The Second Batch of Summer Reading : Husband’s Secret, Market Street and more

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty 

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GoodReads Blurb:  At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read: My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret. Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves

My Take: 4.5 out of 5. This was a great book. Three stories that even though you know will be intertwined from the start, the connections are not obvious and the author starts to peel the layers of the mysteries at a great pace.  The opening is all about Pandora, and all the implications of her opening the box. This preamble, and the whole book makes you think about the ramifications of all the actions that we take day by day and the effects we are making in the world, and how we are slowly interconnecting with everybody else. A must read.

  • Some of my favorite quotes: “She did’t understand a damned thing about life except that it was arbitrary and cruel and some people got away with murder while other made one tiny, careless mistake and paid a terrible price”
  • “None of us ever know all the possible courses our lives could gave and maybe should have taken. It;s probably just as well. Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. Just ask Pandora.”

(i am now currently reading her new book, BIg Little Lies… report coming soon)

Ice Creams at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown

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GoodReads Blurb: Georgie Hart and Carrington’s Department Store have got the world at their feet. Since a reality TV series put them both on the map, life has been amazing! Carrington’s profits are in the pink, Georgie has carved herself a place in the nation’s heart and her romance with Tom, the store’s boss, has finally blossomed. Now summertime has come to Mulberry-on -Sea and Georgie is in great demand. The town is holding a big summer festival and she and her mates from Carrington’s are planning on making sure that Mulberry puts on the show of its life! But Georgie is about to get the offer of a lifetime – one that is just too good to turn down and something that will test her loyalties to their limits… Will Georgie be able to pull off it off once again, or has her luck finally run out?

My Take 3 out of 5. This is definitely only acceptable reading if you have read the previous books from her: Cupcakes at Carringtons and Christmas at Carringtons (which of course I have and have really enjoyed). It is a good continuation, yet not as good as the first 2 books. Some good light summer reading, but I think the stories are being extended too much and are starting to feel a bit too repetitive.

Market Street by Anita Hughes

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Goodreads Blurb:  Cassie Blake, heiress to Fenton’s, San Francisco’s most exclusive department store, has been married to Aidan, a handsome UC Berkeley professor, for ten years. But when she discovers Aidan allowed himself to be seduced by one of his students, she moves into the third floor of her best friend Alexis’s Presidio Heights mansion. Aided by the hilarious and high-spirited Alexis, Cassie has to decide if she can forgive Aidan and give their marriage one more chance. Saving her marriage is not the only choice Cassie has to make. Cassie’s mother is eager to have her oversee Fenton’s new Food Emporium, destined to be San Francisco’s hottest gourmet shopping destination. Her true passion has always been food, and Cassie suspects her mother might be trying to lure her into the Fenton’s fold by entrusting her with such an exciting opportunity. And then there is James, the architect designing the Emporium, who is quietly falling in love with her. Filled with delicious descriptions of high fashion, gourmet food and the City by the Bay, Market Street is a rewarding treat that will linger long after its surprising and satisfying finish

My Take: 3.5 out of 5. A great and easy summer read. I got through it in a day and it was very enjoyable. Like most Anita Hughes books I have read, the cities become another character in the book, this time it’s San Francisco. I loved all the department store stories and Cassie is a great lead character. Between all the accesories and food talk, the reading will wheeze by you and you will end up craving a great dinner and a shopping spree.

El tiempo entre costuras por María Dueñas  (The Seamstress)

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Spanish blurb: Una novela de amor y espionaje en el exotismo colonial de África. La joven modista Sira Quiroga abandona Madrid en los meses convulsos previos al alzamiento arrastrada por el amor des­bocado hacia un hombre a quien apenas conoce. Juntos se instalan en Tánger, una ciudad mundana, exótica y vibrante en la que todo lo impensable puede hacerse realidad. Incluso la traición y el abandono de la persona en quien ha depositado toda su confianza. El tiempo entre costuras es una aventu­ra apasionante en la que los talleres de alta costura, el glamur de los grandes hoteles, las conspiraciones políticas y las oscuras misiones de los servicios secre­tos se funden con la lealtad hacia aque­llos a quienes queremos y con el poder irrefrenable del amor. Una novela femenina que tiene todos los ingredientes del género: el creci­miento personal de una mujer, una historia de amor que recuerda a Casablanca… Nos acerca a la época colonial espa­ñola. Varios críticos literarios han destacado el hecho de que mientras en Francia o en Gran Bretaña existía una gran tradición de literatura colo­nial (Malraux, Foster, Kipling…), en España apenas se ha sacado prove­cho de la aventura africana. Un homenaje a los hombres y mujeres que vivieron allí. Además la autora nos aproxima a un personaje real desconocido para el gran público: Juan Luis Beigbeder, el primer ministro de Exteriores del gobierno de Franco English Blurb: Spain, 1936 and the brink of civil war. Aged twelve, Sira Quiroga was apprenticed to a Madrid dressmaker. As she masters the seamstress’s art, her life seems to be clearly mapped out – until she falls passionately in love and flees with her seductive lover. But in Morocco she is betrayed and left penniless. As civil war engulfs Spain, Sira finds she cannot return and so turns to her one true skill – and sews beautiful clothes for the expat elite and their German friends. With Europe rumbling towards war, Sira is lured back to Franco’s Nazis-friendly Spain. She is drawn into the shadowy world of espionage, rife with love, intrigue and betrayal. And where the greatest danger lies. . .

Mi take: 4 out of 5. Great historical fiction. The settings, characters and stories are perfectly intertwined. It is an extremely well researched book, and I really enjoy the mix of history with the intrigue and romantic history. Sira is a great character to root for, and you will throughout the book. I The book however  is not excellent throughout. The first half of the book, The First Madrid part and Morocco is excellent and super tight. The second part of the book, her second trip to Madrid, presents quite a few plot holes and inconsistencies, which given my great appreciation of the first part I was totally ok letting go and taking the leap of faith with the author. I would however have gotten rid altogether of the epilogue, it was not needed and infuriated me to what was a perfectly acceptable ending.

Antena 3 made a spanish miniseries based on it, and after reading this book I had to go straight to it (yes I liked the book that much). After 11 episodes, i was very exited that they changed the ending and they tied many of the inconsistencies of the second half of the book, so I usually never say this, but I would watch the miniseries instead of reading the book, or definitely do both!

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