Hi readers!  SO many great reads this month.  I’m checking in with two, a thriller and a romance with additional bonus recs at the bottom.  Let me know your thoughts!

Book 1:
The Soulmate

By: Sally Hepworth

Imagine if a perfectly charming and spacious home became available for you and your family.  You’d take it, right?  What about if it was in view of cliffs overlooking the ocean and you could fall asleep to hearing waves crash?  Still yes, right?  But what if it was also known as a popular suicide spot where multiple people had jumped to their deaths in the past?  Yes… No?  I mean, you could put up a fence and signs.  You could block it off and move on with your day.  Plus, if anyone did show up, your husband’s a smart talker, and he could talk them right away from the ledge – perfect!   Whether you said a lot of YES, a NO WAY, or you’re still considering – grab this book.  

You just read the setting of The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth.  Now throw in two seemingly perfect couples with strong female characters and a story told from their point of view.   Both wives believe they hit the jackpot with their husbands – one: hardworking and focused, the other: a stay-at-home dad with his arms full of two gorgeous children.  Each short chapter goes back and forth between their stories, but also from past to present.  Explaining it to you makes it sound more confusing than it actually is – I’m not sure how the author was able to organize the story this way, but it actually works. 

The thing about this book is you get so sucked in because you’ll come to love certain characters and hate a few others.  Hepworth touches on suicide (but doesn’t go too deep into details) and mental health.  She circles through family roles and what it means to find the love of your life – as well as what you’ll do for them.  The idea of a soulmate can be blinding, and you wonder. 

Sally Hepworth’s books are an automatic purchase for me.   I loved her The Younger Wife and The Good Sister.   She has a fun online Instagram presence from Down Under and when I saw she had a new one coming out, I grabbed it as fast as I could.  Also, see the cover – yes, judge this book by its cover – it’s so pretty!

Book 2:
Romantic Comedy

By: Curtis Sittenfeld

I received an Advanced Copy for this one from a friend who was absolutely obsessed.     Romantic Comedy is perfect for the reader who loves Saturday Night Live and is holding out hope for a once-in-a-lifetime regular gal & celebrity get-together.  It’s a win-win trope for me. 

The main character, Sally, is a writer for a late-night comedy show.  She’s seen her share of relationships come from the stage, but mostly regular dudes with superstar, beautiful women.   In fact, she’s seen it so many times that she uses it as the foundation of her newest sketch that’s pulled for the upcoming show.   The beginning of the novel takes you through what it’s like to be on the tight schedule of a show like SNL, with chapters broken up by days and times.  We run into drama with all of the writers, the guests, the friends of – and Sally right in the middle of it, trying to figure out herself, her life, and her roster of past hookups.   Never did she imagine that “regular girl” Sally would become enamored with the newest host, Noah- a pop star- who’d return the feelings.  The second half of the book has you rooting for Sally and wondering if it could ever happen to yourself; dreams do come true, right?  The author does a good job of modernizing this romance, including how the romance builds up through the pandemic (don’t worry, it doesn’t take over the book and isn’t a main part of the story).  

I’m not the biggest romance reader, but I was a fan of this one – I recommend it!

Lots of bonus books this month. I must have had a lot of extra time!  I recommend all of these for different reasons:   

  • If you’d like a book that pulls at your heartstrings about a mom that struggles with alcohol, addiction and what’s best for her child, see Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding
  • Wonder what it’s like to be a struggling writer in Hollywood that’s swept off your feet by a super-rich executive producer, embroiled in scandal and 3 ex-wives? Grab Advika and the Hollywood Wives by Kirthana Ramisetti
  • If you just finished reading about the Murdoch family + want a creepy Netflix crime documentary-type thriller, read What Lies in the Woods, By: Kate Alice Marshall
  • If you’re looking for a semi-predictable, but fully addicting supermarket thriller, grab The Housemaid, By: Freida McFadden
  • Lastly, if you’re looking for Yellow-Jackets vibes on the shores of the Outer Banks while at a reunion with your high school friends, grab the Only Survivors by Megan Miranda.

If you got this far, thank you!  Let us know what you think via the comments on @caughtinsouthie or catch me at @glossinbossin / @josiegl on Instagram.

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