Nancy's Reviews

After working in several word-related fields: copy writing, editing, freelance voice talent and theatre--followed by a long career as a stay-at-home mom I started working at the bookstore almost nineteen years ago, and was fortunate enough to be the manager for eighteen years. From my first day at work I had a sense of being home among the books and fellow book-junkies and that feeling only grew with the ensuing years.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a terrific team of booksellers and customers, and I am especially indebted to my fantastic family who supported my choice of jobs despite work hours that were definitely not conducive to family and social activities. I'm just now learning what all the fuss about weekends is all about!

My thanks to all of you who supported the store, who mourned its closing, and who asked us to establish this forum so that we can continue our tradition of exchanging opinions and ideas about books.

Evvie Drake Starts Over                       

 Author:  Linda Holmes                          Fiction                 

Even Evvie's best friend Andy doesn't know how awful Evvie's marriage was, and he certainly has no idea that, on the night her husband died, she was preparing to leave him. Even Andy doesn't know how hard it is for Evvie to accept condolences or for her to continue to live in the too-large house that Tim bought and decorated. Before the car accident that killed him, Tim had spent the fifteen years of their life together destroying Evvie's confidence, so that now, the only emotion she has is relief. The one thing Andy is convinced of is that Evvie is hiding from the world, so when Andy's best friend, Yankees former star pitcher Dean, needs a place to escape from New York and from the voracious sports media, Andy talks Evvie into letting him have the rental space attached to her house.


Dead Girl in 2A                                                            

 Author:  Carter Wilson                              Fiction       

Ghostwriter Jake Buchannan, offered a phenomenal amount of money to write the memoir of a non-famous, apparently boring man, takes his first-class seat (paid for by his client. Just who IS this guy)? Curious and in need of the paycheck, Jake carries much more baggage than that holding his clothes. Ten months ago, a month after beginning a clinical trial that promises to help with his spotty memory, Jake caused an accident that badly injured his daughter. Now traveling to meet his client, Jake is seated next to a woman who seems compellingly familiar, and who says that he does to her, as well. Their conversation reveals that they share much in common: recent, overwhelming emotional responses, dramatic changes in interpersonal relationships, and that, most striking, neither of them has any memory of their childhood. And, while Jake’s trip is business, Clara is going to Colorado to die.

An interesting story concept, but some obvious bumps in the plot are frustrating.


All the Lost Things                                

 Author:  Michelle Sacks                    Fiction                           

Being swept up by her father to travel on an surprise adventure may be the most exciting thing to ever happen to Dolly. With barely enough time to grab Clemesta, Dolly finds herself tucked into the backseat of her dad's car, sailing away into the thrilling unknown. Her mom, after all, has gone on a vacation of her own, with her best friend Rita, so this is Dolly's chance to the place her dad promises is better even than Disneyland. But as the trip (a couple of days, said her dad) turns into many days, and as her dad becomes more irritated and angry, Dolly's beloved plastic horse begins to share her fear and dark secrets. Furious at first with Clemesta, Dolly begins to realize that the carefree adventure her dad promised is really something much different.

Dolly's story is terrifying, and riveting; All the Lost Things shows how far our minds will go to protect us from our knowledge of evil. A great read.


Favorite Daughter                       

 Author:  Kaira Rouda                          Fiction                 

After a year of grieving the loss of her daughter Mary, Jane has decided it's time to reenter the world and join her husband David and remaining daughter Betsy, which may or may not have anything to do with the letter for David that she accidentally read. A new house! Bigger even and more impressive than the one they currently own! Just wait, Jane tells herself, until all the other jealous, self-absorbed Orange County mothers get a load of it. They're already envious of the way their husbands ogle Jane; this will drive them crazy. Her perfect, gorgeous, wealthy husband, her own stunning beauty, now this fabulous new house! It's a shame, really, that it was Mary who died. Betsy is just so…ordinary. But Betsy does adore her mother, despite the teenage moods she takes out on Jane; Jane knows that, deep down, she and Betsy share a perfect bond.

What a gripping book, told from the perspective of a very scary, very unreliable narrator.