Eternally In Ink: My Theories On The Fates Of Literary Couples

by Alyssa Nicole


Yuanfen- (n) A relationship by fate or destiny; the binding force between two people
Fictional couples throughout the ages have become idealistic examples of what true love should look like. Their stories of star-aligned destiny and undying devotion ignite the hopeless romantic inside of many. Kilig, (pronounced keel-eeg) a unique Filipino word, is defined as the feeling of inexplicable joy one gets when something romantic or idealistic occurs. This word encapsulates why so many readers are drawn to these stories of the heart. Yet these books often end at the happily ever afters (or in some illfated cases, happily never afters.) It makes me wonder whether these literary couples could stand the test of time beyond the confines of the pages in which they reside. Here are my musings on some of the most beloved or “shipped” couples in literature.

Romeo and Juliet- Arguably, Shakespeare’s most well-known work, this tragic tale is certainly not lacking in passion and whirlwind romance. But if Romeo and Juliet had not taken their own lives in fits of despair, would they have made it last? Or would immaturity and inconstancy have been the death of their relationship if poison and dagger had not? It is evident early on that Romeo is capricious as many an adolescent boy, his affections for Rosaline instantly transferring to Juliet upon mere sight alone. Who’s to say that another fair maiden could not have just as effortlessly stolen his heart just by a glance. When professing his love for Juliet, Romeo begins to swear it to the moon. Juliet, wise for her thirteen years, replies, “O swear not by the moon,
th’inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.” Friar Laurence chastises Romeo, “Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here! Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear, so soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies. Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.” Was Romeo’s devotion for Juliet more than mere infatuation? As for young Juliet, romance was a taste unfamiliar to her virgin palate. It is easy for a young girl to fall in love, but not nearly as easy to stay in love. Dealing with burgeoning foreign emotions, becoming a goddess in the eyes of a handsome young worshipper, is overwhelming to a girl barely on the cusp of womanhood. It is difficult to determine if her adoration for her besotted suitor is more than just the whimsy of youth. Their blazing passion would very likely have fizzled out had they survived into adulthood.
*Together Forever? No

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett
Jane Austen’s beloved pair had a much rockier start than most, and it was certainly not love at first sight for them. Elizabeth is a headstrong heroine who knows her own mind. She has rejected an offer of marriage to her obsequious cousin, for she does not believe in matrimony without love being at its core. She has enough self-respect to even reject Darcy’s first proposal when he insults both her and her family. It takes time for her to better understand both Darcy’s character and his motives before her
heart begins to yield and she finds herself falling in love with him. Since Darcy is combating his own feelings for her, it is clear his love is both stronger and deeper-rooted than his prejudices and selfimportance. He loves Elizabeth for who she is as a person, certainly not for her social standing, her money or her family, all of which he’d used as reasons he’d been at war with his own heart. Yet, Darcy professes, “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” It is not until they both cast aside their pride and prejudices that they can allow their hearts to become their compasses, finding their true north in each other. *Together Forever? Yes

Wesley and Princess Buttercup
A swashbuckling story of romance and adventure, The Princess Bride became something of a cult classic after its theatrical release. The movie closely follows the source material, a 1970’s fantasy penned by author William Goldman. Buttercup is a beautiful country girl who often gives orders to the man in her family’s employ, Wesley. He takes this in stride, replying simply, “As you wish” to Buttercup’s every command. It is not until a Countess takes interest in Wesley and Buttercup is consumed with jealousy that she realizes she loves her “farm boy.” Buttercup unabashedly declares her love for Wesley and later, he pours out his heart to her. He leaves her to seek his fortunes overseas in order to provide a comfortable future for his beloved. Buttercup misses him deeply, mourning his absence even as she is forced into an engagement to a cruel and manipulative prince. Yet their love stands the test of time, for the years do not detract from their deep-rooted love for one another. Wesley, after a pirate abduction
during his lengthy voyage, saves Buttercup from a scheming Sicilian and his motley crew. More chaos ensues and Wesley is killed, then revived by a wizard’s potion. There’s not much life in him and he can barely stand upright but he valiantly fights the evil Prince Humperdink using his own cleverness, once again saving his soulmate. It is clear throughout the novel that Wesley is utterly devoted to Buttercup and would trek to the ends of the earth for her. Their words to one another reverberate with such poignant emotion and intimacy that it is “inconceivable” for any reader to doubt that this couple’s hearts will be eternally intertwined. Buttercup’s adoration and adherence of Wesley rings most true in this quote: “There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that…” Wesley later says, “Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.” This perfect pair is truly meant to be. *Together Forever? Yes

