Uncategorized

My Quarantine Reads.

This Quarantine life, am I right? I find reading about other time periods is somewhat of a balm to me, making me forget the stressful time we’re living in here. History always repeats itself, so if one looks in the past, there are moments we can learn from. Thus, historical fiction will always remain at the top of my list. I also just love reading them. Some of these have been released already, some are forthcoming–all are titles I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on, lol!

03990-JLP2013-POSTDIVIDER

Spanning nearly a century, from 1930s Siberia to contemporary Brighton Beach, a page-turning, epic family saga centering on three generations of women in one Russian Jewish family―each striving to break free of fate and history, each yearning for love and personal fulfillment―and how the consequences of their choices ripple through time.

Odessa, 1931. Marrying the handsome, wealthy Edward Gordon, Daria―born Dvora Kaganovitch―has fulfilled her mother’s dreams. But a woman’s plans are no match for the crushing power of Stalin’s repressive Soviet state. To survive, Daria is forced to rely on the kindness of a man who takes pride in his own coarseness.

Odessa, 1970. Brilliant young Natasha Crystal is determined to study mathematics. But the Soviets do not allow Jewish students―even those as brilliant as Natasha―to attend an institute as prestigious as Odessa University. With her hopes for the future dashed, Natasha must find a new purpose―one that leads her into the path of a dangerous young man.

Brighton Beach, 2019. Zoe Venakovsky, known to her family as Zoya, has worked hard to leave the suffocating streets and small minds of Brighton Beach behind her―only to find that what she’s tried to outrun might just hold her true happiness.

Moving from a Siberian gulag to the underground world of Soviet refuseniks to oceanside Brooklyn, The Nesting Dolls is a heartbreaking yet ultimately redemptive story of circumstance, choice, and consequence―and three dynamic unforgettable women, all who will face hardships that force them to compromise their dreams as they fight to fulfill their destinies.

1926361t70bnztsmw

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige, and that its graduates can become anything or anyone they desire.

Among this year’s incoming class is Ines Murillo, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline—only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. Even the school’s enigmatic director, Viktória, encourages the students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves within the formidable iron gates of Catherine. For Ines, it is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had. But the House’s strange protocols soon make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded prison. And when tragedy strikes, Ines begins to suspect that the school—in all its shabby splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence—might be hiding a dangerous agenda within the secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum.

Combining the haunting sophistication and dusky, atmospheric style of Sarah Waters with the unsettling isolation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Catherine House is a devious, deliciously steamy, and suspenseful page-turner with shocking twists and sharp edges that is sure to leave readers breathless.

1926361t70bnztsmw

A striking historical novel about an ordinary young British woman sent to uncover a network of spies and war criminals in post-war Germany that will appeal to fans of The Huntress and Transcription.

World War II has just ended, and Britain has established the Control Commission for Germany, which oversees their zone of occupation. The Control Commission hires British civilians to work in Germany, rebuild the shattered nation, and prosecute war crimes. Somewhat aimless, bored with her job as a provincial schoolteacher, and unwilling to live with her overbearing mother any longer, thirtysomething Edith Graham applies for a job with the Commission—but she is also recruited by her cousin, Leo, who is in the Secret Service. To them, Edith is perfect spy material…single, ordinary-looking, with a college degree in German. Cousin Leo went to Oxford with one of their most hunted war criminals, Count Kurt von Stavenow, who Edith remembers all too well from before the war. He wants her to find him.

Intrigued by the challenge, Edith heads to Germany armed with a convincing cover story: she’s an unassuming Education Officer sent to help resurrect German schools. To send information back to her Secret Service handlers in London, Edith has crafted the perfect alter ego, cookbook author Stella Snelling, who writes a popular magazine cookery column. She embeds crucial intelligence within the recipes she collects. But occupied Germany is awash with other spies, collaborators, and opportunists, and as she’s pulled into their world, Edith soon discovers that no one is what they seem to be. The closer she gets to uncovering von Stavenow’s whereabouts–and the network of German civilians who still support him–the greater the danger.

With a unique, compelling premise, Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook is a beautifully crafted and gripping novel about daring, betrayal, and female friendship.

