As Long As We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney

As Long as We Both Shall Live: A Novel by [Chaney, JoAnn]

4 Stars

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Date of publication: January 19th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find As Long As We Both Shall Live: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

What happens when you’re really, truly done making your marriage work? You can’t be married to someone without sometimes wanting to bash them over the head…

As Long As We Both Shall Live is JoAnn Chaney’s wicked, masterful examination of a marriage gone very wrong, a marriage with lots of secrets…

“My wife! I think she’s dead!” Matt frantically tells park rangers that he and his wife, Marie, were hiking when she fell off a cliff into the raging river below. They start a search, but they aren’t hopeful: no one could have survived that fall. It was a tragic accident.

But Matt’s first wife also died in suspicious circumstances. And when the police pull a body out of the river, they have a lot more questions for Matt.

Detectives Loren and Spengler want to know if Matt is a grieving, twice-unlucky husband or a cold-blooded murderer. They dig into the couple’s lives to see what they can unearth. And they find that love’s got teeth, it’s got claws, and once it hitches you to a person, it’s tough to rip yourself free.

So what happens when you’re done making it work?

First Line:

If you try to kill your wife without a plan, you will fail.

As Long as We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney

My Review:

I have been reading a lot of psychological thrillers/mysteries and I have been getting burnt out on them. So I went into reading As Long as We Both Shall Live not wanting to read it. I am glad that I made myself read this book. It was fantastic.

There are four plotlines in As Long as We Both Shall Live. Yes, 4. When I realized that, I did an internal groan. Anything over two plotlines and I get confused. In As Long as We Both Shall Live, the author was able to keep the plotlines separate. She was also to merge the plotlines when needed. There was a little lag in the middle of the book when two of the plotlines joined. Other than that, this book zipped right along.

I loved how snarky this book was. There were points where I was dying laughing with the views on marriage. I am not married but have been in a relationship for 15 years, and I get it. That’s what made parts of this book funny to me.

Detective Loren is one of my new favorite fictional characters. I will admit, I wasn’t too sure about him when he was introduced. He was abrasive and rude to everyone. But slowly (and yes, slowly) a different side of him was shown. By the end of the book, I loved him.

The mystery angle of the book was good. The author did a great job of keeping me in the dark about what exactly happened the day Marie disappeared. She slowly let out clues about what happened. There are also so many red herrings. That is what made it enjoyable to read!!

I loved how the author brought everything together at the end of the book. The twists were what made the ending for me. I had guessed about one of them early in the book. But the other one, oh no. That took me 100% by surprise.

I would give As Long as We Both Shall Live an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread As Long as We Both Shall Live. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Family Tabor by Cherise Wolas

The Family Tabor

1 Stars

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Date of publication: July 17, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Where you can find The Family Tabor: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Harry Tabor is about to be named Man of the Decade, a distinction that feels like the culmination of a life well lived. Gathering together in Palm Springs for the celebration are his wife, Roma, a distinguished child psychologist, and their children: Phoebe, a high-powered attorney; Camille, a brilliant social anthropologist; and Simon, a big-firm lawyer, who brings his glamorous wife and two young daughters. 

But immediately, cracks begin to appear in this smooth facade: Simon hasn’t been sleeping through the night, Camille can’t decide what to do with her life, and Phoebe is a little too cagey about her new boyfriend. Roma knows her children are hiding things. What she doesn’t know, what none of them know, is that Harry is suddenly haunted by the long-buried secret that drove him, decades ago, to relocate his young family to the California desert. As the ceremony nears, the family members are forced to confront the falsehoods upon which their lives are built. 

Set over the course of a single weekend, and deftly alternating between the five Tabors, this provocative, gorgeously rendered novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves and our family and the price we pay for second chances.

My Review:

There are times when I request a book from NetGalley, get accepted and immediately think “Oh man, what am I in for“. The Family Tabor is such a book. When I saw it on NetGalley, I immediately thought it would be a book like The Ring by Danielle Steele. A drama that crosses generations of the same family. In a way, The Family Tabor is like that. But it also is not like that. This book isn’t a multigenerational drama. Instead, it focuses on secrets and how they can wreak havoc with lives.

