#5Books: Books recs and a different sort of farewell

#5Books for the week ending 25 MArch 2018

About 20+ years ago, my mother asked me what I wanted to do with my life and added that coming to Australia was an option because my aunt and her family were living here. And we’ve had them here since then — seen my cousins married, babies born … and now, my aunt is leaving for Melbourne — two of my cousins are already there, and one is in Singapore, so they’re all spread around. And on Saturday we had a farewell part for my aunt.

It was fun, enjoying everything in the moment. It’s beginning to sneak up on me that they won’t be around any more when they have been for decades really.

So that’s my weekend! What have you been up to?


Six perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart.

When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it’s mutual: It’s as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call.

Sarah’s friends tell her to forget about him, but she can’t. She knows something’s happened–there must be an explanation.

Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she’s right. There is a reason for Eddie’s disappearance, and it’s the one thing they didn’t share with each other: the truth.

Reality is always different from the lives we want to lead, isn’t it? There’s something terrifying about how much we don’t know about the people we meet, as Sarah finds out here. But of course the question is: what is the truth?

The Emperor of Shoes 

From an exciting new voice in literary fiction, a transfixing story about an expatriate in southern China and his burgeoning relationship with a seamstress intent on inspiring dramatic political change Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory. Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant’s vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex’s own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line. When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow laborers. Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite? Deftly plotted and vibrantly drawn, The Emperor of Shoes is a timely meditation on idealism, ambition, father-son rivalry and cultural revolution, set against a vivid backdrop of social and technological change.

I don’t know why, but I am utterly enchanted by a story about change, resistance and making the big sorts of decisions and all wrapped up in shoes. Of all things. Added to this? His family used to make shoes. So he knows what he’s talking about.

No-one Can Know

When a pregnant car crash victim arrives at Stillwater General, ER nurse Frankie Stapleton and the team must work swiftly to deliver the baby safely. After hours of grueling effort, they finally save the baby, but the mother dies. The staff is already rattled, but then they learn that the accidental car crash was actually deliberate.

Just when they thought the hard work was over, suspects begin rearing their heads one by one and no one is safe. There’s no shortage of motives. The victim was a social worker, and someone may have been seeking revenge. Or perhaps someone was trying to intimidate her up-and-coming politician husband. Then the baby goes missing.

Now Frankie must race to uncover the truth in time to catch a killer and save a child in Lucy Kerr’s riveting second Stillwater General Mystery, No One Can Know.

Yes, this is book two of a series, and yes it was released ages ago but BUT… I haven’t been able to get Frankie and the hospital setting out my mind. And I don’t think this is a medical mystery, which usually books set in a medical setting tend to be that.

Cut You Down

Tabitha Sorenson is missing. The bright but unstable student disappeared in the aftermath of a scandal involving millions of dollars in college funds. Professor Dana Essex doesn’t think the missing money and the missing student are connected, but she hires Vancouver PI David Wakeland to find Tabitha, with whom she is in obsessed.

When Wakeland discovers Tabitha has in fact stolen the money and is hiding out with her lover and reports back to his client, Essex is crushed to learn that Tabitha is in love with someone else. The next morning, Tabitha has been murdered and Essex has disappeared.

Meanwhile, Wakeland has his own problems. His former girlfriend, police officer Sonia Drego, believes her partner is corrupt. With her job–and possibly her life–on the line, Wakeland may be her best hope of uncovering the conspiracy in the department before it brings her down.

Hounded by Tabitha’s friends, the police, the press, and his own troubled conscience, Wakeland tries desperately to find Essex and make sense of what happened. Could it all have been a ruse from the start, and is Wakeland just another in a long line of suckers?

While searching for Essex and investigating Sonia’s partner, Wakeland encounters criminals, anarchists, and crooked authority figures–all of them desperate people who will stop at nothing to guard their secrets.

So I saw a quote or a review for this somewhere and it was described as a commentary on society bc the characters here are forced to choose between doing the wrong thing for the right reason, and doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Which you must admit is a hell of a hook for a book. Also, then I read the summary for book 1 and was even more convinced.

Paper Ghosts

Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer.

That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted.

Before his admission to a care home for dementia

Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip.

Only she’s not his daughter and, if she has her way, he’s not coming back . . .

Because Carl’s past has finally caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he’s killed other young women. Including her sister Rachel.

Now they’re following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel.

Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar.

Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she’s taking a terrible risk.

For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all . . .

