The First Husband
Travel writer Annie Adams has always wanted a home. On the rebound from a painful breakup from her long-time partner Nick by impulsively marrying Griffin, a chef she met in a California bar. Before she knows it, Annie and Griffin have returned to his hometown in Massachusetts. Insecure in her new life, Annie is dumbstruck when Nick shows up begging for a second chance. Faced with a choice between her past and her present, Annie discovers that life isn’t always simple, “except when it is. That’s the hard part. Knowing exactly when something is as simple as can be.” For Annie, happily ever after just might come down to taking a chance to be her “best self.” The First Husband transcends chick lit. Filled with warmth and humor, it’s a literate, yet compulsively readable, look at what it means to accept love where you find it.
A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
The sub-title says it all: this truly is an inspirational WWII story of survival, resilience, and redemption. Laura Hillenbrand, best-selling author of Seabiscuit, shares the story of another world-class athlete, Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, whose survival of the hardships and indignities of the war was nothing short of miraculous. A budding delinquent growing up in Torrance, California, Zamperini’s path changed when he discovered a record-breaking talent for running that took him all the way to the 1936 Berlin Olympics and to the threshold of the four-minute mile.
He was already a hero to many when war interrupted his training and he became an Army airman in the Pacific. When his bomber crashed, he and his pilot unbelievably survived. They floated for thousands of miles and for weeks and weeks on a tiny, inadequately supplied raft, battling ever-present sharks and surviving by virtue of their wits, ingenuity and large doses of luck. Rescued by the crew of a Japanese ship, they were promptly imprisoned in Japan’s appalling POW camps. For the duration of the war, Zamperini endured a harrowing incarceration that was characterized by torture, sadism, virtual enslavement, near-starvation, life-threatening diseases, and the vindictiveness of a psychopathic corporal who was “the man who would dedicate himself to shattering” Louie. It is hard to believe that anyone could survive such an ordeal. Yet, time and time again, he cheated death, and was able to return home to a hero’s welcome.
My admiration for Zamperini and his fellow POWS is boundless. They are true heroes, whose very survival depended on their remarkable ability to maintain a semblance of basic human dignity against all odds while experiencing the most shockingly inhumane conditions imaginable. Hillenbrand’s powerful and unforgettable chronicle of one man’s amazing wartime journey is certain to become an enduring classic.
J’Adore New York
A Novel of Haute Couture and the Corner Office
And now for something completely different. Catherine Lambert is a lawyer who has transferred from the Paris office of a prestigious international law firm to its New York headquarters. Instantly sucked into the world of billable hours, an unremitting workload, and back-stabbing office politics. Yet, Catherine maintains her enthusiasm for all that Manhattan has to offer: sample sales (Dior!); Carnegie Hall; Wynton Marasalis; Town Car service; charity benefits; and potent cocktails. Her somewhat unprofessional romantic involvement (weekend in the Hamptons!) with a hot client sours when he makes an unethical request. In the end, Catherine has reason to adore New York as it leads her to romantic and professional fulfillment from unexpected sources. Author LaFleche’s experiences as a corporate attorney stand her in good stead — her descriptions of law firm life and the rat race to partner are particularly compelling and convincing. Catherine is a bit of a twit, but, hey — this is seriously escapist fare.
These books are all available on amazon.com.