I found The Family Tabor to be confusing to read. The 3rd person perspective jumped from family member to family member in the same chapter. I could be reading about what Roma was thinking and then it switched to Phoebe with no warning. There were times that I had to reread the chapter to understand who I was reading about. I do not like it when I have to do that. It ruins the flow of reading for me.

While I understand Harry’s guilt over something that happened over 20 years ago, I don’t understand how he suppressed the memory of it. I am not an expert on these things but his company was funded with some of the missing money. You would think that he would remember something like that. It didn’t scream realistic to me. It also didn’t make me like him once the full truth came out. He took advantage of a situation and got away with it.

Out of the 3 kids’ issues, the only one that I actually connected with was Camille’s. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. Simon’s issues were spiritual. Phoebe was the one that I couldn’t understand. She didn’t have to lie about having a boyfriend. But she did. It made no sense.

I didn’t like Simon’s wife. When he told her that he wanted to look more into his religion, she flipped her wig. She didn’t want him to be a Jew? Seriously? And to end her marriage of 10 years because of that was ridiculous. So much for true love. Also, her irritation with Lucy and her repeating words was beyond annoying. To be honest, after that bigoted comment, I skimmed over her parts. I didn’t want to read anything more about her.

I wish more attention had been paid to Roma. I was fascinated by her grandmother’s story and how it shaped Roma’s life. I was also fascinated by Roma’s profession. I wanted to know more about her patient and why that child was running.

The last half of the book was as awkward to read as the first half. I barely hung in throughout Harry’s epiphany and disappearance. The only thing that perked me up was the almost mystical dreams that Camille, Simon, and Phoebe had. I felt that their resolutions to their problems were convenient. Even the end of the book was blah. I saw it coming from a mile away.

What I liked about The Family Tabor:

A) Nothing. Normally I find something nice to put here but yeah, not this time

What I disliked about The Family Tabor:

A) Confusing to read

B) Simon’s bigoted wife

C) Everything after Harry’s disappearance

I would give The Family Tabor a rating of Adult. There is mild violence. There is mild language. There are sexual situations and sex but they are very vague. I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 21.

There are no triggers in The Family Tabor.

The Family Tabor is a book that I would not recommend to family and friends. I would not reread this book or be willing to read any other books by the author.

I would like to thank Flatiron Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Family Tabor.

All opinions stated in this review of The Family Tabor are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie

4 Stars

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Date of publication: March 13th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Where you can find Sometimes I Lie: Amazon | Barnes, and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 
1. I’m in a coma. 
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore. 
3. Sometimes I lie. 

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?

Trigger Warning: Sexual abuse of a coma patient

Continue reading “Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney”

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

To Capture What We Cannot Keep: A Novel by [Colin, Beatrice]

3 Stars

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Date of publication: November 29th, 2016

Where to find this book: Amazon

Genre: General Fiction

Book Synopsis:

Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris, France–a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family’s business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.

Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Émile live–one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and Bohemian independence, strict tradition and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative, and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman’s place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions, and the sacrifices love requires of us all.

My Review:

When I started reading this book, I didn’t know what to think about it. The plot crept and I felt that it was weighted down by one-dimensional characters. I felt that there was no life for anyone but Cait and Emile. Jamie, Alice, and Gabrielle, their portrayals were stereotypical of that time.

I changed my mind by the 2nd half of the book. We learn more about Cait’s marriage, Alice and Jamie flushed out as characters and in surprising ways and Gabrielle, well she ended up being a woman scorned.

The love story of Cait and Emile was present, as was the construction of the Eiffel Tower and Emile’s social/status obligations. Which made the 2nd half of the book so interesting to read.

The ending of the book was perfect. Just saying, I couldn’t have written it any better myself.

I would give To Capture What We Cannot Keep an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread To Capture What We Cannot Keep. I am on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**