First line: “You’ve got a nerve showing up here,” he hisses, coming to an abrupt halt beside me as he leads the mourners back up the aisle.
Summary: Jess has just landed her dream job. She is going to be a real reporter for The Globe newspaper. With her new job she hopes to change the world with her reporting. But once she meets the infamous Stella, her boss and deputy editor, she sees that standing by her morals may be harder than she thinks. On her first assignment she learns that the underhanded ways of the paper can lead to some deadly consequences. How can she continue working at a place that puts sales over the lives of those they report on?
My Thoughts: I was not sure about requesting the newest Sandie Jones book. The last two books were just not that good. I wondered if it was time to move on but I am glad I picked this one up. It was a quick paced and shows the backstabbing nature of modern news outlets.
The two main characters seem to be night and day. Stella is the hardened reporter who will do whatever to get the big story. Jess is the rookie who still believes in justice and the truth no matter what. With the alternating chapters the reader sees the differences in how they deal with similar situations. But really how different are they? Both are women in a world dominated by men.
Reading this really made me think about how tabloids and clickbait is used to destroy people’s lives. How much can we really trust some of the “news” that is circulating all over social media? I think this will give readers a look at something we see every day but then question how these stories were tailored.
“Death would be too easy. Death would let him off the hook. Life, though, life with the knowledge that Daisy knew what he’d done and who he was…”
― Jennifer Weiner, That Summer
While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction in her own life, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for another woman, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, the other woman is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, the other woman is making plans to reorganize corporations.
The emails give insight into a glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life, which is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. Eventually, the misdirected emails are acknowledged, which leads to the two women meeting and becoming friends. But, as they get closer, you learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?
In my opinion, it is best to go into this book blind. It goes back and forth between the past and the present. You realize pretty early on how the two women are connected. However, it’s what happens after that point that is intriguing and kept me engaged. It’s a thoughtful, meaningful story, but it is one that is not easy to read at times. I think it is a great show of wealth, privilege, and control.
I was expecting an easy summer read, but That Summer was much deeper and more meaningful than I was anticipating. It alludes to the #MeToo movement, and I think it is done very well. With that though, it might be good to double-check the content if you are sensitive to that topic.
First line: This is not a book about mental health, but about how it can be used as a weapon.
Summary: Elizabeth Packard, a wife and mother of six, has displeased her husband with her differing views on religion and politics. According to the laws of the land he is within his rights to commit her to an insane asylum. And this is exactly what he does. However, Elizabeth will not go quietly. For three years she lives inside the walls of the institution, writing her story and about the abuses of the staff and the superintendent. Finally, when she is released her problems are not over. There is still a battle to be won and no one is going to silence her until it is finished.
My Thoughts: If you are looking for a non-fiction book that reads like fiction then this is it. The story is very easy to follow, the flow is consistent throughout and the plot is compelling. Elizabeth’s story is probably more common than anybody realizes. A husband, father, or brother has become disgruntled with a woman and sends them away. It is sad and fascinating all at the same time.
I listened and read this at the same time. Both were very enjoyable ways to consume this book. The reader did a great job and kept my attention while I was doing other things as I listened.
I did get a little frustrated at times with Elizabeth. Even though she knew that certain men were the ones that put her in the asylum she continued to try and persuade them to change their minds. I liked to see that she was smart enough to manipulate the situations she was in or make the best of her times in the asylum. She kept her wits about her which many other women would not be able to do.
With her limited resources she improved the lives of many of the women trapped in the asylum with her. And when she left she did not forget the ones that were still imprisoned. She was an intelligent woman who knew how to get her points heard. Because of her campaigning she brought about changes for married women and patients in the asylums.