I enjoyed this because it was unique and I learned about something I knew nothing about. I'd rate it more on the 3.5 scale - as in - I liked reading itI enjoyed this because it was unique and I learned about something I knew nothing about. I'd rate it more on the 3.5 scale - as in - I liked reading it - but I didn't love it. Mainly because at times I felt like I could feel the research and it felt repetitive and circular that she was going over the same stuff and it could have been condensed. Yet, I enjoyed reading about the Muse brothers - albino's from Virginia who were sideshow stars of the circus... The historical parts of the circus were interesting as well - the ways in which the various shows combined into one. The history of the side show. The untold story of this family that was kept very close to those who knew it and still has many questions. ...more
Ruth is a labor and delivery nurse, a very good one with a lot of experience. Her life is turned upside down when she is caring for a white supremacisRuth is a labor and delivery nurse, a very good one with a lot of experience. Her life is turned upside down when she is caring for a white supremacist's newborn. She is ordered not to touch the child. When the baby goes into cardiac arrest Ruth is at an impossible crossroads - try to save the baby, or follow the orders not to? Told from multiple perspectives, we get background stories and character development through the legal battle of a horrible lawsuit and delves into issues of race that are difficult and complicated. I found the white supremacist's perspective quite hard to read. But with all Picoult books, this is a multi-layered story with incredible depth, social and moral dilemmas, perspective and insight that is handled well. Hard as it was at times, I could not put this down....more
This was an awesome read. NYC 1845 - following terrible downtown fire during the beginning days of the formation of the NYC Police Department - meet TThis was an awesome read. NYC 1845 - following terrible downtown fire during the beginning days of the formation of the NYC Police Department - meet Timothy Wilde - who already lost his parents in a fire, and now his home and livelihood in the latest fire - he is a new "copper star". His brother is one of the high ranking party men, the girl he's been in love with helps poor children, regardless of religion. Mixed up with kids, newsies, bawdy houses and the five points of "Gangs of New York" - this is an awesome story. I loved it. Currently the city is in turmoil and fear as young children keep turning up mutilated. Twists and turns - Wilde is a detective who will solve the crime.
I'm super stoked to find out that this character resurfaces in at least 2 more books that follow this one -- which I will be reading as soon as possible....more
The third book in the trilogy about early NYC copper star Timothy Wilde. This time he's investigating bluestocking women activists and threats againstThe third book in the trilogy about early NYC copper star Timothy Wilde. This time he's investigating bluestocking women activists and threats against a Tammany factory and property owner. FANTASTIC! I'm super bummed that the series is over - I really expected to read more of these stories. However, this was as engaging and riveting as the others and I really enjoyed getting to know Sally and the other cast of characters....more
I loved the Gods of Gotham and was so excited to know that the "series" of NYC copper star (early police of NYC) Timothy Wilde continues. This time arI loved the Gods of Gotham and was so excited to know that the "series" of NYC copper star (early police of NYC) Timothy Wilde continues. This time around he is mixed up in the plight of freed slaves who are being kidnapped and sold back to the southern plantations. This is a whole angle to the early 1800s that I didn't know much about. Timothy is a good guy. His brother is a powerful political / police captain. The street slang is fascinating and this is told is a fast, page turning, can't put down fashion. The inter-workings of New York City politicians, Irish immigrants, Northern Whites, and Southern Blacks, the newly founded police force and the vigilantes fighting to make things right is fascinating. And the mystery that must be solved is complex and layered and involves brothel madams, state politicians, Tammany Hall, opiates, secret mixed race marriages and the Underground Railroad. Fantastic!...more
Enjoyed this a lot. Triple story line -- the Dutch painter in the 1600s - unconventional and pushed out the of the guild - forced to make her way and hEnjoyed this a lot. Triple story line -- the Dutch painter in the 1600s - unconventional and pushed out the of the guild - forced to make her way and has very little surviving known work. In the 50s, NYC, Sara De Vos painting stolen from Mary De Groot a descendant of the original owner. Also during this time period we meet Ellie - a painter and art historian - who forges a copy of the stolen painting. On to the present where Ellie is curating an exhibit of Dutch paintings and both paintings make their way to the exhibit. I enjoyed the art history and the wonderful descriptions of the paintings. I also enjoyed the character development and actually got interested in them and their merging stories. Enjoyed how it all came together as well. Solid. Awesome....more
I have been reading this book forever, and the amount of time it's taken has affected my absorption and enjoyment of the story. Perhaps if I had beenI have been reading this book forever, and the amount of time it's taken has affected my absorption and enjoyment of the story. Perhaps if I had been more able to focus on my reading I would have enjoyed this more. Early 1900s in and around Boston -- this is about a young mother who leaves her baby in the Pear Orchard for the family who comes in the middle of the night to steal pears. That family indeed takes the child, whom they name Lucy Pear, and raise her as their own in a family of 8 other children. Years later, that young mother who is the daughter of a socialite indirectly meets her daughter and her "adoptive" mother. With a backdrop of social politics and class status, poverty and mayoral politics, this tackles many issues and weaves all the characters together. Yet, I still found myself disassociated at times, and not totally engaged. ...more
Mixed feelings. At times I loved this, and at others I felt let down, as though I missed something. Nella marries a well to do merchant of old AmsterdaMixed feelings. At times I loved this, and at others I felt let down, as though I missed something. Nella marries a well to do merchant of old Amsterdam to save her family. Her new husband is seldom at home and she spends most of her time under the watch and criticism of Marin, her new sister in law. The family is strange and has many secrets and this is the part that I enjoyed. As a wedding gift Johannes gives her a cabinet model of their home and one of her wifely passtimes is to furnish this new mini-house. Yet the Miniaturist she hires for a few pieces seems to be more of a psychic who seeings into the future of the household. Or is he a watcher or a spy. Also a very interesting angle. As the layers peeled back, the discoveries were interesting, but then it ended and I felt empty of some of the answers that I wanted.
