Book of the Month: A Great Reckoning

Our September Book of the Month is Louise Penny’s highly-anticipated murder mystery, A Great Reckoning. For this, the twelfth novel in her acclaimed Chief Inspector Gamache series, Penny returns to the Québécois village of Three Pines, where the discovery of a peculiar old map the walls of a quaint bistro leads Gamache on a thrilling pursuit filled with danger, intrigue, humanity, and hope.


“There is something rotten at the Sûreté academy, and the now-retired Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has been brought in to clean it up. In the meantime, a strange map has been found in Three Pines. Old friends, new characters, murder, and history combine in another irresistible tale from Penny, whose writing is always compassionate, funny, and literate. This latest in the series is not to be missed.”
—Kathy Magruder, Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola, IA


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Listen to a preview of A Great Reckoning


Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss A Great Reckoning. Use the hashtag #agreatreckoning and find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


Watch Louise Penny discuss A Great Reckoning on PBS


Find culinary recipes inspired by the Chief Inspector Gamache series.

Book of the Month: Interpreter of Maladies

One of the things I (and just about everyone I know) love about podcasts is that they are easily digestible. They contain stories, opinion, and news that are gulped down and understood in usually less than an hour. It’s the same reason why books of short stories make excellent audiobooks. It’s a joy to meet characters, watch them grow, and say goodbye to them in the time it takes to commute to work or clean the kitchen.

When deciding to pick a book of short stories for our February Book of the Month, we turned to a modern classic: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Lahiri writes both tenderly and fiercely of family, marriage, society, and the immigrant experience. It is no wonder that her debut collection received a Pulitzer. Though it’s been awhile since this book was first released, the stories feel fresh and brim with life.

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Book of the Month: All the Light We Cannot See

If you haven’t yet read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, it’s probably on your to-be-read list. And if it’s not, I’m thrilled to be the one to tell you about it.

Set in France during World War II, this novel follows the stories of Marie-Laure, a young blind girl, and Werner, an engineering prodigy who has been sucked into the Hitler Youth. This is one of those tales that manages to be beautiful and heart-breaking, redemptive and exciting all at once. It won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction as well as the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in fiction.

Since it came out last year, it’s also been one of the most talked about books by booksellers, book clubs, and most people I know.

In the clip below, Doerr explains his inspiration and how the disparate pieces fell into place.


All the Light We Cannot See is our Book of the Month and discounted to $14.95 until November 30th

Ann Patchett’s Twisting, Turning Life and Books

Ann Patchett’s books twist and turn, snaking through crises and into catharsis. Her own life is perhaps not as dramatic, but still full of adventure. Maybe not the kind that involves hostage situations or the Amazon rain forest, but of a literary variety.

And it’s part of why I like her so much. She’s honed her skill, sentence after sentence, writing for magazines including Seventeen, Gourmet, and the New York Times, while living in her hometown of Nashville. When the last independent bookstore in Nashville closed, she and her friend Karen Hayes opened Parnassus Books. As she says, she didn’t want to live in a city without a bookstore. Who can blame her?

She has written many books, all with something special to offer. State of Wonder is mysterious and organic. It’s why it’s our Book of the Month. Bel Canto won both the PEN/Faulkner prize and Orange Prize for Fiction, and for good reason. But if you want to get to know more about Ann and her life, check out This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, her book of essays.

Bel-Canto

Bel Canto

Themes of beauty, love, and duress intermingle during a hostage crisis at a South American party in Bel Canto. The books tension and characters grab you, turning everything you thought you had figured out upside down.

State of Wonder

Patchett returns to South America in State of Wonder, as Dr. Mirina Singh tracks down her old mentor in the rain forest. Its setting oozes beauty and death; its characters fierce and fragile.

This-Is-the-Story-of-a-Happy-Marriage

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

New and old essays are together for the first time in This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage. From willing herself over a six-foot wall to opening a bookstore, to working on relationships to perfecting her craft, Patchett examines her remarkable life.

Run

Run

An accident and a snowstorm disrupt lives in Run. Spanning only 24 hours, this is an emotional roller coaster that will leave you wanting more.