Beauty and the Beast
For the final couple in this article, I have chosen a duo from an 18th -century French fairytale by author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (try saying that one five times fast!) This story is most well-known from the 1991 Disney adaptation that captivated young bookworms such as me. The original story, however, differs greatly from the animated adaptation that I grew up with. There are no arrogant crimson-clad rivals, no enchanted tableware to serenade our fair heroine and no evanescent rose glittering beneath a glass dome. The interactions between Belle and the Beast are few in the book, only during dinners each evening when he beseeches her to marry him, though every night she refuses. He does visit her in his true princely form in her dreams, though Beauty does not realize that he and the Beast are one in the same. She quickly falls in love with him in her dreams. In her waking hours, Beast lavishes Belle in luxury, bestowing upon her a dazzling wardrobe and visions of theatrical performances
through a magic mirror. Beast proves to be a gentle, doting creature and in the book, we discover his curse was caused by a vengeful fairy rather than a slighted one. Beauty requests to see her family again which Beast reluctantly agrees to. When Beauty sees that he is dying of heartbreak, she runs back to him and marries him out of pity. He later transforms into the prince of her dreams (quite literally) and the duo have a grand wedding. It feels like this couple’s story is not very organic in the centuries-old
fairytale. And in truth, she came to him as a willing prisoner to save her father’s life. Not the ideal beginning for any relationship. I feel the connection was more believable in the film because we see Belle falling in love with Beast in reality, in his animal form, rather than the odd nature of the book, where she becomes enamored only upon slumber when he is a handsome human. Furthermore, things get rather confusing when the dream man accuses her of loving the Beast more than him (even though they are same soul) and Belle states she cares for Beast only out of pity and gratitude for his kindness to her, purely platonic. I can’t entirely say that I believe this complex pair to be a heaven-made match.Together Forever? No

There are so many famous literary couples in both classic and contemporary fiction and February is the perfect month to let yourself be whisked away into your favorite romance. Which couples do you think have yuanfen?

Bookish Oscar Nominations

Photo by RODNAE Productions: https://www.pexels.com/photo/an-actor-holding-his-award-7005636/

And the Oscar goes too…the books behind the movies. It’s officially Oscar season! As we all know, books make great movies- and the Academy Awards agree. Several book-to-movie adaptations received Oscar nominations this year. The Oscars take place on March 12, so there’s plenty of time to pick up a book before the awards ceremony.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Based on All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Request the book.

The testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I, illuminates the savagery and futility of war.

Nominated for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, International Feature Film, Production Design, Visual Effects, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, and Sound.

Women Talking

Based on Women Talking by Miriam Toews. Request the book.

After learning the men in the community have been drugging and attacking women, eight Mennonite women meet in secret to decide whether they should escape.

Nominated for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay

Request the movie.

The Whale

Based on the play by Samuel D. Hunter. Request the play.

A six hundred pound recluse hides away in his apartment eating himself to death. 

Nominated for Lead Actor, Supporting Actress, and Makeup and Hairstyling.

Request the movie.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Based on the Black Panther comic series. Request the book.

The Black Panther is not just a super hero; as King T’Challa, he is also the monarch of the hidden African nation of Wakanda.

Nominated for Supporting Actress, Costume Design, Original Song, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Visual Effects.

Request the movie.

Blonde

Based on Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates. Request the book.

A fictional recreation of the life of Marilyn Monroe recounts the tale of her rise to stardom, as seen from Marilyn’s perspective.

Nominated for Lead Actress.

The Quiet Girl

Based on Foster by Claire Keegan. Request the book.

An Irish child taken by her father to live with relatives on a farm finds the love and affection she never knew before and begins to thrive.

Nominated for International Feature Film.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Based on Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico. Request the book.

The irrepressible Mrs. Harris finds adventures that take her from her humble London roots to the heights of glamour in Paris

Nominated for Costume Design.

Request the movie.

Other literary nods are included in animated and short film categories, including Guillermo del Toro’s Pinnochio, Puss in Boots, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, and My Year of Dicks (based on Notes to Boys).

Speaking of awards, stop by the library to enter our Oscar winners contest. Select your predictions for Oscar winners for a chance to win a movie theater gift card.

Enjoy these blockbuster reads!

-Melinda

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here are some of the new books coming to our shelves this week for you to add to your book list!

Love, Pamela by Pamela Anderson – A heartrending, intimate memoir from the iconic pin-up and former star of Baywatch.

