Smithies at War.

Book Review for “Band of Sisters” by Lauren Willig. Summary: "A scholarship girl from Brooklyn, Kate Moran thought she found a place among Smith’s Mayflower descendants, only to have her illusions dashed the summer after graduation. When charismatic alumna Betsy Rutherford delivers a rousing speech at the Smith College Club in April of 1917, looking … Continue reading Smithies at War.

They Came from Away.

Book Review for “The English Wife” by Adrienne Chinn. Summary: "VE Day 1945: As victory bells ring out across the country, war bride Ellie Burgess’ happiness is overshadowed by grief. Her charismatic Newfoundlander husband Thomas is still missing in action. Until a letter arrives explaining Thomas is back at home on the other side of … Continue reading They Came from Away.

The Philosophy of Novalis.

Book Review for “The Blue Flower” by Penelope Fitzgerald. Summary: "This is the story of Friedrich von Hardenberg--Fritz, to his intimates--a young man of the late 18th century who is destined to become one of Germany's great romantic poets. In just over 200 pages, Fitzgerald creates a complete world of family, friends and lovers, but … Continue reading The Philosophy of Novalis.

Reading French History.

Book Review for “The Paris Library” by Janet Skeslien Charles. Summary: “Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together … Continue reading Reading French History.

“… the Next Best Thing”?

Book Review for “The Charmed Wife” by Olga Grushin. Summary: “Cinderella married the man of her dreams--the perfect ending she deserved after diligently following all the fairy-tale rules. Yet now, two children and thirteen and a half years later, things have gone badly wrong and her life is far from perfect. One night, fed up, … Continue reading “… the Next Best Thing”?

Trifecta of Troubles.

Book Review for “Trio: A Novel” by William Boyd. Summary: “It is summer in 1968, the year of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. While the world is reeling our trio is involved in making a rackety Swingin' Sixties British movie in sunny Brighton. All are leading secret lives. As the film … Continue reading Trifecta of Troubles.

Salty Slices – #ShortStorySunday

Book Review for “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout. Summary: “Olive Kitteridge might be described by some as a battle axe or as brilliantly pushy, by others as the kindest person they had ever met. Olive herself has always been certain that she is 100% correct about everything - although, lately, her certitude has been shaken. … Continue reading Salty Slices – #ShortStorySunday

Frozen 133 Years Ago.

Book Review for “The Children's Blizzard” by Melanie Benjamin. Summary: “The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a punishing cold spell. It was warm enough for the homesteaders of the Dakota territory to venture out again, and for their children to return to school without their heavy coats--leaving them unprepared when disaster … Continue reading Frozen 133 Years Ago.

A Scottish James Garner?

Book Review for “The House by the Loch” by Kirsty Wark. Summary: “Walter MacMillan is bewitched by the clever, glamorous Jean Thompson and can't believe his luck when she agrees to marry him. Neither can she, for Walter represents a strong and steady and loving man who can perhaps quiet the demons inside her. Yet … Continue reading A Scottish James Garner?

Up Into the Blue Skies.

Book Review for “The Good Doctor of Warsaw” by Elizabeth Gifford. Summary: “Deeply in love and about to marry, students Misha and Sophia flee a Warsaw under Nazi occupation for a chance at freedom. Forced to return to the Warsaw ghetto, they help Misha's mentor, Dr Janusz Korczak, care for the two hundred children in … Continue reading Up Into the Blue Skies.