The-Magicians-Assistant

The Magician’s Assistant

A magician’s widow tracks down secrets about her late husband’s family, taking her on a cross-country odyssey. The Magician’s Assistant is a book of beautiful sentences and harrowing loss.

The-Patron-Saint-of-Liars

The Patron Saint of Liars

Rose travels to St. Elizabeth’s, with the intention of giving up her baby once it is born. Moving and complicated, The Patron Saint of Liars is more than it first appears and unforgettable once completed.


State of Wonder is our book of the month! Get it today and let us know what you think.

Book of the Month: State of Wonder

We here at Libro love bringing you a Book of the Month each month. We’ve had nonfiction books about psychology, health, science, and music. We’ve included fiction taking place in Seattle and the Italian coast. Each book has a unique experience, something to offer the listener—to enrich your life. Our October book is no exception.

This month’s book is another work of fiction, this time set deep in the Amazon rain forest: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.

State of Wonder follows Dr. Marina Singh, a pharmacologist, on her quest to retrieve her old mentor, Dr. Swenson, from the Amazon. But Dr. Swenson is hiding more than just the malaria research she’s been working on.

Marina must battle poisonous snakes, showers of arrows, and her own body in her mission to bring back Dr. Swenson and her research. Marina’s job and love life are intertwined and therefore both are on the line, but perhaps more importantly, she wants to impress her old teacher, who doesn’t even remember her.

In the end she has many decisions to face, none of them easy.

The intricacy of Patchett’s characters are matched by her prose. Patchett’s description of the Amazon is compelling. It’s an overwhelming world of beauty and pestilence, chaos and natural order. She writes of the rain:

“Every drop of rain hit the ground with such force it bounced back up again, giving the earth the appearance of something boiling.”

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It’s these lush sentences that really bring the world to life, and lift listeners out of the dreariness of autumn in North America.

Patchett has taken many literary influences, added the rain forest and medical research and come up with a tale that is at times thrilling and at others deeply moving. It’s a compelling listen.

I’m especially pleased to pick this book not just because it’s great—though it is—but because Patchett is also the co-owner of Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, TN. As an author and bookstore owner, she’s an advocate of independent bookstores everywhere.


State of Wonder is our Book of the Month. Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the conversation!

Back to Basics With Classic Novels

Classics can be an intimidating genre.

But audiobooks bring classics to life in new and interesting ways. They add nuance and spirit to the prose, agenda and voice to the characters, and reawaken these stories to be enjoyed yet again. If you  want to name-drop George Orwell, Alexandre Dumas, Jane Austen, Aldous Huxley, or Victor Hugo and know what you’re talking about, this is a great place to start!

To make it even easier for you to get started, we’ve discounted these books for the month of August!


Animal-Farm

Animal Farm

By George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell (published in 1945) exposes the dangers of Stalinism. By using an allegory of animals attempting to self-govern on a farm, Animal Farm demonstrates how greed and power turn humans into animals, perpetuating systems of oppression that only benefit the few who run them.


Brave-New-World

Brave New World

By Aldous Huxley

Lenina and Bernard live in a nightmarish socialist utopia of sorts. The Brave New World in which they preside is home to a whole host of unprecedented horrors which serve as a warning for the future and a meditation on the present. Written by Aldous Huxley in 1932 and still applicable to this day.


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The Count of Monte Cristo

By Alexandre Dumas

Edmond Dantes is on the verge of having everything he ever dreamed of: The woman of his dreams, command of his own ship, and a close childhood friend as his second-hand man. But when he is framed by his best friend and sent to an isolated prison island—the Chateau D’Ife—for fourteen years and without explanation, all he can think of is revenge. The Count of Monte Cristo is a riveting classic.


Emma

Emma

By Jane Austen

The eponymous Emma continually promotes her own ability to play matchmaker, though most of her efforts to set people up go terribly, terribly wrong. Satirical and tender all at once, Emma is one of Jane Austen’s most-loved novels and inspired the 90’s hit movie, Clueless.