1926361t70bnztsmw

Is he a hero or a traitor? Based on astonishing true events set in the darkest days of World War II in Budapest, this is an enthralling story of heroism, vengeance, passion, and betrayal. It is also the story of three women linked by a secret that threatens to destroy their lives. For readers of The Tattooist of AuschwitzAll That I Am and Schindler’s Ark (List).

An act of heroism, the taint of collaboration, a doomed love affair, and an Australian woman who travels across the world to discover the truth…

It is 1944 in Budapest and the Germans have invaded. Jewish journalist Miklos Nagy risks his life and confronts the dreaded Adolf Eichmann in an attempt to save thousands of Hungarian Jews from the death camps. But no one could have foreseen the consequences…

It is 2005 in Sydney, and Annika Barnett sets out on a journey that takes her to Budapest and Tel Aviv to discover the truth about the mysterious man who rescued her grandmother in 1944.

By the time her odyssey is over, history has been turned on its head, past and present collide, and the secret that has poisoned the lives of three generations is finally revealed in a shocking climax that holds the key to their redemption.

1926361t70bnztsmw

Acclaimed author Elise Hooper explores the gripping, real-life history of female athletes, members of the first integrated women’s Olympic team, and their journeys to the 1936 summer games in Berlin, Nazi Germany. Perfect for readers who love untold stories of amazing women, such as The Only Woman in the Room, Hidden Figures, and The Lost Girls of Paris.

In the 1928 Olympics, Chicago’s Betty Robinson competes as a member of the first-ever women’s delegation in track and field. Destined for further glory, she returns home feted as America’s Golden Girl until a nearly-fatal airplane crash threatens to end everything.

Outside of Boston, Louise Stokes, one of the few black girls in her town, sees competing as an opportunity to overcome the limitations placed on her. Eager to prove that she has what it takes to be a champion, she risks everything to join the Olympic team.

From Missouri, Helen Stephens, awkward, tomboyish, and poor, is considered an outcast by her schoolmates, but she dreams of escaping the hardships of her farm life through athletic success. Her aspirations appear impossible until a chance encounter changes her life.

These three athletes will join with others to defy society’s expectations of what women can achieve. As tensions bring the United States and Europe closer and closer to the brink of war, Betty, Louise, and Helen must fight for the chance to compete as the fastest women in the world amidst the pomp and pageantry of the Nazi-sponsored 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

1926361t70bnztsmw

The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker returns to her most famous heroine, Mary Todd Lincoln, in this compelling story of love, loss, and sisterhood rich with history and suspense.

In May 1875, Elizabeth Todd Edwards reels from news that her younger sister Mary, former First Lady and widow of President Abraham Lincoln, has attempted suicide.

Mary’s shocking act followed legal proceedings arranged by her eldest and only surviving son that declared her legally insane. Although they have long been estranged, Elizabeth knows Mary’s tenuous mental health has deteriorated through decades of trauma and loss. Yet is her suicide attempt truly the impulse of a deranged mind, or the desperate act of a sane woman terrified to be committed to an asylum? And—if her sisters can put past grievances aside—is their love powerful enough to save her?

Maternal Elizabeth, peacemaker Frances, envious Ann, and much adored Emilie had always turned to one another in times of joy and heartache, first as children, and later as young wives and mothers. But when Civil War erupted, the conflict that divided a nation shattered their family. The Todd sisters’ fates were bound to their husbands’ choices as some joined the Lincoln administration, others the Confederate Army.

Now, though discord and tragedy have strained their bonds, Elizabeth knows they must come together as sisters to help Mary in her most desperate hour.

1926361t70bnztsmw

For fans of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, a spellbinding story of an impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.

She must choose between loyalty to her country or a love that could be her destruction…

As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.

Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.

Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty’s universe—or can love ultimately triumph…?

Propulsive, deeply affecting, and inspired by the author’s family history, Daughter of the Reich is a mesmerizing page-turner filled with vivid characters and a meticulously researched portrait of Nazi Germany. In this riveting story of passion, courage, and morality, Louise Fein introduces a bold young woman determined to tread the treacherous path of survival and freedom, showing readers the strength in the power of love and reminding us that the past must never be forgotten.

