I read the first book in this series and loved it. Due to the high price, I never did get around to book two. However, I didn't feel as if I'd missedI read the first book in this series and loved it. Due to the high price, I never did get around to book two. However, I didn't feel as if I'd missed a beat as I happily engrossed myself in book three.
Our heroine, former vaudeville star, is now working for Mary Pickford and husband. When Mary asks her to investigate a possible false arrest and prove a fellow actress's innocence, this gal is on the case, funded by the suspect's lover.
Everything points to the suspect having done it, despite what gut instinct says. The heroine hits vaudeville again to find some answers, therefore the story gives us a view of life on the road as the circuit tours town to town, even having a run-in with the KKK in Indiana. The author very skillfully brought real-life historical problems into the tale.
I became somewhat bored with the vaudeville. It got a tad repetitive. The train incident felt out of place and somewhat frustrating too. It didn't tie in enough with the rest of the tale. Those are my only quibbles. I enjoyed the heroine, her humor, the mystery and trying to guess whodunit as clues slowly unfolded.
All in all, a good addition to the series. I'm sorry I missed book two....more
For such a remarkable and unique story, I would expect to have a lot to say, but this is going to be one of those short reviews. Quite simply, this boFor such a remarkable and unique story, I would expect to have a lot to say, but this is going to be one of those short reviews. Quite simply, this book was really really good. Woman pope...about twenty years from now. Think of all the political backlash and haters that would result. Think of the change it instigates. This is why I wanted to read this. And I enjoyed it, but it's not really about a woman pope. It's about her life up until she becomes pope. That's why only four stars instead of five.
But the woman the book is about is remarkable. She's a selfless doctor. She goes through amazing amounts of trauma in her life, the loss of loved ones, the war zones, the evil she witnesses and while she may question God, she never completely loses her faith in him and she has conversations with him in a way. We are reminded through her story that everything happens for a reason.
Excellent story telling, very engrossing. Very short chapters though....more
"Last year I threw a man against a wall when he made me angry. I'd been trying not to do that anymore."
This is a terrific, fun historical mystery nove"Last year I threw a man against a wall when he made me angry. I'd been trying not to do that anymore."
This is a terrific, fun historical mystery novel. I regret that I missed out on reading the first one. I'd had a digital ARC on a Kindle that was unfortunately stolen.
We have a really spunky heroine here, not without her flaws, as she does let a criminal get away. She's one of the New Jersey's first lady deputies--only there's a hold up with her actual badge. She's a jail matron when she's not chasing down sham German doctors in the subway station.
Her sisters are entertaining as well though not as prominent. There's more than one case going on here--not just the escaped convict. There's a situation with a woman who shot her boarder. There's a look at life in the jail and different criminals' situations. There's a problem with the sheriff's wife and this shows us the attitudes at the time and how difficult it was for women to break career barriers.
Perhaps the thing I enjoyed second to the heroine herself and her determination is the secondary characters. They are memorable and each one is unique. The reporter in the ladies' hotel. The mother in her sick bed. The jailed woman afraid of her husband. Each has her own story showing something dealt with during this time.
Only a few things bothered me. Why was Rathbone paying for Von What'sHisFaces escape if Von owed him money? Seems like throwing good money after bad. And why did Constance show up for her reporter portrait attired as she was if she'd had time to go home and talk to her sisters? I'd think she'd have cleaned up while there.
But I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and plan to read the third installment. This is going on my list of favorite historical mystery series....more
Made it to 50 percent, abandoned it after she slept with Frank. I found this very disappointing. The heroine acts way older than 17, except for the duMade it to 50 percent, abandoned it after she slept with Frank. I found this very disappointing. The heroine acts way older than 17, except for the dumb decisions she makes about men. The story doesn't feel historical either. You wouldn't know it was the 60s if it wasn't for the names mentioned....more
I think I just read the best book ever...and it was this. I'm giving it 5 start because it was utterly unique. I've never read a tale like it. It wasI think I just read the best book ever...and it was this. I'm giving it 5 start because it was utterly unique. I've never read a tale like it. It was suspenseful. I could not for the life of me figure out what was going to happen from one page to the next. What time zone was she going back to? Would she ever make up with her dad? Would Benno forgive her? Would Joseph ever be able to leave? Why can't they go through the fog? And as the tale unfolded and answers to those questions came, other questions rose. There's a constant feeling of suspense. My own heartbeat increased every time Lux went from her time to Greengage's time.
