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Showing posts from September, 2013

Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France by Evelyne Lever: A Book Review

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Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France
Author: Evelyne Lever
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: 2000
Pages: 374
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: Married for political reasons at the age of fourteen, Marie Antoinette was naive, impetuous, and ill equipped for the role in which history cast her. From her birth in Vienna in 1755 through her turbulent, unhappy marriage, the bloody turmoil of the French Revolution, her trial of high treason (during which she was accused of incest), and her final beheading, Marie Antoinette’s life was the tragic tale of disastrous circumstances colliding.

     Drawing upon diaries, letters, court records, and memoirs, Evelyn Lever paints vivid portraits of Marie Antoinette, her inner circle, and the lavish court life at Versailles. Marie Antoinette dispels the myth of the callous queen whose supposed response to her starving subjects was the comment, “Let them eat cake.” What emerges instead is a surprisingl…

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen: A Book Review

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Mrs. Poe
Author: Lynn Cullen
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Pages: 338
Source: Netgalley/ Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A writer and his demons. A woman and her desires. A wife and her revenge . . . 

     Inspired by literature’s most haunting love triangle, award-winning author Lynn Cullen delivers a pitch-perfect rendering of Edgar Allan Poe, his mistress’s tantalizing confession, and his wife’s frightening obsession . . . in this “intelligent, sexy, and utterly addictive” (M. J. Rose) new masterpiece of historical fiction. 

     1845: New York City is a sprawling warren of gaslit streets and crowded avenues, bustling with new immigrants and old money, optimism and opportunity, poverty and crime. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is all the rage—the success of which a struggling poet like Frances Osgood can only dream. As a mother trying to support two young children after her husband’s cruel betrayal,…

Daughter of Camelot: Empire of Shadows Book 1 by Glynis Cooney: A Book Review

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Daughter of Camelot: Empire of Shadows Book 1
Author: Glynis Cooney
Genre: YA
Publisher: Mabon Publishing
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Pages: 425
Source: NetGalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Filled with terrific suspense and budding romance, Daughter of Camelot is a fast paced adventure set against the turmoil at the end of the Arthurian era.

     Raised in the shadow of a fort dedicated to training Knights of the Round Table, Deirdre thirsts for adventure. 

     Instead, at 14, she is sent to court to learn the etiquette and talents of a young woman. 

     Court life, however, is more fraught with danger than she expected, and Deirdre finds herself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that stretches deep into the very heart of Camelot. 

     All Deirdre thought she knew and believed in—loyalty, love, bravery—is challenged when she embarks on a quest to defy Fate and save the King.


     My Review: This novel is a fictional story whose plot surrounds the mythical tale of…

Shadowfell (Book 1 of the Shadowfell Series) by Juliet Marillier: A Book Review

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Shadowfell (Book 1 of the Shadowfell Series)
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Alfred K. Knopf
Release Date: 2012
Pages: 416
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: It's name is spoken only in whispers, if the people of Alban dare to speak it at all: Shadowfell. The training ground for Rebels seeking to free their land from the grip of the tyrannical king is so shrouded in mystery that most people it to be a myth.

     But for Neryn, Shadowfell's existence is her only hope. She is penniless, orphaned, and utterly alone--and concealing a treacherous magical power that will warrant her immediate enslavement should it be revealed. She finds hope of allies in the Good Folk, fey beings whom she must pretend she cannot see and who taunt her with chatter of prophecies and tests, and in  a striking, mysterious stranger, who saves her from certain death but whose motives remain unclear. She knows she should not trust anyone with her plans, but something within her longs to c…

Thanksgiving by Ellen Cooney: A Book Review

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Thanksgiving
Author: Ellen Cooney
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Publerati
Release Date: September 16, 2013
Pages: 248
Source: I got this from NetGalley as a request from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: One Family. One Table. One Meal. 350 years.

     This dramatic highly inventive novel presents the story of one family through many generations, as Thanksgiving dinner is prepared.

     The narrative moves swiftly and richly through time and changes as we experience the lives of the Morleys against the background of the historical events. This is history that comes fully alive, for we become part of the family ourselves, sharing their fortunes and tragedies, knowing their truths from their lies, watching possessions handed down and lost forever. All along, in the same house, in the same room, Morley women are getting dinner ready, one part time at time, in a room begins with a hearth of Colonial times and ends as a present-day kitchen.

     Thanksgiving serves up his…