Fictionophile’s SEPTEMBER 2021 Reading Wrap-Up #MonthlyWrapUp

In the past month I’ve read TWELVE novels. And, would you believe it, SIX of them were 5 star reads!

I enjoyed every one of them, some more than others of course.

WHAT A DILEMMA!  I have never had such a stellar reading month. Twelve novels but most of them were SO good.  I have a four-way tie for ‘Book Of The Month’! All four are well-deserving 5 star reads.


“Rock Paper Scissors” by Alice Feeney

What a compelling, convoluted, and completely engrossing story! I read this one in a day and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

Having read Alice Feeney’s work twice before, I knew going in that I was in for some plot twists, but the sheer volume of them in this novel was staggering. The best part was that although there were indeed many twists, none of them seemed superfluous to requirements. They all flowed really well – each ratcheting up the tension…

The remote, wintry setting added greatly to the overall feel and ambiance of the novel.

This is a story of damaged and tortured individuals. A story of deception, secrecy, and loss of trust. A novel of infidelity and starting over. And, more importantly, if you are a lover of the thriller genre, this is a novel you shouldn’t miss.


Not A Happy Family” by Shari Lapena

What a page turner! This is Shari Lapena at her very best. The narrative fairly races along as the Merton siblings fall into dissension. They are riddled with mistrust and suspicion. Lies and deception abound. Avarice is rampant.

Although at first it was thought the double murder was a robbery/home invasion, the spotlight quickly turns to the Merton offspring as there are millions of dollars to be split between them. But could one of them have commit such a brutal crime?

This is one novel where I have to say that I didn’t much care for any of the characters. That didn’t stop be rapidly turning pages though. It was like rubbernecking at a train wreck… You just HAD to find out who murdered Fred and Sheila Merton!

The story is told with serpentine twists throughout. You literally don’t know whether you’re coming or going. The novel is told via multiple viewpoints, so you get to discern a little of what is going on in each of their minds. This is an addictive whodunit featuring a seriously dysfunctional family. It would make a fantastic movie.


“Painting The Light” by Sally Cabot Gunning

A marvelous story! From the first pages I was immediately living the life of the protagonist, Ida Russell. I was sharing her losses, her anger, her frustrations, and her joys. I was transported to her world.

The back-breaking work of life on a sheep farm was skillfully rendered, and the animals added greatly to my own enjoyment of the novel. I also appreciated the friendships Ida made following Ezra’s demise.

This historical novel had many serious themes such as betrayal, duplicity, loneliness, and the history of women’s rights. I will remember “Painting the Light” for a long, long, time.

“The Midwife’s Secret” by Emily Gunnis (my review will be published here on the blog on Oct. 3rd)
What a great read! This is a story of social injustice, corruption, and ancient crimes. This is my first read by this author and I have to say her writing reminded me a bit of that of Kate Morton and/or Eve Chase.

This novel will tug at your heart and gives the reader an almost gothic vibe with the old priest’s hole, a hidden room beneath the stairs. The Sussex setting lends itself well to the historical aspect of the book.

It is the story of two families: the ‘haves’, the Hiltons, and the ‘have-nots’, the James. The families live on adjoining properties and the James’s have suffered at the hands of the powerful Hilton family for decades. Social inequality is the overriding theme in my opinion. It shows how the rich and powerful can manipulate those with less – to their detriment.

This is not a crime novel as such, but there are many crimes to be found within its pages. The callous Leo Hilton was a truly despicable character.

“The Midwife’s Secret” was a memorable novel that spoke of grave losses and family skeletons/secrets. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I feel very lucky to have access to so many wonderful books. All the books above are reviewed here on the blog if you want to take a look.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Fictionophile report, Reading and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Fictionophile’s SEPTEMBER 2021 Reading Wrap-Up #MonthlyWrapUp

  1. I can believe it about the 5* reads because I had a similar experience in September. Glorious isn’t it when that happens?


  2. Wow six five star reads in a month is fantastic!


  3. Pingback: Fictionophile’s SEPTEMBER 2021 Reading Wrap-Up #MonthlyWrapUp – Imobiliare 24

  4. What an amazing reading month! Nice on having so many 5 ⭐ reads!!! Hope next month is equally or better than this one! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Fictionophile’s SEPTEMBER 2021 Reading Wrap-Up #MonthlyWrapUp – Book Library

  6. Pingback: Fictionophile’s SEPTEMBER 2021 Reading Wrap-Up #MonthlyWrapUp – Therapy Box

  7. Carol says:

    Wow Lynne! Amazing month! 🎉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s