Wednesday, October 12, 2016
“With tightly drawn characters, a fascinating storyline and absolutely exquisite narration, The Perfect Girl is sure to keep readers up all night. Gilly Macmillan proves once again to be a master of the written word and is quickly becoming one of my go-to authors. Literary suspense at its finest."—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Baby Zoe Maisey is a seventeen-year-old musical prodigy with a genius IQ. Three years ago, she was involved in a tragic incident that left three classmates dead. She served her time, and now her mother, Maria, is resolved to keep that devastating fact tucked far away from their new beginning, hiding the past even from her new husband and demanding Zoe do the same. Tonight Zoe is giving a recital that Maria has been planning for months. It needs to be the performance of her life. But instead, by the end of the evening, Maria is dead. In the aftermath, everyone—police, family, Zoe's former solicitor, and Zoe herself—tries to piece together what happened. But as Zoe knows all too well, the truth is rarely straightforward, and the closer we are to someone, the less we may see.
Unfolding over a span of twenty-four hours through three compelling narratives, The Perfect Girl is gripping, surprising, and emotionally complex—a richly layered look at loyalty, second chances, and the way secrets unravel us all. -- William Morrow
Last night, the Booking Mamas met to discuss THE PERFECT GIRL by Gilly Macmillan. I really enjoyed this novel and already shared my thoughts with you earlier this week. It was interesting to discover that our group had some very different opinions about the book -- from liking it quite a bit to barely being able to finish it. Honestly, I wasn't surprised that everyone didn't enjoy it as much as I did, but I was a little surprised that anyone felt that negatively towards it.
I had high hopes for our discussion of THE PERFECT GIRL. I actually thought there was quite a bit to discuss about the various characters and their actions; however, that wasn't the case of us last night. To be honest, it wasn't a very productive book club meeting unless you count catching up with each other since last month. There are discussion questions for the novel -- which are pretty darn thought-provoking; however, we never even looked at them.
The meeting started right off the bat with a discussion about the ending of the novel. There were some slightly different interpretations about who knew what. I can't really say too much more or I'll give away a MAJOR spoiler. We also discussed what we thought happened to each of the characters after the last page of the novel. I thought that was interesting and I can't really remember us doing that very often over the last 15 years.
THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE by Santa Montefiore. We had quite a few choices this month that looked good so the decision wasn't easy. Each member listed their top three choices, and while THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE wasn't everyone's first choice, it was in everyone's (or almost everyone's) top three.
I am super excited about this selection. Ms. Montefiore is an international bestseller and I've never read one of her novels. I can't wait to see what all the fuss is about. Also, the story takes place in Ireland! I visited Ireland a couple of years ago and fell in love with this beautiful country. I'm hoping this novel will take me back!
Summary: International sensation Santa Montefiore presents the first book in a trilogy that follows three Irish women through the decades of the twentieth century—perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Hazel Gaynor.
Born on the ninth day of the ninth month in the year 1900, Kitty Deverill is special as her grandmother has always told her. Built on the stunning green hills of West Cork, Ireland, Castle Deverill is Kitty’s beloved home, where many generations of Deverills have also resided. Although she’s Anglo-Irish, Kitty’s heart completely belongs to the wild countryside of the Emerald Isle, and her devotion to her Irish-Catholic friends Bridie Doyle, the daughter of the castle’s cook, and Jack O’Leary, the vet’s son, is unmatched—even if Jack is always reminding her that she isn’t fully Irish. Still, Jack and Kitty can’t help falling in love although they both know their union faces the greatest obstacles since they are from different worlds.
Bridie cherishes her friendship with Kitty, who makes her feel more like her equal than a servant. Yet she can’t help dreaming of someday having all the wealth and glamour Kitty’s station in life affords her. But when she discovers a secret that Kitty has been keeping from her, Bridie finds herself growing resentful toward the girl in the castle who seems to have it all.
When the Irish revolt to throw over British rule in Southern Ireland, Jack enlists to fight. Worried for her safety, Jack warns Kitty to keep her distance, but she refuses and throws herself into the cause for Irish liberty, running messages and ammunition between the rebels. But as Kitty soon discovers, her allegiance to her family and her friends will be tested—and when Castle Deverill comes under attack, the only home and life she’s ever known are threatened.
A powerful story of love, loyalty, and friendship, The Girl in the Castle is an exquisitely written novel set against the magical, captivating landscape of Ireland. -- William Morrow