The Lioness (book review)

I have been waiting (and waiting and waiting) for this book to become available at my library. It finally did…and I read it…and I loved it!

Before I talk about The Lioness I have to mention that I love this author. I read The Flight Attendant and The Hour of the Witch and while I enjoyed them, I found myself frequently talking to the main characters (which is not something I make a habit of) and exclaiming things like, “GIRL, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!” Or “OMG, YOU IDIOT!” And so forth and so on.

The Lioness is Chris Bohjalian’s latest book, which he apparently wrote in 2020 during quarantine…or as he so aptly put it, during the year that Satan spawned. I think it must have made a difference because this is my favorite of his books (at least the ones I’ve read.) I was captivated immediately and just devoured the book (no pun intended, ha!)

I’m hesitant to describe the book in much detail because I don’t want to give anything away. It’s set in the 1960’s when a Hollywood movie star and her entourage go on an African safari. They anticipated seeing giraffes munching on leaves or seeing elephants or wildebeest…and things didn’t exactly go as planned.

The book is written from several character’s viewpoints, which typically annoys me. It didn’t in The lioness. Each chapter is labeled with the character speaking, so it’s very easy to follow and doesn’t feel strange. And it makes sense. (But if this usually isn’t a format you care for, you might not like it.)

Chris Bohjalian is a lovely writer. His characters are all well rounded and intriguing and he describes Africa and the animals and challenges so well that it’s easy to imagine being there.

Excellent book, highly recommend! Five stars.

Five Stars for The Housemaid

Description:

“Welcome to the family,” Nina Winchester says as I shake her elegant, manicured hand. I smile politely, gazing around the marble hallway. Working here is my last chance to start fresh. I can pretend to be whoever I like. But I’ll soon learn that the Winchesters’ secrets are far more dangerous than my own…

Every day I clean the Winchesters’ beautiful house top to bottom. I collect their daughter from school. And I cook a delicious meal for the whole family before heading up to eat alone in my tiny room on the top floor.

I try to ignore how Nina makes a mess just to watch me clean it up. How she tells strange lies about her own daughter. And how her husband Andrew seems more broken every day. But as I look into Andrew’s handsome brown eyes, so full of pain, it’s hard not to imagine what it would be like to live Nina’s life. The walk-in closet, the fancy car, the perfect husband.

I only try on one of Nina’s pristine white dresses once. Just to see what it’s like. But she soon finds out… and by the time I realize my attic bedroom door only locks from the outside, it’s far too late.

But I reassure myself: the Winchesters don’t know who I really am.

They don’t know what I’m capable of…

I was so excited to read this ARC of The Housemaid by Freida McFadden and wow! It did not disappoint! I read (devoured) this book in one day…super good, full of surprises, lots of suspense, and twists and turns.

I don’t know what else I can say about this book that’s not in the description (without giving anything away 😅) except to say, look for The Housemaid when it’s released April 26th. Add this to your summer reading list. Five fabulous stars!