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Staff Reviews: Adult fiction

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring books DVDs for adults! (For reviews of books for all ages, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at; follow us for the latest updates. The book reviews on this website represent the personal opinions of the individuals who created them and do not represent any official views of the Marathon County Public Library.

Cover: 'After You'

"After You" by Jojo Moyes

★★★★★ In this fantastic, heartfelt sequel to "Me Before You", readers meet Louisa in the aftermath of a pivotal and heartbreaking experience. Months before, her life had taken such a drastic turn, and Louisa is left adrift struggling to find herself and live a meaningful life that honors who she lost. I couldn't stop reading this novel! For those that read "Me...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Cherry Harvest'

"The Cherry Harvest" by Lucy Sanna

★★★★ Set in Door County in 1944, "The Cherry Harvest" tells the story of the struggling Christiansen family. Charlotte and Thomas' son Ben is at war in Italy, and their daughter Kate is finishing high school. The family business is in Door County cherries, but with young men off at war, and others working in the shipyard sending off supplies to the war, the...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Gates of Evangeline'

"The Gates of Evangeline" by Hester Young

★★★★ Charlotte Cates has not only just lost her young son suddenly, but now single and completely alone, she wakes up from a haunting dream where a young boy, around her son's age, asks her for help in finding him. When she is given a sudden job opportunity to write a book about an infamous thirty-year-old cold case about a young boy, Charlotte feels she must...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'The Ice Twins'

"The Ice Twins" by S. K. Tremayne

★★★★★ What would you do if your one surviving daughter, a year after the other twin's death, suddenly tells you she's really the dead twin? For over a year you've been calling her the wrong name and the wrong daughter survived. Forced to move from London into a lighthouse on a remote Island in Scotland after financial disaster and the death of one of their twin...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'X'

"X" by Sue Grafton

★★★★ The 24th book in one of my favorite series finds private detective Kinsey Millhone juggling a few complex matters - a client who is not who she says she is, a secret from the past, a problem with her troublesome new neighbors, and a sociopath who considers Kinsey his next target. Using all her skills of detection, Kinsey must pull all the pieces together. I...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Longest Ride'

"The Longest Ride" by Nicholas Sparks

★★★★★ Two love stories, one that is three quarters of a century in the making and one that is brand new are told side by side in this beautifully written novel. When Ira is trapped in his car following an accident in a remote area, he recounts the stories of his life with his one true love, his wife Ruth. He describes their story as it unfolds decade after decade...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Truth According to Us'

"The Truth According to Us" by Annie Barrows

★★★★ After refusing to marry a wealthy, well-connected man, Layla Beck is cast out by her father, a U.S. Senator. He arranges for her to be hired by the Federal Writers’ Project. Her task is to write the history of a small West Virginia town for their upcoming sesquicentennial. She boards in the home of a once-prominent family—the Romeyns. Layla is drawn to...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Coincidence of Coconut Cake'

"The Coincidence of Coconut Cake" by Amy E. Reichert

★★★★★ In this lovely new novel set in Milwaukee, Lou, owner and extremely talented chef of her own restaurant, literally runs into the food critic who eventually threatens to destroy her restaurant. Unbeknownst to either of them at the time, the food critic, Al, cannot forget the smell of vanilla and coconut Lou carried with her after their run in. But later that...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Flying Circus'

"The Flying Circus" by Susan Crandall

★★★★★ Henry is running for his life. He is trying desperately to escape his past, his identity, and the darkness lurking in his lost memories. But escape is not so easy; disaster has been Henry's constant companion. As Henry flees from his past he encounters a rather unusual sight, a motorcycle recklessly racing an airplane across a field. When the motorcycle...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Black-Eyed Susans'

"Black-Eyed Susans" by Julia Heaberlin

★★★★★ In this extremely addicting, fast-paced thriller, Tessa Cartwright is months away from watching the man on death row executed for leaving her mistaken for dead in a field filled with black-eyed susans and the bodies of young women who did not survive his attacks. But when a patch of freshly planted black- eyed susans appears under her bedroom window, Tessa...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'Enchantress of Paris: A Novel of the Sun King's Court'

"Enchantress of Paris: A Novel of the Sun King's Court" by Marci Jefferson

★★★★★ This novel follows Marie Mancini, the niece of a powerful cardinal in the court of French King Louis XIV. As Marie and Louis fall in love, she becomes the target of her uncle's wrath because her relationship with the king threatens to unravel his carefully laid political plans. Marie also has to contend with the king's mother and competition from her own...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, historical fiction

Cover: 'Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery'

"Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery" by Jenny Colgan

★★★★★ This is the fantastic sequel to the equally fantastic "Little Beach Street Bakery" and was just as heartwarming and completely captivating as the first. Polly, having just bought a lighthouse with her boyfriend Huckle, is happily settled spending her days working in the local bakery that brought the town together. But when a newcomer comes to town, her...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Run You Down'

