I actually uttered the word, "wow" aloud when I finished this book! It was that powerful.
Max Walker is the perfect son growing up in a perfect British...moreI actually uttered the word, "wow" aloud when I finished this book! It was that powerful.
Max Walker is the perfect son growing up in a perfect British family, at least until the family's biggest secret becomes public. Max is intersex and has the inner and outer anatomy of both sexes, a fact that the Walker family has managed to keep to themselves for all of Max's 16 years.
Abigail Tarttelin has written a book that somehow makes the seldom written about topic of intersexuality take a back seat to both the characters themselves and the idea of keeping secrets and the ultimate harm that results. (less)
Ursula Todd dies on the night she is born in 1910. And then she didn't.
Ursula has the ability to live her life over and over until she gets it right....moreUrsula Todd dies on the night she is born in 1910. And then she didn't.
Ursula has the ability to live her life over and over until she gets it right. Kate Atkinson has the ability to write a book that has repetition throughout the entire novel and yet does not lose the reader's interest for one moment. In fact, this is perhaps her best book yet!
Beginning in the period before the Great War, and at times proceeding though the Spanish Influenza outbreak, and World War II, Life After Life is an amazing read. Ursula's varied lives wisp the reader along through so much history while encouraging us to consider how each simple decision we make in our lives affects so much beyond our own existences. Breathtaking!(less)
In 1850, Honor Bright sets sail for Ohio along with her sister, Grace. Leaving behind their their Quaker community in England, Grace's would-be husban...moreIn 1850, Honor Bright sets sail for Ohio along with her sister, Grace. Leaving behind their their Quaker community in England, Grace's would-be husband awaits their arrival in the Unites States within a promising, and growing, new community of Friends. However, Honor soon realizes her new life is not what she had thought it would be. Very soon upon her arrival, Honor becomes immersed in the reality of those who risk their lives to aid runaway slaves as they seek their way to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Congress, meanwhile, has just passed the Fugitive Slave Law, which further endangers those who aid in helping runaway slaves.
Like Chevalier's previous novels, this work clearly shows the thorough research that she devotes to each of her books. The themes of quilting, Quaker culture, abolition, and homesteading are interwoven throughout and the reader becomes immersed in the rough 19th century American landscape that Honor struggles to adopt as her own. Another certain-to-become bestseller from Tracy Chevalier!(less)
Middle-age Martin is a thief; a wonderfully-neurotic, extremely methodical guy whose OCD makes him the perfect man for the job! If not for the facts t...moreMiddle-age Martin is a thief; a wonderfully-neurotic, extremely methodical guy whose OCD makes him the perfect man for the job! If not for the facts that Martin has such a wonderful heart and quirky sense of humor, the reader may not find him so appealing, but he's the type of underdog you just want to see succeed! Martin spends years with each of his "clients" and they become friends to him, though they are unaware of his existence. They're also unaware that their laundy detergent, olive oil, and Liquid Plumber slowly disappear as Martin fills his own larder as needed. So, the occasional earring may go missing from the client's home as well, but Martin needs to make a living, and anyway- he's sooooo likeable!
This is a fun book and I would recommend it to basically anyone!(less)
The Snow Island Trilogy by Katherine Towler follows the lives of a tightly knit community off the coast of Rhode Island. With the backdrop of war; Wor...more The Snow Island Trilogy by Katherine Towler follows the lives of a tightly knit community off the coast of Rhode Island. With the backdrop of war; World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War, we follow the community members, whom we come to deeply understand, as they deal with the ramifications of those wars. War isn't the star of these books however, the characters are, and Towler is a master of character development. Second to the memorable characters, is the rich formation of the island itself. Towler has created a geographic place that becomes a multi-sensory reality for the reader. While reading these three books, and even long after you have finished, you will feel as if you could step off the ferry and be met by friends. You will walk together with them toward Alice's store to pick up provisions for your stay, as you hear the ferry blow its horn signaling its return to a far-off mainland. You will be happy to visit Snow Island and I can promise you that you won't want to leave too soon.(less)
Although Astray is a series of seemingly unrelated short stories, they all have the underlying premise of “going astray.” The characters go astray in...moreAlthough Astray is a series of seemingly unrelated short stories, they all have the underlying premise of “going astray.” The characters go astray in any number of ways; morally, geographically, or by simply going against the social norms of a particular time. From a Louisiana slave plantation of the 1700’s, to the Cape Cod village of Yarmouth in the 1600’s, to the Yukon gold rush of the 1800’s, to a nursing home in the U.S. in the 1960’s. The characters are rich and multi-dimensional and the settings immediately transport you.
If you’ve only ever read Donoghue’s much celebrated novel, Room , you will be pleasantly surprised at how well Donoghue is able to effortlessly present historical fiction through this collection of short stories all originating from sources, which she highlights at the end of each story. Tremendously satisfying!(less)