Five Quick Reviews:

Here are five books I’ve read recently with some brief thoughts. The ratings are based on the Goodreads 5 star system. All are available now.

In the Distance, by Hernan Diaz (a Pulitzer Prize finalist) is a book completely out of my comfort zone, but I’m still very glad I read it. The story of a young Swedish immigrant in the mid 1800s who gets separated from his older brother is nothing short of gripping. Over time he meets a myriad of people, all with their personal agendas. Greed, compassion, power, curiosity, love, loyalty–each are represented and all make an impression on him, molding his skills and character over the years. The narrator uses a singularly poetic style, softening an otherwise difficult journey. Available through online libraries.

The Next Thing You Know, by Jessica Strawser was odd and disappointing. It addresses mortality in a unique way, using an “end of life doula” and one of her younger clients as protagonists. Unfortunately, it fell short of the depth it was trying to accomplish.

Always and Forever, by Delaney Cameron–a cheesy title in an equally cheesy series. This is the only one I could finish, but I really liked it! It is sweet, clean, with wonderful characters. That “prince on a white horse sweeping you off your feet” kind of story. Sometimes a light romance like this is the perfect palate cleanser of a book after heavy reading. Available with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Starlight, by the beloved Debbie Macomber. Sadly, everything about this book is misrepresented–the Christmasy title, the whimsical cover, even the idea of calling it a love story. This is not a love story. There is verbal abuse, manipulation, codependency, and extreme dysfunction. This book is so terrible it baffles me how it was even published. Consider this a warning. Do not read it. A colossal waste of time.

Seaglass, by Chris Bridges, is a book that led me on quite a quest. It is not easy to find. When I did, I devoured the book in less than 3 hours. I truly loved it. Maddie and Knox are two banged up people from completely different backgrounds. They find each other in an unlikely way when Maddie moves from New York to Colorado to start her life anew. Alone, she is embraced by the loving Barrow family, connecting with their son who has recently returned from Iraq. A modern-day version of Pamela Nissen’s Rocky Mountain Match, which I also enjoyed very much. It tugs at your heart from start to finish.

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