Monthly Archives: December 2017

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Daphne Parrish seems to have it all, like a woman in a fancy magazine spread that one could envy and admire at the same time.  Her adoring husband, beautiful home, wealth, status, the charity in honor of her deceased sister, and her darling young daughters help project her accomplished and successful lifestyle.  Amber, on the other hand, works as an assistant at a real estate company, lives paycheck to paycheck, and has no friends or excitement in her life.  She meets Daphne at the gym, “accidentally on purpose,” and infiltrates her life, her family, and her marriage.  Soon enough, Amber is having an affair with Daphne’s husband Jackson, gloating over the attention and gifts he showers upon her.

With a black book cover and the description of psychological thriller, readers must know all is not as it seems.  The twists of this novel are good–a little predictable but satisfyingly so–and then a surprise.  Liv Constantine is the pseudonym for two sisters, Valerie and Lynne,  who wrote this book together with a significant amount of Face Time and email, assigning each other scenes from the master plan they developed to start.   They might write separately but they publish with one voice.  I couldn’t pick up on two authors at all.

I will offer that I enjoy the occasional psychological thriller, but this is not really my go to read.  It is, however, a Reece Witherspoon Book Club pick, and a People Magazine pick:  two recommendations that are usually spot on for this genre.  The violence against Daphne was a little much for me, but I did enjoy this fast-paced read.  I give it two thumbs up if this is your ilk.


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Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornek

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

It is Christmas at Weyfield Hall, the worn country estate of the Birch Family.  Andrew and Emma and their grown children, Olivia and Phoebe, are gathering for some time together over the holiday .  The twist to this time away is that they will be under quarantine.  Olivia is a physician and has just completed a medical goodwill mission in Liberia, tending to patients with a highly contagious virus called Haag.  Though she left healthy, the precaution each doctor takes is to remain secluded for seven days once they are home.  The Birch family is spending those days together.  Emma looks upon the week as a challenge–almost a game–planning meals and books and family game nights.  Anything to distract her from the cancer diagnosis she just received.   Andrew is about to be surprised by the appearance of a son he did not know he had.  Phoebe is absorbed by her fiance and wedding plans, and even Olivia’s mind is elsewhere, longing for the company of one of the physicians she worked with in Liberia.

Seven Days of Us is a well written read, perfect for a weekend, a vacation, or just some down time from all that takes our time and attention this winter.  Chapters alternate between different characters, the plot is interesting and well-paced, and I found I cared about the characters and their outcomes.  The twists and caveats to the week make this an easy novel to dive into and stay with for the duration.  If you like modern novels about family dynamics, give Seven Days of Us a shot.

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