Books On My Reading List This Week – November 16, 2021

Read Along with Me

Another week, another reading list! I’m still enjoying the company of audio books during the day, while working at my 9 to 5. They’re a refreshing change from playlists on Spotify or leaving a familiar series to stream, just for the noise. I prefer the sense of accomplishment when I complete another book.

On my audio book list for this week, I’ll be enjoying another Kristin Hannah, Night Road. This one is a story primarily focused on three eighteen-year-olds, reaching the end of their senior year of high school and preparing for college when tragedy strikes, changing their lives in ways none of them imagined. I’m also looking forward to Lisa Jewell’s The House We Grew Up In. This one has been on my reading list

for a long time. And finally, I’ll be listening to The Orphan’s Daughter. Another title that has been on my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ list for far too long.

Devil’s Ivy is also on my reading list this week. Set in Israel, the story is focused on Amy who is in the throws of a mid-life crisis. She enters into a group therapy where she meets a diverse group, working through their own challenges. I’m looking forward to reviewing this one!

What’s on your reading list this week?


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Books This Week

Devil’s Ivy by Gal Rodnitsky
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Amy is in her mid-forties and still doesn’t know what to do with her life. She comes across an ad for group therapy led by the charismatic Yigal at his home in the Galilee, and she is smitten. Over the summer, she listens to the stories of the five other participants – tough grandmother Orna whose husband left her for another woman; young, sensual Reishit, raised on a religious settlement and newly single; the architect Michal, with a teenage daughter who despises her; the divorced and lustful Shimon; and Guy, a doctoral student at Hebrew University, still obsessed with the Moslem Arab woman he loved years ago.
Their stories awaken a spark within Amy, and she begins to reconnect with the world around her.
Throughout it all, the boundaries of therapy are questioned. Is Yigal a brilliant therapist, or a fake guru? Does his therapy help or harm?
The novel provides a first hand, authentic Israeli voice, exploring contemporary issues such as gender, aging, language and religion.

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Meet the picture-perfect Bird family: pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and towheaded twins Rory and Rhys, one an adventurous troublemaker, the other his slighter, more sensitive counterpart. Their father is a sweet, gangly man, but it’s their beautiful, free-spirited mother Lorelei who spins at the center. In those early years, Lorelei tries to freeze time by filling their simple brick house with precious mementos. Easter egg foils are her favorite. Craft supplies, too. She hangs all of the children’s art, to her husband’s chagrin.

Then one Easter weekend, a tragedy so devastating occurs that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass and the children have become adults, while Lorelei has become the county’s worst hoarder. She has alienated her husband and children and has been living as a recluse. But then something happens that beckons the Bird family back to the house they grew up in—to finally understand the events of that long-ago Easter weekend and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.

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The Orphan’s Daughter by Jan Cherubin
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The Orphan’s Daughter is a novel about a girl who grows up in the shadow of her charismatic but troubled father, a man shaped by his boyhood in a Depression-era Jewish orphanage. The two life stories are woven together to form the fabric of this funny and suspenseful work of literary fiction.

Clyde Aronson survives the cruelties of the seemingly bucolic orphanage but is left scarred. Brilliant and self-destructive, a popular high-school teacher and a callous womanizer, he yearns for a son to replace the relationship lost when his father abandoned him. Instead, he fathers two daughters. He resents most the one who most resembles him: the younger, Joanna.

Joanna Aronson is thirty, alienated and living in Southern California when she learns of her father’s puzzling illness. She returns home to Baltimore to help care for him. In the process, the two reconcile; Joanna struggles to come to terms with her own difficult history. Clyde promises to leave Joanna his collected papers, including a secret manuscript written long ago about life in the orphanage.

After Clyde’s death, Joanna’s stepmother inherits the house and all of his possessions. She refuses Joanna any access. Determined, Joanna breaks into the house and steals the manuscript. The stepmother presses charges.

Though fictional, The Orphan’s Daughter is based upon the time, from 1924 to 1934, the author’s father spent in the Hebrew National Orphan Home in Yonkers, New York.

This evocative novel incorporates contemporary feminist themes, Jewish cultural history, and a nostalgic sense of place. By turns wrenching and delightfully humorous, The Orphan’s Daughter is a deft melding of history and psychological drama, a literary page-turner you won’t want to put down.

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close-knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids out of harm’s way. But senior year of high school tests them all. It’s a dangerous, explosive season of drinking, driving, parties, and kids who want to let loose. And then on a hot summer’s night, one bad decision is made. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, Night Road raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

Click the image to find it on Amazon

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