In "Decorum," Francesca is suddenly orphaned as a young adult and this leaves her with a whole bunch of money. Since it's the late 1800s, as a woman sIn "Decorum," Francesca is suddenly orphaned as a young adult and this leaves her with a whole bunch of money. Since it's the late 1800s, as a woman she is not seen as being able to take care of herself and mind her money so she has a couple suitors vying for her hand in marriage but not for necessarily altruistic reasons.
I was interested in reading this book because I haven't read a whole lot set in the late 1800s and New York City is always an interesting setting to me, particularly when it comes to historical fiction. This novel is intricate and complex and standing at about 420 pages, it's quite long as well. Long books are fine but I did find myself wishing that some parts of this book had been slimmed down a little bit in order to keep the story moving as it seemed to bogged down in detail a little bit.
As I mentioned, women during this time did not have a whole lot of power and a lot of the underlying story revolves around Francesca simply having to bow to society and the unspoken rules that society of the time demanded. Each book or each chapter is introduced with a section of a book entitled "Decorum" which tells how those and high society are supposed to act during that time. It was very eye-opening to me! I also must mention that I had a hard time warming up to either of the love interests in the book as their motives didn't always seem to stand up for me.
Overall, I thought this was a interesting take on what it was like to be a woman at the time. ...more
"The Paris Key" is the story of Genevieve, who is running away from her marriage after her husband has an affair. She's heartbroken and she thinks tha"The Paris Key" is the story of Genevieve, who is running away from her marriage after her husband has an affair. She's heartbroken and she thinks that getting back to the city that her mother fell in love with and taking over her uncle's locksmith shop might just be the trick to getting her life back on track. Genevieve can barely speak French when she arrives in Paris but slowly she begins to build a life for herself and begins to unravel the mystery of what happened to her mother in Paris.
This book is the story of family, love, and family secrets. This book started off a little bit shaky for me and throughout the book there were places where I felt that the author told a little bit too much and gave a little bit too much detail which gummed up some of the narrative. Luckily for me there were only a couple places like that and in general, the storytelling was very good. I was entranced by the story of Angela, Genevieve's mother, and how she fell in love in Paris. I don't want to give anything away about Angela's love story because that makes a huge crux of the story arc. The story is definitely originally when it comes to Angela's story, which I appreciated.
Paris is definitely one place that I love to read about. I would love to visit someday and this book had me wishing that even more. I thought that the author gave a really unique look at Paris in the present day as well as Paris in the more recent past. Overall, I thought this was a good story and I read it pretty quickly!...more
"The Gates of Rutherford" is a historical fiction look at life during World War I. It is a companion book to "Rutherford Hall." This book reminds me a"The Gates of Rutherford" is a historical fiction look at life during World War I. It is a companion book to "Rutherford Hall." This book reminds me a lot of shows like "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey." In "The Gates of Rutherford" there is still a huge cast and much of it centers on a new marriage where the couple wasn't really sure what they want out of it. World War I is raging in the lives of the people in the book are caught up in it.
Ensemble casts work well for television and movies. They don't always work so well for books. While I enjoyed the setting of this book and the time period, I found it very hard to follow along with the stories in the book. There are a lot of characters and I felt like I never could get very close to them.
There are some but some stories that I was very into such as the one about the German prisoner but there were other stories where I felt like I didn't we get to know the characters very well and therefore wasn't as interested. This book is not all that long either so there isn't really a lot of detail about each of the characters in many ways, this book feels like a slice of life about people who are dealing with World War I in Europe. You get a taste of the characters but I found myself wanting more. That being said there storylines are still very interesting and kept me reading. Overall, this book was a mixed bag for me....more
"Local Girls" is the story of three very close friends who live in their small Florida town after graduating from high school. This is the town that t"Local Girls" is the story of three very close friends who live in their small Florida town after graduating from high school. This is the town that they've grown up where they know everyone and that's not always a good thing. In a lot of ways these girls have not outgrown that sort of pettiness and cattiness that affect so many friendships from high school.
I never really had any friendships like this but I had a lot of friends who went through some of the same things these girls go through where there's a perceived issue and no one ever wants to talk about it. This is what happens to Maggie, Lindsey, and Nina and their once friend Lila. In one night these girls will finally confront what broke their friendship apart and realize that maybe they need to get out of their small town and experience something more. This was a book that I have gotten through the Book-of-the-Month club, which all talk about a little bit later in this post. This book has gotten a lot of buzz this summer so I was excited to read it
One night in their small local bar, the girls meet a celebrity, Sam. Sam is one of the hottest actors in Hollywood and the girls can't believe that they came he came to their small backwater town. This is also the same night where they figure out what went wrong with their friendship with Lila. The issue is really a misunderstanding overall and therefore the arc seemed a bit melodramatic to me. Maggie is telling this story as an adult, which means that some of the things that she talks about don't seem to ring true. It was hard to feel for these girls.
The book only barely covers one night and it's stuck in a place where you have to put yourself in the mindset of the characters as what they're dealing with seems so like not really a big deal in the scheme of things. Overall, I like the writing style of the book but struggled to understand fully where the characters were coming from....more