It’s been a stressful few months and I could not keep up with my book reviews. Normally, I dedicate an entire post to each book, but that isn’t possible right now. Instead, I’ve grabbed the highlights and shared what made these books a good read. Book reviews will resume after my cross-country move.

Let’s get caught up!

First up is “The Infinity Pool,” by Jessica Norrie.

The reader finds themselves on an island somewhere in the Mediterranean on one of those self-help holiday package deals that offers yoga and other activities at the aptly named Serendipity Resort. This is a place to find your inner Zen, mingle with the locals, and even confront a few of your own personal challenges. Be prepared for a book filled with interesting characters. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.

The camp leader is Adrian, a middle-aged ladies’ man, whose gift is helping other people restore and re-energize. Because of this, he is popular with the female guests, many who come back year after year to take his courses. Interestingly, through much of the book he is absent, so the reader learns about him through the other character’s observations.

By the time Adrian re-emerges, he is physically and emotionally changed and nothing like the man he once was. The contrast between the old and new Adrian and the personal reactions from the other guests are a true study in human nature.

Norrie skillfully weaves a psychological mystery filled with self-absorbed characters and situations. I highly recommend this one as it kept me reading long into the night. These characters have great depth!

The next book is “Bowled, but Not Out, An Entertaining Family Drama,” by Ruchira Khanna. I received this book as a gift from the author.

I enjoy reading books about other cultures, and the author’s witty reference to Cricket in the title also caught my attention. Not only is the author Indian, but she is also English, giving the book an exotic flair. To be fair, I had to look up some Cricket references, but that only made my understanding of the characters more enjoyable.

Meet Saru, a young woman encouraged by her father’s example to compare her life challenges to the game of cricket. When Saru meets Sumeet, she instantly falls in love with him. In a few months, the two are married and Saru moves to her husband’s home where his mother also lives. And that is where life gets interesting.

Saru’s mother-in-law controls all of her son’s decisions. Sumeet is a momma’s boy, refusing to cross his mother’s wishes even if it causes pain to his wife. The mother-in-law makes Saru’s life unbearable. After the birth of their daughter, Saru makes the tough decision to take her child, Simrn, and leave her husband.

The cultural ramifications of this decision also affect Saru’s family. In defiance of tradition, Saru’s parents wholeheartedly support her decision to leave, even when she moves to New York to create a better life for her daughter.

Saru is a strong and independent woman. Everything she sets out to do, she accomplishes. The story comes full circle, when her daughter, Simrn, gets married. Will her father show up to the wedding?

This was a fascinating glimpse into the family dynamics of Indian culture and to what extent the family unit plays in shaping personality and life choices. This book was a cultural delight that will have you cheering for all the strong women in your life. A must read!

The light romance called “Maggie’s Way (Montana Bound Series Book 1),” by Linda Bradley, is next.

Maggie Abernathy has her Michigan summer all planned out. After a bout with breast cancer, all she wants to do is to recuperate and rejuvenate. Her life as a second-grade teacher was especially difficult this year. To add to Maggie’s problems, she is also learning to navigate life alone after her recent divorce.

When seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John, Maggie’s dull life takes an unexpected turn for the better.

I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. The story was predictable, but somehow, comforting. The romance that buds between John and Maggie is even more sweet because of Chloe.

Chloe’s character clearly steals the show. The child possesses a certain wisdom that women much older than her often wish for. The only child in what had to be a difficult home, Chloe steals Maggie’s heart.

Written in the first-person, I immediately connected with Maggie’s character. There is a lot going on, and Maggie discovers she must learn to overcome some of her own issues before she can truly find herself. So true to life!

The only downside was that the book ends on a cliff-hanger, and you have to purchase the next book to continue her story. I understand it’s a series, but the author hints at a happy ending for Maggie and John. As is true in most romantic fiction there are always some difficulties in a relationship. It would have been nicer for this book to end on a high note. Still, I would recommend this book because of the interesting characters. I’m debating on whether to go further in the series.

That’s all for now.

Read a book and remember to leave a review. Authors always appreciate reviews!