Back in April (yes - that is how far behind I am in reviews) I participated in a read-a-Thon and ended up reading the following books. Since my goal was to read as much as I could, these reviews will be shorter than normal.
Harry Lipkin Private Eye - by Barry Fantoni
ARC from Doubleday
I loved the quirkiness of Harry, especially the internal dialogue he has with himself. This book is a good portrait of octogenarian life in Southern Florida. Harry felt like a Columbo type old school sleuth with connections all around town. I loved the chapter titles as they read more like news headlines. This book is a great read with a loveable character that will feel like your own grandfather.
Next To Love - by Ellen Feldman
Secret Read From Random House
Set during WWII, this book follows 3 wives of army recruits as they deal with the up and downs of being separated. As the book progresses, the reader gets to see how these families deal and adapt to post war life. This book is a good portrait of small town life. I thought the love story between Babe and Claude is sweet. I found it interesting to see how some wives moved on while other's felt they needed to remain a widow. I preferred the writing style of the first part of the book, which told the story through all characters. The rest of the book switched styles and each character moved through the years one by one. I felt that the second style was harder on the reader because plot points would be given away before you reach that character's story.
Before Ever After - by Samantha Sotto
The blurb on the book flap really lead me to assume this book would go in a different direction than it did. There is a touching love story at the core of this book, but I had a hard time getting past the immortality aspect. I did enjoy the historical look at places across Europe. I didn't like how the breaks within the chapters identified each place and period. At times these headings were more annoying than helpful. Sotto has a descriptive voice but I felt her overall premise kinda fell flat.