All the Summer Girls by Meg Donahue is an intriguing mystery set in in New Jersey beach town. Against a background of dunes, beach bars , and sun screen a tale of friendship, secrets and forgiveness unfolds.
When Kate is jilted by her fiancé and finds herself pregnant she calls on her old school friends Vanessa and Dani for comfort. The three have been deeply affected by the tragic death of Kate’s twin brother during their last summer together. They blame themselves and each other for his death.
Each woman has been slowly self-destructing under the pressures of guilt and resentment. Kate has become so obsessive and closed off that she has driven her fiancé away. Vanessa is toying with leaving her husband having lost her own identity while at home with her young daughter. And Dani, the golden girl of the group, has drifted into a life of drinking and drugging as she struggles to become a writer.
Now, years after the tragedy that has marked them, they come together at the same beach house to comfort and confront each other. The teenage friends are now young women hoping to make sense of the past so they can move forward.
Readers will relate to the pressures and demands faced by the three women as well as their bonds of friendship. Read The Girls of Summer and share it with a friend.
Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen by Merida Anderson will change your perceptions about vegan food forever. Merida Anderson offers gourmet recipes that rival any elegant home entertaining cookbook.
Make no mistake, this is a serious vegan cookbook. Anderson offers comprehensive recipes for making your own vegan cheese from nuts, as well as how to use many other complex vegan staples. But there are also many recipes that take no advance preparation. Anderson uses Middle Eastern, Indian, European spices to create layers of flavour that will make your mouth water. She even has a decadent chocolate cake.
The recipes and menus are from her own Vegan Secret Supper Club, a private dining club that she founded and runs in New York. Vegan Secret Supper will forever dispel notions of a bland and heavy cuisine based only on tofu and beans.
This is an inspiring and accessible book for beginners and experienced cooks. I wish hotel chefs and caterers not versed in, but offering, vegetarian and vegan options would all get a copy.
Little Jars, Big Flavors by the Editors of Southern Living Magazine is a great book if you have ever wanted to try canning but have been intimidated. Or, perhaps like me, you are half of a twosome in a condo and don’t have the space or need for large-batch canning recipes. This handy little tome covers the basics of canning and preserving with small batch recipes.
It contains good selection recipes for pickles, relishes, sauces, and jams. There are even recipes for no-cook freezer jam, if hot water kettles make you nervous. I like the mix of homey recipes, such as bread-and-butter pickles and Asian-inspired slaws. This fun, accessible collection of tasty, colourful recipes will have you heading to the farmer’s market.
Tuesday’s Gone is the second book in the widely popular series by author Nicci French featuring the character Frieda Klein. Nicci French is actually the bestselling, English husband and wife writing team Nicci Gerard and Sean French.
Frieda Klein is a brilliant psychotherapist, but she is also a very lonely and repressed woman. When a social worker finds one her clients, a mentally ill middle-aged woman serving tea to a decomposing corpse, Frieda is called in to help find out what has happened and to help identify the victim.
DCI Karlsson, a police inspector Frieda has worked with in the past, asks Frieda to try to speak with the uncommunicative woman who is now incarcerated in a mental hospital. He hopes that Frieda can at least find out how the man came to be in the woman’s apartment, and who actually killed him.
As Frieda unravels the mystery of the victim’s identity she also uncovers a possible motive for his murder.
Tuesday’s Gone is a taut, tensely-written mystery. The authors slowly reveal complex layers of their characters’ psyches, along with the plot.
This page-turner will delight fans of sophisticated psychological thrillers, as Nicci French proves that mind games can be chilling.
Recipes and Dreams from an Italian Life is the newest cookbook from one of my favourite authors, Tessa Kiros. I adore her beautifully photographed cookbooks, full of family stories and remembrances.
All of her books have a charming old world look and flavour about them. Tessa draws us into her world and makes us want to cook her food in the hope that we, too, can create the same warm, heady memories she describes so well.
In Recipes and Dreams from an Italian Life, Tessa pays homage to the homemaking skills of her Italian mother-in-law. The book opens with photographs of sumptuous embroidered linens and a recipe for making lavender water. She also shares a recipe for limoncello. The book also contains a full range of Italian recipes from Tessa’s own family Many are unusual. I am dying to try the recipe for “truffle purses”, a tempting stuffed pasta, as well as the tuna-stuffed peppers that open the book. There is little in this book I would not try.
This is a beautiful book. It is simple enough for a beginner and beautiful enough to please a more experienced cook.
In Sex and the Single Fireman, Jennifer Bernard returns to the San Gabriel firehouse, the scene of her last book, Hot for Firemen. This time she brings together sexy female firefighter, Sabina, and a rugged training Captian Roman “Rock”.
Sabina and Rock have painful secrets from the past that keep them from finding love.
Sabina and Rock are drawn to each other from the moment they meet. It is inevitable that in the close confines of the firehouse, their mutual passion finally has to catch fire.
This playful romance is sure to please Bernard’s fans. Bernard beings back old characters and draws on events from the news to create a sexy romance that will please fans of firehouse romance.
In her quirky novel, Why Can’t I Be You: A Novel, Allie Larkin plays with the possibility of stepping into an alternate life to discover true passion.
Jenny Shaw heads to a work conference in Seattle a defeated woman. On the way to the airport, her fiancé dumped her for another woman. Suddenly, with a single blow, all of Jenny’s plans and sacrifices are meaningless. In addition, her so-called best friend is being snippy because she is jealous that Jenny was given the conference trip. And, as Jenny gets off the plane in Seattle her needy alcoholic mother begins calling with demands and complaints that just won’t stop.
So, when Jenny is mistaken for a woman called Jessie, she really can’t resist the chance to try one smokeless life. For a few days Jenny becomes Jessie at Jessie’s high school reunion.
It is a crazy premise that someone could impersonate a stranger with oldest friends no less, but Larkin pulls it off.
This unlikely tale is endearing and will resonate with anyone who has longed for a “do-over” or felt like misfit.