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Chapter 27 - This Is How It Always Is

Hi everyone! When Vicki asked me to share a few of my favorite summertime beach reads, it took me awhile to narrow the list down to only five. I’ve been blogging and bookstagramming about books for over 10 years, so I’ve had ample opportunity to read up on boatloads of books. And what I haven’t read for social media and blogging, I’ve simply read because I love the written word… truly, storytelling is the quickest way to someone’s heart. Without further ado, allow me to share a few of my favorite stories and storytellers.

Vacation. One little word can bring to mind so many different connotations. From an extended family vacation with little ones that keep us laughing to a romantic couple’s trip with long walks on the beach in the moonlight to a solo trip for much-needed respite, head-clearing and peace. One thing is constant through all the images - a book. Another avenue of escape from our daily life, a book can take us around the world and through a lifetime of emotion. A book can teach us we are not alone and can be a solace when nothing else can. The following books are each special in their own unique way and I promise, every single one of these books will help you escape the world as we know it. And sometimes that’s all we ever really need for a vacation.

The Passage by Justin Cronin - While this is the longest on our beach vacation book list, it is one that will scare you to reading as fast as you can. A book about humanity, life and death, and the consequences of the choices we make. Don’t let the “vampire” theme scare you away - I resisted reading this one for years because I thought the premise was silly. It’s so much more than vampires. Try and read the first chapter and see if you’re not hooked!

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley - What happens when your life is irrevocably changed because you did the right thing? Scott Burroughs finds out when he saves a 4-year old boy in a private plane crash that kills the other 9 passengers. Between the FAA investigation of what really happened on the flight to the incessant media coverage, Scott must find a way to deal with the aftermath and aftershocks while protecting the only other survivor.

The Accident by Chris Pavone - If you read Pavone’s first novel, The Expats, then you know you are in for one heck of a ride. Chris Pavone is known for writing books where the plot keeps you turning pages almost faster than you can read. And The Accident is no different. When Isabel Reed reads an anonymous manuscript her life is thrown into chaos and danger as she tries to determine the what, who, how, where and when, and most importantly, what happens if she publishes it. The Accident combines political, publishing, and big company intrigue into a thriller of epic proportions.

The Wife, The Maid & The Mistress by Ariel Lawhon This is Lawhon’s first novel but don’t let that keep you away. She blew us away with this who-done-it mystery. Based on the real-life disappearance of a New York State Justice Joseph Crater in 1930’s New York City, we see Justice Crater through the eyes of the women in his life - his wife, his maid and his mistress. Told in alternate voices, this mystery is reminiscent of Agatha Christie and will keep you guessing until the very last page.

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel - Read it. This one has been on most every book club list and best of list since its publication. It’s one of those books that walking into it without knowing the synopsis is best - it is a testament to family, to the secrets we keep and the reasons why. It’s a book about what happens when secrets are divulged, and how a family comes together or is torn apart by the secrets it keeps. This Is How It Always Is will leave you changed

forevermore, and for the better. Have tissues handy.

What is on your current summer reading list. Let us know!

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