Book Review: Everlasting by Angie Frazier

Everlasting (2010) by Angie Frazier is an adorable teen adventure/romance. The year is 1855, and seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen of San Francisco is the daughter of a successful widowed sea captain… or so she thinks. Camille is shocked to discover that her mother is not really dead, but alive somewhere in Australia, having abandoned the family for reasons … Continue reading Book Review: Everlasting by Angie Frazier

Book Review: Maid Marian by Elsa Watson

Maid Marian is a novel by Elsa Watson, published in 2005, which tells the story of Robin Hood from the point of view of his romantic partner, Marian. In this book, Robin Hood is presented as a playful and tender lover. Marian is not privy to most of his adventures, so these are generally omitted or recounted … Continue reading Book Review: Maid Marian by Elsa Watson

Book Review: Madame Tussaud, A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran

Historical fiction author Michelle Moran tackles the story of the famous wax sculptor, Madame Tussaud, in her novel, Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution. We meet Marie Grosholtz, later to become Madame Tussaud, as a Parisian woman in her late twenties. Since childhood, she was apprenticed by her mother’s employer and romantic partner, Curtius, to … Continue reading Book Review: Madame Tussaud, A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran

Book Review: Anastasia’s Secret by Susanne Dunlap

Anastasia’s Secret, published in March 2010, is an historical romance for teens written by Susanne Dunlap. The premise is that the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, youngest daughter of the last Tsar of Russia, had a love affair with one of the guards, Sasha, who imprisoned her and her family. In Dunlap’s world, the reason that Anastasia … Continue reading Book Review: Anastasia’s Secret by Susanne Dunlap

Book Review: In Need of a Good Wife by Kelly O’Connor McNees

Kelly O’Connor McNees weaves a delightful tale about post-Civil War mail order brides in her sweet novel, In Need of a Good Wife. The book rotates between its three prime characters. Clara's rakish husband abandoned her for another girl after a tragedy. Rowena is a vain but broke, widowed war bride. And Elsa is a devout, older woman of … Continue reading Book Review: In Need of a Good Wife by Kelly O’Connor McNees

Book Review: Journey to the Well by Diana Wallis Taylor

Diana Wallis Taylor writes the fictional life-story of the Samaritan woman, whom Jesus meets at Jacob’s Well in the New Testament (John 4:4-26). Imaginatively, Taylor weaves the story of young Marah, a maiden from the village of Shechem, and the fateful events of her life that lead to her having had five husbands. But instead of … Continue reading Book Review: Journey to the Well by Diana Wallis Taylor

Book Review: Honolulu by Alan Brennert

Moloka’i, the story of a girl in a leper colony, by Alan Brennert, is one of my favorite books. So I thought it would be worth checking out Brennert’s other Hawaii novel, Honolulu. We meet Regret, a young Korean girl at the turn of the (twentieth) century. She longs to venture outside of her culture's … Continue reading Book Review: Honolulu by Alan Brennert

Book Review: Lady Macbeth’s Daughter by Lisa Klein

Another hit from Lisa Klein, Lady Macbeth's Daughter retells the famous Shakespearean tragedy of Macbeth from the point of view of a female character– Macbeth's secret lost daughter, Albia. When Lady Macbeth gives birth to a baby girl with a clubbed foot, her husband Macbeth considers the babe cursed, and demands she be left outside to die. … Continue reading Book Review: Lady Macbeth’s Daughter by Lisa Klein

Book Review: Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

After reading Ophelia, I was eager to read another of Lisa Klein’s novels. I was not disappointed by Cate of the Lost Colony! This was another great read. Catherine Archer is the orphaned daughter of a high-ranking soldier when Queen Elizabeth grants her the rare honor of becoming a lady-in-waiting. But court life - with all of … Continue reading Book Review: Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

Book Review: Ophelia by Lisa Klein

I picked up this book simply because I liked the cover. I'd never even read Shakespeare’s Hamlet! Written by Lisa Klein, Ophelia is Hamlet's story told by his lover, Ophelia’s, point of view. We're introduced to the young Danish woman when her ambitious father secures a place for his family at Elsinore Castle. Ophelia is adopted as … Continue reading Book Review: Ophelia by Lisa Klein

