In the hands of a lesser storyteller, Fern and Abby would be sterotypes whose love for the same man would be a cliche. What Rachael Herron does with tIn the hands of a lesser storyteller, Fern and Abby would be sterotypes whose love for the same man would be a cliche. What Rachael Herron does with the story of Abby and Fern is to show us conflicted, edgy characters who might never have met had Scott not died right after Abby told him she wanted a divorce. No, he had not been cheating on Abby - at least, not in the usual way. By having a vasectomy in secret, and refusing to adopt, he had cheated her of the child she desperately desired.
Abby's grief is burdened with additional shock when she goes through her husband's papers and learns that he had been married before, to Fern, and they had a son whom he has been supporting.
She and Fern do not meet cute. In fact, the reader despairs for both women - the struggling mother whose eccentric extended family (including Scott's father!) depends on her, and the grieving, lonely widow. Caught in the middle is Matty, whose talent and need for a stable family helps to break down the barriers between the women.
I loved the the blended family that Fern struggles to protect, and I loved Abby's basic generosity. Better yet - the plot includes knitting! Always a winner for me. I'd love to meet these characters again. Highly recommended. Thank you for the ARC, Goodreads!...more
Maisie Dobbs is one of the most complex characters I've followed in any fictional series, regardless of genre. In this book, the reader follows her asMaisie Dobbs is one of the most complex characters I've followed in any fictional series, regardless of genre. In this book, the reader follows her as she accepts a request to go to Munich to rescue a British industrialist who has been imprisoned in Dachau for two years. She is still trying to process the tragedies that befell her in the last book, she has no permanent home in London, she has no profession, and she has suffered so many losses that even the lessons she learned from her beloved mentor, Maurice, do not seem to center her. Never the less, she accepts the challenge.
Once in Munich, she learns that Hitler is about to launch his incursion into Austria, Jewish and Christian children have to hide if they wish to play together, and citizens can be tortured if they fail to reply to soldiers' salutes to the Fuhrer. She also begins to apply the meditation and visualization techniques that strengthen her resolve and her soul. She will need all the strength she can muster to find the industrialist, fulfill a promise to a grieving mother, and pull her life back together once this trial is over.
I admire Maisie Dobbs for her courage, honesty, and willingness to be open to reality, regardless of where it leads her. I admire Jacqueline Winspear more, of course, for having the breadth of imagination and skill to bring this character to life.
I received an ARC of this book from Eidelweiss. This is an honest review.
Engel has lived through the turmoil in the Middle East, and he relates his gripping, sometimes-terrifying observations with precise historical contextEngel has lived through the turmoil in the Middle East, and he relates his gripping, sometimes-terrifying observations with precise historical context. Anyone who wants to understand how Egypt, Syria, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, and Libya disintegrated in full view of the world should read this and learn its lessons well....more
Another lush, exciting, total-immersion novel from the pen of M.J. Rose, second in a series (but completely self-contained). In this novel, Opaline (dAnother lush, exciting, total-immersion novel from the pen of M.J. Rose, second in a series (but completely self-contained). In this novel, Opaline (daugher of Sandrine, the witch from The Witch of Painted Sorrows) is a Parisian jeweller during WWI. Her mentor is a grieving Russian royalist who hopes that the Romanovs will return to power, and whose friends and family do what they can in exile to thwart the Bolshevik spies. Opaline makes artistic pieces and creates wristwatches for soldiers, but her specialty is making amulets of crystals and hair from dead soldiers that allow her to hear the voices of the dead, and to pass on their last thoughts or wishes to grieving mothers.
There are so many descriptions of the jewels, the enamelwork (especially Faberge eggs), and fabrics, so many scents, so many scenes of Parisians trying to live their lives despite the bombings and the spies (German and Russian) who use ancient tunnels - so many! It's impossible not to be caught up in the narrative and to hope that peace and beauty will prevail, despite devastation, loss, and dishonor running rampant. Do take a look at the author's Pinterest page to get a sense of the times and places.
I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
Thank you, NetGalley, for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for a review....more
I wish I'd had this book when I had my first wheel - so clear! Although I'm more experienced now, this book taught me nuances I still hadn't quite undI wish I'd had this book when I had my first wheel - so clear! Although I'm more experienced now, this book taught me nuances I still hadn't quite understood, from the differences amongst tensioning systems to what spinning from the fold really entails. What a splendid new resource!
Thank you, NetGalley, for giving me an ARC of this book....more