Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.


Contemporary Fiction

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

The dramatic revelations of #MeToo are natural fodder for fiction. Fiction has been exploring the story of older men seducing underage girls for years, mostly from the perspective of the men. My Dark Vanessa explores what could be the tired story... Continue Reading →

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

Big Lies in a Small Town brings us the story of two artists separated by nearly seventy years yet united by one vision—the mural of Edenton, North Carolina commissioned as part of the New Deal's Post Office murals competition. In... Continue Reading →

Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

What is justice? How can we love people who do evil? Can someone be a good person in one realm and evil in another? These are just a few of the pressing questions Steph Cha' examines in Your House Will... Continue Reading →

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts is an enjoyable mystery, the first of what I hope will be a series featuring the stubborn researcher Tuesday Mooney. Mooney is a character after my own heart, prickly, solitary, and brilliant. She works as... Continue Reading →

Seven Letters by J. P. Monninger

Seven Letters is a contemporary romance to warm and break your heart. Kate has a fellowship to travel to Ireland and research the narratives of the women of the Blasket Islands where her recently deceased father came from. The day... Continue Reading →

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Things You Save in a Fire is a delightful romance featuring Cassie Hanwell whose self-image is completely tied to her job as a firefighter. She is one of the best in Austin. The book opens with her receiving an award... Continue Reading →

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

The Last Romantics is a sibling love story. The Skinner children's relatively normal life was interrupted when their father died and their mother sank into a depression that left them to rely on themselves for three years, three years they... Continue Reading →

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz

The Swallows takes place at Stonebridge Academy, a New England prep school where students and faculty live on a beautiful bucolic campus at the edge of a small town. Alex Witt, a bit of an iconoclast, takes a job teaching... Continue Reading →

The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney

The Perfect Wife opens with a scene so familiar to contemporary women's fiction. A woman wakes up after some traumatic, terrible event where she lost her child, her husband, or her memory. Except, her child is alive, her husband is... Continue Reading →

After the End by Clare Mackintosh

After the End is one of those books you cannot read on the bus or on your lunch break. It must be read in privacy where you are free to cry your heart out. It is the story of Pip... Continue Reading →

Turbulence by David Szalay

Turbulence is a striking novel, a fresh story that feels like many stories. It begins with a flight from London to Madrid. She talks to a seatmate and the next chapter follows him. And the third chapter follows another person... Continue Reading →

Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Fleishman Is in Trouble is a funny, acerbic book about midlife crises and how people struggle through them. It is all about marriage and how they break and how they stick. Marriage is on the minds of the main characters.... Continue Reading →

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

Whisper Network is a novel that would not exist without the #MeToo movement as it is inspired by the Shitty Media Men spreadsheet, a controversial effort by women in media to have each other's back by informing each other who... Continue Reading →

Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler

Home for Erring and Outcast Girls combines a contemporary story with an historical narrative. Cate Sutton takes a new job at a university library managing the collections. She befriends a student who, like her, has become obsessed with the records from... Continue Reading →

The Night Before by Wendy Walker

The Night Before is a fast paced suspense thriller that switches narrative between two sisters, Laura and Rosie and between times. Laura's narrative begins on Thursday night and moves through her preparations for a first date with a stranger arranged... Continue Reading →

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