The Tint and the Taint

  Book Review of “The Blue” by Nancy Bilyeau. In the author’s notes of this book, Bilyeau calls this “a spy story set amid the rivalry of eighteenth-century porcelain factories,” in which the author tells the story of Geneviève Planché, who becomes entangled in the intrigue behind discovering a new shade of blue that is … Continue reading The Tint and the Taint

An Eve or a Lilith?

Book Review of "Ecstasy: A Novel of Alma Mahler" by Mary Sharratt Part of the blurb for this book on Goodreads says “Coming of age in the midst of a creative and cultural whirlwind, young, beautiful Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer. A brand-new era of possibility for women is dawning … Continue reading An Eve or a Lilith?

Shards of Remaining Objects

Book Review of "Smash All the Windows" by Jane Davis Goodreads Synopsis: “For the families of the victims of the St Botolph and Old Billingsgate disaster, the undoing of a miscarriage of justice should be a cause for rejoicing. For more than thirteen years, the search for truth has eaten up everything. Marriages, families, health, … Continue reading Shards of Remaining Objects

Glitter and Tarnish

Book Review of "The Golden House" by Salman Rushdie. To preface this review, I have to begin by somewhat taking umbrage with the following parts of the publisher's synopsis of this book (which appeared just like this in the "Read it Forward" newsletter): "On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign … Continue reading Glitter and Tarnish

Different? Yes, but…

Book Review of "Today Will be Different" by Maria Semple. Eleanor is having a very difficult time right now. Her budding cross-dressing son is once again pretending to be sick to get out of school, and she really should be working on her book - her graphic memoir - but one thing leads to another … Continue reading Different? Yes, but…

Less than Picture Perfect

Book Review of "Lessons in French" by Hilary Reyl. What budding artist wouldn't grab the chance to work in Paris with the world-famous photojournalist Lydia Schell? For Katherine, who just finished Yale, it will also be like going home, having lived in Paris as a young girl when her father was dying from cancer. Back … Continue reading Less than Picture Perfect

Literary Impressionism

Book Review of "The Sunken Cathedral" by Kate Walbert. According to the publisher's website, this novel "follows a cast of characters as they negotiate one of Manhattan’s swiftly changing neighborhoods, extreme weather, and the unease of twenty-first-century life." The main characters are Marie and Simone, friends of many decades, survivors of World War II, now … Continue reading Literary Impressionism

A Portrait of an Artist

Book Review of "Notes from an Exhibition" by Patrick Gale. To try to describe the plot of Patrick Gale's novel "Notes on an Exhibition" is as difficult a task as to try to explain a piece of abstract art. In fact, this novel is less of a story than it is a portrait of a … Continue reading A Portrait of an Artist

Beauty out of ugliness

Book Review of "The Butterfly and the Violin" by Kristy Cambron. Sera James has spent the last two years searching for the painting of a beautiful girl with her violin, which was painted in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. When she finds a reproduction in the home of William Hanover III, she decides - against … Continue reading Beauty out of ugliness

A Novel of Art, Birds and Mysteries

Book review of "The Gravity of Birds" by Tracey Guzeman. This book follows two paths. First we have the story of Alice and Natalie Kessler - sisters who were once lovingly close and now forcibly remain together, still bonded by mutual bitterness. Part of that bitterness comes from Alice's Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Natalie's need to … Continue reading A Novel of Art, Birds and Mysteries