Portsmouth Public Library book recommendations


Staff Report



The Portsmouth Public Library would like to recommend these book titles. Each title is available to borrow with your library card! For more book recommendations or information on applying for a library card go to www.yourppl.org or call 740-354-5688.

The Wedding Veil by Kristy Woodson Harvey – Four women. One family heirloom. A secret connection that will change their lives—and history as they know it. Present Day: Julia Baxter’s wedding veil, bequeathed to her great-grandmother by a mysterious woman on a train in the 1930s, has passed through generations of her family as a symbol of a happy marriage. But on the morning of her wedding day, something tells her that even the veil’s good luck isn’t enough to make her marriage last forever. Overwhelmed and panicked, she escapes to the Virgin Islands to clear her head. Meanwhile, her grandmother Babs is also feeling shaken. Still grieving the death of her beloved husband, she decides to move out of the house they once shared and into a retirement community. Though she hopes it’s a new beginning, she does not expect to run into an old flame, dredging up the same complicated emotions she felt a lifetime ago. 1914: Socialite Edith Vanderbilt is struggling to manage the luxurious Biltmore Estate after the untimely death of her cherished husband. With 250 rooms to oversee and an entire village dependent on her family to stay afloat, Edith is determined to uphold the Vanderbilt legacy—and prepare her free-spirited daughter Cornelia to inherit it—in spite of her family’s deteriorating financial situation. But Cornelia has dreams of her own. Asheville, North Carolina has always been her safe haven away from the prying eyes of the press, but as she explores more of the rapidly changing world around her, she’s torn between upholding tradition and pursuing the exciting future that lies beyond Biltmore’s gilded gates. Readers might also enjoy The Gown by Jennifer Robson or A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler.

The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith – Greta James’s meteoric rise to indie stardom was hard-won. Before she graced magazine covers and sold out venues, she spent her girlhood strumming her guitar in the family garage. Her first fan was her mother, Helen, whose face shone bright in the dusty downtown bars where she got her start—but not everyone encouraged Greta to follow her dreams. While many daydream about a crowd chanting their name, her father, Conrad, saw only a precarious life ahead for his daughter. Greta has spent her life trying to prove him wrong, but three months after Helen’s sudden death, and weeks before the launch of her high-stakes sophomore album, Greta has an onstage meltdown that goes viral. Attempting to outrun the humiliation and heartbreak, she reluctantly agrees to accompany her father on a week-long Alaskan cruise, the very one that her parents had booked to celebrate their fortieth anniversary. This could be the James family’s last chance to heal old wounds and will prove to be a voyage of discovery for them, as well as for Ben Wilder, a historian also struggling with a major upheaval in his life. Ben is on board to lecture about Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, the adventure story Greta’s mother adored, and he captures Greta’s attention after her streak of dating hanger-ons. As Greta works to build up her confidence and heal, and Ben confronts his uncertain future, they must rely on one another to make sense of life’s difficult choices. In the end, Greta must make the most challenging decision of all: to listen to the song within her or make peace with those who love her. Readers might also enjoy I Couldn’t Love You More by Esther Freud or One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle.

The Baxter’s by Karen Kingsbury – A terrible storm builds in the early morning sky over Bloomington, Indiana, as Elizabeth Baxter prepares to celebrate her daughter Kari’s wedding to Tim Jacobs. It’s supposed to be the happiest of days, but Elizabeth can’t shake a growing sense of dread. Is the storm a sign? Something bad is about to happen. Elizabeth knows it. Indeed, there are dark currents of conflict and doubt coursing through the Baxter family. In the midst of them, Kari Baxter is starting to panic. Is marrying Tim a mistake? And what about her family? Her brother Luke is angry and resentful of their sister Ashley, who has recently returned from Paris, a single mom with a son she too often leaves with their parents. At the same time, Ashley and their sister Brooke have lost the faith that is the family’s glue. Against all this, Kari sees Ashley rejecting her longtime love, Landon Blake, who clearly cares for her, no matter what happened in Paris. When the storm reaches a terrifying crescendo, a shocking moment of danger brings important truths to light. At the end of the long day, can the Baxter’s remain a family, tested but stronger? Readers might also enjoy Forgiving Paris by Karen Kingsbury or Redemption by Karen Kingsbury.

Staff Report