4 Jan 2015

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My Top Books of 2014 - Adult Fiction


What a great year!  I have read so many great books I thought it would be a good idea to share the books that really stood out for me this year.  I am the type of reader that reads from all reading genres, I thought it would be good to split this into two posts; one concentrating on my favourite adult fiction books and one concentrating on my favourite young adult fiction.  With this post, I am concentrating on the adult fiction books that I have thoroughly enjoyed in 2014 (the young adult post will follow soon). So here we go.....

Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again, you must learn to trust again.

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

 

She has just two weeks. Two weeks to teach him how to fall in love – with his own life.

Adam Basil and Christine Rose are thrown together late one night, when Christine is crossing the Halfpenny Bridge in Dublin. Adam is there, poised, threatening to jump. Adam is desperate – but Christine makes a crazy deal with him. His 35th birthday is looming and she bets him she can show him that life is worth living before then.

Despite her determination, Christine knows what a dangerous promise she’s made. Against the ticking of the clock, the two of them embark on wild escapades, grand romantic gestures and some unlikely late-night outings. Slowly, Christine thinks Adam is starting to fall back in love with his life.

But has she done enough to change his mind for good? And is that all that’s starting to happen?

It is 1910 and Maria, a talented young girl from the East end of London, is employed to work as a seamstress for the royal family. 

As an attractive girl, she soon catches the eye of the Prince of Wales and she in turn is captivated by his glamour and intensity.

But careless talk causes trouble and soon Maria’s life takes a far darker turn. 

Disbelieved and dismissed she is thrown into a mental asylum, shut away from the real world with only her needlework for company.

Can a beautiful quilt, discovered many years later, reveal the truth behind what happened to Maria?




Edward Warren, twenty-four, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: His dad lies comatose, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara.

With her father’s chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. Is he motivated by altruism, or revenge? And to what lengths will his sister go to stop him from making an irrevocable decision?

Lone Wolf explores the notion of family, and the love, protection and strength it’s meant to offer. But what if the hope that should sustain it, is the very thing that pulls it apart? Another tour de force from Jodi Picoult, Lone Wolf examines the wild and lonely terrain upon which love battles reason.

 
Opening on the eve of the First World War, this is a dramatic novel set around the stately home of Cavendon Hall, its owners the aristocratic Ingham family and the Swann family who serves them.

Two entwined families: the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns who serve them. The Earl and Countess have relied on their faithful retainers Alice and Walter Swann as their young family grows up.

One stately home: Cavendon Hall, a grand imposing house nestled in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales

A society beauty: Lady Daphne Ingham is the most beautiful of the Earl’s four daughters. Being presented at Court and making a glittering marriage is her destiny.

But in the summer of 1913, a devastating event changes her future forever, and threatens the Ingham name. Yet life as the families of Cavendon Hall know it – Royal Ascot, supper dances, grouse season feasts and a full servants’ hall – is about to alter beyond recognition as the storm clouds of war gather.
 

The deeper the water, the darker the secrets

There were so many times I thought about telling you the truth, Eva. What stopped me was always the same thing…

When Eva’s husband Jackson tragically drowns, she longs to meet his estranged family. The journey takes her to Jackson’s brother’s doorstep on a remote Tasmanian island. As strange details about her husband’s past begin to emerge, memories of the man she married start slipping through her fingers like sand, as everything she ever knew and loved about him is thrown into question. Now she’s no longer sure whether it was Jackson she fell in love with – or someone else entirely…

The truth is, it was all a lie . . .


 
Disfigured by the blow of an abusive husband, and suffering her entire life with severe social anxiety disorder, the widow Mary McAllister spends almost sixty years secluded in a white marble mansion overlooking the town of Mill River, Vermont.

Her links to the outside world are few: the mail, the media, an elderly priest with a guilty habit of pilfering spoons, and a bedroom window with a view of the town below.

Most longtime residents of Mill River consider the marble house and its occupant peculiar, though insignificant, fixtures. An arsonist, a covetous nurse, and the endearing village idiot are among the few who have ever seen Mary.

Newcomers to Mill River -- a police officer and his daughter and a new fourth grade teacher -- are also curious about the reclusive old woman. But only Father Michael O’Brien knows Mary and the secret she keeps -- one that, once revealed, will change all of their lives forever.
 


There is no story of me without the story of you
 
I want to explain it all to you. How this happened. How that summer – the summer I was 16 – made me the person I am today.

I want to share my memories with you: the happy memories are like sunbursts, sparkling on the sea. 

But then, like a current dragging me under, there's that summer of 1997.

The summer my life exploded.
The summer I had to grow up.
The summer you came into my life.

And so this is the story of you.



 Every bookshop has a story.

We’re not talking about rooms that are just full of books. We’re talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations. Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I’ve-ever-been-to-bookshops.

Meet Sarah and her Book Barge sailing across the sea to France; meet Sebastien, in Mongolia, who sells books to herders of the Altai mountains; meet the bookshop in Canada that’s invented the world’s first antiquarian book vending machine.

And that’s just the beginning.

From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at over three hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole).

The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.


 A hooker. A mistress. A murder. This town was built on sin.
The town of Trinidad, Colorado was a tough place to be a woman in 1913. But it was the best place in the West to find one, if you had the cash.

Honeyville, they used to call it.

A murder throws Inez and Dora together – two women from opposite sides of town, in a town built for men. Against all odds, the well born girl and the high class hooker are drawn together in friendship…

But this is a town that is rotten to the core, and beyond the rustling of silk skirts, the dancing and laughter, deadly unrest is building…

Welcome to Honeyville – a town living by its own rules, where nothing is quite as it seems

A STORY INSPIRED BY A LOST CHAPTER IN AMERICAN HISTORY


 The author of the Sunday Times bestselling Take a Look at Me Now, returns to New York with her most heart-warming, romantic story yet.

Have you ever given up on love?

When her boyfriend lets her down for the last time, Brooklyn bookshop owner Bea James makes a decision – no more. No more men, no more heartbreak, and no more pain.

Psychiatrist Jake Steinmann is making a new start too, leaving his broken marriage behind in San Francisco. From now on there'll just be one love in his life: New York.

At a party where they seem to be the only two singletons, Bea and Jake meet, and decide there’s just one thing for it. They will make a pact: no more relationships.

But the city has other plans . . .
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