---- I feel better knowing that I was not the only one who felt short changed, and that there was potential that fell short. A great idea that went no where. And the miniaturist is who exactly? That is what you want to know..... do you ever find out?...more
The premise is that overnight a forest of trees erupts and takes over the world. Smashing through buildings, roads and all of civilization. No one knoThe premise is that overnight a forest of trees erupts and takes over the world. Smashing through buildings, roads and all of civilization. No one knows what to make of it. Most are fearful, but a few down to earth types are stoked and take it as an eco message. A few random people come together and find a common path and purpose. Adrian who is lost and adrift and ill prepared to take care of himself period. Hannah a back to the land gardener to is all about the trees and her son Seb who is a technology teen, interested in his website and devices that have now lost power. Along the way they meet Hiroko, a Japanese teen exchange student who has been training in the zen of forest survival. They set out in search of Hannah's brother cabin in the woods, expecting all to be well. But nothing is as expected. So they set their path further onto Ireland where Adrian's wife was working... All the while the forest is every growing and changing and Adrian keeps seeing these little beings - wood nymphs, forest faeries, or whispers as they are called. Their are forces afoot that seem to be guiding them. But they do now always find what they hope to. This sorta reminds me of the world in which the Walking Dead takes places - a rag tag band of survivors, ever moving and searching for a way and a reason to continue. What is interesting is the combination of apocalyptic hell and an absolute embracing of nature, and all her potential cruelty. A little bit apocalyptic novel, a little bit of sci-fic Fantasy, a little bit fairy tale... I liked the story, I liked the premise, and I enjoyed some of the path and journey. I certainly didn't love it. I wanted to love it, I certainly didn't hate it. I found much of it frustrating -- the characters at times were annoying -- but in the end this was worth my time.
An amazing autobiographical story about a young newspaper reporter who overnight develops erratic behavior and for all practical purposes seems to havAn amazing autobiographical story about a young newspaper reporter who overnight develops erratic behavior and for all practical purposes seems to have "gone crazy" or "lost her mind". Through a very long and difficult process of many tests and doctors, eventually a diagnosis was found and a treatment put in place. She is now able to tell her story and help others. Completely captivating, scary and riveting. This is so well told and written, you can feel the pain and confusion of having no idea what has happened to your body and mind.
Mixed feelings about this one. The story is a dual one - In the present the last heir to a prominent chateau and vineyard inherits her childhood home,Mixed feelings about this one. The story is a dual one - In the present the last heir to a prominent chateau and vineyard inherits her childhood home, but she was distant from her family and so very unlike her socialite mother. She doesn't plan to keep the estate, but once there she feels so comfortable and falls into memories of her father and his amazing library. She starts to learn the story of her father and his involvement in the French resistance in World War 2. That was a fascinating and engaging story. I was especially taken with the story of Constance a special ops agent from the English Resistance who gets separated from her group and ends up with in the de la Martinieres family. Switch to the present where Emilie is sorting out her families legacy and in comes Sebastian, Constance's grandson. He shows up hoping to find out more about his grandmother. I didn't like this part of the story - it was way too obvious. I was annoyed with Emilie and felt like I was reading a generic romance and that made me angry. The story of the past was so much more interesting. I will say that in the end, I enjoyed how it all came together. The obvious part of the story pans out and is worth getting through. Still - it could have been written better, or edited better or something because I am not normally one to know a story before it happens and when I can feel the plot strings then I feel like it must not be carried off so well. I did want to find out what happened and found myself sorta hanging on for that conclusion of the families secrets....more
This was not quite what I had hoped it would be. A book barge in the Seine called the Literary Apothecary where the bookseller sells you the book he kThis was not quite what I had hoped it would be. A book barge in the Seine called the Literary Apothecary where the bookseller sells you the book he knows you need, not the book you think you want to read. I loved the idea. I loved the beginning and found myself enthralled. However this is much more about that booksellers emotional journey to coming to terms with his past lost love and the healing that he must go through to start a new. He holds himself on pause and dispenses books in a marvelous way to others, all the while keeping himself under lock. But a young author who is struggling with his own issues sparks something in the older man and the two of them set off in the book barge down the river in a spontaneous cutting loose. The pain of the past is confronted and new beginnings are found. And it's all very cliche and perfect. I find that I would have perferred to keep reading about how Perdu continued to dispense life changing books for his customers... but we all have to take our journeys and there are some gems to be had here. And there is a list of emergency literary pharmacy at the end, which may well be the best part of this....more