The Suite Life Book Review

There are many writers who are lucky enough to have one novel that is a success. There are even fewer writers who have the chance to continue to tell their story.

Suzanne Corso’s 2013 novel, The Suite Life, is the follow up to her debut novel, Brooklyn Story.

The Suite Life starts in 1996. Samantha Conti is working at a day job that pays the bills, but her dream is to be a novelist. Her manuscript, The Blessed Bridge, based on her relationship with Tony is waiting to be published. But her dreams are hold, thanks to Tony’s long distance connections.

Then Samantha meets Alex DeMarco. Alex works on Wall Street and sweeps Samantha off of her feet in a whirlwind courtship. Their marriage and the birth of their daughter soon follows. But Alex has a few demons of his own to conquer. When Alex’s professional ambitions and financial gains know no bounds, Samantha begins to question her choices and her marriage. Can she make her dreams of being a published author a reality or will she be forced to spend the rest of her life watching her husband destroy himself and the life they have built?

I adore this book. I adored her first book. Samantha’s reaction to Alex is the reaction that any woman would have, especially after dating a guy like Tony Kroon.  A rich, handsome, confidant guy who sweeps you off of your feet and seems to take away all of your problems? Sounds like a dream. A modern prince charming who instead of riding a white steed and living in a castle, drives a Maserati and lives in  a Manhattan loft that costs more in rent for one month than some people make in six months is a dream come true for some women. But Alex nowhere near prince charming and will nearly end up destroying his marriage and the life that he and Samantha have built together.

I highly recommend this book.

The Innocents Book Review

Edith Wharton’s Age Of Innocence is  a classic. Newland Archer’s inner struggle between personal desire and duty is timeless.

Francesca Segal’s debut novel, Innocence, moves the story from Gilded Age New York to a predominately Jewish suburb in North London. Newland Archer has become Adam Newman. Adam’s life is well ordered and perfect. He is living in the same community he was born into, newly engaged to Rachel Gilbert, his longtime girlfriend and working for Rachel’s father at his law firm.

His world and his decision making is turned when Ellie, Rachel’s independent, rebellious and headstrong cousin returns from New York, running from a scandal. When Adam takes on Ellie’s case, he begins to question if his well ordered and perfect life is really what he wants.

There are some fans who are so cannon (fanfiction term for original script or novel) that any reboot which removes the characters and story line from their original setting seems blasphemous. I am not one of those fans.

However, there is something to be said when a writer takes a risk and tells a new story, instead of retreading the path of another writer. It doesn’t take much to change Ellen Olenska, a woman trying to divorce her abusive European aristocratic husband to Ellie Schneider, a young woman escaping a sex scandal involving a prominent public figure.

Did I enjoy the novel? I can’t say I didn’t, but I look forward to her next novel when she tells a new story instead of re-writing an old one.

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