I have several "Chick Lit" type novels to offer, many of which are not on my bookshelf at the current time. Choose a bundle, and make your best offer re number of points. If I accept, then order the titles to match the number of points you are offering. Probably about 2/1, some 3/1.
BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by SJ Watson
Sleep is about a woman with amnesia, who cannot remember that the man in her house is her husband. She progresses pretty well through the day, but come morning, she is back at square one again. One day she receives a phone call, reminding her she has an appointment with Dr. Nash. The doctor collects her and they spend a great deal of time at his office where he shows her evidence of who she was and fills her in on biographical and medical details. She has episodic amnesia, with hardly any memories of her adult life. Dr. Nash returns her journal to her. She has already printed the words DON’T TRUST BEN at the top – Ben is the man who says he is her husband. She reads her journal every day for more clues to who she is and what happened, and continues to add to it as more clues become available to her. Eventually she remembers the traumatic event that started her struggle with amnesia.
The SWAN THIEVES by Elizabeth Kostova (this is a fat softcover, about the same size as a hardcover)
Elizabeth Kostova has crafted a complicated double plot. The one set in the modern-day is about an artist, Robert Oliver, who tries to attack a painting in the National Gallery of Art and is confined for psychiatric observation under the care of Dr. Andrew Marlow who happens to paint as a hobby. A second plot involves the 1890s artists with whom Oliver becomes obsessed.
The story is relayed to us by chapters seen from the point of view of the various characters: Dr. Marlow, Oliver's divorced wife Kate, Oliver's estranged girlfriend Mary, and the translated letters of the woman artist that Oliver became obsessed with. That artist was Beatrice de Clerval, a very accomplished painter who unfortunately gave up her career after becoming a mother. Oliver's wife need not have worried about this “other woman” – she lived in 1890s France.
But both women who get involved with Oliver feel kind of creepy about his obsession with Ms. Clerval. Oliver gets into these streaks when he stays up late painting sketches and oils of this woman, over and over.
I said that on one level this is a double love story – but on another level this is a detective story, with the aptly named Dr. Marlow hunting down the nature of Oliver's problem, the personal history with Kate and Mary, the identity of his love, where he saw her, who else did he talk to about the characters in that long-ago drama. I am less interested in the first than in the second level.
The Season of Second Chances by Diane Meier
A woman takes a new job with a women’s college in Boston, abandoning her tiny apartment in New York and the prestige of BEING in New York. She winds up buying a real fixer-upper and hiring the highly-recommended and gifted handyman-design consultant to bring the house up to a livable state. The local coyotes take a stab at dating her, with one actually proposing to her just to provide a cover for his other liaisons and a veneer of respectability in hopes of a promotion at the same college she works at. Fortunately she cottons on to the other women in his life and writes him off.
On to the next and more likely prospect: the handyman. Problem: his mother. Handyman lives with mom, who keeps his books and has him at her beck and call. Nevertheless they manage to get a romance going, altho --- oh I can't give away spoilers.
In Her SHOES by Jennifer Weiner
Two sisters couldn’t be more unlike (isn’t that how it always is?). After crash burning her life yet again, would-be actress and singer Maggie lands at attorney Rose’s apartment to live. She disturbs her routine --and helps herself to the shoe collection to die for -- but Rose genuinely tries to help Maggie -- only until Maggie steals her boyfriend – a worthless POS anyway. Maggie is kicked out and proceeds to ingeniously survive on a college campus pretending to be an enrolled student with stolen passes and other paraphernalia. Maggie is actually pretty bright, she just has a reading disability that was never treated.
The VANISHING ACT of ESME LENNOX
A strange novel about a woman who finds out she has a great-aunt Esme, who is being released after more than sixty years in an institution. Iris Lockhart had never heard mention of this person, since her family had buried all traces of her. Iris’ grandmother had even claimed to have been an only child – how cruel is that? Why was Esme hidden away for so many years, and can she ever re-enter life on the outside?
Somebody Else’s Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage
This Elizabeth Brundage novel is a gripping story of how two hippies give up their daughter for adoption and what happens when the supposedly perfect family has lots of secrets to hide.
The mother dies just after passing the baby to the new family, and the father goes off to mourn and clean up his act.
Fifteen years later he returns to the town where his daughter lives as a writing instructor at the prep school. I cannot identify with the la-di-da wealth of the kind of people this story is about, but the plot and the level of writing are several notches above the usual mass-market best-seller.
Nobody is quite what they pretend to be; everyone has secrets. Like where Willa's adoptive parents got their wealth, or why the school director keeps moving around from one school to another, or even the fact that the writing instructor used to be a drug addict and a father before he straightened out his life.
Unraveling those secrets keeps the book interesting through 300-plus pages.
Disturbing currents spoil the beauty of the Berkshires in Massachusetts. Small towns aren't big enough to hide secrets this big.
Run by Ann Patchett
A blinding New England snowstorm throws together two families from opposite ends of the socio-economic scale. One, a widower Doyle Sullivan, and his two boys, Tip and Teddy (one adopted). The other, a black woman raising her best friend’s daughter. The woman pushes the older boy, Tip, out of the way of a car skidding in the snow. She suffers serious injuries while Tip suffers minor injuries to his leg. Tip is released with crutches. The woman, Tennessee, dies later of complications of her injuries. The daughter, Kenya, has meanwhile been put up by the Sullivan family, where she proceeds to charm them all. You will enjoy meeting all these characters.
The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou
The challenges of raising a young African-American male in the USA. The challenges of getting a writing career going. The challenge of marrying an African and moving to the supposedly Dark Continent – and finding a revelation of middle-class and professional black people.
Hot Stuff by Janet Evanovich
Cate’s Irish family is constantly playing matchmaker for her. Their fixups leave a lot to be desired. All she wants is a little peace and quiet, is that too much to ask? Her roommate disappears, but he has arranged for her to take care of a little bundle of joy: a 120-pound bull mastiff named Beast. Where is her roommate, and how is she going to take care of this beast? The dog eats her underwear and her apartment is ransacked. Hey, what’s going on here?
God on a Harley by Joan Brady
A nurse decides to shake up her life. She trades in her current apartment for a smaller one near the ocean. She tosses most of her non-work clothes, only retaining the ones that truly fit and get worn. She starts to take better care of herself, giving herself permission to love herself for herself, and to let go of the uncomfortable past. She is getting these life coaching tips from a mysterious (and gorgeous) stranger on a Harley. He doesn’t dictate, he just makes her think about certain guiding principles and she has to decide how to implement them. The last piece is the one where something is needed to fill the emotional void in her life since splitting with a certain man.
Guy Rules. Takes you through hypothetical situations and asks what is the best option for a real guy to take so no one suspects him of being less than all guy. Lots of laughs in this one.