By Patrice Riordan McCannby McCann

Here we are in mid-July already!  Summer always goes so fast. This week, I have a few sagas to recommend. These reads won’t go fast, but they are worth the time!


“Hello Beautiful” by Ann Napolitano

I enjoyed this lengthy (390 pages) and detailed story about families. It’s about love, dysfunction, forgiveness and so much more. William grows up in a home without love. He discovers basketball which then leads him to Chicago and the boisterous Padavano family. William and Julia fall in love, and William is embraced by her parents and three younger sisters. William, however, cannot shake the unhappiness from his childhood and this leads to an enormous family rift. Good people can be so stubborn. The middle part of the book was a wee bit too long – that’s the only reason this wasn’t five stars. The ending brought me to tears. Truly gorgeous writing! Highly recommend!


“The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot” by Marianne Cronin

What a beautiful novel! Lenni is a terminally ill teenager who is hospitalized. She spends her days pondering life’s questions. She is keenly aware that she won’t get to answer these questions as her time is dwindling. Margot is an octogenarian who is also nearing the end of her life. These two strike up an unlikely friendship in the art room at their hospital. They realize that together they’ve lived 100 years. I enjoyed this book so much although it does meander at times. It made me laugh and, oh boy, did it make me cry! Wonderfully written. I’ll miss these two feisty characters!


“Count the Ways” by Joyce Maynard

This is also a long novel; it is 464 pages. We meet children’s book author Eleanor in 1969. She quickly falls in love with Cam, a hippie woodworker. They make their home in New Hampshire on a farm that Eleanor purchased. They have three children including a red-headed son. I do have a soft spot for red-headed sons! Life journeys on. Eleanor pays the bills, while Cam makes bowls. Eleanor tends to their children, while Cam practices art. We read about the Challenger disaster as well as Princess Diana and AIDS. There is a tragic accident, and there is infidelity. I loved this sweeping novel that delves into the highs and lows of motherhood. This was a deep novel about love and regret. Thumbs up!

Happy Reading! Don’t forget the sunscreen!


Rockaway Stuff

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