A Pre-Revolutionary French Feast of Fiction

Book review of "The Last Banquet" by Jonathan Grimwood. In pre-revolutionary France, Jean-Marie d'Aumout's earliest memories are of eating beetles from the dung heap outside his dead parent's home. After being rescued from this, he’s brought to a school for other sons of the impoverished aristocracy. There he begins a new life, one that brings … Continue reading A Pre-Revolutionary French Feast of Fiction

Gender Roles in Literature

Do Female Characters Get the Short Shrift? A friend of mine turned my attention to an article by Sophia McDougall in the New Statesman entitled "I hate strong female characters." In truth, Ms. McDougall doesn't really hate them; she just dislikes the use of the word "strong" to describe them. She's upset that this seems … Continue reading Gender Roles in Literature

Slavery Through Women’s Eyes

Book Review of "The Wedding Gift" by Marlen Suyapa Bodden. This is the story of two women - Sarah Campbell and Theodora Allen. Sarah was born in 1846, a slave at the Allen Estates. Theodora Allen married Cornelius, the master of the plantation. Sarah is also the bastard daughter of Cornelius, half sister to Theodora's … Continue reading Slavery Through Women’s Eyes

A Fictional Story of ‘The Missingest Man in New York’

Book Review for "The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress" by Ariel Lawhon During the early part of the 20th century, dozens of public figures rose to power that were barely more than puppets for the many gangsters that flourished. From this time comes the story of Judge Joseph Force Crater and his mysterious disappearance … Continue reading A Fictional Story of ‘The Missingest Man in New York’

A New Fairy Tale & Ballet

Book Review of "Raven Girl" by Audrey Niffenegger. The latest work by author of "The Time Traveler's Wife" Audrey Niffenegger is a modern fairy tale, written to also be the story of a ballet. The plot is deceptively simple. A postman finds a young female raven that has fallen from her nest. He takes her … Continue reading A New Fairy Tale & Ballet

On Genre Preferences and Reviewing Books

Can a reviewer do justice to a book in a genre they don't usually read? I recently found out that a good friend of mine is finally getting a book published. Since I've had the pleasure of reading and reviewing books by several friends, my immediate reaction was to ask her if I could get … Continue reading On Genre Preferences and Reviewing Books

A Trek of Self-Discovery

Book Review of "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce. Queenie, an old colleague of Harold's, is dying. When Harold gets the news, he finds he can't post the letter he's written to her, so he just keeps on walking. And so he starts his 627 mile walk that takes him 87 days … Continue reading A Trek of Self-Discovery