Bedside Reading Mother’s Day Weekend Book Recommendations

“Our Bedside Reading books are living their best life in the Hamptons! As Mother’s Day approaches, we’re delighted to curate a selection of books perfectly suited to honor the remarkable women in our lives.” – Jane Ubell-Meyer, founder of Bedside Reading

“About The Carleton Sisters” by Dian Greenwood

Imagine the dying mother you’ve worked hard to love. Imagine further the same mother who plays favorites, never forgives, and swells with resentment over her own lost life. Three daughters, three extraordinarily different lives, are called into an obligatory reunion in the family home as a prelude to the mother’s impending death. In a 90,000-word literary novel set in the 1990s in California’s Central Valley, themes of jealousy, deception, and unlived life dominate “About the Carleton Sisters.” The novel opens inside Diego’s Diner on Highway 99, where Lorraine, the eldest, works as head waitress, at the same time attempting to convert the truckers and regional farmers to her fundamentalist religious beliefs. Becky, the youngest, lurches into this scene after a night’s drunken romp. While this drama unfolds, Julie, the middle sister, returns on a bus to River’s End, the fictitious town, from Las Vegas, where she’s been fired at the end of a long career as a Riviera showgirl. The central tension circles around Lorraine’s justification to cheat her sisters out of their inheritance while, at the same time, attempting to seduce her married pastor. In this small town Julie left at seventeen, the aging Las Vegas showgirl confronts the lost beauty she used to mask her insecurities. When she meets a cowboy on the bus, an unlikely romance ensues. Throughout the novel, Becky struggles to stay sober and out of jail until, finally, she finds a way to emancipate herself from her demons. The tension culminates in the dramatically assisted death of their mother and the revelation of their long-absent father’s secrets that have overshadowed their lives.

“The Palace at Dusk” by Angela Terry

Harvard-educated corporate attorney Jasmine “Jae” Phillips promised herself that she wouldn’t date anyone at the office. She’s too focused on the job, and her meh dating history can be summed up with a shrug. Then came Brad Summers. When Jae’s colleague Brad enters her office — boyish and handsome with his tousled hair and sparkling green-gold eyes — and asks if she’d like to grab a drink, she’s flattered. Their conversation makes her feel alive, fascinating, and fun, and the lonely Jae can’t help but bask in Brad’s attention. Soon, Jae is breaking her never-date-at-the-office rule. And when she later discovers that Brad has a wife and child, she finds herself breaking a much more serious rule.

“Alchemy’s Air” by Stacey L. Tucker

Skylar Southmartin is not the naïve girl she was a short year ago. She’s made some mistakes and learned a few secrets to life, all the while clinging to the faith her mother instilled in her as a child… in herself. And now that she has discovered her life’s purpose within the pages of the ancient Book of Sophia, she knows what she must do: restore a vital memory to the Akashic Library, located deep within the Underworld of Earth. This library is sought after by many who are aware of its existence, for they know the future of human potential rests at its core.

Meanwhile, Devlin Grayer has been elected as the 46th President of the United States. His wife, Milicent, is miserable in her new role as First Lady — especially because the Great Mothers have asked Milicent to use her new status to help their cause, and she has no interest in tackling that task.

With the help of friends in the unlikeliest of places, Skylar’s journey reveals the significance of the darkness within all of us and its potential to save or destroy the most precious part of us all: our soul.

“And Now There’s Zelda” by Carolyn Clarke

It’s been five years since Allison Montgomery’s beloved father-in-law, George, passed away and her cantankerous mother-in-law, Margaret, moved in. After nearly killing each other during their initial adjustment period, Allie and Margaret have finally buried the hatchet and have even launched a thriving home staging business together.

Today, Allie is enjoying life. That is until her twenty-two-year-old son, Cameron, unexpectedly brings home Zelda, his new fiancé. The problem is that no one has ever met or even heard of her. And when Zelda’s first impression raises more than a few red flags, Allie finds herself in unfamiliar territory.

Faced with the prospect of becoming a mother-in-law far sooner than expected and to someone unworthy of her darling baby boy, Allie’s protective instinct kicks in. And who better to turn to for guidance and support than Margaret, her former nemesis and master of the mothers-in-law’s dark arts?

Allie and Margaret launch Project Zelda, an intervention of sorts designed to show Cameron who Zelda really is and to prevent him from making a catastrophic mistake. However, with Zelda’s ingratiating behavior, Margaret’s occasional disappearances, and Allie’s doubts about turning into her own mother-in-law, will Allie find a way to reconcile her protective instincts, or will history repeat itself?

“Butter, Sugar, Magic” by Jessica Rosenberg

At best, she’s expecting a kitschy candy dish; at worst, a beloved taxidermied pet. So when Cassie — a newly divorced, single mom with zero prospects — discovers she’s inheriting a fully stocked bakery along with a beautifully furnished apartment from a great aunt she’d never even heard of, she’s convinced she must be dreaming.

The apartment bizarrely adapts itself to her whims, and the friendly neighbor floating fireballs in the air doesn’t help.

Cassie has two choices. She can hightail it out of this bewildering town and figure out another way to support her pre-teen daughter. Or she can stay and live the life of her dreams in this unsettling place where the rules of physics don’t seem to apply, and people are suspiciously friendly and welcoming.

When Cassie and her daughter agree to give this new place a trial run (the fantastic pet shop next door is a helpful draw), she’s not convinced they’ve made the right choice. That hesitation just might cost her the fantastic life she and her daughter deserve.

“The Twenty: One Woman’s Trek Across Corsica on the GR20 Trail” by Marianne Bohr

Marianne Bohr and her husband, about to turn sixty, are restless for adventure. They decide on an extended, desolate trek across the French island of Corsica — the GR20, Europe’s toughest long-distance footpath — to challenge what it means to grow old. Part travelogue, part buddy story, part memoir, “The Twenty” is a journey across a rugged island of stunning beauty little known outside of Europe.

“Incurable Optimist” by Jennifer Cramer-Miller

At twenty-two, Jennifer Cramer-Miller was thrilled with her new job, charming boyfriend, and Seattle apartment. Then she received a devastating autoimmune diagnosis, and suddenly, rather than planning for a bright future, she found herself soaking a hospital pillow with tears and grappling with words like “progressive” and “incurable.”  Spanning two-plus decades, this family love story explores loss and acceptance, moving forward with uncertainty and forging a path to joy. Four kidney transplants later, Cramer-Miller is here to shine a bright light on people, helping people in difficult times with a story that will make you want to hug the humans you love. Because sometimes it’s the sorrows that threaten to break us apart that ultimately unite us in hope.

“Out of the Darkness” by David A. Jacinto

Inspired by a true story, “Out of the Darkness” chronicles the journey of a 19th-century child coal miner who grows into a renowned engineer and joins Queen Victoria in fighting child labor. Along the way, we follow Tom Wright in his adventures and romances.

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