Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
From her website (http://paulahawkinsbooks.com/):
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
My review: I loved this book. I thought it was cutting edge and far more psychological than her debut novel Girl on the Train. If that book has put you off her sophomore debut, move past that. The multidimensional characters she write with Into the Water take a stab at your own dark secrets. I remember several times where she called the reader out, "you know you've thought about this..." and it was uncomfortable, because it was true. I plowed through this book quickly and did not want to put it down. Even got the hubs to read this one 😄
Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro
From her website (http://www.kathleentessaro.com/index.html):
In Depression-era Boston, a city divided by privilege and poverty, two unlikely friends are bound by a dangerous secret in this mesmerizing work of historical fiction from the New York Times bestselling author of The Perfume Collector.
Maeve Fanning is a first generation Irish immigrant, born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston’s North End by her widowed mother. Clever, capable, and as headstrong as her red hair suggests, she’s determined to better herself despite the overwhelming hardships of the Great Depression.
However, Maeve also has a dangerous fondness for strange men and bootleg gin—a rebellious appetite that soon finds her spiraling downward, leading a double life. When the strain proves too much, Maeve becomes an unwilling patient in a psychiatric hospital, where she strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic young woman, who, like Maeve, is unable or unwilling to control her un-lady-like desire for freedom.
Once out, Maeve faces starting over again. Armed with a bottle of bleach and a few white lies, she lands a job at an eccentric antiques shop catering to Boston’s wealthiest and most peculiar collectors. Run by an elusive English archeologist, the shop is a haven of the obscure and incredible, providing rare artifacts as well as unique access to the world of America’s social elite. While delivering a purchase to the wealthy Van der Laar family, Maeve is introduced to beautiful socialite Diana Van der Laar—only to discover she’s the young woman from the hospital.
Reunited with the charming but increasingly unstable Diana and pursued by her attractive brother James, Mae becomes more and more entwined with the Van der Laar family—a connection that pulls her into a world of moral ambiguity and deceit, and ultimately betrayal. Bewitched by their wealth and desperate to leave her past behind, Maeve is forced to unearth her true values and discover how far she’ll to go to reinvent herself.
My review: I love Tessaro's writing style. She creates vivid detail that add to the setting and historical context of the novel. I fell in love with Meave, and even Diana Van Der Laar (which I don't know if you're supposed to love or not, but I did). Tessaro tackles some tough issues of even modern women in this novel with all the delicacy needed during the 1930s. I'm impressed by her subject matter and the way she politely affronts societal norms. Her portrayal of generational and cultural gaps bring an authenticity the book that many historical fiction works lack; she forces an understanding of the way it really was for a myriad of social classes during the Depression. She is a must-read author for me.
Pick up either read - you'll be glad you did! Cheers, friends 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