The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton, 352 pages. Available in paperback from Headline Book.
Catherine is a divorced, middle-aged woman with grown children who decides to make a fresh start in the French countryside. She sells her home in England and settles in a French village. As idyllic as this sounds, there are plenty of bumps along the way. She is not welcomed right away by the locals plus has issues with the French bureaucracy as she tries to establish her seamstress business. To further complicate matters, Catherine's sister Briony visits and begins to spend time with her intriguing neighbor Patrick.
I found Tapestry of Love to be an enjoyable read. I loved the descriptions of the homes, landscape, and characters. Having the courage to pick up and move to a new country and adopt a simpler way of life is something most of us envy. I always like reading books set in different countries and places I've never been. This book gets 4 stars out of 5.
Falling Home by Karen White, 464 pages. Available in paperback from NAL Trade.
Note: This is a 2010 revised edition originally published in 2002.
Authors note: "..the most obvious difference you'll notice is the addition of two more points of view. Whereas the original story was only told through Cassie's eyes, the new version is also told from Harriet's and Maddie's points of view to give the reader more insight into the characters and their motivations."
Karen White's novel, Falling Home, follows Cassie Madison as she returns to her hometown of Walton, Georgia. At the age of twenty, Cassie left her small southern town to begin life and a successful career in New York City. She hasn't spoken to her sister Harriet since she left due in part to Harriet's involvement with Cassie's fiancee. Upon her return, Cassie finds her father is dying and is leaving her the family home. This complicates her break from the south, her memories, and her relationships.
Having read all of Karen White's books, I was slightly disappointed with Falling Home. I found it an entetaining and easy read but I didn't connect with any of the characters. Sometimes after reading one author consistently the books start to seem formulated. I think that may have been my problem. Still, I would give the book 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern, 320 pages. Available in hardcover from Harper Collins.
"What if we knew what tomorrow would bring? Would we fix it? Could we?"
Tamara Goodwin is a spoiled, rich, sixteen year old who suffers a cruel shock when her father commits suicide. For years he had been living under a mountain of debt which forces Tamara and her mom to move in with family living in the Irish countryside. Now isolated, without her computer or friends, Tamara is bored until she stumbles upon a locked leather book in a traveling library. She discovers the entries inside are in her own handwriting and detail the events of the following day. Family secrets come to light as she learns "sometimes it takes tomorrow to get us through today."
The Book of Tomorrow is a unique, magical and enjoyable coming of age story that deals with heavier themes of grief and loss. I loved this book. I found Tamara to be a very real and contemporary teenage girl, and the other characters were also well developed. If you are worried about the "fantasy" factor, it didn't seem over the top. I also think this book could be for a young adult reader. I give it a solid 4 stars out of 5.