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November 2022

Absolutely wonderful!   Hennie Comfort drew me in with her stories from the first page.  Hennie has lived in the Colorado mining town of Middle Swan for most of her adult life.  As she prepares to move on, she has some unfinished business to attend to, in the form of a young girl to provide for, and an old secret to deal with.  Hennie prepares for the future by telling stories about the past.

One note to moms who read this book:  There was one particular heartbreaking story about a baby early on in the book that will be hard to read.  In fact, I skimmed the entire passage once I figured out what was going to happen.  So be prepared.

Lia is consumed with guilt over her friend Cassie’s death.  Unable to cope with her feelings, she wrestles to maintain control over her eating instead.  An emotional and disturbing book about the destructive power of eating disorders, and the strength needed to overcome them.

A kind of strange book about Josh, a high school boy hitch-hiking across the country.  He is robbed, left for dead, and then picked up by a strange woman and brought back to an even stranger town.  Desperate to continue his journey and free to leave, Josh discovers that for some reason, he is unable to escape from the town.  It’s an imaginative plot, but the book as a whole didn’t do much for me.

Cornelia and Teo leave the city for the supposed peace of suburban life.  Piper struggles to balance the needs of her terminally ill best friend and her own family, and Dev, a young teenager, tries to find his place in a new town after his mom suddenly uproots him from their California home.  De los Santos skillfully weaves these three separate stories together into a sweet story of family and unexpected friendship.

Lauren is the only child of her wealthy, successful parents.  As she tries to assert her independence, Lauren takes a job transcribing an old diary, written during the Salem witch trials.  The diary belongs to Abigail, an elderly woman with secrets of her own.  As Lauren works her way through the diary, she discovers who she really is, and helps Abigail make peace with the past.

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