1) The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass. 4/5 stars. There's a lot going on in this book. There are four separate narrators, each with a major "issue." I liked the eponymous widower, Percy Darling, the best. He's the main narrator. His dry wit and old-fashioned formality reminded me so much of Major Pettigrew. They are both so dignified in this increasingly undignified age. The other storylines focus on Percy's grandson Robert, who gets embroiled with a eco-terrorism group, an undocumented immigrant named Celestino, and a gay preschool teacher, Ira. [See what I mean about "issues!"] I think the author did a good job bringing all the characters together in the end for a not quite happily-ever-after but satisfying conclusion.
2) A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny. 3.5/5 stars. This is the second installment in the Armande Gamache mystery series set in the small town of Three Pines in Quebec. I didn't realize when I read the first book that the whole series was set in Three Pines. How can there be so many murders in such a small town?!? I didn't like this book quite as much as the first one, but I will definitely continue with the series. It's a classic "cozy mystery."
3) Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave. 3.5/5 stars. This is a light read and fairly predictable but I enjoyed it. The main character, Georgia, grew up on a vineyard in Sonoma County. When she finds out a surprising secret about her fiancé she returns home from L.A. And discovers a her family has been keeping a few other secrets as well, which causes her to rethink all her life plans.
4) We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. 3/5 stars. This book starts out as the main character, Letty, is forced to step up and truly parent her children - 15 year old Alex and 6 year old Luna - when her parents, who have raised the kids while Letty works multiple jobs, return to Mexico. Introduce a handsome co-worker and the reappearance of Alex's father (who Letty had never told about Alex). There is also a plot line involving Alex's girlfriend, an undocumented immigrant, which I think is the issue the author is spotlighting here, much like the foster care system in The Language of Flowers, although it was more subtly done on that book, which I liked better.
Swede's Book of the Month: My Big Girl Undies by Karen Katz. What power Karen Katz has over toddlers, I do not know, but Swede regularly chooses her books at the library. This is the current favorite, which she requests I read 4-5 times at bedtime. Maybe this means that potty training is imminent? Let's hope so, as I would dearly love to have just one child in diapers again!