Readers’ Corner, Feb. 2022. Love and Other Afflictions

By Bonnie McCune & Kathleen Duhamel ~

The Nightingale (Kristen Hannah) thrusts French sisters into horrors of WW II. The elder, Vianne, loses her husband to armed conflict, then struggles to care for her son and the farm, while younger, adventurous Isabelle, in love with a freedom fighter, joins the Resistance. Each sister deals with the war’s terrors, leaving the other in ignorance. Vianne adopts a Jewish friend’s young son, then takes on an entire troop of endangered children, though powerless to repel a German soldier. Isabelle spirits Allied soldiers across the Alps, only to endure a concentration camp.  Told in an extended flashback, the gripping narration shows war in its true evil.

See Jane Snap. Married to a handsome, successful surgeon and mother of an adolescent daughter, thirty-nine-year-old Jane Osbourne has a life many would envy. However, Jane’s stable universe crumbles after she discovers her husband has been unfaithful throughout most of their 18-year marriage. When she falls apart (following a nasty orange-throwing incident in a parking lot), Jane is arrested and sentenced to complete a first-offender program. She begins to examine whether her “perfect” life comes at the expense of her own happiness. Author Bethany Crandell deftly weaves humor with serious topics in this engaging story. 

Twenty Years Later. Avery Mason is a rising star in television journalism, hosting a top-rated program based on her investigative skills. When she learns that new DNA technology has resulted in identifying a victim of 9/11, she jumps on the story, which morphs into a murder mystery complete with kinky sex, adultery and betrayal. What Avery hadn’t counted on was keeping her own family’s notorious past secret from network executives and her TV audience. Author Charlie Donlea’s tightly woven plot and clever twists will keep most readers guessing until the last page. 

Author Kathleen Duhamel writes humorous contemporary romance featuring “seasoned” characters. Her newest is Fed Up. Author Bonne McCune’s latest is Never Retreat, a suspenseful romance in Colorado’s wilderness.

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