Opinions & Features Workshop (Oct 26th)

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Andrea’s Book Nook: Four recommended mystery reads so thrilling you won’t be able to put them down

By Andrea Silva Santisteban Fort, November 20 2021—

With this piece, I want to recommend to you four books with a mystery-based plot. They range from paranormal and thriller reads to historical and literary fiction that I hope can capture your interest and entertain you. Happy reading!

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell:

This book is a psychological thriller situated in a communal garden square and packed with secrets, appearances and family drama. It tells the story of Clare and her eleven- and twelve-year-old daughters, Grace and Pip, who move to an apartment in a close-knit and peaceful community called Virginia Crescent. When Grace is found unconscious and badly wounded on her thirteenth birthday in the communal garden square, the community is shaken, and everyone starts questioning one another.

As details about the event and more information about the past start to emerge, the reader can see how the tension slowly builds. This book is for mystery readers in need of a story filled with interesting characters and a complex plot.

Layla by Colleen Hoover: 

Layla is a paranormal thriller that tells the love story of Leeds and Layla. Leeds is a bass player for a country band he hates. As he is performing at a wedding, he is captivated by Layla, a beautiful woman trapped in her imagination. They quickly become inseparable. Nevertheless, everything changes when a horrible attack occurs and Layla is severely injured. To help his soulmate recover, Leeds books the abandoned Bed and Breakfast in which they first met. 

As Layla’s mood and attitude change, their romantic vacation seems to be tearing them further apart. Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds finds solace in Willow, an unexpected guest at the Bed and Breakfast. As his curiosity for Willow grows, so does his desire to help her find herself again. This forms a complicated plot in which things are not what they seem. Layla is a read that feels like a rollercoaster of emotions that I am sure will keep you captivated.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng:

This story is about Lydia, the middle and favourite child of Marilyn and James Lee. She represents a possibility to each of her parents to fulfill their failed dreams. For her mother, Lydia has the opportunity to become what her mother Marilyn never could — a doctor. For her father, Lydia can achieve his dreamed popularity and social acceptance. Together, the two parents trap their young daughter and neglect their other two children, Nath and Hannah, in the process.

As the plot progresses, the reader can follow the past and present and understand what happened to Lydia. Everything I Never Told You goes deep into the complex family dynamic of the Lees and what built-up resentment can do. This is an original and excellent-written debut novel with great character development.

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff:

The Lost Girls of Paris is a book that gives you a fictional look inside of the lives of the young women who were placed as secret agents in occupied France during World War II. In other words, the context and plot of the story are  based on the experiences of real-life women who were spies during one of the darkest times of human history. The plot is told under three perspectives that range in location and time. One point of view is Grace’s, a young widow in 1946 who stumbles across photos she finds in a suitcase abandoned in Grand Central Terminal.

She is persistent in trying to find out who these women are and what their was role during the war. The other two storylines belong to Eleanor Trigg — the woman in charge of training the radio operators and other spies sent to occupied France — and Marie, a young and brave mother who leaves everything behind to serve her country in 1944. As the story progresses, the reader gets to learn what happened to the three women and who is trying to hide the truth about the events that occurred during the war. The Lost Girls of Paris is a mystery based on historical events but can also be considered a  tale of bravery, betrayal and sacrifice.


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