If I had to recommend one book to read this summer, this is it. Well written with a fast-moving plot, this book has it all -- splashes of humor and romance, complex emotions and family dynamics, and intriguing characters that you will love, plus some that you will love to hate. A mega-bestseller in France, The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles is an epic story of the ugly duckling, the forgotten Cinderella, the woman that everyone overlooked.
Josephine Cortes' drab life is upended when her husband has a mid-life crisis and skips town with his mistress to... get this... start a crocodile farm in Kenya. He leaves Josephine to deal with their dwindling finances and to parent their two daughters, the beautiful but trouble-making teen, Hortense, and the young and vulnerable Zoe. Josephine is a frumpy, shy woman that would rather disappear into her beloved medieval history books than deal with conflict. How will she ever handle all this on her own?
In stark contrast, Josephine's older sister Iris appears to have it all -- money aplenty, gorgeous house, charming husband -- and she enjoys flaunting her status. But in this book, emotions run deep under the surface and no character is quite as they seem. Iris' life may look perfect, but inside, she is dying from boredom and determined to make her mark on the world, no matter what it takes or who gets hurt in the process.
Without giving away the rest of the plot, I will say that this book was delightful and surprising, particularly the very satisfying ending. The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles is a beautiful, feel-good tale of the complexities of family relationships. Pack this book for your vacation read and I promise you'll devour it in no time and recommend it to all your friends.
Recommended by Erica Jesonis