First up is Reflection by Diane Chamberlain.
Twenty years ago, a terrible tragedy shattered the tranquility of the small Pennsylvania Dutch town of Reflection. The residents of the village have never forgiven the one woman they blamed for what happened - Rachel Huber. She left town immediately after the incident and never again saw or spoke with anyone who lived there. Until now. When Rachel receives the news that her estranged grandmother is ill and needs her care, she returns to Reflection and to the legacy of guilt and recrimination that awaits her there. Rachel is stunned to find herself the object of open hostility, discovering that there are always those who can never forgive or forget. And although the Rachel who has come home is a stronger woman than the one she was before, she will need every friend she can find to protect her from the gossip and anger she still excites. Lily Jackson, a young woman who was personally touched by the tragedy - and one of the few who knows the truth about what happened - perplexes everyone by treating Rachel with kindness and compassion. And Michael Stoltz, the minister of the Mennonite church, is elated at Rachel's return. He and Rachel were close friends as children and later served together in the Peace Corps. Although they, too, had lost touch, now that they have found each other again, their deep and lifelong passion must be hidden from the town. But it is Rachel's grandmother, Helen, who becomes her strongest advocate, surprising the younger woman with her wise counsel and rare strength - and with a wealth of secrets she has long been concealing.
I thought that this book was very enjoyable. So far, I have really liked everything that I have read by Diane Chamberlain and if I can't find a specific book at the library, I just reach for one of hers.
The main character in the book is so likable and you find yourself wanting the town to give her a break. I mean, how can an entire town hate a person?
The characters all have a story, a history, and a purpose. I love that the end was tied up nicely. I love a complete and happy ending and this book had it.
Next up is Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah.
Deep in the Pacific Northwest lies the Olympic National Forest– nearly one million acres of impenetrable darkness and impossible beauty. Even in this modern age, much of it remains undiscovered and uncharted. From the heart of this old forest, a six-year-old girl appears. Speechless and alone, she can give no clue as to her identity, no hint of her past. . . .
Until recently, Dr. Julia Cates was one of the preeminent child psychiatrists in the country, but a scandal shattered her confidence, ruined her career, and made her a media target. When she gets a desperate call from her estranged sister, Ellie, a police chief in their small western Washington hometown, she jumps at the chance to escape.
In Rain Valley, nothing much ever happens–until a girl emerges from the deep woods and walks into town. She is a victim unlike any Julia has ever seen: a child locked in a world of unimaginable fear and isolation.
When word spreads of the “wild child” and the infamous doctor who is treating her, the media descend on Julia and once again her competence is challenged. State and federal authorities want to lock the girl away in an institution until an identification can be made.
But to Julia, who has come to doubt her own ability, nothing is more important than saving the girl she now calls Alice. To heal this child, Julia will have to understand that she cannot work alone and must look to others–the people in the town she left long ago, the sister she barely knows, and Dr. Max Cerrasin, a handsome, private man with secrets of his own.
Then a shocking revelation forces Julia to risk everything to discover the truth about Alice. The ordeal that follows will test the limits of Julia’s faith, forgiveness, and love, as she struggles to ascertain where Alice ultimately belongs.
In her most ambitious novel to date, Kristin Hannah delivers an incandescent story about the resilience of the human spirit, the triumph of hope, and the mysterious places in the heart where love lies waiting.
I really loved every minute of this book. You fall in love with Alice and can't help but want the best for her. the story is told very well and there seemed to be little "fluff". The ending was also great!
Now head over to Blonde, Undercover Blonde to see what everyone is reading and to share what books you read this week!