New York, Actually – By SARAH MORGAN

Book Review

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Author: Sarah Morgan is the no.1 bestselling author with sales of over 15 million, her other novels based on the Big Apple  are Sleepless in Manhattan, Sunset in Central Park & Miracle on 5th Avenue.

 ‘Morgan is a magician with words’ – RT Book Reviews  

New York, Actually (HarperCollinsPublishers): Book Review

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This novel is on Molly, Dr. Kathleen Molly Parker, a relationship psychologist — her bog, Ask a Girl, has a large volume of traffic; and her books had hit the bestseller lists in both the US and the UK all under her pseudonym Aggie – which meant she had both anonymity and financial security enabling her to live comfortably in New York City.

On her early morning run with her dog, a Dalmatian—Valentine who has a heart shaped nose, in Central Park she comes across Daniel Knight, with his dog, a German shepherd—Brutus who is as strong and athletic as his owner; but something about the way he moved told her that when this man wasn’t pounding the paths, he dressed in a suit and was commander in chief of whichever empire he presided over.

Mr. Daniel Knight is the best divorce lawyer in Manhattan, who gets smitten by Molly during his early morning run – it wasn’t just her hair that caught his attention or those incredible legs, it was the air of confidence …

This is an unusual contemporary love-story, Molly and Daniel are characters with contrasting professional interest and that’s the incompatible point between these two’s outlook towards relationship, at first; otherwise they both personally view romantic relationships as a short-term association and this assertiveness brings them both together, at first.

Through this story, the author also remarkably expresses about the consequence of conflict in a relationship. (pp. 222, 223 & 224)

The city of Manhattan is the backdrop of this love-story; it particularly describes the Central Park and a bit of the city’s landscape in a vibrant manner.

 

The plot of the story fascinates  the reader to finish reading the story as rapidly as possible as it leisurely discloses layers and layers of mysteries, and the prose which consistently comprises of witty conversations between the different characters of the story has the reader thrilled – which certainly articulates  about the charismatic writing skill of the author—Sarah Morgan.



Amazon link: New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan


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BETWEEN the SHEETS – By Molly O’Keefe

Book Review

This novel is like watching (or the better word is IMAGINING) an X-rated Hollywood movie with a superb storyline. The book cover does suggest an erotic allure and it does contain a fair amount of the same, which seems not as much of tender and with a trace of sexual violence between the story’s main characters Shelby and Ty, because through this literature the writer essentially tries to mention how supressed negative emotions sprung reflexively during the very intimate moments.

Furthermore, this story talks of — the illness of Alzheimer, the excess care and support needed by its affected; how brutal childhood has a negative imprint on adult personality.

 

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Shelby Monroe, an art teacher, is a part-time employee at Bishop Elementary school; who’d been in cold, slightly awkward affairs with men she wanted very little from, men there was never any fear would try to get more from her — meets Wyatt Svenson, his nickname Ty, a man with a tall and wide physique and a charming personality; through Casey – a eleven-year old, tall and gangly boy, Ty’s child from a former girlfriend …

There are many other characters in this story which gives the story a nice strength, by the end of this very beautifully story all the broken pieces of Shelby’s and Ty’s core personality is merged together because of their faith in each other and their willingness to try to chance the bad situation in order to move ahead in life.

 

The very lengthy erotic passages has some monotonous moments – otherwise from this, the narration captures the complexity of human emotions to the very core in a brilliant writing by Molly O’Keefe.

 

Few excerpts from this novel:

“Hey, Ms. Monroe,” Casey whispered, but before Shelby could say anything, Mom leaned over and shushed him.

Shelby gave him a wink and then tried very hard to pay attention to the church service.

………

“Tic-tac-toe?” he whispered. “Am I six?”

A laugh bubbled out of her and now her own mom was giving her the death stare. She composed herself and drew a hangman and the spaces for a ten-letter word.

“Hangman,” he whispered. “I like it.”

She pointed to a blank spot where he could write down his guesses and handed him the stubby pencil. Over the top of Casey’s bright head, Wyatt was watching her, and despite her years of experience ignoring things, she could ignore him for only so long. Almost as if her eyes were magnetized and he was true north, she could not help but look at him.  (pp.118 -119)

 

“Mom, we need to talk.”

“About the factory? Because I know our numbers are down, but I‘ve made some changes to the—”

“It’s not about the factory.”

“I can’t lay anyone else off. We’re running on a skeleton crew.”

“Mom. We’re going to have to bring someone into our house. A nurse. To care for you.”

 Mom was silent, and the tall weeds growing through the cracks in the asphalt and between the stones of the drive were laid nearly flat by the wind. Sturdy weeds levelled. (pp. 256 -257)

 

“We’ll go slow,” he told her. “For both of us.”

“Slow? We haven’t done anything slow.”

“We’ll start with dinner. Sunday night, my house. I’ll cook.”

“You can cook?”

“See all the things we don’t know about each other?”

She smiled at his joke and he felt the engine of his heart kick over. This was happening. It was really happening.

“What about Casey?”

“My son and I have kept enough secrets from each other, Shelby. If you and I are a thing, he’s got to know about it. If we’re in, we’re all in.”

She let go of the box only to cup his face in her hands. She pressed her lips on his, softly. Sweetly. She tasted of coffee and toothpaste, and if faith had a flavour, it was there too. (pp. 298 – 299)

Author: Molly O’Keefe is also the author of several other novels – Wild Child, Crazy Thing Called Love, Can’t Buy Me Love, and Can’t Hurry Love.

Amazon link: Between the Sheets (The Boys of Bishop)

How to Be Cool in the Third Grade: By BETSY DUFFEY

Book Review

Amazon link: How to Be Cool in the Third Grade – By BETSY DUFFEY

“Babies can’t talk like you and me,” she continued. “They can’t say ‘I’m hungry,’ or ‘I’m wet’, or ‘I’m tired.’ But they sure can let you know when they want something.”

How simple it seemed, Robbie thought, looking down at Tobey:

Waaa! And you got whatever you want. He wished it was that simple when you grew up.

Waaa! New jeans would appear.

Waaa! People would stop calling you names.

Waaa! Your mother would stop kissing you at the bus stop. (p. 47)

 — An excerpt from the book, ‘How to Be Cool in the Third Grade’- By BETSY DUFFEY

 

How to Be Cool in the Third Grade: Published in 1993

A story about a timid boy named ‘Robert Hayes York’; who dislikes his baby name Robbie, hates his school clothes which his parents chooses for him to wear—tan and stiff shorts, white socks and shirt with collars, despises his mom’s kisses at the bus stop—to cause a spot of the bright red lipstick on his cheek —  at the start of the academic year into the third grade Robbie writes down  a set of necessary rules which, according to him, will help him become cool—and how a bully boy ‘Bo’ at school changes Robbie’s attitude for better, as well as Robbie’s niceness changes Bo’s rudeness towards him …

The title of the book admiringly suggest that this book is specifically meant for third graders i.e. children of 7 to 8 years; however this nice, humorous, short, fiction story is a suitable read for children between the age-group of 8 to 10 years too; at a leisurely pace a child may take a week’s time to finish reading this book.

Author: Betsy Duffey is the author of numerous books for young readers; her books have been Junior Library Guild selections, Crown Award nominees, and have been Parent’s Choice and Children’s Choice selections. Her books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Dutch and Danish, and included in numerous book clubs.

Illustrated by Janet Wilson


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