Maame by Jessica George – A young British Ghanaian woman navigates her 20s and finds her place in the world.

Exiles by Jane Harper – A federal investigator, Aaron Falk, investigates the disappearance of young mother who left her baby alone in a festival crowd and vanished in the latest novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Dry.

The Drift by C. J. Tudor – Hannah, trapped with a handful of survivors after an accident; Meg, stranded in a cable car high above snowy mountains with five strangers; and Carter, plunged into darkness at an isolated ski chalet, are all faced with something that threatens to consume all of humanity.

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano – Owing a favor to the Russian mob for buying a luxury car she accidentally destroyed, Finlay agrees to help identify a contract killer in the latest novel of the series following Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead.

River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer – A redemptive story of a mother’s gripping journey across the Caribbean to find her stolen children in the aftermath of slavery.

8 Rules of Love by Jay Shetty – The author of the #1 New York Times best-seller Think Like a Monk offers a revelatory guide to every stage of romance, drawing on ancient wisdom and new science.

Book Review: Lark Ascending by Silas House

In a future where fires ravage a North America that is run by extreme right-wing fundamentalists, 20-year-old Lark and his family have hidden away in the mountains of Maine for several years undisturbed. When ecological disasters begin to threaten their safety, their group secures passage on a boat headed to Ireland. After a terrible voyage they land, but only Lark has survived. Alone, he begins a harrowing journey by foot in search of Glendalough, a camp rumored to provide asylum. Along the way, Lark gains two companions – a dog named Seamus and Helen, a local woman who is familiar with the roads and the dangers of traveling them.

Lark Ascending by Silas House is a post-apocalyptic novel that is gorgeously written. Told by Lark at age 90, this novel about climate change, human behavior, resilience, survival and love will break your heart a few times on the way to its ultimately hopeful conclusion. Fans of Station Eleven and The Road should put this at the top of their to-read lists.

-Carol

Bookish Travel-United States Edition

One of my favorite prompts from a past reading challenge was to read a book set in the location of your current vacation. Thanks to this prompt, I read The Wright Brothers by David McCullough while on a trip to the Outer Banks and Learning to Die in Miami by Carlos Eire while soaking up the South Beach sun. Being in the locale where the books took place allowed me to connect with the books in a way that I would not have otherwise.

Whether you’re in the dreaming phase of vacation planning or on vacation as you’re reading this, if you’d like to add a bookish spin to your time away, here are a few options for your next vacation-inspired read.

According to Newsweek these five locations are some of the most popular places to vacation stateside, so I’ve included two fiction and a nonfiction recommendation for each destination.

New York City

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, rookie NYPD cops, are neighbors in the suburbs. What happens behind closed doors in both houses–the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the explosive events to come.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn, New York demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. 

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing (Nonfiction)

When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by the most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. 

Hawaii

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion…she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

The Descendents by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors were financially and culturally progressive – one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. Now his luck has changed. 

Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii by James L. Haley (Nonfiction)

Tells the story of King Kamehameha I, The Conqueror, who unified the islands through terror and bloodshed, but whose dynasty succumbed to inbreeding; of Gilded Age tycoons like Claus Spreckels who brilliantly outmaneuvered his competitors; of firebrand Lorrin Thurston, who was determined that Hawaii be ruled by whites; of President McKinley, who presided over the eventual annexation of the islands.

New Orleans

Photo by Aya Salman on Unsplash

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking . . . and The Witching Hour begins. It begins in our time with a rescue at sea.  Rowan Mayfair, a beautiful woman, a brilliant practitioner of neurosurgery–aware that she has special powers but unaware that she comes from an ancient line of witches–finds the drowned body of a man off the coast of California and brings him to life.  

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. In 1982, Evelyn’s daughter, Jackie, is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent husband’s drug addiction. Jackie’s son, T.C., loves the creative process of growing marijuana more than the weed itself. He was a square before Hurricane Katrina, but the New Orleans he knew didn’t survive the storm. 

The World that Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square by Ned Sublette (Nonfiction)

New Orleans is the most elusive of American cities. The product of the centuries-long struggle among three mighty empires–France, Spain, and England–and among their respective American colonies and enslaved African peoples, it has always seemed like a foreign port to most Americans, baffled as they are by its complex cultural inheritance.

San Diego

Photo by Andres Garcia on Unsplash

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, 17-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance – and the subsequent cover-up – will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.

