While You Are Waiting…Laura Dave
You might be waiting for the very popular novel by Laura Dave, The Last Thing He Told Me. You are in good company, as the hold list for this Reese Witherspoon book club title is long. Never fear – we have some great suggestions to keep you busy reading while you wait your turn in line!
Who Is Maud Dixon by Alexandra Andrews: The book is told from the point of view of Florence Darrow, a young twenty-something living in New York City, working at a small publishing house, dreaming of becoming a writer. Her mother has instilled in her this feeling that she is destined for big things, so she is frustrated that nothing is happening for her. She is offered a job as personal assistant to a very successful author, Maud Dixon. The catch is that she will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, because nobody knows the real identity of the author – a woman named Helen Wilcox. Soon, she is wishing to impress her new boss, and they take a trip to Marrakesh to research the new book. Then Florence wakes up in a hospital room, not knowing how she got there, and everyone thinks she is Helen. You will want to keep reading this one, pulled along in the wake of Florence’s bad decisions!
If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier: We learn right away that Serra is a troubled woman. She stays mostly in her house, listening to her favorite true crime podcast over and over, obsessing about the stories of women who just disappear. When the podcast abruptly goes quiet, Serra worries that the host Rachel Bard has gone missing herself, and that she should be the one to find her. Serra is a very unreliable narrator, but in an interesting way. She has clearly had some problems and has not dealt with them well, so it is hard for the reader to tell what is real and what is her delusion, in her obsessive quest to find Rachel. You will keep turning the pages to find out what happens!
The Talented Miss Farwell by Emily Gray Tedrowe: There are two Miss Farwells – Miss Rebecca Farwell, art dealer, and Miss Becky Farwell, a small town treasurer and comptroller. What people don’t know is that they are the same person and that Becky is siphoning funds from the town to fuel her life as Rebecca. As her success as an art dealer grows, so do her financial needs. While she keeps promising herself that she will pay the town back, her other life keeps throwing temptation in her way. Here is a character that is going to frustrate you by her spectacularly bad decisions, and one you are going to root for, despite your better judgement!
Girl A by Abigail Dean: Lex Gracie is your typical type A lawyer – she works hard and plays hard. She is also Girl A, one of seven siblings who escaped her parents and their infamous House of Horrors. Now, her mother has died in prison and appointed Lex as her executor. She has left the family home, long abandoned, to the siblings, though none of them want anything to do with the house or its memories. Lex and her sister Evie decide to turn the house into a place for good, but first Lex must get the approval of her brothers and sisters. From there, the book follow Lex as she navigates each relationship and all their sibling complexities. This book is a thriller, but it is also an exploration of family trauma and dynamics – how each child, especially Lex, Girl A – has managed and coped with their shared past. Its hard not to feel sympathy for them, especially Lex, who it becomes increasingly clear has not completely left the past behind.
Gone For Good by Joanna Schaffhausen: Twenty years ago, the Lovelorn Killer terrorized Chicago. He killed seven women and then just disappeared. It has been an open case for twenty years, with no new leads or clues to the killer’s identity in all that time. Grace Harper belongs to an online true crime group called the Grave Diggers. She has a theory about the killer and her plan is to go on TV and draw him out. It works a little too well – she is found murdered in the same style as the Lovelorn Killer. What did she know? Detective Annalisa Vega is part of the team assigned to the case. She has a personal connection to it – the last victim twenty years ago was a beloved neighbor and the mother of her high school boyfriend. The search for the truth is going to take Annalisa back to the past, and in ways she never could have expected. This is a great page-turner and Annalisa is a strong character…I hope it will be the start of a series. Once you read it, I suspect you will too!