Tag Archives: review

The Spymistress

This historical novel by Jennifer Chiaverini (Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker), tell the story of  Elizabeth Van Lew, a young well to do lady of Richmond, Virginia during the turbulent Civil War. This historical figure risked her life as a Union sympathizer to pass information to Northern forces and offer aid and comfort to the wounded Union prisoners of war that lived in deplorable conditions. The author deftly tells her story and offers readers a fascinating portrait of this amazing woman. She was so well regarded by the North that when she died destitute in 1900, Massachusetts admirers arraigned for a boulder from the grounds of the Massachusetts State House to be shipped to Richmond to serve as her headstone.

VanLew
             images
Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under author, book, literary, review

Z a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

image

by Therese Anne Fowler This is a fascinating work of fiction that brings the mysterious and enigmatic Zelda Fitzgerald to life and fleshed out a personality previously portrayed as crazy and shrewish. Zelda had talents and dreams of her own but was unable to make a name for herself as hers were always subjugated by those of her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald, and his fragile ego feared anyone’s success over his. The author drew from archived letters from and to both F. Scott and Zelda to create this vivid and fascinating portrait.

Leave a comment

Filed under author, book, literary, Uncategorized

A Dual Inheritance

 by Joanna Hershon

A sweeping novel of the lives of two very different men, in background and temperament, who meet as students at Harvard in the early 1960’s. Bold and outspoken Ed Cantowitz is from working class Dorchester and strives to climb the economic and social ladder. Hugh Shipley on the other hand is from a wealthy Boston family, already perched at the top of his social class, he is a budding photographer with a penchant for whisky. Their paths converge and then part as the choices each of them make take unexpected tolls on each of their lives. Love, family, tragedy and social class distinction converge in a series of twists of fate in this lush novel.ibg.common.titledetail.imageloader

Leave a comment

Filed under author, book, literary, review

MAGNIFICENCE by Lydia Millet

ImageSusan is a serial adulterer whose life is shattered by her husband’s sudden death. As she struggles to maintain a healthy relationship with her grown, paraplegic daughter, she unexpectedly inherits a mansion from a distant relative, who had filled the magnificent house with stuffed and mounted animals from around the world. At first she is creeped out by them and then becomes their caretaker, as well as the part time involuntary caretaker of her former boss’ elderly mother, who suffers from dementia. The novel explores the many forms loss can take, a loved one’s death, when it is to late to make amends, her daughter’s loss of what could have been if not for her accident, the slow loss of personality in the elderly with dementia, and the loss of animals in the wild to extinction. A sometimes funny and touching novel that reminds us to live life to the fullest while not closing our eyes to the beauty and mystery of life!

Coming November 2012

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Beautiful Ruins”

image

Pub date June 2012
This novel is a brilliant story of love told in two time periods, Italy 1960’s and “Recently” in Hollywood and elsewhere. Most of the Italian portion takes place in a tiny village on the coast where young Pasquale dreams of turning his late father’s small hotel “The Hotel Adequate View” into a tourist draw that will finally put their tiny village on the map. One day a beautiful American actress arrives, she has gotten ill during the filming of “Cleopatra” (Richard Burton plays a key role in this novel, realistically portrayed)

What happens to these diverse characters as they collide and converge over the course of their lives will keep you reading long into the night. The once famous film producer, who as a young man was sent to ‘rescue’ the disastrous Burton/Taylor mess that was “Cleopatra”, and who bears a striking resemblance to Robert Evans (extreme plastic surgery) and ended up the puppetmaster behind the scenes of Richard Burton’s philandering. Dee, the beautiful actress who leaves the Italian coast,  and Pasquale, forever changed, and many other characters who are all searching for love and meaning in their lives and grow into people who can accept the mistakes of the past because they created a present they can live with. Imagine if you could make amends (or attempt to) for something in your past left undone?

A brilliantly written novel that is as entertaining as it is unexpectedly literary.

1 Comment

Filed under author, book, literary, review

“The Flight of Gemma Hardy” due January 24!

Many are referring to this novel as a ‘remake’ of “Jane Eyre”, but I just sat back & allowed myself to be enveloped in this beautifully written literary novel. Set in the 1960’s, Gemma is orphaned as a young girl and taken from her native Iceland to live with her uncle, aunt & cousins, she is embraced by all except her aunt who turns her into more or less a slave. Through hard work & intelligence she ends up graduating from boarding school and becoming an au pair on the Orkney Islands in Scotland, taking care of a troubled young girl and falling in love, until a dark secret is revealed that turns her life in a completely different direction. This would be a great book club choice!

1 Comment

Filed under author, book, literary, review

“The Cat’s Table” by Michael Ondaatje

 

 

This is an amazing work of fiction, incredibly crafted literature. I urge anyone who enjoys sublime writing to read it.

It’s the story of a young boy from Colombo, on a ship with various fascinating passengers, each with their own secrets, some that take his lifetime to figure out, some to be forever a mystery. It is just a wonder of a read.

Leave a comment

Filed under author, book, literary, review