1926361t70bnztsmw

For readers of The Alice Network and The Lost Girls of Paris, an immersive, heart-pounding debut about a German heiress on the run in post-World War II Germany.

Clara Falkenberg, once Germany’s most eligible and lauded heiress, earned the nickname “the Iron Fräulein” during World War II for her role operating her family’s ironworks empire. It’s been nearly two years since the war ended and she’s left with nothing but a false identification card and a series of burning questions about her family’s past. With nowhere else to run to, she decides to return home and take refuge with her dear friend, Elisa.

Narrowly escaping a near-disastrous interrogation by a British officer who’s hell-bent on arresting her for war crimes, she arrives home to discover the city in ruins, and Elisa missing. As Clara begins tracking down Elisa, she encounters Jakob, a charismatic young man working on the black market, who, for his own reasons, is also searching for Elisa. Clara and Jakob soon discover how they might help each other—if only they can stay ahead of the officer determined to make Clara answer for her actions during the war.

Propulsive, meticulously researched, and action-fueled, The German Heiress is a mesmerizing page-turner that questions the meaning of justice and morality, deftly shining the spotlight on the often-overlooked perspective of Germans who were caught in the crossfire of the Nazi regime and had nowhere to turn.

1926361t70bnztsmw

If you love Jennifer Robson or The Crown you will love New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper’s novel about Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

1939. As the wife of King George VI and the mother of the future queen, Elizabeth—“the queen mother”—shows a warm, smiling face to the world. But it’s no surprise that Hitler himself calls her the “Most Dangerous Woman in Europe.” For behind that soft voice and kindly demeanor is a will of steel.

Two years earlier, George was thrust onto the throne when his brother Edward abdicated, determined to marry his divorced, American mistress Mrs. Simpson. Vowing to do whatever it takes to make her husband’s reign a success, Elizabeth endears herself to the British people, and prevents the former king and his brazen bride from ever again setting foot in Buckingham Palace.

Elizabeth holds many powerful cards, she’s also hiding damaging secrets about her past and her provenance that could prove to be her undoing.

In this riveting novel of royal secrets and intrigue, Karen Harper lifts the veil on one of the world’s most fascinating families, and how its “secret weapon” of a matriarch maneuvered her way through one of the most dangerous chapters of the century.

Uncategorized

Spotlight: A Conspiracy of Wolves

A Conspiracy of Wolves
by Candace Robb

Publication Date: August 1, 2019
Severn House/Crème de la Crime
Hardcover & eBook; 256 Pages

Series: Owen Archer, Book 11
Genre: Historical Mystery

 

 

When a prominent citizen is murdered, former Captain of the Guard Owen Archer is persuaded out of retirement to investigate in this gripping medieval mystery.

1374. When a member of one of York’s most prominent families is found dead in the woods, his throat torn out, rumours spread like wildfire that wolves are running loose throughout the city. Persuaded to investigate by the victim’s father, Owen Archer is convinced that a human killer is responsible. But before he can gather sufficient evidence to prove his case, a second body is discovered, stabbed to death. Is there a connection? What secrets are contained within the victim’s household? And what does apprentice healer Alisoun know that she’s not telling?

Teaming up with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is in York on a secret mission on behalf of Prince Edward, Owen’s enquiries will draw him headlong into a deadly conspiracy.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

I’m Candace Robb, a writer/historian engaged in creating fiction about the late middle ages with a large cast of characters with whom I enjoy spending my days. Two series, the Owen Archer mysteries and the Kate Clifford mysteries, are set in late medieval York. The Margaret Kerr trilogy is set in early 14th century Scotland, at the beginning of the Wars of Independence. Two standalone novels (published under pseudonym Emma Campion) expand on the lives of two women in the court of King Edward III who have fascinated me ever since I first encountered them in history and fiction.

I am a dreamer. Writing, gardening, walking, dancing, reading, being with friends—there’s always a dreaming element.