"Run You Down" by Julia Dahl

★★★★ In this sequel to "Invisible City", Rebekah Roberts—a twenty-three-year-old stringer for a New York City tabloid—is struggling to recover from the emotional trauma inflicted by her first investigation, which took her into the insular Hasidic community in Brooklyn, her mother’s hometown. Rebekah is Jewish by birth but still new to Jewish practice since she...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'The Summer's End'

"The Summer's End" by Mary Alice Monroe

★★★★ The final book of Monroe's Lowcountry Summer Trilogy fills in the remainder of the story of the three Muir half sisters as summer comes to the end. All of the girls living at Sea Breeze have life-changing decisions to make as summer comes to a close. Harper finds her purpose, Dora looks ahead, Carson accepts herself, and Mamaw finds life again in this well-...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Canterbury Sisters'

"The Canterbury Sisters" by Kim Wright

★★★★ After the death of her mother, Che receives a letter from her longtime boyfriend saying he's leaving her for another woman. In the same batch of mail, Che is notified of her mother's last wishes including the request that Che complete their unfulfilled plans of hiking the Canterbury trail in England. Not wanting to confront the breakup and exhausted from...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'A Place in the Country'

"A Place in the Country" by Elizabeth Adler

★★★★ Newly single Caroline and her teenage daughter Izzy are in desperate search for a change of scenery and a new home. After Caroline discovers her husband has been unfaithful throughout their marriage, Caroline knows she has to sacrifice her comfortable life in Singapore for anything that doesn't involve her ex-husband. Finding a renovated barn in the English...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Beneath the Shadows'

"Beneath the Shadows" by Sara Foster

★★★★★ When newly-weds Adam and Grace inherit a cottage in the Yorkshire's moors, they leave their frantic life in London with their newborn Millie, ready for a quiet life. But when Adam disappears a week later and Millie is left on the doorstep, Grace's life is forever changed. A year later, Grace finally returns to the cottage to confront what happened, seeking...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'Buttercream Bump Off'

"Buttercream Bump Off" by Jenn McKinlay

★★★★ The second novel in the cozy "Cupcake Mystery" series, finds Mel and Angie, co-owners of Fairy Tale Cupcakes Bakery, wrapped up way too closely in murder. Mel's mother has just found her first date in decades floating in his pool. Now she is a prime suspect, and her daughter Mel and best friend Angie race to find other suspects for the police to focus on....

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'The Royal We'

"The Royal We" by Heather Cocks

★★★★★ If you enjoy the drama and intrigue of royal couples, you'll love this book. Based on the world's favorite royal couple, Will and Kate, the authors have created a romance that will twist and turn and leave you wondering if their fictitious royal couple will indeed make it to the alter. Bex is a smart and sassy American studying abroad when she runs into...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Martian'

"The Martian" by Andy Weir

★★★★★ I just had to write a quick review of “The Martian” by Andy Weir after recently seeing that they have made it into a movie to be released soon!  The book has everything that a science fiction reader could ask for. It’s a story of a man getting stranded on Mars, which we all know is not a very human friendly place to be. He must survive for a long...

Audience: adults, teens | Genre: fiction, science fiction, award-winning, alex award winner

Cover: 'The Vanishing'

"The Vanishing" by Wendy Webb

★★★★★ Julia Bishop is newly widowed after her husband, who exploited enormous amounts of money from his investors, is murdered. Utterly alone after her friends and family have abandoned her and newly penniless, Julia is desperate. When a man shows up at her doorstep offering her a home at a grand estate on Lake Superior and an opportunity to disappear while...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Fate of Mercy Alban'

"The Fate of Mercy Alban" by Wendy Webb

★★★★★ This is a must read for fans of gothic suspense and mystery, with even a bit of romance thrown in to soften the strong female lead's journey of discovery that spans decades of family secrets. When Grace Alban hears of her mother's untimely passing, Grace returns to their sprawling family estate on Lake Superior with her teenage daughter. But after finding...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'The Summer Wind'

"The Summer Wind" by Mary Alice Monroe

★★★★ In this sequel to the book, "The Summer Girls", we continue the story of three half-sisters spending a summer together at Sullivan's Island. In this book, the second in the series, we follow the lives of Harper, Carson, and Dora during the middle part of their summer back at Mamaw Muir's house. The girls though different in so many ways, find how to love...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Little Beach Street Bakery'

"Little Beach Street Bakery" by Jenny Colgan

★★★★★ In this unforgettable and heartwarming novel, readers meet Polly, a woman who's life has completely gone up in flames: her boyfriend and her are bankrupt, their business done, flat foreclosed on, and relationship on the rocks. Fleeing alone to a dilapidated flat in a tiny seaside town (the only thing she can afford), Polly slowly begins to heal and find a...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction