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THE STORY OF OUR LIVES: A Novel about Friends ~Helen Warner

Monday, February 12th, 2018

THE STORY OF OUR LIVES is a wonderful read about four friends who meet at University and remain friends over the course of their lives.  I just cozied right into this story and enjoyed the lovely conversations and problem solving involved in the women’s lives.  The language was supportive and yet the friends were able to speak clearly to each other and challenge the best of their endeavors.  Secrets were uncovered over the years and those lead to positive interactions and healthy outcomes.

There are several love stories within the book and that makes for fun dialogue and group attention.  The 4 women meet for long weekends nearly every year to catch up, enjoy their transitions and offer work related changes and opportunities.  Two of the women have big jobs in Television and Communications, one just wants to be a wife and mother to her wealthy fellow, and the fourth is a single parent who must make survival decisions about her work so she can fully parent her child.  Each character has a particular crisis to overcome and it is just terrific to understand how the friends draw together to assist in the resolutions and better outcomes.   The men in the story are definitely a part of the story, yet only one male is developed and helps with the parenting parts of the stories of their lives.

I loved the different cottages that the women spent their weekends at and how they divided up the cooking and the tasks at hand while keeping relaxation and true connections their highest priority.  This gave me a bit of a travel perspective about the UK and other warm and trendy spots for 20 – 40 somethings to be attracted to and enjoy.  I, of course, like the English expressions which are so precise compared to casual Americanisms and slang.  These women were driven to stay connected and not lose the friendship because of lack of attention to words and communications.

In the last several years I have read a number of best friend stories.  Communications and intentions to hold on the friendship seem to be the most successful role of these stories.  Being a friend is a considerable amount of work and it makes me think that younger women need to know that it is work and the communication skills are tantamount in the process.  THE STORY OF OUR LIVES did have glamour and a number of crisis points, the writer’s words flowed and the sentence structures were good and made the story move without feeling sloppy.  I would have loved to have such a nice group of friends in my younger years and rather envied the women in this story.

A lovely rainy afternoon read and a joy to know that maybe there are such nice groups happening currently.

About Helen Warner

Helen Warner is head of daytime for Channel 4, where she is responsible for shows such as Come Dine With Me and Deal Or No Deal. Previously she worked for ITV where she launched the daytime talk show Loose Women and was editor of This Morning. She lives in East Anglia with her husband and their two children.

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LIE TO ME: A Domestic Noir Novel ~J. T. Ellison

Monday, September 25th, 2017

“LIE TO ME is Domestic noir at its best. Readers will devour this stunning page-turner about the disintegration of a marriage as grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the façade of the perfect literary couple.  New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison takes her exceptional writing to a new level with this breakout novel”(Cover)

LIE TO ME is a seductive story about a marriage and all the lies and omissions that are overwhelming Sutton and Nathan Montclair’s lives.  They are writers and they are the beautiful people and everyone believes them to be wealthy and perfect.  After the death of their 4-month-old son, SIDS, the couple begins to experience a love/hate relationship and the neighbors call in some domestic violence reports. Oh! Oh! It looks like Sutton made the calls.  Now a blogger has started attacking Sutton’s latest book and the rants and discussions on his blog have gotten her current contract cancelled.  Nathan has severe writer’s block and his agent is demanding more material.   $50,000 has been moved out of their accounts.  What is going on?

Sutton decides to disappear and take a time out and Nathan thinks something has happened to her and is harassed and finally arrested for the possible murder of his wife.   The path to answers is so twisted and is spinning out of control and the couple can feel the love and the confusion right to their core.

The writing in this story is amazing and all the t’s are crossed and all the i’s dotted and the pace is astounding.  The reader is caught in the story and webbed in place and I dare someone to put the book down and not read it to the last page.  Folks who thought GONE GIRL was fabulous will like this story to the max.  As I said it is so well written and driven.

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“New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI” with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the Emmy Award-winning show, A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband. “

I need to confess.  I truly do not like reading these kinds of dark stories.  I like a good mystery and this was certainly a good mystery, and yet, I feel as though so many awful things happen to people that we do not need more of this horrid stuff to read.  I tried to set aside the book everyday and truly had to force myself to read it cover to cover.  I was relieved when I got to the conclusion.  I could not read this book before bedtime, as I would end up trying to resolve the story in my sleep.  I just cannot watch horror movies and “the world is ending” scary stories.  I agreed to read this story for TLC Book Tours, I believe it will be a best seller and I do know one person in my book group that I want to give my copy.  I am thankful I am done with it.

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