Review: London Road

Title: London Road, Linked Stories Volume 1

Author: Tessa Smith McGovern

Setting: London, present day

Theme: second chances, family, mental health, love

This little book starts with Janice, recently released from prison for manslaughter with no plans and no friends. She’s heard vaguely about a boarding house that will take in people like her, so she heads that way. It turn out to be a lucky break.

All these stories are short, each focusing on just one person, and just little glimpses into one day of the life of the residents of the London Road boarding house. But together, those glimpses add up to a complex picture. I quite liked this book and I would love to read more by this author.

Review: City Mouse

For all those out there who think the suburbs are hell, this is the book for you.

Title: City Mouse

Author: Stacey Lender

Themes: suburbs/city, social mores, motherhood, female relationships, working, marriage

Setting: NYC and a nearby suburb

Format: physical book

Source: ARC – thank you, Kaylie Jones Books and Library Thing

Jessica and her husband are finally ready to make the big move from the city to the suburbs, but Jessica doesn’t find the paradise she expected. She’s having a little trouble making friends, when the neighbor brings over a treat and invites her to a cookout. Everyone is friendly at first, but on closer acquaintance, she finds a few flaws. These new friends fight too much, drink too much, swear too much, and that’s just the warm up.

But Jessica is so desperate to fit in that she ignores all the warning signs and throws herself and her two kids into every activity she can fit into her schedule. She’s got the nanny, the preschool, the giant mortgage, the commute – so why isn’t it as fulfilling as she expected?

So far, this is about what I expected from this book. For all that I believe in sisterhood and feminism, I know that the mommy wars can be nasty. They shouldn’t be. We should support each other. But in reality, so many women are insecure about their choices and they take that out on each other.

 

My main complaint about this book was the amount of sex in here, and the amount of casual cheating going on in this group of friends. Maybe my friends are the exceptions here, but I would NEVER consider flirting with, much less sleeping with a friend’s husband, and I’ve never had one hit on me. (So awkward!) Really, I didn’t identify with these women very much at all. It was like reading about a myth of suburban life, and nothing like what I actually experience. For this reason, I have to give it 2.5 stars.