Recently Read! (August 2021)

Here are my most recently read books from August 2021!

Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear what you thought!

The Bookshop of Second Chances (Jackie Fraser)
This story follows Thea who attempts to take a step back from the whirlwind she finds herself in and re-group. After having discovered her husband’s affair with a friend of hers and having lost her job, Thea also receives news of the passing of her uncle. It turns out that her uncle has left his estate and belongings to her, and thereby an opportunity to escape miles away to Scotland. Not only does she end up sifting through his home and belongings, but also, at the same time, her feelings, reactions, what has happened, and where she is headed as well. Edward helps her to confront all of the change and to grow in ways she couldn’t have anticipated, given all that’s happened. I really wanted to love this story more, but I found it really slowed down in some parts and the story line was a bit drawn out. I did love the personalities of all of the different characters and how the relationships progressed throughout the story, creating a real sense of community and home!

Talk Bookish To Me (Kate Bromley)
This was a fantastic read!! Kara is a bookstagrammer and romance novelist. While she is able to create epic love stories, she is unable to translate that skill off paper and into her actual life. During the preparations for her best friend’s wedding, Kara is reunited with her first love, Ryan. While their relationship may have ended tumultuously, the reunion is a love-hate roller coaster that is sweet, funny, and empowering. I love that Kara took a stand for herself, becoming stronger and doing what she needed to do, to be the best person for herself, first and foremost! It was a really great read and one of my favourites this month!

The Last Letter From Your Lover
(Jojo Moyes)
I loved this story! The intricacies of the timeline, the trajectory of different relationships, and the constantly evolving plot and circumstances left me on the edge of my seat and never quite sure where the story was going to land! In 1960, Jennifer Stirling woke up in the hospital, with little to no memory of who she was before the accident that landed her there. She is left to uncover the details of everything from her friendships, to her relationship with her husband and family, and the events leading up to the accident itself. While her life seems grounded in wealth and privilege, the reality is not as elegant. When she finds letters that lead her to believe she was having an affair, the story really, really begins to take shape and clarity begins to somewhat emerge. Ultimately, as time goes on, the story shifts to 2003 and Jennifer’s story is unearthed and becomes the inspiration for an article that changes the lives of the characters. An absolutely fantastic story and a definite must-read! (As a side note, I had no idea that this was a movie until I saw the cover of the book from the library – it was one of my recommended reads on Goodreads! Have you watched the movie? How did it compare?).

The Last Bookshop in London (Madeline Martin)
Grace moves to London as whispers of war begin to spread. She moves into her late mother’s best friend’s home, together with her closest friend, and neither truly anticipate what lays ahead for them. London has always been a dream, but the reality of the war quickly overshadows any expectations. When Grace takes the opportunity to work at a bookstore, despite initially having little interest in books, her life begins to change. The relationships she develops ignites a strength and ambition within her that is compelling and inspiring. The way the entire community comes together left me so emotional! The undeniable power of storytelling was celebrated and really highlighted, both within the story and within Madeline Martin’s absolute talent as an author. Definitely one of my favourite historical fiction reads of the year!

The Windsor Knot (SJ Bennett)
This was such a different book and it was so good! The story takes place in 2016 before the Queen’s 90th Birthday. A suspicious death takes place within Windsor Castle and while the authorities work to uncover the circumstances and suspects, the Queen herself begins to do the same. It’s soon revealed to her assistant that the Queen has assumed the role of detective before and that she’s quite adept at it! I love how the Queen was depicted, how her voice, strength, and personality were developed throughout the plot, and how it was a totally different perspective and depiction of her than I’ve encountered before!  

Good Company (Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney)
I had heard so many good things about this book, but I just wasn’t so into it. It was written really well and essentially depicts the summer after Flora discovers her husband had an affair over a decade earlier. The story weaves between the present day as well as the beginning of their relationship and summers in the past. Julian leads a theater company, “Good Company,” with a play being put on at a cottage during the summer which serves as a focal point to the story. The supporting characters, namely Flora’s long-time friend Margot and her husband, as well as her daughter Ruby, all have their own individual story lines and input that weaves and intersects throughout to bring the whole story together. 

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