Unread Shelf Project 2019
This weekend is all about finishing my #unreadshelfproject2019 read, which I’ve had on my TBR since last year. I have hot chocolate, a cozy blanket and I am READY FOR ACTION. 📚📚📚
I am loving this challenge for two reasons. One - its bringing a group of readers together to bond over our never ending, toppling TBR piles. Without question you feel better when you realize you are not the only one with piles of books you haven’t read yet, and a compulsion to keep buying more. Two - It means reading some really great books that have been sitting here FOREVER. There are amazing books that I haven’t gotten to just because I stay in a tsunami of new releases. It feels GREAT to get back to some of those and rediscover the fun of backlist must reads.
I actually started this book last year, but it wasn’t the right book for me at that time, so I set it back down. Now, however, it was a great fit.
When eight-year-old Vinni Stewart disappears from a Jersey shore town, Maddy, her distraught single mother, begins a desperate search for her daughter. Maddy’s five-year journey leads her to a bakery in Brooklyn, where she stumbles upon something terrifying. Ultimately, her artist neighbor Evelyn reconnects Maddy to her passion for painting and guides her to a life transformed through art.
Detective John D’Orfini sees more than a kidnapping in the plot-thickening twists of chance surrounding Vinni’s disappearance, but his warnings to stay away from the investigation do not deter Maddy, even when her search puts her in danger. When the Russian Mafia warns her to stop sniffing into their business, Maddy must make a choice whether to save one child―even if it might jeopardize saving her own.
A character driven mystery is always a good way to waste away a cold winter night! Plus according to my Unread Shelf Checklist, my first read of the year can be any book I have.
What a terrific debut novel from Julie Maloney this turned out to be! I loved that this was a complex character drama that had a little mystery woven throughout making it a compelling and absorbing read from start to finish.
Set in five parts, following the five years following Maddy's daughter's disappearance, Julie does wonderful work demonstrating the absolute nightmare that any parent would experience losing a child with limited leads to follow. I enjoyed the complexity and differences in the characters and their responses to the disappearance, and I appreciated that Julie wrote Maddy as someone who was never going to give up hope to find her daughter, but also as an individual that had to find herself again in the aftermath of this tragedy.
I think that Maddy’s uneven, complicated relationship with herself was one of my favorite parts of this book. She clearly has an idea of who she wants to be, and has this passion for painting within her, and the fact that it was this rocky, complex path for her to get to this space of her new life and her new normal felt very grounded in reality. It obviously would be near impossible to really settle in a new life, but on the other hand, life goes on regardless of tragedy, and I think Julie strikes the right balance between the two with giving Maddy space to grow as a character.
While some of the plot points (mostly Mafia related) veered to the unbelievable, it didn't deter me from enjoying the ride from start to finish - as the twists to the mystery starting being revealed, it was incredible fun connecting the dots and seeing where the story would play out.
Definitely an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon of getting lost in a story that will leave you rooting for everyone to get their happy ending.
QOTD: What are you reading this weekend friends? If you want to join our support chat for the Unread Shelf Project (based in IG DM’s) let me know below and I’ll add you! 😊📚
Happy Friday!!! 📚☕️📚