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | BookBub

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, August 1
Review at Book Frolic
Excerpt at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, August 2
Review at A Book Geek

Saturday, August 3
Feature at The Writing Desk

Monday, August 5
Feature at Book Addict Rambles

Tuesday, August 6
Excerpt at Broken Teepee
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, August 7
Interview at Bookish Rantings

Thursday, August 8
Guest Post at Reading the Past
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Friday, August 9
Feature at I’m All About Books
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Saturday, August 10
Feature at Clarissa Reads it All

Sunday, August 11
Excerpt at A Darn Good Read

Monday, August 12
Excerpt at Just One More Chapter
Review & Interview at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, August 13
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 14
Guest Post at Words and Peace
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, August 15
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a Hardcover copy of A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Conspiracy of Wolves

Uncategorized

Tiffany Blues: Excerpt.

I glanced from my painting to the waterfall, pond, trees, and grass. Back to the painting. Back to the rushing water. Back to the painting. Back to the rushing water. Of course, I could see the colors, but they weren’t my focus. They were a distraction from my subject. I used a monochromatic palette because I wanted to capture light, to show how it illuminated the water and shadowed the trees. I wanted to master chiaroscuro. DaVinci, Rembrandt, and Caravaggio all knew that what we see is a result of light falling against it. It’s the light that matters. Without it, there would be no subject. But light was so elusive. If I could just capture that simple bit of—

Suddenly, I saw a flash of blue tumbling over the edge of the waterfall. It was clothing. Child-size.

Then a woman’s high-pitched voice called out: “Jeffrey!”

“It’s a child in the falls!” I cried, as I dropped my brush and my palette and ran. The water was so powerful. A child who fell in would be caught in the current of the rushing cascade. His little body would be thrown against the rocks. Unless someone reached him quickly, he might drown.

I reached the edge of the pond. I didn’t know how deep the water was, but that didn’t matter. If a child was in danger, if there was a life to save, I had to attempt it.

“Jeffrey, you bad boy. Look at that, your jacket is all wet!”

The voice expressed exasperation, but no panic.

A jacket?

I circled around to see a woman tugging a well-groomed Maltese on a light green leather leash. She approached the edge of the pond and looked down at the errant piece of clothing.

“Jeffrey!” she called. “Come out here and see what you did!”

With that, a little boy, about seven or eight, emerged from the woods. He stood beside her, scuffing his shoe in the dirt and looking sheepishly from the floating jacket to his mother. And then he leaned over and started to reach toward the jacket.

“No, Jeffrey! Don’t. You could fall, and then you’d be all wet, too. Let’s find a stick and drag it in.” Before she moved away, she looked at me. “Thank you,” she said.

I nodded at her and took a deep breath. Although the boy was clearly fine, my heart continued racing as I returned to my easel. I’d seen the jacket and jumped to the conclusion that a child was drowning. My vision was warped, you see. Damaged by what I had endured as a girl. By now, at age twenty-four, I had long viewed the world through one particular lens, taking in what was there and pulling out the color so I could focus on the light and how it fell and created highlights. How shadows created depth. And in the process, I never failed to notice the potential for catastrophe and heartache.

I couldn’t help it any more than Minx, who looked at the world through her own starry eyes—and saw only beauty.

Uncategorized

Tiffany Blues: A Review!

NYT bestselling author, M. J. Rose crafts a dazzling Jazz Age jewel–a novel of ambition, betrayal, and passion with TIFFANY BLUES. TIFFANY BLUES is now available! Check out the tour below, and pick up your copy of TIFFANY BLUES today!

TIFFANY BLUES Synopsis:

New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

But Jenny’s past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.

Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.

Grab your copy of TIFFANY BLUES here!

Amazon | Kindle | iBooks | B&N | Nook | Google Play

Kobo | Book Depository | IndieBound

If you have a love of art, I’ll preface this by saying odds are, you’ll adore this book. It is vibrant and lush. It takes great skill to make your words feel like a priceless masterpiece but M.J. Rose has done precisely that.

If stories featuring drama, love, loss, and everything in between with beautiful scenery and characters who feel real enough to jump off the pages are your thing, this is your book. I really loved Jenny, the main character. She has an air of determination in her and you find yourself rooting for her right away. Life hasn’t always been kind to her and yet, she endures, giving inspiration to those who read about her.