Les-Mis

Les Misérables

By Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo’s beautiful and tragic story of Jean Valjean’s reentry into society and reinvention of his self after years of incarceration takes us on a journey of love and desperation that the world cannot forget. With self-sacrifice and immense spirit, Valjean works to protect Collette, Fantine’s daughter, to try to attone for a past he cannot change. Set against the backdrop of the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, Les Misérable is a French masterpiece.


For more ideas, visit or classics section!

Summer Listens

A good book, cold drink, and warm breeze are the perfect recipe for a summer day.

These audiobooks make the perfect companion for your sunny vacation spot. Whether you’re poolside or couch locked, these captivating novels will transport you to new places, experiences, and lives. The ultimate summer destination is the land of audiobooks and it’s right at your fingertips. So grab your sunscreen, settle into your lawn chair, and enjoy!


Prodigal Summer

Prodigal Summer

By Barbara Kingsolver

Acclaimed author Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Prodigal Summer is described as “a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself.” Kingsolver weaves the story of three characters together with a love of nature. The novel captures the essence of summer, the importance of every living thing, and what binds us together as humans. Written in her signature beautiful style, Kingsolver has created a novel that will transport you to the wild country forests of southern Appalachia and the heart of humanity itself.  


Where’d You Go, Bernadette

By Maria Semple

Maria Semple’s novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette will leave you rolling on the floor laughing. When the quirky-yet-endearing Bernadette Fox goes missing, it is up to her daughter Bee to follow her trail of cryptic clues leading her literally to the ends of the earth. Semple’s humor shines with the help of narrator Kathleen Wilhoite who brings the characters to another level entirely. This novel is perfect entertainment for your summer downtime.


Ender's Game

Ender’s Game

By Orson Scott Card

Science fiction is one of the best genres for the summertime, transporting you to new worlds and lives unimaginable in this day and age. Ender’s Game is no exception. In Andrew “Ender” Wiggins’s world, the government breeds child geniuses to be military leaders as a defense against the hostile aliens attacking Earth. Ender is drafted into the rigorous orbiting Battle School for his military training and quickly rises to the top of his class. Ender’s battles, both internal and external, will entrap you in the dystopian world Orson Scott Card has created and with one of the best plot twists in literature, this novel definitely is a lifetime must read.


Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

By Rebecca Wells

A New York Times Bestseller, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a Southern fiction staple to be read over and over again. Funny, outrageous, and wise, this novel captures the lives of four Southern women and their lifetime of friendship. Through these relationships, author Rebecca Wells explores the bonds of female friendship, the ups and downs of mother-daughter relationships, and the power of love and humor. Come fall in love with the Ya-Ya sisters in Wells’s clever and endearing novel.


Beautiful Ruins

By Jess Walter

Our featured Book of the Month, Beautiful Ruins is obviously a Libro favorite, but it’s also a perfect summer read. Partially set on the lovely Italian coast, you will fall in love with the idyllic Porto Vergogna and irresistible characters whose lives intertwine by happenstance. Let Jess Walter take you on a journey through the drama of old hollywood and the picturesque Porto Vergogna in his wonderfully entertaining novel.


Island of the Sequined Love Nun

Island of the Sequined Love Nun

By Christopher Moore

Take a crazy trip with Tucker Chase to The Island of the Sequined Love Nun. Tucker is a hopeless geek who makes a living piloting a cargo plane for Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation—that is, until he crashes the pink plane and finds himself running for his life from Mary Jane’s henchmen. The only employment he can then find is a sketchy gig piloting on secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary in the South Pacific. Christopher Moore is the master of the outrageous and if the title didn’t say enough, get ready, because you’re in for a wild ride.


The-Shoemaker's-Wife

The Shoemaker’s Wife

By Adriana Trigiani

Travel through time with Ciro and Enza, two lovers who part and reunite over the course of their lives until the power of their love changes them forever. This novel is set in the majestic beauty of the Italian Alps at the turn of the 20th century. It will take you on a journey through the Italian countryside, America during the First World War and the star-crossed love of Ciro and Enza. This story, inspired by the author Adriana Trigiani’s own family history, will give you a beautiful and unique look into the lives of characters at the turn of the century.


Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

By David Sedaris

David Sedaris’s newest book features a collection of essays, each one taking you on a journey that’s sure to make you laugh out loud. You’ll travel on a world tour, from experiences with French dentistry, to the Australian kookaburra, to the toilets of Beijing and eventually the wild country of North Carolina. Sedaris paints the world in a hilarious light as he recounts his absurd and ridiculous tales.


What have you been reading this summer? Let us know in the comments!

Jess Walter on Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Beautiful Ruins

Earlier this month I was passing through Spokane, WA, the home of Beautiful Ruins author Jess Walter. Walter and I sat down and talked about his podcast with his friend and fellow author Sherman Alexie, Beautiful Ruins, and how he’d feel if someone made him into a character in their novel.

[Judy Oldfield]: Let’s talk about your podcast with Sherman Alexie, A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment. How did you decide to get into this new medium?

[Jess Walter]: The people asking for guests on Minnesota Public Radio asked Sherman if he’d be interested and he said, “I’d do it with my friend Jess”. It’s really haphazard and could fall apart at any time. We both like the tentative nature of it. One bad mood and either of us could kill it but we have so much fun. The thing we like the most is the live shows. We can feed off the energy of the crowd.

[JO]: Your friendship with Sherman goes back a really long way and that’s probably why the podcast feels so natural.

[JW]: We’ve known each other for 27-28 years and have developed a really close friendship over basketball and parenthood and writing and being from the place we’re from, where there aren’t a whole lot of writers. We can compare notes on things. It’s been great to have that friendship and then be able to share it with people. Because we do have a great time together, sometimes we laugh so hard we would think, “It’s a shame nobody gets to see this”.

[JO]: Do you feel like you’ve influenced each other’s writing?

[JW]: I can’t answer for him, but he’s definitely influenced mine. I think certainly in subtle ways. We both have very strong ideas about voice and form. Everything you read influences you. With friends sometimes its more, “I hope so and so likes this story” or “I hope Jess likes this novel”. So I think we influence each other more as friends than as literary influences.

[JO]: You’ve both spoken on your podcasts about what respect and love you have for each other as writers, which is sort of unique in the world of writing where you’re always looking at people a little sideways.

[JW]: One of the things I dislike about publishing now is that everyone has this idea that it’s a careerist thing. The, “I‘ve got to have this many followers and do this many things”. And it doesn’t take long before some writers begin to believe that someone else’s success affects them in some way. I have very little patience for that. If you’ve written a great book, you’ve written a great book. For me the entire enterprise ends there. It doesn’t matter how you promote it, it doesn’t matter if it was a bestseller, or won awards, the thing that you’ve created is what you get excited about and that’s what I’ve always loved about my conversations with Sherman. We talk about the thing itself. We don’t usually talk about the noise around it.

[JO]: Art is about more than your Twitter followers.

[JW]: Oh yeah, and there’s something about the way we measure everything, how we quantify everything that is, by nature, bad for art. And I think with books especially.

[JO]: How about audiobooks? That’s a new format.

[JW]: Or is it the oldest format? I mean when you think of The Iliad and The Odyssey writing comes from this oral form. I love to read my work aloud. I love to have readings. So to have a great audiobook come out of a piece of work, to me, is the most traditional form in some ways.

[JO]: Right. You get this great experience, but it’s not off the cuff—it’s still edited and finalized. I just saw this study that said that writing and speaking come from different parts of the brain, which makes sense to me, because I’m a far better writer than I am a speaker.

[JW]: But I think they’re linked in some way. A writer is always trying to find his voice, her voice. And my writing process is so tied into reading aloud; at the end of every day I read aloud what I’ve written. A lot of times I’ll find hitches in things. They’re different, certainly, and some books are better on the page. But I think those links are really interesting and that’s one of the things Sherman and I really like is reading our work and that process of hearing it out loud.

[JO]: You’ve said Beautiful Ruins is one of your only audiobooks that you can listen to comfortably.

[JW]: Yeah, it was always hard because actors would do a terrific job and other people would tell me how great they did, but when other actors would read my books it would always stop me cold. It would be simply phrasing something in a way I hadn’t heard it or reading dialogue in a way I hadn’t imagined it. A slight mispronunciation or something. Those things would always catch me and I would have to stop listening.

