Friday, March 29, 2019

Some Like it... with Ghosts!

Book Review of “The Beautiful Strangers” by Camille Di Maio.

There are actually two women named Kate Morgan. One of them is a ghost haunting at the famous Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, since her death in 1892. The other one is a young girl who is stuck working in her family’s fish and chip shop in San Francisco in 1958. But when the young Kate is urged by her grandfather to take a job on a movie set located at that hotel so she can chase her dreams as well as find his illusive “beautiful stranger” she jumps at the chance, even though she knows her grandfather is suffering from dementia.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Pieces of Lucy’s Life

Book Review of Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout.

With this book, Strout returns to her connected short story format, which she used for her well-known book, “Olive Kitteridge,” but this time she does so with a type of follow-up to her novel “My Name is Lucy Barton.” These nine stories take place in the fictional town of Amgash, Illinois – Lucy Barton’s home town. All of the characters in this book appeared as very minor characters in Strout’s novel, but now become their own protagonists, as Strout investigates each of them more deeply, together with their relationships – from comprehensive to practically insignificant – to the now famous Lucy, as well as with each other.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Pulling a "Nellie Bly"!

Book Review of “Woman 99” by Greer Macallister.

How far would you go to save your sister? What if she’s the one who saved your life many times throughout your childhood? Would you risk everything, possibly even your own sanity? This is the dilemma that Charlotte Smith faces when her sister Phoebe is put into an insane asylum, and it is also the basis for Greer Macallister’s third historical fiction novel. If this was a contemporary fiction novel, it might not be so compelling. But this becomes a harrowing tale because the action takes place in the late 19th century, not long after the journalist known as Nellie Bly revealed the horrors of those institutions.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Night Witches and Chasing Evil

Book Review of “The Huntress” by Kate Quinn.


By the beginning of 1950, the efforts to find Nazi war criminals and bring them to justice for their horrendous and unthinkable crimes was already on the wane, except for the biggest of fish. Still, some Nazi hunters couldn’t let go of finding any of these criminals, no matter how small. On this backdrop, Kate Quinn’s newest novel focuses on a British ex-war correspondent Ian and his American ex-soldier friend Tony, who aren’t willing to allow these Nazis to stay hidden and avoid justice, and in particular, die Jägerin – the Huntress – the woman who killed Ian’s brother Sebastian. Into this mix, comes Nina, a former combat pilot for the Soviet Army who, as a witness to Sebastian’s murder, joins forces with Ian and Tony in their quest. Finally, there’s Jordan, the young American woman in Boston who wants to become a photographer, but she knows her widowed father needs her, and is willing to sacrifice her career for him. Jordan also learns to suppress her suspicions about her father’s new wife, Annelise, a woman who left post-war Europe, bringing with her the obviously war-traumatized young girl, Ruth.