Neshama’s Choices for November 22nd

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The Copenhagen Affair

Sanya has a high-powered job in finance but when she’s finally offered a long overdue partnership, she has a meltdown and withdraws.  Her husband Harry has a pending deal in Denmark and thinks short-term relocation might be good for both of them. It’s a glamorous sexy scene in the upper echelons and Ravn, who is slated to be a business partner, awakens Sanya’s inner wild woman. However, there’s something rotten in Denmark and Sanya’s financial acumen eventually ferrets it out. Despite some rom com clichés, I enjoyed seeing our heroine come into her own. 

The Kites

In Normandy around WWII Uncle Ambrose makes kites; he’s actually become a local celebrity.  His nephew Ludo, the protagonist, gets involved in the Resistance. He yearns for a Polish girl he met awhile back but they can only connect fitfully. Amazing characters, eccentric and brave, are part of the effort, including a renowned chef who will not compromise his craft despite deprivations. The kites express the creative spirit, political commentary, and carry coded messages. Written in 1980 and recently translated into English, this book is packed with examples of courage in dark times. And very French. 

The Night She Disappeared

Tallulah, 19, is a young single mother who lives at home. The baby’s father, Zach, really wants to make a family with her.  But he’s very possessive and she’s starting to feel trapped.  Enter Scarlett, very rich, very dysfunctional, very seductive. After a wild night at Scarlett’s creepy manse, Zach and Tallulah never return. Could they have run off?  Highly unlikely but with no trace, there’s no case.  Two years later, Sophie, a mystery writer, comes to town with her boyfriend who’s teaching at the local private school. She learns the story, clues come her way, and she digs deep. Scarlett’s family is nasty indeed, she discovers, and the denouement is sad and stunning

The Therapist

This small, gated community in London seems safe but newcomers Alice and Leo don’t exactly feel welcome. Theirs is a very new, somewhat precipitous relationship. Alice is still suffering from the loss of her family in a car crash; she was the driver. She’s a translator who can work from home; Leo’s occupation is mysterious. So here’s the rub: their house was the scene of a gruesome murder; that’s why it was so affordable. (Leo didn’t tell her about it ahead of time.) Alice feels compelled to explore the story further with the help of a private investigator. A tricksy psychological thriller with more than a few possible perpetrators which keeps the suspense zinging along. 

The Turnout

The gossamer world of ballet is actually quite brutal and ingrown. Literally here as two sisters teach at the studio they inherited which is also the family’s home.  Dara’s married to Charlie who trained there but is now sidelined with injuries. Younger Marie is part of the ménage until tensions erupt between the siblings at the worst possible time, the annual performance of The Nutcracker. Rivalry and nastiness among students and their parents ratchet up tension further. As does a contractor who is brought in to make essential repairs but the job gets way out of hand. Family secrets, fatal accidents—whoo boy! The tone of the book is somewhat chilly but I was in thrall to horror fascination. 

Back next week.