The analogy I use is it was like watching a video of someone making out with my wife. No matter how well they did it, it wasn’t going to seem right to me. But the minute I heard Eduardo’s spot on pronunciations and the subtleties he brings to the characters (not to mention Richard Burton, Joe the Irish music guy, and all the characters) . . . he seems to just embody them and it’s great when you hear a version of your book that adds to your own sense of it. And that’s what I think Eduardo did.

[JO]: Beautiful Ruins just has so many details in it. One of my very favorite moments is when the production assistant takes the “digital hit” of her phone. It resonated with me—not particularly in a good way—because I totally do that. You write a lot about technology and the interplay between technology and the modern world in Beautiful Ruins, and in The Financial Lives of the Poets. Is that something that creeps into your writing or something that you think about a lot?

[JW]: I do think about it a lot. I mean it is the profound change of our time. In the same way that the automobile, the Industrial Revolution, spears, and every technological advance [shifted culture] ours is this interpersonal communication. These devices we have come up with that begin as a way to enhance your life end up changing it. All of our lives are altered by the technology we carry around.

[JO]: You also write a lot about failure. Why is that? You’ve been nominated for a National Book Award, you’ve written six novels, you’ve been a New York Times Bestseller. Why is that something that still interests you?

[JW]: I remember watching The Smurfs, and a typical plot would be they decide to have a party and everyone shows up to the party and they all have a good time, which is great for a Smurfs episode but not so great for fiction. In general, fiction arises out of conflict and difficulty.

Every writer sees themselves as wanting and lacking. I don’t feel like I’ve produced the great book that I’ve set out to write. That’s what keeps me going as a writer. That fuel is the failure to have outdone this outlandish thing that you’ve set out to do. So I don’t think you have to scratch too far, for most writers, to find this idea of failure.

[JO]: In Beautiful Ruins, there are some things you’ve made up. Porto Vergogna is fictional but then there are also some real people and events like Cleopatra and obviously the Burton character. How do you decide which things to just create and which things to use from real life?

[JW]: It’s more inspiration than decision-making. If you think about novels, there’s a huge amount of the real world in them. People climb in cars; they don’t climb in bubble rolling machines that propel them down the street on their own thoughts.

[JO]: Not in literary fiction.

[JW]: Exactly! The place, the setting, tends to be real. We’re constantly bringing fiction to bear in the real world. Historical fiction uses real characters all the time. Abraham Lincoln wanders around in historical fiction all the time, and sometimes he kills vampires. You never quite know what your historical figures are going to do. So to me the process was not too much different than that.

I started with this woman arriving in Italy—at first I didn’t know who she was . . . then I decided she’s this beautiful actress. Then I had to find out what would an actress be doing in Italy and I stumbled upon Cleopatra being shot in Rome at that time. The story was so compelling and wild and I really committed to it when it touched something thematic (theme is what I often return to in my work). Thematically it really seemed as if this movie had invented a certain kind of fame that we live in this moment. I began imagining a studio hack who had invented fame, essentially. That seemed like such a worthy topic . . . I kind of fell in love with Richard Burton . . . Burton hovered over the novel like a talisman, as a character who had a choice between his talent and some outward kind of fame, some clearly easier, cheaper more seductive kind of thing that in the end, as Americans, we’ve all chosen. It can feel bold and audacious to be a character like Burton so I was thrilled to try and write those scenes and then I was afraid that he would never leave my book.

[JO]: Say 50 years from now there’s a novelist writing about the Pacific Northwest and you show up as a character. How would you feel?

[JW]: I worked pretty hard researching Burton and then honestly I threw that research away. You invent a fictional version of that character. I would be flattered if a novelist chose me. I mean, I’m a writer; we have such boring lives. Hopefully he would come up with something more interesting for me to do. Maybe some out-of-wedlock drama or blackout drunk event, that I don’t know about, to make the book interesting.


Beautiful Ruins is our Book of the Month, and on sale until the end of July. Get it now!

