All posts tagged: St. Martin’s Press

I mean….yeah

Quick summary: This book was stupid. Longer thoughts: It starts with a rape and ends with the author pretending it wasn’t. The interaction begins with Henry following a very intoxicated Tess up the stairs under the pretense of helping her because she is wobbly and drunk. Once upstairs, he kisses her. She says “I can’t. I’m engaged.” And then she “gives in.” Cut to baby and a complete denial of what this encounter was. I really found it odd that Chamberlain made no real effort to address the four letter word in the room. Moreover, she wants us to root for this dude later on. If she meant it to be a wild night where both parties got carried away, perhaps she should have tried a little harder and dedicated more than a paragraph on how these characters ended up in bed. She lost me after that. It only went downhill from there with extremely one-demential characters that basically existed to tell Tess that there is “more than meets the eye.” Ooooo. In order to …

All of the Things…

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain definitely had all of the components of a beach read. There was death and loss, marriages, childhood friendships, engagements, broken engagements, an epidemic, an unplanned pregnancy, a world war, family feuds, long lost loves, issues of racism, sexism, classism, sexual assault, family secrets, gas rationing fraud, a car accident and more death, some mysticism and spirituality thrown in. This book had all of the things. And honestly it left me a little dizzy. The protagonist Tess DeMello was born and raised a good Catholic girl from Baltimore. She was engaged to be married to her childhood sweetheart when one “mistake” changes everything. Although what the book blurb describes as a mistake I’d describe as sexual assault. I don’t consider this a spoiler since it happens within the first 30 pages of the book… Tess gets uncharacteristically drunk during a night out with her best friend Gina. They meet two strangers and join them for drinks under Gina’s encouragement. Tess and one of the men, Henry, exchange almost no words during …

High Drama, Low Believability

Our theme for August is “Beach Read,” and while The Stolen Marriage may not be a typical beach read, it certainly ticks the “Beach Read” boxes of being quick, and with quite a high mix of drama. Chamberlain certainly didn’t hold back in terms of the dramatic themes in The Stolen Marriage. Discussing the book with the other “Katherines,” I kept finding myself sliding into a Stefon-like description (“This book has everything – the polio epidemic, death, World War II, abandonment, abortion, adultery…” and I’ll stop there even though I could easily tick off 10-15 more things, but there would be major spoilers). In many ways, it felt like every chapter was also the introduction of another new element (SPOILER ALERT: “…mediums, secret relationships, arson…”). And while that kind of drama can certainly be entertaining and engrossing, it can also be incredibly overwhelming and unbelievable. For all of these terrible things to happen to one person in the span of a year!? Well, the book might as well have been about 2020. It was also …

August Book

At The Bookly Club we pick a book for August that fits in your beach bag. Not literally (although if a book doesn’t fit in your beach bag you’re doing it wrong), but it should be a book you’d want with you on a day at the beach. Granted, this year’s a little bit different. A lot-a-bit different actually. Beach-going and summer vacations aren’t the care-free relaxing endeavors they once were. In fact, if you’re like us, they aren’t happening at all. Or if we do, our beach bags are over-stuffed with PPE and hand sanitizers, and maybe a book. But no matter where we’re reading from this summer, we’re still in the mood for a “beach read.” Something that moves fast, isn’t too long, with maybe a touch of romance, likeable characters, and light on the gravitas. And Diane Chamberlain’s The Stolen Marriage fits that bill for us! A lifelong book lover, and author since the late 1980’s, Chamberlain has authored dozens of novels. And The Stolen Marriage is one of her more recent books; …

February Book

Image © Haiku Deck We’ve come full circle! This is our last book of 2015/2016 before we start anew in March. If you’ve been with us since the beginning you’ll recall that we first launched Bookly in March 2015 with Still Alice as part of our Screenplay theme in honor of Hollywood’s awards season. For February, the month of Valentine’s Day, we’ll be reading a love story… … Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Although many are now familiar with Rowell’s name, and her books (Fangirl, Attachments and Landline), this was her first young adult novel. Published in 2013, Eleanor & Park follows these two protagonists from Omaha, Nebraska as they fall in love in the late 1980’s. At the young, innocent age of sixteen Eleanor and Park build a connection over mix tapes and comic books, and find themselves in the dramatic world of young love. And since this book has such a strong emphasis on music we’ve brought back our Bookly playlist this month. So during your reading sessions, take a listen to the Bookly {February} “mix tape” on Spotify: …