Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.


Contemporary Fiction

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 →

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

Sarah Blake's The Guest Book is an ambitious multi-generational family saga that looks at American life through the experience of three generations of one patrician family, the Milton family of Crockett's Island. The island is off the coast of Maine... Continue Reading →

Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson

Beyond the Point, by Claire Gibson, is a love story, but not the conventional love story encapsulated by the childhood rhyme about a boy and a girl sitting in a tree. It's the love of friendship that waxes and wanes over... Continue Reading →

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

When Lucy's mother-in-law Diana ostensible suicide begins to look more like murder, Lucy makes a likely suspect. After all, not that long ago Lucy physically assaulted Diana. Pointing out that Diana chose not to prosecute isn't a particularly persuasive argument... Continue Reading →

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracy Garvis Graves

The Girl He Used to Know is a pleasant fast-paced contemporary romance that reunites young lovers Annika and Jonathan ten years after they were. The story goes back in forth from the past to the present with chapters from both Jonathan... Continue Reading →

Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser

Forget You Know Me begins like a thriller. Liza is on a video call with her life-long best friend Molly, a desperately needed catch-up after a too-long hiatus. Liza has moved to Chicago and these two who have been in each... Continue Reading →

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