Only Time Will Tell

In 1920, Harry Clifton skips class to go to the Barrington Shipyard, where his father used to work, and where he believes he will too once he’s finally allowed to drop out of school for good. But Harry also has a beautiful voice, and this becomes his golden ticket to one of the most elite schools in all of England.

Unbeknownst to Harry, his many mentors and fans—including a hermited war hero, a choir mistress, and his mother Maisie—must make incredible sacrifices in the hopes that Harry will honor his opportunities and thrive.

Despite the heartwarming nature of Harry’s rise in social status, Only Time Will Tell is not the simple story of Harry’s newfound life of wealth and grandeur. Archer employs many narrative tripwires that have left me shocked, frustrated, and utterly amazed at the complexity of the novel. Harry must face several revelations and decisions including who his father really was and what do when England enters World War II.

This is the first book in Jeffrey Archer’s multigenerational family saga, The Clifton Chronicles.


Check out The Sins of the Father, Best Kept Secret, Be Careful What You Wish For, and Mightier Than the Sword for more of Harry’s tale!


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Review: Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You made the Best of 2014 lists of some of my favorite, most trustworthy sites: BookRiot, NPR, Shelf Awareness. These lists were helpful because I spent most of 2014 out of the country and out of access to new releases. But that also meant that any book I chose from said lists had a lot of hype to live up to.

So it was a bit of trepidation that I began listening to to Everything I Never Told You. From the beginning, it not only met, but surpassed my expectations. The first words, “Lydia is dead,” set the tone for the rest of the book. Not that everything will be laid out so blatantly—indeed circumstances are slow to unravel—but that her death will weigh heavily on the characters, as though in their grief they are the ones buried beneath six feet of earth. Lydia was the favorite of the family, with the long black hair of her Chinese American father and the blue eyes of her white mother. Her father wants her to be a well-adjusted and sociable teenager while her mother pressures her to study science and become a doctor. Her parents desperately want for her the things that were just out of their own reach.

The year Lydia dies is 1977, and mixed-race families in Ohio were still scarce enough to cause a stir. A newspaper article about her death notes that children of such marriages often have it hard, straddling two worlds. Strangers pull their eyelids sideways with their fingers at the children, tell them that they are other, not American, outsiders. Lydia and her brother Nath cling to each other, as only they understand the lonely situation that they find themselves in. Ng has said in interviews that all but one instance of racial prejudice her characters face are based on her or her family’s own experiences. These realistic touches create a believable atmosphere and obstacles the characters must face.

Throughout the book, nobody knows if Lydia’s death was an accident, suicide, or murder. Some of the marketing around Everything I Never Told You describes it as a mystery. Because of the unknown circumstances of Lydia’s death, it has some elements of a good mystery, but that is not where the emphasis of this story lies.Those who are in it for an intriguing who-done-it with twists and turns and fast plots will be disappointed. This is a book about families dealing with loss. Not only the loss of Lydia, but the loss of their own hopes and dreams. Slowly Ng peels back the layers, the hidden motivations behind the characters’ actions or inactions.Everything-I-Never-Told-You-1

I usually have a distaste for books about families who don’t talk to each other. If the whole book’s conflict could be resolved in a few open and honest conversations, and the characters just fail to do that, it falls apart for me. I kept expecting that feeling in Everything I Never Told You, but as the narrative progressed, as I got to know each of the characters, I felt sympathy and solidarity rather than annoyance. It’s as if the things they feel are so big that they cannot physically get their mouths around the them, as if they are so abstract that the words have not been invented yet. Or maybe it’s because this family doesn’t resent each other. Quiet anger doesn’t bubble over and drive a wedge between them. They still very much love each other.

The last hour of the book, I had what NPR refers to as a “driveway moment.” I came home from a walk to the grocery store, during which I’d been listening to the book, but didn’t want to turn my phone off. I sat in my home office, where I was supposed to be working, and finished listening. I’m the sort of of audiobook listener who likes to multi-task while listening—driving, cooking, gardening, walking, working out—but here I sat, totally absorbed in the book, not wanting to do so much as tap my foot. The mystery of Lydia’s death is heartbreaking. The loss of a life so young is never easy. And still, I didn’t want the story to end.

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