Summer Reading: 2 Beach Reads for the Weekend

Summer Reading: 2 Beach Reads for the Weekend

Looking for some fresh summer reading for the beach bag—or the beach Kindle?

I've got 2 great suggestions for your summer reading pile—one, a book about a marriage that may come undone when a child unexpectedly enters the picture, and another about a marriage that may come undone when a child finally enters the picture. Both about relationships, both about infertility issues, both about dalliances, both very different.

First up—Finding Bliss (July 16), by One Pink Line author Dina Silver. A book about a marriage yes, but also a perfect summer dose of chick lit romance, featuring a battle between the bad boy who pulls off a respectable good guy persona, and the good guy who is too good to be true.

Full disclosure, here. Since Silver's first book, I've become quite friendly with the North Shore Chicago denizen. She's whipsmart funny, we share the same sometimes dark sense of humor, she likes cats and is just an all-around fun person. And I was honored to be one of her beta readers for Finding Bliss, her third novel. So it would be hard for me to be overly critical of her work. Thankfully, I don't have to.

Chloe Carlyle is Silver's heroine this time around—a young woman brought up by an alcoholic mother, trying to make the most of her life and irritated with herself that a crush on a football studmuffin has gotten in the way.  Chloe has to navigate disapproving parents, a pervasive martyr complex, law school, the pitfalls of wanting a baby and not being able to make one, and trying to remain friends with the guy she should really be with. With locales set on Chicago's North Shore and Lake Geneva, it's great summer reading—the perfect soccer practice/Little League baseball game going into 4th hour/afternoon at the pool kind of book.

Here's the question that'll stick with you when you close the page on this book: How long do you give yourself trying to make the wrong thing right, because you just don't want to give up on something?

Next comes Everybody Has Everything, by Katrina Onstad. Just released in paperback, this Canadian author's work received wide praise when released in hardcover last year. If you like your summer reading a tad darker, this is the way to go.

Onstad does a great job in executing this tale about a couple in the last throes of infertility and decision-making about foreign adoption when they suddenly find themselves the pseudo parents of a 2-year-old whose parents have been in a car crash. With one parent dead and another clinging to life, James and Ana are now in charge of little Finn. The sudden introduction of a child forces both of them to rethink what they really want out of life. Surrounding that major life change is James' brooding over a lost job and bruised ego and Ana's career and the challenges she faces caring for an Alzheimer's-ridden mother that had trouble caring for her as a child. If there ever was a way to really test your parenting mettle before you really become one, this is it.

And here's the lasting question for this book: If you had the chance to test what you thought you wanted, would you? And could you walk away if you discovered the answer to that question is different than you originally thought?


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