There are all kinds of dilemmas and personal character growth. The characters are also extremely relate-able. They make the tale even more engaging. I felt as though they were becoming my friends...from Fancy to Magnussun to Martha.
I felt the existence of Greengage itself held a moral, about people living peacefully together...how there were fewer problems and no hate. Is being cut off from the outside such a bad thing?
The romance is beautiful. The love between mother and child is beautiful.
I'm not going to unveil the entire story line as there is no way really to do so without giving too much away. It's about a woman constantly torn between what she wants in one world and her obligations in another. Until the dilemma is taken from her hands.
It's extremely well written and the kind of story you tell at least 3 people about. Amazing. I was left feeling desolate when I closed the last page. I didn't want it to end....more
I didn't jump on the Letters from Skye bandwagon. Thus, I didn't realize that Jessica Brockmole was such an excellent writer until I read her short stI didn't jump on the Letters from Skye bandwagon. Thus, I didn't realize that Jessica Brockmole was such an excellent writer until I read her short story Something Worth Landing For in Fall of Poppies. In that same anthology, I learned of the Red Cross clinic that made life-like masks for soldiers with destroyed faces. After reading those tales, I wanted to read this one. I've also ordered Letters from Skye because Ms. Brockmole is a master with romance and character banter. The connection she forms between her heroes and heroines is amazing.
The summer these two spend together--the teenage boy who loves tennis and the young orphan girl just entering the confused stages of adulthood--is magical. The telling of it is magical. We are planted right there in the scenes. We feel their love, hope, confusion, dream their dreams. Then they are split. And this is where the story loses something. It felt to me that the magic was only there when the characters were together. Apart, living separate lives that really have nothing to do with each other, the story lost its interest somewhat. This could be due to Ms. Brockmole's excellent writing of character dialogue and connection and banter. I believe the readers enjoys those bits so much that we feel deprived of them when the characters are apart.
Claire's parts COULD have been intriguing. She was off traveling the world, learning many things, but her life away from him is summed up so quickly, in a few memories, conversations with her grandfather, and letters to Luc. Luc's war parts were gritty and sad, as to be expected.
I especially enjoyed the making of the mask and how Claire helps him heal inside from what has happened to him. There was a moment there I doubted they'd have their HEA. I was kept in suspense. I appreciate this about the novel too--that it wasn't overly predictable.
A solid read. I can't wait to read more by this author....more
I've read many a novel about the Oklahoma dust bowl and I thought there was nothing new to take in about it. Reading this book, I discovered how peoplI've read many a novel about the Oklahoma dust bowl and I thought there was nothing new to take in about it. Reading this book, I discovered how people dynamited the sky in hopes it would bring rain. There is a jackrabbit hunt. My point is, I learned a few new things.
All the while I became absorbed in this family's tale of confusion and survival...shame and pride. Each person in the family is facing their own dilemmas and tests of faith. The father grows deluded and the only thing keeping him facing each day is the belief that he is following God's plan by making an ark in the middle of a drought. The mother grows antsy, embarrassed, seeks comfort elsewhere. The daughter thinks she's in love and makes bad choices that don't suit her future plans. The son begins to struggle with asthma and yet refuses to wear his mask. Each person is stubborn and thinks they know best...and in the end nobody does.
I feel like there are tons of morals here and food for thought and though I can't pinpoint or explain it all I can honestly say I was impacted by this tale and drawn into it. The writing is superb. The characters are revealed in such a manner that even if you think what they're doing is crazy or wrong, you understand their reasonings.
I think this is a great novel vividly portraying Oklahoma farm life in the thirties....more
This is an anthology about love and war, just as the title suggests, but it's not the sappy, tear-your-clothes-away kind of love. It's all kinds of loThis is an anthology about love and war, just as the title suggests, but it's not the sappy, tear-your-clothes-away kind of love. It's all kinds of love. Not just the man-woman love but also the mother-son love.
The first story, The Daughter of Belgium, focuses on a young woman in occupied Belgium who has been hiding her daughter from the invading soldiers. Her life has been pretty much destroyed. When charged with caring for a German soldier, she's rather conflicted.
I didn't like this story. I gave it two stars on Goodreads. The love was instant, came out of nowhere, and the story seemed pointless. I took nothing away from it.
