I set a goal to read 60 books this year. So I challenged myself to read 5 books a month to achieve that goal.

One month in and I'm 3 books behind.  Sounds about right!

Anyway, I thought I would share what I did manage to read last month. 

I read my first Dorothea Benton Frank novel last year (The Last Original Wife). The first chapter of The Hurricane Sisters was included in the back. I immediately fell in love with Maisie, the grandmother. So I downloaded this book and got to reading. 

Goodreads Synopsis:  Filled with her trademark wit, sassy, heartwarming characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry, The Hurricane Sisters is New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's enchanting tale of the ties and lies between generations.

Beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank once again takes us deep in the heart of the magical Lowcountry--a sultry land of ancient magic, glorious sunsets, and soothing coastal breezes, where three generations of strong women wrestle with the expectations of family while struggling to understand their complicated relationships with each other.

Best friends since the first day of classes at The College of Charleston, Ashley Anne Waters and Mary Beth Smythe, now 23 years old, live in Ashley's parents' beach house rent-free. Ashley is a gallery assistant who aspires to become an artist. Mary Beth, a gifted cook from Tennessee, works for a caterer while searching for a good teaching job. Though they both know what they want out of life, their parents barely support their dreams and worry for their precarious finances.

While they don't make much money, the girls do have a million-dollar view that comes with living in that fabulous house on Sullivans Island. Sipping wine on the porch and watching a blood-red sunset, Ashley and Mary Beth hit on a brilliant and lucrative idea. With a new coat of paint, the first floor would be a perfect place for soirees for paying guests. Knowing her parents would be horrified at the idea of common strangers trampling through their home, Ashley won't tell them. Besides, Clayton and Liz Waters have enough problems of their own.

A successful investment banker, Clayton is too often found in his pied-a-terre in Manhattan--which Liz is sure he uses to have an affair. And when will Ashley and her brother, Ivy, a gay man with a very wealthy and very Asian life partner--ever grow up? Then there is Maisie, Liz's mother, the family matriarch who has just turned eighty, who never lets Liz forget that she's not her perfect dead sister, Juliet.

For these Lowcountry women, an emotional hurricane is about to blow through their lives, wreaking havoc that will test them in unexpected ways, ultimately transforming the bonds they share.

My Thoughts:  Super cute. There is a lot going on in this book, but it seems to work. I love the varying perspectives. I enjoyed this a lot more than The Original Wife (though, that was a good read as well). I did feel like the ending was a little "staged", which is a pet peeve of mine. 

Next up, The Thorn by Beverly Lewis.

Goodreads Synopsis:  Lancaster County, with its rolling meadows and secret byways, may seem idyllic, but it is not without its thorns. THE ROSE TRILOGY is the stirring saga of two Amish sisters on the fringes of the church, and the unforeseen discoveries that change their lives. 

Rose Kauffman, a spirited young woman, has a close friendship with the bishop's foster son. Nick dresses Plain and works hard but stirs up plenty of trouble too. Rose's sister cautions her against becoming too involved, but Rose is being courted by a good, Amish fellow, so dismisses the warnings. Meanwhile, Rose keeps house for an English widower but is startled when he forbids her to ever go upstairs. What is the man hiding? 

Rose's older sister, Hen, knows more than she should about falling for the wrong man. Unable to abandon her Amish ways, Hen is soon separated from her very modern husband. Mattie, their young daughter, must visit her father regularly, but Hen demands she wear Amish attire--and speak Pennsylvania Dutch, despite her husband's wishes. Will Hen be able to reestablish her place among the People she abandoned? And will she be able to convince Rose to steer clear of rogue neighbor Nick?

My Thoughts: So this is the first Amish book I've ever read. It's a lot different than what I normally read, but not in a bad way. I thought it was a good read, maybe a little dragging at points. I'm tempted to say that not much happened in this book, but I am actually going to read the rest of the trilogy to see what happens with the characters...so maybe just enough happens to keep me interested.

I have several other books I've started. I've gotten really bad about that. I seriously have about 6 books I'm reading right now. I need to focus on each of them individually so that maybe I can finish them!

What are y'all reading?

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