—and unless she finds a way to heal these rifts, she will forever be living vicariously through other people’s remnants. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep… (publisher)

My take:  Flight Patterns is a novel about a family with secrets, long-held hurts, and an unsolved mystery or two. Two sisters, Georgia and Maisy, have been estranged for over ten years but are brought back together when Georgia is sent by her New Orleans auction gallery to research a china pattern for a man from New York.

I enjoyed all aspects of the Limoges research Georgia did and how it worked into finding her way back home. I also loved the storyline about the beekeeping her grandfather did. Each chapter begins with a short passage from his beekeeping journals and corresponded with what transpired in that chapter.

The setting of Apalachicola, Florida with its humidity and flora and fauna added a lot to the novel. Flight Patterns is full of interesting characters – some quirkier than others, some stranger than others, and some who know just when to impart their quiet wisdom.

Quotes I marked while reading:

“Sometimes all we need to do to forgive our parents is to understand their childhoods.” 

“If you want things to change, you have to stop waiting for someone else to make the first move.”

Flight Patterns is a novel about learning to forgive and how that will impact a person’s life. I really liked it.

Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis (audiobook)

  • sweet little lies - audio (6:28)Title:  Sweet Little Lies
  • Series:  Heartbreaker Bay #1
  • Author:  Jill Shalvis
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Narrator:  Karen White
  • Time:  9 hrs. 35 mins.
  • Published:  June 2016 – Harper Audio
  • Source:  Publisher

Publisher’s description: Choose the one guy you can’t have….

As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas – the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she’s in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody but Her. 

Fall for him – hard…

Pub owner Finn O’Riley is six-foot-plus of hardworking hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don’t ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast. 

And then tell him the truth.

Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it’s what she wishes for at the historic fountain that’s supposed to grant her heart’s desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story – because Pru’s been keeping a secret that could change everything….

My take:   Sweet Little Lies is book one in the Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis. It is set in San Francisco, more specifically an apartment building (a renovated warehouse) with a ground floor pub and a courtyard fountain that just might grant wishes. We’re introduced to several characters who live in the building or frequent the pub so it’s easy to imagine possible future books in the series. This book is about Pru, a tour boat captain, and Finn, owner of the pub.

Pru and Finn strike up an instant friendship that escalates quickly. The reader discovers that Pru has a secret – a big one – and the longer she waits, the harder it will be to tell Finn.

Finn gave up a lot several years ago when he was left to raise his little brother. Now the two of them own the pub but it seems Finn does most of the work. Pru is a welcome distraction for Finn.

I enjoyed the story even though the “big secret” trope is not a favorite. Jill Shalvis used humor and her usual fun dialogue along with a dose of drama to form a good start to her new series. It’s a sweet, sexy (you might want to use ear buds for some scenes) and funny novel. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Karen White did a fine job with the narration. I liked how she voiced each character and I had no trouble determining who was speaking. One particular scene involving a character who experienced possible food-poisoning had me laughing – all thanks to White’s delivery and Shalvis’s words, of course.

Recommended to fans of Jill Shalvis, contemporary romance and Karen White.