The Record Set Right by Lauren Willig was terrific. It's about love...gone wrong...when misunderstandings get in the way. What I liked about this tale is that in the end, the woman ended up on top. She dodged a bullet, perhaps. She's not bitter or even remorseful, but a bit self satisfied. She did well for herself and success is the sweetest revenge. I felt this had a strong feminist tone.
All for the Love of You was unique as it showed us the intricacies of facial masks for those wounded. I loved this, the story of the shop, the people running it, the way the soldiers are respectfully treated. Interesting things came up, such as training your face not to react in a manner that makes these men feel worse than they already do. I enjoyed this. Can't say I cared for the romance though. I wasn't "feeling" it.
I enjoyed Something Worth Landing For by Jessica Brockmole so much I immediately set out to obtain her novel. The hero tells the tale, and he's such a likable guy. And the woman involved is so sassy even in her grief. They made me chuckle and root for them. This was a unique and very quick romance yet I "felt" it along with them.
An American Airman in Paris...did not do much for me. It felt weird--both the hero's obsession with the girl who'd lived in his house and his sexual stuff. I didn't finish it. After You've Gone...I found the narrative unengaging and did not finish that one either.
The Photograph was also a good tale. I could feel the love between the characters, however fleeting. The story was probably the most unique as it involved a British soldier not on the frontlines but in Ireland fighting in a conflict the rest of the book doesn't explore and also touching on the hostilities between the Irish and British. It's a tale of forbidden love.
In both Hour of Bells and Hush, the love of a mother for her children is explored. I enjoyed the former as the mother sought revenge and instead received a surprise.
Overall, the book is worth the time and read. You may find an author you've never read before and as a result, get more books on your to read, as was the case with myself and Jessica Brockmole. I can't wait to get my hands on her novel now....more
To be honest, I abandoned this at around 80%, but I feel the writing style is engaging and well done. My problem with the book was its repetitiveness.To be honest, I abandoned this at around 80%, but I feel the writing style is engaging and well done. My problem with the book was its repetitiveness. By 80% I simply grew tired of "Eleanor and I met for a vacation, but after that she was too busy for me." That's what it pretty much amounted to after a while. Yes, the first lady was a busy woman. I know that from previous books, such as The President's Lunch. She had a column, press conferences, pet projects, liked to take vacays at Val Kill. There was nothing new in this for me, merely more focus on the relationship between Eleanor and Hick, but as Eleanor became more engrossed in being first lady, she no longer had time for Hick and that was the constant message I felt beat over the head with....more
A very well-told tale of the circus that ensued after the killing of Lincoln, the incompetence and hasty actions of the government, and two women in tA very well-told tale of the circus that ensued after the killing of Lincoln, the incompetence and hasty actions of the government, and two women in the middle of it all.
I knew little about Mrs. Surratt but after reading this novel feel as though I knew her intimately--her hopes, dreams, love for her children, fears, faith. This woman's tale is told through two different narratives: her own and that of one of her lady boarders. Readers will come to their own conclusions as to Mary's involvement in what was an appalling crime.
Mary is guilty of a mother's love more than anything. Wrong place, wrong time. During the Civil War her son begins bringing home questionable characters. She runs a boarding house. What is she to do? Turn them all away? But while turning the other cheek may be one thing, aiding is another, and she ends up doing just that without realizing what exactly she's aiding. There's an innocence mixed in with her guilt, conflicting readers' opinions. One minute she guilty, the next she's not.
Her boarder Nora shows us the goings-on in the house through impartial eyes. We meet a young motherless lady who fears she'll be a spinster. We fall in love with a wounded Union soldier alongside her and get excited about her getting her photo done for her. We smile when she sits with John Wilkes Booth and does little acting skits with him. We see that there was more to him than a monster with rage in his heart.
The world at this time comes alive--the celebrations, the mourning, the captitol, the politics. And oh, what incompetence the investigation yields!! How glad I am that laws have changed since then. People are arrested for merely being related to Mr. Booth, for having known him, for having gone to a show with him at some point. People are arrested with no warning, no "phone call" aka letter for that period.
And yet Mrs. Surratt faces her demise with such dignity.
Was she guilty? Somewhat, to a point, of a mother's love more than anything. Did she deserve to die? One must read this and decide for themselves....more