The Rise and Fall of Ragtime

  Book Review of Temptation Rag: A Novel by Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard. Back in the late 19th century in America, the latest rage was ragtime music. While the first name that might come to mind for us today is Scott Joplin, the origins of this musical genre predated him by quite a bit. In the … Continue reading The Rise and Fall of Ragtime

Women’s Wartime Communications

 Book review of "Girls on the Line" a Novel by Aimie K. Runyan.  The women of the US Army’s Signal Corps were known as the “Hello Girls,” and their deployment to France at the end of 1917 was considered both controversial and expedient. When Ruby Wager’s brother is one of the first casualties of the … Continue reading Women’s Wartime Communications

A Dutch Treat

Book Review of 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 … Continue reading A Dutch Treat

Home Again, Kathleen

Book review of 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 … Continue reading Home Again, Kathleen

The Gilding of a Lady

Book review of "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, … Continue reading The Gilding of a Lady

Educating Harry

Book review of "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 … Continue reading Educating Harry

Ghostly Blues

Book Review of "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 … Continue reading Ghostly Blues

Three Belles’ Secrets.

Book review of "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, … Continue reading Three Belles’ Secrets.

Female Confidential

Book Review of "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 … Continue reading Female Confidential

A Village Education

Book Review of "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 … Continue reading A Village Education