Love, betrayal, heartbreak, and the bonds of friendship are center-most in Judith Kinghorn’s The Echo of Twilight. Pearl Gibson is about to embark on a new journey as a lady’s maid. As her travels bring her to her new post, she encounters a charming young artist named Ralph, and a forbidden love is born. Settling into her new position, Pearl develops an unusual friendship with her employer, Ottoline, one that will shape her future in ways she never could have seen coming, bringing her the greatest joy she could ever know and the deepest sadness she will ever experience.
The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff was life changing in a way that I’ve never experienced with any other book. I picked up this novel thinking it was simply an account of a girl who snatched an infant from a train cart destined for doom on a terribly freezing night. Instead, Jenoff gifted me the privilege of following Noa on her journey and witnessing her transformation from a timid young girl to a resilient and self-assured aerialist.
Noa was kicked out of her home mercilessly by her father after spending a long night under the sheets and becoming pregnant with a German man at the fresh age of fifteen. She sought refuge at a home for pregnant, vagrant women, planning to give up her baby the moment it was born. Noa gave birth shortly after arriving, and bonded with her baby before having him snatched away and more than likely sent to imminent death since he wasn’t the Aryan baby that most favored in Nazi-Germany. After giving birth, Noa became truly homeless.
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Reviewed by Bethany Kelly
Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams is a wonderfully engaging novel set in two time periods and places: 1960s America and 1930s Europe. These two time periods focus on the stories of two women—Pepper and Annabelle—whose paths cross because of the sale of a vintage Mercedes.
Pepper is the type of woman who likes a good time. She loves to party and to flirt. She is both beautiful and intelligent and knows how to use it to her advantage. When she winds up pregnant with the child of a married Senator, she must figure out what it means to not only be a mother, but a single mother.
Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz
It is the most wonderful surprise to select a book to read because you think it’s about one particular topic, only to discover that it’s also about several other topics, all of which happen to coincide with your own particular passions. Such is the case with this book for me.
Early flight is of interest to me as I have an interest in all things mechanical. A few years ago, a girlfriend from high school (more years ago than either of us wants to admit) asked me to help her write a book about her experiences. Kay had been a pilot, which came as an interesting surprise to me, as we’d lost touch through
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Reviewed by Bethany Kelly
Do you believe in love at first sight? This is a question that is asked time and time again. Each person that you encounter and ask this to will either say yes or no, but will likely give you a different reason for whatever answer they gave. It will depend on the circumstances they are in at that point in their life, as well as the past experiences they have had. In The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom by Alison Love, the two main characters, Olivia and Antonio, would likely tell you that they do believe in love at first
The Bone Labyrinth is the 11th book in the Sigma Force series. These stories are all international thrillers where things have to be saved/fixed quickly before something bad happens. In this installment several people are kidnapped and no one really knows why; since they have connections to the U.S. government, Sigma is sent to find them.
There are twin sisters who are using a government grant to do research into the emergence of human intelligence. Their primary experiment was Baako, a young gorilla that they genetically altered to try and affect the intelligence of the subject from birth. At 3-years-old, he was already showing great signs of much higher intelligence than other gorillas. One of the theories the sisters had was that crossbreeding with other hominids in our past created a mixture of genes that allowed
The Uninvited by Cat Winters surprised me with its touch of history and haunting love story. Not quite being a young adult novel, but not quite being typical fiction, The Uninvited reaches an audience of 20-somethings, like me, who enjoy fiction without all the intense adult themes of say… 50 Shades of Grey.
Ivy Rowan is a 25-year-old sing woman who lives in a secluded world of illness, death, and war. Her brother, Billy, recently died serving the United States in WWI in France while the rest of the country falls ill to what will be known as the Spanish Influenza. But influenza is not the only thing ailing U.S. citizens; prejudice against the Germans has caused literal lynch mobs to form. Even Ivy’s own brother Peter and father have taken a German man’s life. On
The history of Russia is told through separate, but interwoven stories in Anthony Marra’s exceptional The Tsar of Love and Techno. While expertly playing with narrative points of view, Marra crosses through time and moves the stories of several families through Russia’s volatile past. Each separate story (divided into “A” and “B” sides of a cassette mix tape with a longer story, or “Intermission” breaking them up) adds a little more to the vast, sweeping story, and careful readers will take note as to what happens to main characters in one story, who morph to ancillary characters in the next.
As Marra did in his excellent A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, the wars that have plagued Russia since the early twentieth century are told through the eyes of those living them – the horror, the hunger, the acceptance of cruel
Reviewed by Caleb Shadis
A Pattern of Lies is the seventh book in the Bess Crawford Mystery series and it does not disappoint. I continue to enjoy reading these mysteries and I learn a bit about the Great War each time.
Bess has just escorted some patients back to England and while waiting for a train to take her to London, meets an old patient who is recovering again from a new injury. Since it looks like the train may be late to never, he offers her a room for the night in the family home and a chance to take his mother’s mind off recent unpleasantness. Bess met his mother when he was wounded and
As a follow up to Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen goes across the pond during WWII for a very weird, uneven story about a selfish woman who somehow gets everything she ever wished for.
Maddie Hyde is a rich woman who is married to even richer Ellis. They live a Peter Pan lifestyle – drinking, partying and staying up late – in Philadelphia with Ellis’ best friend Hank (also rich). After an embarrassing drunken incident at a party, Ellis decides that he’s had it with the U.S. and wants to go on an expedition for the Loch Ness Monster in order to win back the respect of his father, who faked a discovery of the Nessie and was publicly ridiculed for it. So they all travel to Scotland. In the middle of WWII. When no one