Burning in Barbados.

In Barbados, the two neighboring sugar plantations of Peverills and Beckles had always been somehow joined, and yet somehow remained separate, if not at war with each other. The Bussa's Rebellion of 1816 saw Peverills burned to the ground, while Beckles survived. While it seemed that the secrets that preceded that fateful event went up in smoke, forty years later, when Emily inherits what’s left of Peverills, she begins to sift through the ashes. Despite the best efforts of the present residents of Beckles, sparks begin to fly, reigniting the past and revealing the truths behind all the lies.

Seasoned for Stealth

Book Review for “The Chef’s Secret” by Crystal King. In the 1500s in Italy, there lived a man, Bartolomeo Scappi, who is known to this day as one of Europe’s most creative and talented chefs. Scappi, who died in 1577, rose from being a humble cook to a master who devised elaborate dishes and meals … Continue reading Seasoned for Stealth

Ice and Cracks

Book Review of "Beartown: A Novel" by Fredrik Backman Except for hockey, there's almost nothing left in Beartown, and it is only going to get worse, unless something changes. That something could be coming this year, since their junior team is finally good enough. If they succeed, who knows what that fame could bring? Maybe … Continue reading Ice and Cracks

Becoming the First

Book Review of "Girl in Disguise" by Greer Macallister. Kate Warne - I'm sure that name means nothing to you. On the other hand, you may have heard of the name Pinkerton. Today that name mostly brings to mind security services, like their armored cars. However, in the mid-19th century, Allan Pinkerton started a detective … Continue reading Becoming the First

The Structures of Love

Book Review of "To Capture What we Cannot Keep" by Beatrice Colin. From a hot-air balloon above the future site of the 1889 Paris fair grounds, Émile Nouguier one of the architects and engineers working with Gustav Eiffel, looks down at the place where their tower will soon be built. With him in the basket … Continue reading The Structures of Love

An Elmwood Springs Retrospective

Book Review of "The Whole Town's Talking" by Fannie Flagg. Flagg's latest novel returns once again to Elmwood Springs and this time, she tells us everything, starting with its humble beginnings, when young Lordor Nordstrom finds this beautiful spot in Missouri, and decides to make his home there. From there Flagg takes us on a … Continue reading An Elmwood Springs Retrospective

The Making of a Remarkable Woman

Book Review for "The Boston Girl: A Novel" by Anita Diamant. Addie Metsky (nee Baum) was born in Boston to Jewish immigrants in 1900. She's now 85 and her granddaughter Ava wants to know how she became the woman she is today. This is her story, and it will surprise you. I'm quickly becoming a … Continue reading The Making of a Remarkable Woman

Stories that reveal much but say little

Book Review for "White Tiger on Snow Mountain: Stories" by David Gordon. I've always believed that short stories are far too under-appreciated. However, I continue to live in hope that since Alice Munro received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature for her career of writing only short stories, more people will become interested in and … Continue reading Stories that reveal much but say little

The Masters of Misogyny

Book Review for "The War on Women in Israel: How Religious Radicalism is Smothering the Voice of a Nation" by Elana Maryles Sztokman. When I began reading this book, I was truly hoping that I wouldn't be learning anything new. I thought I was fully aware of how the Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) parties manipulated the governments … Continue reading The Masters of Misogyny

Cauliflower Gratin vs. Trout Amandine

Book Review for The Author and Me by Eric Chevillard. This is more of a dialog between the author and his protagonist than a straightforward story. In the story part, we have a man speaking to a woman, telling his tale of woe because someone brought him a cauliflower gratin instead of the trout amandine … Continue reading Cauliflower Gratin vs. Trout Amandine