Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson & If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais
July 15, 2019
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
I have said it before and I will say it again…summer reading is simply the best. Let’s face it, time seems endless on a sweltering hot day. What makes this summer feel so exceptional is that all of the new release books are over the top marvelous. The authors are strong, their writing is spot on and the stories are unique. Today I am going to share two new books I just recently finished for this July that are completely disparate. The first one is a heartfelt drama that takes place in South Africa by Bianca Marais. The second one is a contemporary American thriller by Joshilyn Jackson. If you have never read anything by these authors before, then now is a great time to start. Both of these books are perfect for reading on a sandy beach, poolside, or with the windows open on a warm summer night. So without further ado, let me share with you these two ladies’ latest creations.
Joshilyn Jackson’s Never Have I Ever is her ninth novel. Let me be clear……her books rock!. Here is the set up. Amy Whey is hosting book club for all of her suburban neighbors. Her evening of cocktails with the ladies and some casual book talk about their latest read turns extremely bizarre when a new neighbor shows up to the party with an agenda that does not include discussing House of Mirth. Roux is the new girl in town renting a house in the neighborhood with her teenage son. Even though she doesn’t know anyone at Amy’s house, she takes it upon herself to make herself at home and hijack the party with her uproarious behavior and a game of “Never Have I Ever”. Before Amy knows it, her predictable book club has turned into an intoxicated mess with secrets oozing out of everyone’s mouth. Once the neighborhood crew is gone, Roux reveals her true self to Amy. She unexpectedly drags up Amy’s dark and secretive past, blackmailing her and threatening to ruin her perfectly happy life with her husband, step-daughter and infant son. Amy needs to decide if she should pay her the money to keep her past a secret or find another way around it. Without giving too much a way, Jackson’s book is a flawless cat and mouse suspense offering readers the exact amount of thrill to keep the pages constantly turning. Family love and friendship with a side of skeletons in the closet equal a tremendous read. This fast paced novel comes out July 30th, so pre-order it NOW!!!!!!
Shifting gears a bit now. My next July read for you is Bianca Marais’ new book, If You Want To Make God Laugh (This comes out TOMORROW). Be prepared for a whole different experience with this highly emotional book. Marais’ story is set in South Africa post Apartheid during the 1990’s. With Nelson Mandela about to be elected and the AIDS epidemic on the rise, the backdrop of Marais’ story is intense. Her book follows three different characters in alternating chapters. Zodwa is a seventeen year old black girl living in poverty. Not only is she eight months pregnant and caring for her dying mother, but she also is carrying a very unsettling secret. Ruth and Delilah are two estranged middle-aged sisters who reunite unexpectedly at their family’s old home. Delilah is a former nun whose past continues to haunt her. Ruth, in the process of a divorce, is trying to figure out her new life. While the sisters are sorting out the details of their family home and individual baggage, they are surprised one evening when a newborn black baby is left on their doorstep. The story gradually unfolds with Marais delicately revealing how each of these three women’s lives are connected and eventually come together. She tackles many sensitive subjects including corruption in the church, racism, AIDS, and homophobia, while shining light on the political atmosphere of South Africa at that time. Be prepared to have your heart strings pulled in all different directions while reading this book. The characters will absolutely melt your heart and water your eyes. For an added bonus, fans of Marais’ Hum If You Don’t Know The Words will be surprised at the cameo appearances in her story. I hope you enjoy this read. It is truly a beautiful story.
Well my friends, be sure to put these two delights on your TBR list for this summer. Be on the look out for more wonderful summer reads in the weeks to come.
Happy Summer and Happy Reading!!!!
Until next time Mr. H.
Your Biggest Fan,