“Telling Sonny”: A Review

When nineteen-year-old Faby attends the annual Vaudeville Show in her small town, she is hoping to escape to the drudgery of day-to-day life in the Gauthier household, where chores are watched over by the critical eye of Maman and Maman Aurore. The year is 1924, the setting small town Vermont, USA, and even though she’s […]

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“Next Year in Havana”: Review

In 1958, Cuba is experiencing political unrest.  The Perez sisters, sheltered from the uprising by their social standing, look for opportunities to sneak out of the house.  During one of these outings, nineteen-year-old Elisa meets a man who steals her heart.  He is a revolutionary.  Their forbidden romance heats up as the plots against the […]

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“The Distant Hours”: a review

The letter that arrives decades after it is post-marked is the first indication that Edie’s mother has been keeping secrets.  Although her mother is not sharing any information, Edie is intrigued enough to investigate on her own.  She finds herself visiting a decaying castle, where she encounters the Blythe sisters, and the mystery deepens. Fluctuating […]

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“A Land More Kind Than Home”: Review

Some books hook you right from the beginning and won’t let you go until you’ve drained every last word out of them.  A Land More Kind Than Home is such a novel. Told through the perspective of three narrators, Wiley Cash’s tale of fanaticism in the south is a coming of age story, a murder […]

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“Apprenticed to Venus”: a Review

Subtitled My Secret Life with Anaïs Nin, Apprenticed to Venus is the part memoir, part novel of Tristine Rainier, who mentored under the famous diarist. Although  I have been inspired by Nin’s words, I have known very little about her, so I was eager to read this book.  Rainier, on an errand from her artist aunt, encounters […]

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“Before We Were Yours”: A Review

Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate introduces the shameful story of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, an organization run by Georgia Tann, a woman who made money by abducting poor children from their homes and selling them into adoption. Wingate’s novel imagines what life would be like for siblings taken from their homes and […]

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The Alice Network: a Worthy Read

Charlie’s cousin Rose has disappeared, and refusing to believe she is dead, Charlie sets out to retrace Rose’s steps.  Her investigation brings her to the door of Eve Gardner, a cranky woman, with deformed hands, a clear drinking problem, and a luger.  Together, with the help of a Scotsman, with a shady past, the three […]

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“The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir”: a review

It’s World War II, and the denizens of Chilbury are faced with the loss of their church choir as their men leave to fight for the cause.  Enter Prim, an upbeat teacher, with a fresh outlook, who encourages the women to defy protocols and create their own chorus. Jennifer Ryan’s novel about the life of […]

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“Everything I Never Told You”: Review

Set in small town Ohio, in the 1970’s, Everything I Never Told You tells the story of the Lee family: father, James, a professor and Chinese-American; Marilyn, a blue-eyed blonde, and their three children, one of which has disappeared as the story opens. The investigation into sixteen-year-old Lydia’s disappearance and consequent death (not a spoiler, as […]

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“Half of a Yellow Sun”: Review

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie weaves an intricate tale, with well-developed characters and relationships, and just when the reader wonders where it is all headed, the unthinkable happens. “Half of a Yellow Sun” is not a symbol I would have recognized before reading Adichie’s work.  Now I know that it is integral to the Biafran war, and […]

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