Last weekend a snowstorm hit Kansas City and I welcomed it with open arms. The snow was a perfect excuse to stay in my apartment all weekend without any judgement. (Not that I would care anyway, to be honest.) I have a love/hate relationship with the snow. I love how it looks, and I love how peaceful it can feel. But I hate the inevitable task of digging out my car or getting snow inside of my shoes.

I kept my blinds open and watched the snow come down on Friday night. My dog, Ringo, and I even went on a late night walk that felt strange, and bright and like we were the only two living beings left on Earth.

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Being cooped up all weekend was the perfect excuse to get lost in a book. I managed to finish two.

My first read of the weekend was Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. I mentioned in my last post that The Nightingale by the same author was my favorite book of the year. I was excited to read another book by this author who captivated me so much.

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Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard: the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time – and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.” (Goodreads

I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars. The way this story was told was unique and beautiful. I felt invested in these characters and got lost in the chapters that were Anya’s fairytale. The ending lost me a bit.. but overall this was definitely a book worth reading. I already have two more Hannah novels checked out from the library.

My second read of the weekend was The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. This book doesn’t come out until next month but I was lucky enough to get my hands on it through Book of the Month.

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Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…” (Goodreads)

I gave this 5 out of 5 stars. When a twist makes me stop dead in my tracks and say, “wait… what?!” you know it’s a good one. I went back and reread it when it happened just to make sure I was processing what happened. I do think the literal last page left something to be desired, but I definitely recommend pre-ordering this one if you’re looking for a thriller with a twist.

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