Book Review: Perfume by Patrick Suskind

I decided to read Perfume by Patrick Süskind, based off of several recommendations from fellow readers. As the subtitle reveals, Perfume is indeed the story of a murderer, a young French psychopath, surnamed Grenouille. Born in the 1700s with a superhuman sense of smell, Grenouille masters the art of perfume-making and capturing odors. But when he … Continue reading Book Review: Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

At this point, it's probably starting to sound like every book is my favorite book, but this one is another big-time fave! Narrated by Death himself, The Book Thief, by Aussie author Markus Zusak, is a highly original novel featuring the unsung tale of those Germans who resisted Hitler, and harbored Jews in their homes. Liesel is a German … Continue reading Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

When author Mary Ann Shaffer passed away, her niece, Annie Barrows, took up the mantle of completing the novel her aunt had been researching and writing. The resulting product of their joint efforts is this delightful little story, entitled The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. We meet a variety of characters, including our lovable … Continue reading Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Book Review: Peony in Love by Lisa See

This has got to be one of the saddest books I've ever read, but I couldn't put it down. In seventeenth century China, fifteen-year-old Peony is betrothed to someone she doesn't know. One evening, Peony meets and falls in love with a man whom she calls “her poet,” for he loves poetry as much as she. … Continue reading Book Review: Peony in Love by Lisa See

Book Review: Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

In this thrilling and elegantly-written mystery, Carlos Ruiz Zafron vividly transports his readers to the streets of 1940s Barcelona. The Shadow of the Wind chronicles the story of Daniel, the Spanish son of an antique bookseller, whose fascination with a rare antique book unravels deep and troubling mysteries about its enigmatic author, Julián Carax. When … Continue reading Book Review: Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

Book Review: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant is an historical fiction novel taking place in Florence, Italy in the late 1400s, at the close of the Florentine Renaissance. Our main character, fourteen-year-old Alessandra Cecchi, is the daughter of a well-to-do textile merchant. Alessandra is precocious, book-smart and well-read. She’s also a talented artist– staying up … Continue reading Book Review: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Book Review: Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund

Sena Jeter Naslund takes up the ambitious task of chronicling the life of Marie Antoinette, 18th century queen of France, in Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette. In this fictional journal/memoir, Naslund does not depict Marie Antoinette as the cold, vain and selfish queen as her reception has been throughout history. Rather, the young woman exposes … Continue reading Book Review: Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund

Book Review: Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree by Tariq Ali

The first in Tariq Ali‘s Islam Quintet series, Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree is the riveting tale of a 15th century Moorish Muslim family trying to survive the Spanish Inquisition. We follow the individual stories of each family member– the parents and their children, some grown– through their personal lives. Amidst their conflicts and romances … Continue reading Book Review: Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree by Tariq Ali

Book Review: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

The compelling, Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir of Frank McCourt’s childhood, Angela’s Ashes is the story of the McCourt family in the 1940s. Their story starts in New York City, where Frank spent his earliest years, but soon the family returned to their native Ireland. The poorest family in their village, Frank’s father was an alcoholic who … Continue reading Book Review: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

A boy goes on a journey, as advised by an old wise man, to see the pyramids in Egypt. On his way, he meets a girl, and falls in love. He finally sees the pyramids, only to realize that the treasure he really sought had already been found along the way. The writing is very simple. This story … Continue reading Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

Book Review: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is one of my all-time favorite novels. It is the story of a young, poor Japanese girl who is sold into a geisha district, and grows to become one of the topmost successful geisha. Beginning in the Great Depression, this is a work of historical fiction spanning across … Continue reading Book Review: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Book Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Two girls, Lily and Snow Flower, in 1800s China form a lifelong friendship in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Using a fan, the girls write notes and poems to one another in a secret form of ancient Chinese “women’s writing,” called nu shu. Together they endure the physical agony of having … Continue reading Book Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See