This is a wonderful story and is filled with gems from the past and I loved seeing what the life of an artist was like. To live and work with Louis Tiffany at his artist’s compound? This is an era where I would have loved being alive. I’d love a time machine to go back and see it all in person. Fortunately, having read this? I feel as if I did.

I felt a bit punch drunk after my arrival back to the present. Once you read this, you’ll understand.

I noticed other reviews also had this quote but it is so poignant and beautiful that I will share it here too.

I made it so I would never forget there is beauty even in broken things. That through the cracks, light still shines.”

“[M.J. Rose] transports the reader into the past better than a time machine could accomplish” (The Associated Press).

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

M.J. Rose’s TIFFANY BLUES – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

August 8th

Books & Spoons – Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

August 9th

All Thingz Bookish – Review & Excerpt

Nerdy Dirty and Flirty – Excerpt

August 10th

All Things Dark & Dirty – Excerpt

Tfaulcbookreviews – Excerpt

August 11th

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

KDRBCK – Review & Excerpt

Puja Mohan – Review

August 12th

Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

August 13th

Deluged with Books Cafe – Excerpt

Simply Crystal – Review & Excerpt

August 14th

Book Junkie Reviews – Excerpt

Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

– Excerpt

JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC

– Review

August 15

th

Cinta Garcia de la Rosa

– Excerpt

Evermore Books

– Excerpt

Read-Love-Blog

– Excerpt

August 16

th

Katy’s Book Ramblings

– Review

Read try write

– Review

August 17

th

ginreads

– Review & Excerpt

Quirky Lady Bookworm Reviews

– Review & Excerpt

Rachel Loren’s Love of Reading

– Review & Excerpt

About M. J. Rose
New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Her most recent novel TIFFANY BLUES (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and takes place during the Jazz age at Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Long Island mansion/ art colony.
Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com
The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers.

Website

| Facebook

Uncategorized

Spotlight: #MurderAtHalfMoonGate

cover132142-mediumPublisher: Kensington Books
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Publish Date: March 28, 2018

A wealthy lord who happens to be a brilliant scientist . . . an enigmatic young widow who secretly pens satirical cartoons . . . a violent killing disguised as a robbery . . . Nothing is as it seems in Regency London, especially when the Earl of Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane join forces to solve a shocking murder.

When Lord Wrexford discovers the body of a gifted inventor in a dark London alley, he promptly alerts the watchman and lets the authorities handle the matter. But Wrexford soon finds himself drawn into the murder investigation when the inventor’s widow begs for his assistance, claiming the crime was not a random robbery. It seems her husband’s designs for a revolutionary steam-powered engine went missing the night of his death. The plans could be worth a fortune . . . and very dangerous in the wrong hands.

Joining Wrexford in his investigation is Charlotte Sloane, who uses the pseudonym A. J. Quill to publish her scathing political cartoons. Her extensive network of informants is critical for her work, but she doesn’t mind tapping that same web of spies to track down an elusive killer. Each suspect—from ambitious assistants to rich investors, and even the inventor’s widow—is entwined in a maze of secrets and lies that leads Wrexford and Sloane down London’s most perilous stews and darkest alleyways.

With danger lurking at every turn, the potent combination of Wrexford’s analytical mind and Sloane’s exacting intuition begins to unravel the twisted motivations behind the inventor’s death. But they are up against a cunning and deadly foe—a killer ready to strike again before they can recover the inventor’s priceless designs . . .

untitled-1
Amazon  ||  Barnes & Noble || iBooks  ||  Kobo

untitled-1xandrea-penroselo-resAndrea Penrose is a pseudonym for an author who has also written as Cara Elliott for Grand Central and Andrea Pickens for NAL. Her historical mysteries and romance novels are set in Regency England, an era that has fascinated her ever since she picked up a copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

A graduate of Yale, she has won numerous writing awards, including two Daphne Du Maurier Awards for historical mystery, the Golden Leaf, and she’s been a three-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award. Her books have been translated into nine different languages.

Uncategorized

The Paris Wife: A Review.