The Neighbors Are Watching by Debra Ginsberg

Set against the backdrop of the deadly 2007 wildfires that forced the evacuation of half a million San Diego residents, the dark side of suburbia is examined–a place where everyone has something to hide.

Alta California by Nick Neely (Nonfiction)

Despite having grown up in California, Nick Neely realized how little he knew about its history. So he set off to learn it bodily, with just a backpack and a tent, trekking through stretches of California both lonely and urban.

Washington, D.C.

Photo by Ridwan Meah on Unsplash

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs” is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. 

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu

Seventeen years ago, Sepha Stephanos fled the Ethiopian Revolution for a new start in the United States. Now he finds himself running a failing grocery store in a poor African-American section of Washington, D.C., his only companions two fellow African immigrants who share his bitter nostalgia and longing for his home continent. 

This Town by Mark Leibovich (Nonfiction)

Washington This Town might be loathed from every corner of the nation, yet these are fun and busy days at this nexus of bug politics, big money, big media, and big vanity. There are no Democrats and Republicans anymore in the nation’s capital, just millionaires. That is the grubby secret of the place in the twenty-first century.

Want to continue reading about destinations? Try the Uncorked Librarian‘s America Reading Challenge or Read the World for international recommendations.

Remember that our digital library allows you to pack light! Download a few books from Libby or Hoopla to keep you company.

Enjoy your trip!

-Melinda

108 Years of Rocky Mountain National Park

In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Rocky Mountain National Park Act, establishing park boundaries and protecting the area for the future.  

For more than 11,000 years, people have lived in the area that would become Rocky Mountain National Park. Ute and Arapaho peoples lived on the land that would become the National Park. When white settlers came into the area in the mid-1800s, Native Americans were displaced, forcing many to leave in the 1860s and others made to move to reservations. Throughout the Park, there is still plenty of evidence of Native American settlement, such as stone and bone tools used for cooking, hunting, and processing hide.

The Park is one of the most visited national parks, topping over 4.5 million visitors in 2018. From hiking to rock-climbing to fishing, there is no shortage of activities. The views, even if you aren’t looking to hike uphill for miles, are stunning. The mountains, trees, and waterfalls are bountiful and with all there is to learn about the history, it’s almost impossible to not find something to enjoy. 

Whether you want to plan a trip to a National Park or just want to know more about the absolute wonders that make up the National Parks, we’ve got the materials for you! 

Rocky Mountain National Park: The Complete Guide by James Kaiser 

Native American Archaeology in the Parks: A Guide to Heritage Sites in Our National Parks and Monuments by Kenneth L. Feder

National Parks of America by Amy C. Balfour 

The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the USA  

Accessible Vacations: An Insider’s Guide to 10 National Parks by Simon Hayhoe 

Complete Guide to the National Parks: All 61 Treasures from Coast to Coast by Erika Hueneke 

National Geographic’s Guide to the National Parks of the United States  

100 Things to See in the National Parks: Your Guide to the Most Popular Features of the US National Parks by Stefanie Payne 

Best Parks Ever: America’s National Parks  

America’s National Parks: A Video Tour of All 55 National Parks 

-Linnea  

YA Book Review: Live Your Best Lie by Jessie Weaver

Summer Cartwright is a 16-year-old influencer living a charmed Hollywood, California life. She’s rich, well-connected, and she just signed a massive book deal for an upcoming tell-all style memoir. When a new post from Summer’s Instagram account announces that the social media star will be dead in the next five minutes, the guests are her Halloween party think it’s just part of the entertainment. Her friends know different. That’s not Summer’s brand. Something is wrong. There were right-Summer was actually dead. As the police begin to investigate, those closest to Summer begin their own search for the killer. The suspect list keeps growing as the motive for the murder appears to be the book she was working on. If Summer was dead, would the book and the dark secrets it was set to reveal go away?

Told from the points of view of Summer’s bff, Grace, Summer’s ex-boyfriend Adam, Summer’s number one fan, Cora, and her one-time roommate, Lanie, Live Your Best Lie is a twisted, suspenseful debut. The narrator does an excellent job of juggling the various character points of view as well as flashbacks, but the inclusion of social media posts and comments, police interviews, and newspaper articles make for an interesting read. A delightfully wicked read as well as a timely cautionary tale-social media never tells the whole story and influencers only show what they want you to see.

Hand this to fans of Karen McManus and Maureen Johnson and anyone else who likes to solve the puzzle along with the characters. The clues are there for the clever reader, but so are the red herrings. Readers who make it to the end will be rewarded with a final twist you won’t see coming.

