When Prudence is born, she is born with a pair of wings on her back. Her father is relatively okay with this; however, her mother believes her wings tWhen Prudence is born, she is born with a pair of wings on her back. Her father is relatively okay with this; however, her mother believes her wings to be a birth defect and has them surgically removed. Come to find out, Prudence is actually descended from it a family who has several women who were born with wings. And this is something to be celebrated! Split between 1863 and the late 1980s and early 1990s, this book has a great deal of magical realism and focuses on both Prudence and the winged women in her family.
I think I've expressed to you all my love of magical realism several times. It's one of my favorite elements of a book, especially when the magic feels as real as it does here. When it's mixed with historical fiction like it is in this book, it's definitely something special.
The historical detail in the book is great as well. I loved reading about Prudence's family and how her family coped with the 1863 Russian occupation of Lithuania. This is a time period and an event that I didn't know much about at all and I like the way got the author was able to weave the historical events and with the magical. The story also covers Prudence finding out the secret of her family through her estranged grandfather, who her mother has kept away from her. Her grandfather tells her about the secrets of her family and makes Prudence feel like there might be somewhere where she actually belongs.
This story was a little bit on the short side for my liking and I do wish that the author had gone into a little bit more detail about Prudence and what she was thinking about everything that her grandfather was telling her. I would have liked to get a little bit closer to her in that regard. There is a sort of love story in the book between Prudence and a neighborhood boy who has magic of his own that I would have liked more detail about.
Overall, this is a wholly inventive story and will be perfect for those who like their historical fiction with a heavy dose of magical realism. This is a story about both the ties and secrets that bind families through generations....more
3.5 stars. "The Witch of Painted Sorrows" is the latest book from M.J. Rose. This book is a historical fiction set in 1890s Paris with a magical bend3.5 stars. "The Witch of Painted Sorrows" is the latest book from M.J. Rose. This book is a historical fiction set in 1890s Paris with a magical bend to it, which I absolutely loved. In this book, we meet Sandrine, a young woman who is running away from her life in New York to explore the magic of Paris. This is the first book in what promises to be a very exciting planned series.
Magical realism is definitely one of my favorite elements in any book. As with some of the other books that I've read by M.J. Rose, this author definitely knows how to weave in the magic so that it feels really real. This book almost has a fantasy feel to it. This made for some very exciting reading for m!
I loved Sandrine's character. She has had a very difficult life with very horrible husband that she left behind in America. When she comes to Paris, she realizes that there's a lot more out of life that she wants that she was ever going to be able to have staying in New York. As the book goes on, Sandrine quickly learns that Paris is not as safe as it first seems even with her grandmother trying to protect her. She is overtaken by the spirit of la Lune, a ghostly spirit. At first, Sandrine is attracted to the spirit but she quickly realizes that her life may be in danger.
If you like your historical fiction dark and mysterious, this may be a great pick for you. At the deft hands of M.J. Rose, you will find yourself enraptured by the setting of Bella epic Paris. This book is only the opening of the series so I am hopeful that more will be fleshed out in future books but in some places, it feels like the author is setting up a lot for the future stories, which proved a little frustrating in some parts. I am anxious to see what the other books in the series bring....more
4.5 stars. "The Tapestry" is the third book in the fabulous Joanna Stafford series. This is a very exciting series and I really enjoyed the first two4.5 stars. "The Tapestry" is the third book in the fabulous Joanna Stafford series. This is a very exciting series and I really enjoyed the first two books so I was eager to get my hands on the third book. I feel like I have been waiting for this book for a very long time and my waiting was not in vain! This book is a very exciting historical fiction novel that takes place in the heart of King Henry VIII's court. You will definitely want to start with the first book in the series before you get to this one!
Our heroine is a former novice who it has gotten herself into and out of trouble several times before in defying one of the most frightening monarchs in England's history. Now, she just wants to live a quiet life until she summoned to Whitehall Palace to weave a tapestry for the king. Grudgingly she goes but too quickly realizes that her life is still in danger. I really love this main character! She so interesting and so well written. She definitely feels like she could be a real person. Her background is so interesting to me. If you like your characters on the beaten path, Joanna is your lady! I love that we get to see the court through her eyes. Joanna befriends Catherine Howard (yes, of King Henry's wife fame - not a club I would like to be in). Joanna quickly realizes that the King has his eyes set on her as the next wife. Joanna does her best to try and protect Catherine even though it puts her own life in even more danger. Joanna is definitely quite brave.
I also loved the story telling in the book. If you are looking for a book to get lost in, this is a great pick. Every time I think that I might possibly be tired of the Tudors, I pick up a book like this one and under the skills of a great author, I realize that I'm not quite ready to quit the Tudors. I liked that this book tackled a era of the Tudors that I have not read a whole lot of about - Henry VII's courtship of Catherine Howard. The author uses a lot of great historical detail and great characters to really make this part of history come to life....more
"The Green Road" is the latest release by the new (and first) fiction laureate of Ireland, Anne Enright. This is the richly detailed story of the Madi"The Green Road" is the latest release by the new (and first) fiction laureate of Ireland, Anne Enright. This is the richly detailed story of the Madigan family. Set over thirty years, this book follows Rosaleen and her four children spread throughout Ireland, the United States, and West Africa. Rosaleen has a definitive idea as to how a family is supposed to be and how a family is supposed to act. She cannot understand how her children could feel differently. So when one son, Dan, makes a stunning announcement at Christmas, Rosaleen's thought of perfection is shattered.
I loved reading about this family. Each child is so different and each of them are facing their own struggles. I thought the most compelling story was really Dan's story. He is hiding a secret from his conservative Irish family in the 1980s that he feels like he can never tell them. He is gay and is living in New York City during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s. It's a lot of pressure and he builds a story of what he is doing in America in order to hide what he is really going through. It's heartbreaking that he cannot tell his family but he knows that it will upend the delicate balance of his family so he never says anything. I really liked the way that his character was written.
Not only is there a compelling story but the writing of the book is wonderful! The way that Ms. Enright writes the characters truly brings them to life effortlessly. At its core, this book is about what it truly means to be a family even when things do not go as planned. This is the first book that I have read by her but I know there will be more in my future!...more
I was very excited to get my hands on Jane Austen's "Love and Freindship." As a big Austen fan, I was looking forward to this book as it's a collectioI was very excited to get my hands on Jane Austen's "Love and Freindship." As a big Austen fan, I was looking forward to this book as it's a collection of Austen's very early writings. It seems like a lot of times we don't get a chance to get to read a lot of things from writers early in their writing life. Unless the author is super famous, most of our reading is limited to whichever books were actually published. Because Jane Austen is such a prolific and famous writer, it's easy to see why so many people would have interest in reading some of the stories and other things that she wrote prior to publishing her books. This book almost feels as if you're getting a behind the scenes glance at what Austen was like is a younger person. Many of the stories were written when she was merely a teenager. And a lot of the hallmarks from some of her books that she went on to publish are there. She writes a lot of stories about love that are filled with fun and a lot of wit.
One thing that I found very interesting is that in this particular version, which is a Penguin Classics version (I collect the Penguin Classics - they are gorgeous), is that the publishers chose to keep a lot of the errors that Austen made it in the book. Even the title of the book is an Austen error with the misspelling of the word friendship. In some places, this makes the book a little bit difficult to read however I was driven by wanting to get more insight into one of my favorite classics authors! This book is a must-read for my fellow Austen lovers!...more