Our book group pick for this month was The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman. For some reason I wasn’t sure I would like this pick, but I ended up enjoying the book a lot. The book traces two brothers’ families from the time they are just married until their children grow up and the brothers are old.
“Brooklyn, 1947: In the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born, minutes apart. The mothers are sisters by marriage: dutiful, quiet Rose, who wants nothing more than to please her difficult husband; and warm, generous Helen, the exhausted mother of four rambunctious boys who seem to need her less and less each day. Raising their families side by side, supporting one another, Rose and Helen share an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic winter night. When the storm passes, life seems to return to normal; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and the once deep friendship between the two women begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost, but not quite, wins.”
The secret between the two sister-in-laws is quite obvious, and my book group wondered if the reader was meant to guess the reveal so early before it was told in the book. We concluded that it must have been written so obviously on purpose, because otherwise it would have been too predictable! The funny thing was that it was so obvious, we second-guessed ourselves and thought maybe there was an even bigger twist hidden in the book! Even with this plot point being predictable, the book was more character driven with the interactions between the various family members being the interesting and engaging part of the book.
I received a copy of How To Keep A Secret by Sarah Morgan from Harlequin Publishing in exchange for posting a photo on Instagram. I was really excited about this book because I have read Sarah Morgan’s romance books and really enjoyed them. This is her first women’s fiction novel and I have to say she did a great job with it!
“When three generations of women are brought together by crisis, they learn over the course of one hot summer the power of family to support, nourish and surprise.
Lauren has the perfect life…if she ignores the fact it’s a fragile house of cards, and that her daughter Mack has just had a teenage personality transplant.
Jenna is desperate to start a family with her husband, but it’s… Just. Not. Happening. Her heart is breaking, but she’s determined to keep her trademark smile on her face.
Nancy knows she hasn’t been the best mother, but how can she ever tell Lauren and Jenna the reason why?
Then life changes in an instant, and Lauren, Mack, Jenna and Nancy are thrown together for a summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Somehow, these very different women must relearn how to be a family. And while unraveling their secrets might be their biggest challenge, the rewards could be infinite…”
Although the description says the book takes place over one summer, it actually takes place starting in January and leading up to the summer. During that time, the women in this family become closer to each other and improve themselves. The secrets between them start to come out from the beginning and they find that the more they share, the easier it is for them to get along.
What have you been reading lately?