Thank you to Netgalley, Disney Audiobooks, and Melissa de la Cruz Studios for an advanced reader copy.

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

There are tons of new releases that come to our shelves every week. Here are some books we picked out for you!

The House at the End of the World by Dean Koontz – Alone on Jacob’s Ladder island until two agents arrive in search of someone – or something – they refuse to identify, artist Katie, along with a brave young girl, finds herself in an epic and terrifying battle with a mysterious enemy that could bring about the end of the world.

The Family Business by Carl Weber & La Jill Hunt – When over a million tabs of HEAT, once known as the perfect drug, are stolen, Orlando Duncan discovers that a billionaire, with ties to illegal contraband smuggling rings, is targeting his family, putting them all on a deadly collision course as they try to reach the top.

The Bullet Garden by Stephen Hunter – In 1944 Normandy, when German snipers start picking off hundreds of Allied soldiers every day, Pacific hero Earl Swagger, assigned this crucial and bloody mission, must infiltrate the shadowy corners of London and France to expose the traitor who is tipping off these snipers with the locations of American GIs.

The Devil’s Ransom by Brad Taylor – When his covert company, along with every other entity in the Taskforce, is hit with a ransomware attack linked to the Taliban, Pike must stop a plot to alter the balance of power on the global stage orchestrated by a former NSA specialist in the U.S. government.

Don’t Open the Door by Allison Brennan – Quitting her job and moving in the wake of the shocking murder of her son, Marshal Regan Merritt returns to Virginia to look into her former boss’s death in the second novel of the series following The Sorority Murder.

Outsmart Your Brain: Why Learning Is Hard and How You Can Make It Easy by Daniel T. Willingham – Steeped in scientifically backed practical advice, this groundbreaking guide provides real-world practices and the latest research on how to train your brain for better learning.

All Hallows by Christopher Golden – On Halloween night in 1984 Coventry, Massachusetts, four children in vintage costumes with faded, eerie makeup blend in with the neighborhood kids trick-or-treating, begging to be hidden and kept safe from The Cunning Man.

Children of the State: Stories of Survival and Hope in the Juvenile Justice System by Jeff Hobbs – From the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace comes a look at the school-to-prison pipeline and life in the juvenile “justice” system.

~Semanur

A Page-Turner to Pick Up

Sleepwalk
by Dan Chaon

Will Bear lives off the grid and travels across the country with his 60-pound Pitbull named Flip. Will works as a ‘fixer’ in order to clear his and his terrible mother’s debts, and his jobs are most often illegal ones, like assisting with black-market adoptions and cleaning up murder sites and sometimes worse. Will goes by at least six other aliases and carries multiple burner phone in order to stay untraceable, and he micro-doses LSD daily in order to cope with his PTSD – which makes the line between the reality and imaginary more than a little fuzzy for him.

It is between gigs when Will receives a call from a young woman named Cammie, who claims to be his daughter. Will, a one-time prolific sperm donor, wants to believe that Cammie is the real deal, but also thinks that his boss, a shadowy organization that he distrusts, might be trying to lure him to his demise. And how would Cammie, a stranger, have access to one of his burner phone numbers anyway?

Set in a near future where implants monitor the country’s population and an ecological disaster has left New York City underwater, this unconventional buddy road trip and adventure novel makes for a dangerous and rough ride. Though not for every reader, Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon is a mix of dystopian, crime and literary fiction that stars a big-hearted contract killer who is desperate to make a real connection. Don’t miss this unusual, compelling and unforgettable read by one of my favorite Ohio authors.

-Carol

Book Review: The Couple at the Table

Newlyweds Jane and William are enjoying their honeymoon at the beautiful Tevendon Resort. But when William’s ex-wife Lucy shows up with her new partner Pete, Jane accuses them of ruining their getaway. Jane receives a note to “beware of the couple at the table nearest to yours.”

She immediately blames Lucy, but at dinner that night she’s surprised to find that the tables are all equally spaced…which means that every other couple is also a potential suspect. In a tirade Jane leaves the dining room only to end up dead within hours.

Sophie Hannah brings her loveable crime-solving duo Simon and Charlie back for another case, and this time they’re witnessing the crime firsthand. As guests at the resort, Simon and Charlie quickly pack up their vacation vibes and step into the role of investigators.

This book is a whodunnit-style mystery where motive, means, and opportunity are explored through multiple narrators. Sophie Hannah is one of my must-read authors, and while this book wasn’t my favorite, it was still an enjoyable read!

Request a print copy here or download a digital copy here.

-Melinda