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"The Forgotten Garden: A Novel" by Kate Morton

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The Forgotten Garden shifts back and forth through time to solve a mystery about a four year old girl Nell; abandoned and waiting alone on a dock in Australia for parents who never come. The only link to her past is a little white suitcase the child carried when she was found.

Nell embarks on an adventure and attempts to piece together the mystery surrounding her past. Her travels lead her to Blackhurst Manor, delving deep into a family's secrets and purchasing a cottage in Cornwall near the Manor. Before she can solve the mystery of her past, Nell dies but her grandaughter Cassandra takes up the quest. This is a fairytale-like novel with old houses and hidden gardens all containing secrets and surprises.

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

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If Tara French and Gillian Flynn went on vacation in England together to an amusement park (think English Jersey Shore) this would surely be the outcome. Two women who haven't seen each other since they committed a heinous crime together as children cross paths as adults when one, now a reporter, visits the other, an amusement park employee, to investigate the brutal murders that take place in the vacation town. If you're anything like me, you'll most likely peg the killer within the first third of the book, but be warned that things are definitely not what they seem.  A perfect beach read for those in denial about the recent wintry weather or an equally creepy Halloween appropriate thriller. 

Unsinkable: A Memoir by Debbie Reynolds

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A youngster during movies ‘Golden Age’, Reynolds writes a wonderfully funny & heartfelt memoir of her trials, tribulations and friendships.  She shares her children, Carrie and Todd Fisher, personal problems, as they struggle with their own successes as well as their famous parents.    Her disastrous marriages brought her to bankruptcy, but she never despaired- and that’s the heart of this story, how her spirit, talent and personality kept her from sinking.

All Souls: A Family Story From Southie by Michael Patrick McDonald

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In this devastatingly honest memoir Michael MacDonald, one in a family of ten, recounts his experience growing up in Southie which is one of South Boston’s public housing projects.  Described by all the residents as “the best place in the world”, McDonald has the courage to pull back this veil and tell the emotional and powerful true story.  MacDonald explores the busing riots of the 1970s, Southie’s “no snitch” culture, the loss of four of his own siblings, and the exploits of Whitey Bulgar (the town’s top gangster and father figure).  Through all of this pain and loss McDonald is still able to point out areas of hope and the strong sense of community that is still alive in Southie today.  

Picture Book Selection for Travelers

Adele and her brother Simon are coming to America from France to visit their Aunt Cecile, who takes them on a train trip to see the United States!  Simon is more interested in seeing all of the sights than in keeping track of his belongings, which become lost from New York City to San Francisco.  See if you can find what Simon lost in each picture.  The detailed drawings and sweet story will delight readers of all ages, but particularly those ages 4-8. 

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