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Book Review: Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau is a coming of age novel taking place in Baltimore, Maryland. During the 1970's, fourteen year old Mary Jane is caught in the middle of her family's conservative ideals and the progressive ideals of the Cone family where she is a summer nanny. Mary Jane is a sheltered teen who enjoys cooking with her mother, listening to Broadway Show Tunes, and singing in the church choir. On the first day of work, she is shocked at the mess in the Cone's home and introduces them to home cooked meals and keeping the house clean. In return, Mary Jane gets a front row seat to sex, drugs, and rock & roll. This novel was the selected for the book club I belong to. Again, this is a novel that I likely wouldn't have chosen to read on my own, but I was glad I did. Mary Jane is the first novel I've read by Jessica Anya Blau, and I was impressed with her storytelling.  Touching on race, class, and stereotypes, along with drugs and infidelity, it reminded

Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

book review The Guest List Lucy Foley

The Guest List by Lucy Foley is about Jules, a magazine publisher, and Will, a reality television show, getting married on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. As the festivities begin, old resentments bubble to the surface, and relationships begin to become strained. On top of that, when a dead body is found, people start to have a melt down.

Told from different characters perspectives, The Guest List had a modern day feel of an Agatha Christie book, and it kept you on your toes the entire novel. Early on, I suspected one particular character of being the murderer, and I was ecstatic that I was correct in my guess. As I got closer to the end of the book, I started second guessing myself, so the author did a great job in that department. Don't worry. I'm not going to reveal who the killer was.

I also love the fact that the story wasn't told in a linear fashion . . . it would flip from the present to a few hours before back to the present time. It was done very nicely. Don't worry, it wasn't very confusing. At least not until you get to the end of the book, and then, it's only a little confusing.

Most of the characters were very likeable, and the one that I didn't really care for throughout the book ended up redeeming himself a little bit because you could understand why he was the way he was. With that being said, one of the likeable characters ended up being a total jerk by the end of The Guest List.

I gave The Guest List by Lucy Foley five out of five stars, and I can't wait to read some of the other novels written by this author. If you enjoyed this book, I recommend Evil Under The Sun (Hercule Poirot, #24) by Agatha Christie.

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