If you like stories with split timelines or those set in the post-Civil War South, give “The Book of Lost Friends” by Lisa Wingate a try. The times are 1875 and 1987. In 1875, Hannie Gossett, like countless ex-slaves, is trying to find the family she was sold away from when she was six years old. The term “lost friends” refers to appeals for information on lost family members of ex-slaves, published in the newspapers or read from pulpits, as they tried to find one another after the Civil War. In 1987, Benedetta is a newly minted teacher in a poverty-stricken area of Louisiana trying to reach her disinterested students. She hits upon the idea of getting them to investigate their family’s backgrounds, which eventually brings her into contact with present-day members of the Gossett family. “The Book of Lost Friends” is currently on the New York Times bestseller list.
“Postscript” is Cecelia Ahern’s sequel to “P.S. I Love You,” which also became a popular movie. In this book, set seven years after Gerry’s death, Holly Kennedy has moved on with her life. Then her sister asks her to speak on a podcast about the letters Gerry left her (in the first book) to read after his death. The podcast brings on a torrent of people who want Holly’s advice on writing letters for their own loved ones to read after they are gone. Reluctant to re-open wounds at first, Holly ultimately finds her life enriched by these encounters.
“The Honey- Don’t List” is a romantic comedy by Christina Lauren. Carey has worked for Melly and Rusty Tripp since she was 16, cashiering in their first store. Now the couple are celebrities, with an HGTV show featuring their design and remodeling advice and a new book out. Behind the public face, Melly and Rusty can’t stand each other. Carey and new hire James both must go on the Tripps’ book tour, tasked with keeping the truth about their employers’ marital troubles out of public view. Carey and James both hate the assignment, but might there turn out to be some compensations?