To me, no picnic would be complete without a book on hand and since paperbacks are bound to fit nicely inside one of those baskets, here is a trio of freshly released fiction reads to slip in beside some well wrapped sandwiches and maybe a plastic container of potato salad:
First up is Milena Busquets' This Too Shall Pass, translated from it's original Spanish edition by Valerie Miles. Our story begins in Barcelona, where Blanca is at a crossroads in her life. Her mother has just passed away and at age 40, she doesn't feel as if there are any new avenues for her to explore.
To revive her spirits, Blanca goes to the coastal town of Cadaques where the house she inherited from her mother awaits. Taking along her two former husbands, their kids and gal pals Sofia and Elisa(plus their respective kin), she plans on having a good time while reconnecting to the world.
This debut novel was a hit in Spain, where the author resides, and should make for a snappy spring and/or summer read over here. With it's mix of pathos, humor and passion, this story has the melodic vibe of a richly lived life, much like a fine wine or a vibrant painting that captures a woman of mature years in all of her glory:
Legendary movie star Jack Montgomery has left his vast fortune to her, which is puzzling since she's never met the man before he passed away. While dealing with Jack's daughters over the will, Cassie learns of a possible affair between her grandmother June and Jack, back in 1955.
When he came to their small town of St Jude to make a film called Erie Canal, June found herself falling in love with him and the feeling was mutual. That romance came with a lot of complications,however, including an unexpected love that went unfulfilled. As Cassie attempts to connect the dots on that past puzzle, her present situation proves to be just as mystifying.
Beverly-Whittemore's prior novel, Bittersweet, was a solidly woven tale that held the smoky atmosphere of an old school drama and it looks as if June will be as eerily engaging as that story was, with it's family secrets and mysterious old house that knows all but tells little:
To round this trio out, we have Susan Meissner's A Bridge Across The Ocean that brings together women from different time periods via the renowned cruise ship The Queen Mary.
When Brett Caslake visits the no longer in use ship with a friend in modern times, she gets flashes of the past, particular certain passengers such as German ballerina Annalise who is running from a terrible marriage in 1946 and Simone, whose entire family was wiped out due to her father being a spy for the French Resistance.
Brett does her best to discover the truth behind the mutual tragedy that bound these women together but in doing so, could have to deal with an ability that she's deliberately ignored for years. This novel will be available by March 14, offering an engaging look at a haunting past as well as insight into the mysterious intrigue of the Queen Mary itself:
As soon as the warm breezes of spring blow in, I hope that gets us all out and about,especially to the bookstore. Although, one thing that any book buyer must try to resist doing on a shopping spree is agonizing over finding that "perfect" copy of the book you want.
While I wouldn't want a book with a torn jacket or bent cover either, you do have to know when to say when or your whole spring time will be spent indoors(then again, is that so bad?):