Untitleds-151m40jz2bixlA deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures the love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually, they find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

Untitled-2

My knowledge of Ernest Hemingway is reasonably small. I think I have read one of his books. I know that he was married a few times, was a bit of a drinker and an ass. I kept hearing about this book and although it sat on my TBR shelf for ages, I only just now got to it.

 

Fortunately, I finally have. What a read! The curious thing is…I enjoyed this book but I didn’t like one of the main characters and I’m torn about who Hadley was.

hadley-hemingway
Hadley.

I loved learning about Hadley and Ernest’s sort of whirlwind romance and the beginnings of their relationship before Hemingway was the ‘it’ writer of the time. In the beginning, Hadley was reserved but there was a bit of a magnetism about her that drew you in. You couldn’t help but like her. Yet, once she married Hemingway, he was such a larger than life figure that he eclipsed Hadley, which is why most people probably don’t realise she even existed.

She became dependent on him and when he would leave to report on things, she was miserable. I found it sort of amusing that she was in Paris and surrounded by all of these famous names (Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda to name a few!) and yet, she was a bit of a recluse. I don’t know if she wanted to be a traditional housewife or if she was just too fearful of putting her foot down. She had my sympathy; I would have liked to have seen her really come into her own. She eventually gained some friends of her own; but Ernest didn’t like them.

 

Still, getting a look from her perspective was interesting and I think when it was the beginning of the end, we really got to see more of her spirit. I am happy she eventually remarried and lived a long happy life with her second husband. Ernest married three more times and ultimately killed himself. Whether it was intentional or not, no one is quite sure. (I tend to think it was. He seemed an unhappy man. The trend has continued in his family, several descendants have also killed themselves.) He also wrote an account of their marriage called A Moveable Feast. 

 

I learned a few things. Firstly, Ernest was a creep. I don’t care how talented he was; he did Hadley wrong. But I also fault her; she let him ram over her. I wanted her to fight, to yell, to fight. But she kind of just allowed Pauline Pffifer to take her place. I mean, she straight up climbed into bed with Ernest and herself. She was pretty clear in that she wanted him and Hadley…I don’t know why she put up with it as she did.

 

Secondly, I am pretty certain that they all had cast iron livers because they all drank a lot and that’s putting it mildly. Seriously, I don’t know how they all functioned or got any writing done because they were all wild and drunk a lot. I mean, it was the time, but still. It definitely made me cringe.

 

Thirdly, I really wanted to slug Ernest. Especially when he tried to convince her that he loved them both. Maybe he did. But you don’t hurt someone who has stuck by you since you were a nobody like that. She was there from the beginning and then once he hit it relatively big; she was pushed aside. Total creep move. Also, he was a jackass to his friends.

 

I really did enjoy Ms. McLain’s writing though; it was vibrant and lively; bringing 1920’s Paris alive in a way that I never really experienced. I think it would have been amazing to live then; to be part of that crowd, if only to observe all that genius in the room.

Additional Notes:

  • I’d give it ★★★ stars.
  • I bought this copy.
  • would recommend this to a friend; I’d want to see if they agree with me!

Untitled-1
“A beautiful portrait of being in Paris in the glittering 1920s—as a wife and as one’s own woman.”—Entertainment Weekly

“[Paula] McLain has brought Hadley [Hemingway] to life in a novel that begins in a rush of early love. . . . A moving portrait of a woman slighted by history, a woman whose . . . story needed to be told.”—The Boston Globe

The Paris Wife creates the kind of out-of-body reading experience that dedicated book lovers yearn for, nearly as good as reading Hemingway for the first time—and it doesn’t get much better than that.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Exquisitely evocative . . . This absorbing, illuminating book gives us an intimate view of a sympathetic and perceptive woman, the striving writer she married, the glittering and wounding Paris circle they were part of. . . . McLain reinvents the story of Hadley and Ernest’s romance with the lucid grace of a practiced poet.”—The Seattle Times
 
“A novel that’s impossible to resist. It’s all here, and it all feels real.”—People

untitled-1x
 b1n7ph9zwas-_sy200_Paula McLain is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Circling the Sun, The Paris Wife, and A Ticket to Ride, the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses, and two collections of poetry. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, O: The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She lives in Ohio with her family.
Uncategorized

Spotlight on Pachinko!