First, CREEPY cover — and no it’s not the one we’re getting in Australia for some reason. Second, creepier blurb! And third: doesn’t it just mess with your head as to what to believe????


  • Silvia says:

    My mum and my sister arrived last Wednesday, but they are leaving tomorrow . . . Time really flies 🙁 I’m the only one living in England, so you can imagine how good it was being able to spend some quality time together! <3

    Thanks for the book suggestions, I think you know the creepy one particularly got my attention, hehe

  • Jen Mullen says:

    I have a review scheduled for Paper Ghosts, which I enjoyed even though it isn’t my favorite of Heaberlin’s books. I especially liked the descriptions of the photographs and checked online for two of the photographers that inspired Heaberlin’s descriptions of Carl’s work.

    The Emperor of Shoes sounds intriguing. The Cultural Revolution has always interested me.

    • Verushka says:

      OHHHHH!!! I cannot tell you how creepy Paper Ghosts sounds, so I am seriously looking forward to your review! The Emperor of Shoes just speaks to me for some reason.

  • I am so excited for Paper Ghosts. I liked her other book- Black Eyed Susans – a lot. Thanks for sharing these!!

  • Angela says:

    Goodbyes can be so hard! I totally get being used to things a certain way, and now going forward you have to remind yourself that it will be different. My aunt is probably moving to another state this year, so I have to remind myself that we already had our last traditional Christmas Eve with her.

    Ghosted sounds really good! I hope there’s an interesting twist!

  • Paper Ghosts wow! Good finds. Saying farewell is hard. We left all of our family on the east coast 10 years ago and while we see them every few years it is hard being miles apart.

  • Aw, I’m sorry to hear some of your family is leaving! That’s nice you had a going away party though.

    I’m so excited about Paper Ghosts!!! It sounds fantastic.


  • These sound so good. I’m really interested in reading Paper Ghosts – and have an arc already. I also like the sounds of Ghosted and Cut You Down.

  • Daniela Ark says:

    The Emperor of Shoes sounds so interesting!
    I’d like to learn southern China [more about China and its politics in general!]

  • Ghosted sounds like something I want to read. After reading through the synopsis I already want to know what’s going on and what happened to Eddie.

  • Lily says:

    Paper Ghosts looks CREEPY, I kind of hope to read it. No-one Can Know sounds so good, medical drama yes…but the cover? I wouldn’t have pegged it for a medical drama

    • Verushka says:

      Good point re: No One can Know! I actually picked it because of the medical aspect, but it didn’t click until you mentioned it the cover didn’t match the blurb!

  • It’s tough knowing someone won’t be around all the time anymore when you’re used to them being there.

    It’s definitely terrifying how much we don’t know about other people. Even the people you’re closest to, there can be all sorts of things you don’t know cuz they’ve never told you!

  • Paper Ghosts sounds so good. Definitely adding that one to my TBR.

    Saying goodbye to family is so hard. Thankfully most of my family hasn’t moved too far away but really miss not seeing those who have. I definitely cherish the time we have together every time we get to visit.

    • Verushka says:

      I am waiting on pins and needles for Paper Ghosts! Family — drive you crazy, but you’ll totally miss them when they’re gone 🙂 IT’s going to be weeeeird, Suzanne!

  • I’m sorry I haven’t been around for a while! I’ve been traveling some and now I feel like death since I brought back some kind of flu from hell. 🙁 Anyways, I’m just trying to stop by some blogs and hit up some personal sort of posts so I can stay current with some news while I catch up a little and and then I’ll come back to reading review posts later!

    I’m sad that you have family that have been so close to you moving away. 🙁 At least it’s still the same country but I know going between states isn’t the easiest! I hope you manage to keep in touch and grab the cheap flights when you can!

    • Verushka says:

      Oh no, Di! I hope you’re feeling better — how was your easter? (Sighs, it’s happening in about 10 days)

      • Easter was good! Mostly very chilled and stay at home to try to recover. My little one is STILL sick although mostly just with the remaining congestion and trying to clear her chest. Ugh. You know how kids struggle to suppress their own coughs? And it’s always an adjustment to go from vertical to horizontal.. Or even to roll from side to side. Yeah, we’re struggling with the amount of sleep we’re all getting!

        Anyways, it’s almost the weekend again! Hopefully in the next couple of days we’ll come completely right…

        • Verushka says:

          Oh no! The poor thing! Fingers crossed she gets better over this weekend — congestion sucks! It can just linger and linger 🙁

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