Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

Title: Little Secrets

Author: Jennifer Hillier

Pub Date: 7th May, 2020

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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From the author of Jar of Hearts, a mother driven to the edge by the disappearance of her son learns her husband is having an affair with the woman who might have kidnapped him.
Four hundred and eighty seconds. That’s how long it took for someone to steal Marin Machado’s four-year-old son.

Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.

Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.

Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.

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Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman

Title: Unorthodox: The scandalous rejection of my Hasidic roots

Author: Deborah Feldman

Published: 2012

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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The instant New York Times bestselling memoir of a young Jewish woman’s escape from a religious sect, in the tradition of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel and Carolyn Jessop’s Escape, featuring a new epilogue by the author.

As a member of the strictly religious Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism, Deborah Feldman grew up under a code of relentlessly enforced customs governing everything from what she could wear and to whom she could speak to what she was allowed to read. It was stolen moments spent with the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott that helped her to imagine an alternative way of life. Trapped as a teenager in a sexually and emotionally dysfunctional marriage to a man she barely knew, the tension between Deborah’s desires and her responsibilities as a good Satmar girl grew more explosive until she gave birth at nineteen and realized that, for the sake of herself and her son, she had to escape.

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Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski

Title: Swimming in the Dark

Author: Tomasz Jedrowski

Pub Date: April 28th, 2020

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Set in early 1980s Poland against the violent decline of communism, a tender and passionate story of first love between two young men who eventually find themselves on opposite sides of the political divide—a stunningly poetic and heartrending literary debut for fans of Andre Aciman, Garth Greenwell, and Alan Hollinghurst.

When university student Ludwik meets Janusz at a summer agricultural camp, he is fascinated yet wary of this handsome, carefree stranger. But a chance meeting by the river soon becomes an intense, exhilarating, and all-consuming affair. After their camp duties are fulfilled, the pair spend a dreamlike few weeks camping in the countryside, bonding over an illicit copy of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. Inhabiting a beautiful natural world removed from society and its constraints, Ludwik and Janusz fall deeply in love. But in their repressive communist and Catholic society, the passion they share is utterly unthinkable.

Once they return to Warsaw, the charismatic Janusz quickly rises in the political ranks of the party and is rewarded with a highly-coveted position in the ministry. Ludwik is drawn toward impulsive acts of protest, unable to ignore rising food prices and the stark economic disparity around them. Their secret love and personal and political differences slowly begin to tear them apart as both men struggle to survive in a regime on the brink of collapse.

Shifting from the intoxication of first love to the quiet melancholy of growing up and growing apart, Swimming in the Dark is a potent blend of romance, post-war politics, intrigue, and history. Lyrical and sensual, immersive and intense, Tomasz Jedrowski has crafted an indelible and thought-provoking literary debut that explores freedom and love in all its incarnations.

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Down the TBR Hole #12

Down the TBR Hole is a weekly meme hosted by Lia @Lost in a Story. Rules are:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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Anna K by Jenny Lee

Title: Anna K.

Author: Jenny Lee

Pub date: March 5th, 2020

My rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads


Welcome to the dizzying heights of New York’s Upper East Side: where privilege, partying and scandal rules.

And Anna K knows the rules by heart. Beautiful, rich and popular, she takes care to maintain her status as the perfect girlfriend, daughter and student.

Then a chance encounter at Grand Central station with notorious playboy Alexi ‘Count’ Vronsky changes everything. Anna knows she needs to avoid Alexi, but sometimes fate has other plans . . .

Soon Anna finds it impossible to resist him, and finds herself willing to risk everything she has to be with him – no matter the consequences.

After all, the course of true love never did run smooth . . .

Perfect for fans of Crazy Rich Asians, Gossip Girl and American Royals, ANNA K is an addictive, romantic and subversive reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless love story, Anna Karenina and above all, it is a story about the dizzying, glorious, heart-stopping experience of first love and first heartbreak.

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The Codes of Love by Hannah Persaud

Title: The Codes of Love

Author: Hannah Persaud

Pub date: March 5th, 2020

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads


Ryan and Emily appear to have it all, successful jobs, a beautiful house and the secret to a happy marriage. A secret that involves certain ‘rules’. But beneath the surface trouble is brewing in the shape of Ada. Whimsical, high-spirited and beholden to no-one, she represents the freedom that Emily’s been striving for and the escape that Ryan didn’t know he wanted.

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Snap by Belinda Bauer

Title: Snap

Author: Belinda Bauer

Pub Date: 2018

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she said. I won’t be long.

But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, mum-to-be Catherine wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note that says: I could have killed you.

Meanwhile Jack is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother.

But the truth can be a dangerous thing …

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