 

51mo4n4az7l
Click here to get a copy! 

 

I was so excited to be approved to review this book. I am currently reading it so a review will come in a few days, but I wanted to share some information about it with you guys. 
Have any of you read it already? What were your thoughts on it?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW TOP TEN OF THE YEAR * NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017 *A USA TODAY TOP TEN OF 2017
 
Roxane Gay’s Favorite Book of 2017, Washington Post
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * #1 BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER * USA TODAY BESTSELLER

In this gorgeous, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew.

“There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones.”

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant–and that her lover is married–she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan’s finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee’s complex and passionate characters–strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis–survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

page-separator

NPR did an article about the book if you’d like some further reading. It’s quite thought-provoking. I never knew about Korean people moving to Japan and then facing terrible discrimination. I have, quite obviously, had my eyes opened. That’s the sign of a good book to me; when they open your eyes to things that you didn’t know and it inspires you to go and read more, to learn more.

“I was very interested in history but I also thought, you know, history is not that interesting sometimes and it can feel a bit medicinal,” she says. “I wanted … to give these people flesh and blood in the same way that people that I know have contradictions and betrayals and deaths and marriages and the kind of texture of life.”–Min Jin Lee

Untitled-1

min-jin-lee_credit-elena-seibert_custom-85d4d2990bcb3a53328afbd065c97b0be7f665ea-s400-c85

Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko (2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, a New York Times 10 Best Books of 2017, a USA Today Top 10 Books of 2017, and an American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next Great Reads. It is a New York TimesBestseller. Pachinko was a Top 10 Books of the Year for BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Public Library, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Chicago Public Library. It was on the best books of the year list for NPR, PBS, CNN, Vox, History Channel, EsquireFinancial Times, Amazon, The Boston Globe, Minnesota Public Radio, Literary Hub, New Statesman, BuzzFeed, South China Morning Post, The Millions, Goodreads, BookPage, The Rumpus, Southern Living, Town & Country, Book Riot, Bustle, Financial Review, Interpreter, Refinery29, Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Electric Literature, WBUR On Point, The Brooklyn Rail, Read It Forward, Whitcoulls Top 100, Entropy, Irish Independent, RTE, and The Irish Times, among many others.

Lee’s debut novel Free Food for Millionaires (2007) was a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Wall Street JournalJuggle Book Club selection, and a national bestseller; it was a Top 10 Books of the Year for The Times of London, NPR’s Fresh Air and USA Today.

Min Jin went to Yale College where she was awarded both the Henry Wright Prize for Nonfiction and the James Ashmun Veech Prize for Fiction. She attended law school at Georgetown University and worked as a lawyer for several years in New York prior to writing full time.

She has received the NYFA Fellowship for Fiction, the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer, and the Reading Women Award. Her fiction has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and has appeared most recently in One Story. Her writings about books, travel and food have appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Times Literary SupplementConde Nast TravelerThe Times of LondonVogue (US), Travel + Leisure (SEA), Literary HubWall Street Journal and Food & Wine. Her personal essays have been anthologized in To Be RealBreederThe Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and WorksOne Big Happy FamilySugar in My Bowl, and Global and the Intimate: Feminism in Our Time. She served three consecutive seasons as a Morning Forum columnist of the Chosun Ilbo of South Korea.

Lee has spoken about writing, politics, film and literature at various institutions and organizations, including Columbia University, French Institute Alliance Francaise, The Center for Fiction, Tufts, Loyola Marymount University, Stanford, Johns Hopkins (SAIS), University of Connecticut, Boston College, Hamilton College, Hunter College of New York, Harvard Law School, Yale University, Ewha University, Waseda University, the American School in Japan, World Women’s Forum, Korean Community Center (NJ), the Hay Literary Festival (UK), Hong Kong International Literary Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, the Tokyo American Center of the U.S. Embassy, the Asia House (UK), and the Asia Society in New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong. In 2017, she won the Literary Death Match (Brooklyn/Episode 8), and she is a proud alumna of Women of Letters (Public Theater).

From 2007 to 2011, Min Jin lived in Tokyo where she researched and wrote Pachinko. She lives in New York with her family.