This novel is a beautiful, timely story about discrimination and difference, family and faith, and one guy who makes everyday life extraordinary through his strength of character: Sam Hill. As the story unfolds in Sam’s voice–at six years old and forty years old–the reader aches for a gentle, likable hero who quietly survives everything he…

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WHEN WE BELIEVED IN MERMAIDS is a book you want to savor, re-read, and gift. I was hooked from the opening line, “I thought my sister was dead until I saw her on the evening news,” and needed to understand the entire story underneath that single sentence. The writing is gorgeous, and even when the…

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Filled with heart and humanity, WHEN WE WERE VIKINGS is an extraordinary debut about two siblings struggling to protect each other in the face of relentless hardship and danger. Despite touching on poverty, violence, and alcoholism, the story is one of humor and compassion and bravery. The plot blossoms and twists in unexpected ways, thanks…

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What a beautiful story about a gifted, courageous woman sidelined by history. Joy Davidman juggled life as a mother, a writer, and a poet in an era when she was expected to put her marriage first. Even though she had been a child prodigy. Living in upstate New York, battling ill health and an abusive…

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THE FLATSHARE by Beth O’Leary is the perfect escape for this anxiety-filled moment in our lives. The premise is unique, and the slow-burn romance is a wonderful balance of serious and funny, light and dark. To steal a comment from the reviewer who recommended the book to me, Susan Peterson, the story is full of…

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DEAR EDWARD became one of my all-time favorite books before I’d even finished the novel. I bought it as an audiobook—loved the narrator—but halfway through, picked up the hardback for my to-be-reread pile. It’s a novel you’ll want to savor and revisit. (And mark-up if you’re a writer.) The premise is deceptively simple: a twelve-year-old…

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WILDLAND by Rebecca Hodge is an outstanding debut. It’s a story of courage and humanity; of ordinary people battling extraordinary circumstances; of the scars we carry—seen and unseen; of what it means to be a parent. And one of the main characters is a forest fire. Kat, the heroine, is a widow, a mother, and…

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Wow. What a brilliant gothic boarding school novel—compulsive reading with many twists and turns. Even though I was hooked from page one, I didn’t race to finish GOOD GIRLS LIE. I wanted to savor the writing and the incredible sense of place. The opening line sets the tone: “The girl’s body dangles from the tall,…

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I’ve recently become a huge Harlan Coben fan, and my world stopped while I tore through an advanced copy of his latest. THE BOY FROM THE WOODS is a fast-paced thriller overflowing with layers and twists, political power games and hits of humor, snappy dialogue and unique characters. (Who will forget the head of the…

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Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center is the perfect read to sweep you through the chaos of the holiday season. Despite several disturbing threads, the novel brims with humor and hope, love and forgiveness. It’s unique, it’s quirky; it’s a heartwarming tale of survival with an outstanding heroine. From the first line,…

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