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
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
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?
Book Review of "The Noise of Time" by Julian Barnes Barnes’ latest novel is a fictional documentation of the life of the Russian composer, Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich, who lived under both the Bolshevik and Communist regimes of the USSR, until his death in 1975. Shostakovich was at turns both adored and reviled by both his … Continue reading Music and Silence
Book Review of "I was Anastasia" by Ariel Lawhon. For over five decades there were unending, international court battles, rumors and intrigue surrounding a woman called Anna Anderson, who claimed to be Anastasia, the sole surviving child of Tsar Nicolas II of Russia, who was famously executed during the Russian Revolution along with his … Continue reading A Majestic Clash
Book Review of "Alias Grace" by Margaret Atwood In 1843, Grace Marks and James McDermott were both convicted of the murders of Nancy Montgomery and Thomas Kinnear. While McDermott was executed for these crimes, Grace received a commuted sentence, and ended spending nearly 30 years in incarceration, first in an insane asylum and then later … Continue reading Duplicity or distortion?
Book Review of "Carnegie’s Maid" by Marie Benedict Clara Kelly was not who everyone thought she was, and this accident of mistaken identity lands her the position of lady’s maid in one of the wealthiest homes in all Pittsburgh, that of the Carnegie family. If Clara is to help her family back in Ireland, then … Continue reading Cinderella or Pygmalion?
Book Review of "I, Eliza Hamilton" by Susan Holloway Scott In order to avoid stating the obvious, I see no reason to start this review with a story synopsis. This is because I believe that even those with only a cursory knowledge of American history will have heard the name Alexander Hamilton, and immediately recognize … Continue reading A Founding Mother’s Story
Book Review of "The Velveteen Daughter" by Laurel Davis Huber. The author of the classic, bestselling children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit was Margery Williams Bianco. Pamela Bianco was her daughter, and she was an artist, recognized for her talent when only a child, with her first showing at a gallery in Turin Italy, at the … Continue reading The Art of Becoming Real
Book Review of "See What I Have Done" by Sarah Schmidt. Although a jury of her peers found Lizzie Borden not guilty of the murders of her father and stepmother, Andrew and Abby Borden, the court of public opinion found her guilty as charged. The mystery behind these brutal murders continues to this day, almost … Continue reading The clock on the mantle ticked ticked