Saturday, November 17, 2018

Blog Tour Book Review and Giveaway NOW: "A Light of her Own" by Carrie Callaghan

The Dutch Treat

Book Review: 

A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan


Judith Leyster lived in Holland in the 17th century, during a time when such things as painting, needlework and music, were acceptable as feminine pastimes. For example, artist Frans De Grebber taught all his children to paint, including his daughter Maria, and he even took on Judith as an apprentice. Despite this, the domain for women was still mostly in the home, and not as professionals of any kind. This didn’t stop Judith and her unique talent from gaining entry into the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke, as one of their first female members. In this historical fiction novel, Callaghan paints a portrait of Judith with her colorful words.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Available NOW Book 3 of Jacey Bedford's Rowankind for pre-order!


I recently got the following email from my friend, author Jacey Bedford, which I had to share with my readers:

Book Three of Jacey Bedford's Rowankind Trilogy Will be Here Soon!


Penguin Random House just sent me a very nice email to ask me if I wanted to pre-order my own book! Though ROWANKIND isn't out until 4th December officially, it seems to say that (if you're in USA or Canada) you can pre-order the ebook for delivery on 27th November.

Pre-ordering helps the author like this: When you pre-order a book, it tells bookstores people want this book, which makes them typically stock more copies of the book, which of course means more people see it and buy it.

So, of course I'd be very grateful if you're thinking of buying Rowankind, that you pre-order, either ebook (USA and Canada only) or paperback version.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Home Again, Kathleen




The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher


This biographical, historical fiction novel, by debut author Kerri Maher, focuses on the life of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, later known as Kathleen Cavendish, the Marchioness of Hartington. Before she became a Marchioness, Kick was the fourth child and second daughter, of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, who were also the parents to President John F. Kennedy, and his brother Robert F. Kennedy. While these two Kennedys later were in the spotlight across the world for their political activities (and subsequent assassinations), much less about Kick is remembered today. In this book, Maher works to correct this oversight, and remind us of what this woman could have been, had her life not been cut so short. 
(Thanks for the free book, @PRHGlobal / @prhinternational)

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Gilding of a Lady

A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler 


The wealth of the Vanderbilt family was astounding both in their day and by today’s standards, even if one never takes inflation into account. Back in the late 1800s, that should have meant something. However, all it meant was that they had mounds of money, because their family hadn’t lived in America enough generations for them to be accepted into New York’s high society. Alva Smith, on the other hand, had the appropriate lineage and standing, but her family’s fortune was ravaged by the Civil War and were on the brink of starvation. Although the subtitle of this book is “A Novel of the Vanderbilts” Fowler’s latest novel is really more Alva’s story than that of a whole family. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Educating Harry

Man and Boy by Tony Parsons 


The blurb for this book on Goodreads says, “Harry Silver had it all: a beautiful wife, a wonderful son, a great job in the media. But in one night he throws it all away. Then Harry must start to learn what life and love are really all about.” So generally, I hate it when I read that a character “had it all” because we all know from this that something is going to go terribly wrong, and the book is going to be all about their struggle to recover from some tragedy that’s not really their fault. However, in this instance, we immediately see that he’s to blame for his own predicament, so I figured this one might be a little different. More importantly, I was looking for something that wouldn’t be as heavy as some of the other books I’d recently finished reading, and the blurbs on the cover did talk about this one being funny. That’s the main reason I decided to read this book. The question is, was it a good choice or not? 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Ghostly Blues

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton 


According to Goodreads, this book is “a story of murder, mystery, and thievery; of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold…” of course, the woman is refers to is the titular Clockmaker’s Daughter. However, her voice is hardly the only one we hear in this book, and the many other voices spread across time, beginning in the mid-1800s through the 21st century. 

This is actually the first Morton I’ve read, even though I know we have one or two of her novels on our shelves; I’ve simply never gotten around to reading any of them. This is obviously a hole in my literary education, because what I found here was quite unexpected on several levels. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Three Belles’ Secrets.

The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White. 


The sinking of the Lusitania by Germany was the tragic event that brought America into the first World War. In this novel, the three co-authors, look at that event through the eyes of three women, two of whom survived the disaster, and one woman, Sarah Blake, who looking into the past to find inspiration for her next book by hopefully uncovering the truth about her great-grandfather, who was a purser on the ship. The two passengers are Tessa Fairweather and Caroline Telfair Hochstetter, whose paths end up crossing despite their sailing on separate classes. Goodreads says “As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives . . . and history itself.” 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Female Confidential

Vox: A Novel by Christina Dalcher. 


This novel is set in the not too distant future, where institutional misogyny has reached such heights that women are now totally out of the workforce and females are only allowed to speak 100 words a day (and no cheating with sign language, either). The new government has put wristbands that count every female’s words and if they go above their allotment, they get an electric shock that gets worse the more they speak. In this world we find Jean, a former scientist who was on the brink of curing aphasia, who is now relegated to her home, where she lives with her husband, three sons and her young daughter. However, when the president’s brother is in a skiing accident, with a brain injury that gives him the exact type of aphasia Jean had been trying to cure, the government calls on her to rejoin her old team and finish the job. But all is not what it seems in this dictatorial, woman hating world. (Thanks for the free book, @PRHGlobal/@prhinternational

Saturday, August 25, 2018

A Village Education

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald 


It is 1959, and Florence Green is in Hardborough, a small seaside town in England’s East Anglia region, that doesn’t have its own book shop. This is something that Florence wants to fix. The only problem is, there seems to be some opposition to where she’s chosen to open it, the Old House. Although the building has stood empty for quite some time, there are people in town who have other ideas for that property. 

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the movie adaptation of this novella, which I found totally charming. Since the generalization is that the book is better than the film, I decided to hunt down a copy of this book and find out for myself if this one obeyed that rule, is one of the few exceptions, or something in between. I have to warn my readers that because of the close proximity between seeing the movie and reading the book, this may end up being a review of both, with some compare and contrast slipped in, for better or worse. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Diving in together

The Lido by Libby Page 


On Goodreads, the blurb for this novel says “Kate is a twenty-six-year-old riddled with anxiety and panic attacks who works for a local paper in Brixton, London, covering forgettably small stories. When she’s assigned to write about the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation center), she meets Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow who has swum at the lido daily since it opened its doors when she was a child. It was here Rosemary fell in love with her husband, George; here that she’s found communion during her marriage and since George’s death. The lido has been a cornerstone in nearly every part of Rosemary’s life.” This is a very good summary of this book, although it wasn’t evident to me that Rosemary had been swimming at the Lido “since it opened its doors” but that’s a minor point.