I like the this author's "conversational" style. "Tiny Little Thing" is, in a way, a coming of age story set Massachusetts. While it is not about theI like the this author's "conversational" style. "Tiny Little Thing" is, in a way, a coming of age story set Massachusetts. While it is not about the Kennedy's it a "Kennedy-seque" book. Privileged wealth that marries women bred to be politician's wives -for 'reasons' rather than for true love. "Tiny" is one of three sisters. She is the "good girl" while her other two sister are more the hell raisers. We hear about learn very little about one sister but get to know Pepper throughout the book- she too harbors a secret. Frank is an up and coming politician, running for his first term in Congress. He is womanizer from day one, but love able just the same. Frank is Tiny's husband, but Tiny holds fast to a secret .... a secret from two years prior to her marriage. How does Caspian, Frank's less privileged cousin, fit into this rarified mix? I can't tell you because that's a central part of the book! . The time frames goes back and forth from 1964 and 1966. The stories are beautifully intertwined.
This is not my standard reading fare, but I read a blurb about it and asked the library to get it for me/us. I was not aware of the author before this but she can sure write a good tale! This is a "chick-lit" kind of summer read. Breezy in it's way but with enough 'teeth' to give the reader something to guess at. Some of it was a bit predictable, but just when you think you know the plot a new twist pops up to intrigue....so it holds the reader's interest very well.
Beatriz Williams writes a good tale and I will be looking into reading her earlier novels! ...more
I have to admit that I never read the "The Language of Bees"...but I will now! it's already on my bookshelf waiting for me. A good friend recommendedI have to admit that I never read the "The Language of Bees"...but I will now! it's already on my bookshelf waiting for me. A good friend recommended "The Invention of WIngs" and I am so glad that she did. As someone who reads a lot of historical fiction this one might have slipped by me if she had not mentioned it.
Based on real people and events this book follows the lives of two Southern women living in Charleston at the turn of the 19th century. Sarah Gimke is a daughter of the Honorable Judge Grimnke. The family is well to do and, as so many families in the South, they 'owned' slaves. "Handful" (Hetty) is a slave who was "given" to Sarah when she turned 16 and "entered society. To her credit, even at such an early age, Sarah told her mother that she did not want to "have" Handful...but mother prevailed. What follows is a tale of a tentative frienship that is frought with "shoulds" and should nots. A story about the rising tide of abolishionism and the fight for women's rights at a time when neither philosophy was well considered. In short it is the story of two women from different worlds who fight against the tides of public opinion.
The story unfolds through the alternating voices of Sarah and Handful. We follow Sarah's growth- both literally as well as figuratively- as she moves to the North and becomes a staunch abolistionist with ambitions to become a Quaker minister (the Quakers being one group where women could aspire to that lauded career). Women in that time, as we all know, were also considered to be 'possessions' of another sort (but really it was much the same thing). Opinions were not to be had much less expressed and abolishionist views were not looked upon with any sort of favor in South Carolina. The mayor of Charleston eventually tells Sarah's mother to let Sarah know that if she returns to Charleston she will be arrested.
Hetty's ( Handful's) story recounts the cruel, punishing, life that slaves (even ostensibly "well treated" ones) led. Hetty's mother, Charlotte is a master seamstress and her knowledge is passed onto Handful....making them valued slaves with even less of a chance of manumission. Torture is a daily occurance for even the most minor of infractions. Handul dreams of taking flight....but how will that be possible?
This book presents what I feel must be an accurate view of the conditions, philosophy, brutality and deprivation that slaves lived under in the South. It is also a good rendering of the attitudes of slave holders among the 'gentry' class in the South and how difficult it was for those with abolishionist views to give voice to their beliefs - even in the "enlightened" North. The beginnings of the struggle for women's rights is also well portrayed and gives us a hint of how difficult it must have been for the forerunners of the women's rights movement. We, as women, owe these brave souls a true debt of gratitude!
"The Inventioned Of Wings" is a powerful read. Ms Kidd's prose is lyrical (as I heard it is) and it's two main alternating viewing are seamlessly interwoven. to my way of thinking this book should be considered a "must read" and it would be an elucidating read for civic classes as well.......more
Just wow! This book left me a bit breathless. I have not read Alice Hoffman since "Practical Magic" even though all of her books are always so well reJust wow! This book left me a bit breathless. I have not read Alice Hoffman since "Practical Magic" even though all of her books are always so well received. I am left wondering how I could have NOT grabbed them all!
"Dovekeepers" is a story about four amazing women who have arrived at the fortress Masada (King Herod's former realm) from different paths and different lives. Each hides a "sin" from their pasts. This is also the story of the fortress...the people who felt, if not 'whole', safe behind it's protective walls. It is a story of the fierce men, and women, who defended it. I knew very little about this time in history and, even fictionalized, I learned a lot and I now have much non-fiction to look into for further reading.
I want to say so much more about the characters, about the plot and about how fantastically the stories of the women are so beautifully intertwined .....there is so very much to say...... but I don't want to give away ANY of the story because I think that this is a book that needs to be experienced as as the pages are turned. This book is a bit of a 'personal experience'. It's powerful, filled with mellifluous prose and strong characters for whom I felt so much empathy. I admit that at first, for perhaps the first 50 pages or so, I felt that the story dragged just a wee bit, but, as I read, I understood why it had been written as it was and then I had to go back to re-read a few of the early pages that I had read a bit too quickly.
If any books deserve 5 stars this one does. Riveting, masterfully written- this is a book that lives in your mind and heart long after the last page has been turned. now, I am on the hunt for more books from this skillful author! ...more
When I read "Overdressed" by Elizabeth Cline I was motivated to start make my own shirts again and I looked for more books about the true cost of whatWhen I read "Overdressed" by Elizabeth Cline I was motivated to start make my own shirts again and I looked for more books about the true cost of what has, aptly, been called the "fast fashion" industry. I have never been an "on trend" shopper or clothing wearer. My tastes have always been a bit more prosaic and conservative and I have always preferred clothes that will be used for years rather than months.
Learning about how and why the cost of clothes have plummeted has been areal eye-opener to me and there are societal costs that I really have never thought about before reading this book. Lucy Siegel goes into some very interesting details about the various areas of fashion beyond cloth...leather, fur, wool, crocodile and snake skins as well cotton and synthetics. She covers the ethical questions of workers rights, and how devastation is wrought by the use of chemicals and dyes and the resultant pollution to earth and water.
I was especially interested to learn about why and how the cost of cashmere clothing has become a rock bottom bargain rather than the luxury fiber that I grew up with. The amount of pristine land that is becoming desert wasteland is stupefying and frightening.
There was SO much to,learn from this book...it will stay with me for a long time. These two books have forever changed my concept of the clothing I wear and I cannot help but think that anyone who reads it will also feel a dose of "comeuppance". There truly is a high cost for low cost fashion. Surely we can all at least give some consideration to the way that we spend our clothing dollars.
Fascinating, well researched, well written and slightly frightening; this is a book well worth the time to read. I got this through Inter-Library loan but will now be look for a copy to own and mark to my hearts content. Next reading is this genre is the book "Cheap"......more