I loved the writing style, and to my surprise, really enjoyed the modern-day story. The historical story was a bit confusing for me at times. Too muchI loved the writing style, and to my surprise, really enjoyed the modern-day story. The historical story was a bit confusing for me at times. Too much going on? Too many characters and changes? I'm not sure. Added to the that the historical heroine seems to have one too many monologues and at times I lost interest. I also disliked the prose...the...at-a, what-a... I'm uncertain whether I'll read the next book. ...more
"A woman's duty: To look the whole world in the face with a go-to-hell look in her eyes, to have an ideal, to speak and act in defiance of convention."A woman's duty: To look the whole world in the face with a go-to-hell look in her eyes, to have an ideal, to speak and act in defiance of convention."
And that is what Margaret Sanger did. She looked everyone in the face with a go-to-hell look in her eyes, and she spoken and acted in defiance of convention. Having watched her mother die older before her time, having raised 13 children, lost about 5, Margaret both loved and hated her mother. She loved her mother yet was disgusted with what her mother was, with what she let herself be: a broodmare...a baby incubator.
This novel is told in the first person, as though Margaret is looking back on her years and her life, her goals, trials, losses, loves. Personally, I loved it. First-person writing can make or break a book. In this case, it worked. The writing was engrossing; the memories were vivid. I never felt as though they were being narrated to me, but that I was living them myself.
I went with her from being called a devil's child and falling over her feet in the woods to her first marriage and the birth of her three children and the battles she fought inside herself between what she should want (what society told her she should want...a loving husband, a nice house, three adorable children) and what she really wanted (free love with whomever she pleased, a basic place in the middle of artists and socialists, and her main child: the birth control movement.
I liked this story at first...young woman used to following orders runs away from her intended groom to make a career for herself. She strives to helpI liked this story at first...young woman used to following orders runs away from her intended groom to make a career for herself. She strives to help the little people... and then she meets Dan and loses all reason and while I was okay with it at first as the story continued and her obsession with him continued and she failed to connect the dots, I was rolling my eyes. I connected the dots way too early. Though who I thought was the perp turned out not to be the perp. I'll give it that.
I was a tad disappointed in this. The writing is excellent. I'm just not sure I loved the portrayal of Victoria. That's not to say, however, that it iI was a tad disappointed in this. The writing is excellent. I'm just not sure I loved the portrayal of Victoria. That's not to say, however, that it isn't accurate. I was torn between admiring her or rolling my eyes at her... On one hand, it was great how to threw off her mother and her mother's lackey and refused to be controlled by them. On the other hand, it seemed she was merely being controlled by others: Melbourne and Leopold. She came across as a flighty thing, uncaring about the destitution of her people, except for when she opened poorhouses in her father's name.
The romance between her and Albert was awful too. In my opinion, they hate each other in this story and then all of a sudden, out of the blue, for no reason besides everyone told them they should, they suddenly fell in love...from one page to the next.
I was also disappointed that that is where the story ends. Is that where the TV show is going to end too? Is it only about her time before Albert and then suddenly, it's over?
But I did like it. I read it entirely. I like Ms. Goodwin's writing and how transported I was. It just wasn't quite the story I wanted, I guess....more
Amazing. Just when I thought I'd read every type of WWII story out there..and I think I can no longer be surprised, I am. This novel is riveting, thriAmazing. Just when I thought I'd read every type of WWII story out there..and I think I can no longer be surprised, I am. This novel is riveting, thrilling, suspenseful, heartwarming, and funny! I fell in love with the characters, felt what they were feeling, cheered and cried with them.
There's a 1947 heroine who is struggling with death. She has lost her brother and her family, rather than banding together, seems to drift further apart and Charlie gets herself into a bit of trouble... At first she comes across as a tad spineless but as the novel unfolds, going back and forth between Charlie in 47 and Eve in 1915...we see two women grow backbones and experience life. There are different levels of bravery in this novel, each one just as important as the last.
Bravery isn't just spying in enemy territory. It's also facing demons from your past, loving after you've been hurt, standing up to those who wish to control you, laughing in the face of evil, finding joy in a time of war. We learn from Lili as well as Eve and Charlie.
Terrific novel. I enjoyed traveling the French countryside with these women as well as experiencing their harrowing adventures. I think this book is a wonderful way to honor the women spies of both wars....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
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
Well written and engaging. It managed to jump character to character, time zone to time zone without being the least bit jarring. This is hard to do.Well written and engaging. It managed to jump character to character, time zone to time zone without being the least bit jarring. This is hard to do. I appreciated the secrets slowly unveiled and the message revealed in Hilary's story...that maybe it wasn't for HER but for him. This made me think how quickly we are to make things about us and not others. But I really didn't like Emily or Tim. I wouldn't have married either one. If you can't make up your mind... I personally wouldn't accept being on the backburner the way Dan and Charlotte did. I can't say I agree with Charlotte's decision in the end....more
Too dang long for what it contained. I just wanted it to move along so bad. Felt like it was taking forever to get through. It was really funny at firToo dang long for what it contained. I just wanted it to move along so bad. Felt like it was taking forever to get through. It was really funny at first, just too much of the same thing....more
I liked this for the most part. The writing is engaging and the story riveting. The woman is strong...though at times I questioned this. Being strongI liked this for the most part. The writing is engaging and the story riveting. The woman is strong...though at times I questioned this. Being strong isn't fighting love. Being strong is risking it all. She's afraid to love. Granted, with love comes pain, but still.
What bugged me about this woman the most though was all the kids she kept having. I realize BC was scarce to nonexistent back then, but even back then, there were SOME ways to at least try to prevent pregnancies, from vinegar to pulling out to diaphragms. Yet this woman, who can't afford the ten she already has, keeps popping out baby after babe after baby, getting herself further into her messes.
I like what she does in the end though. And I must admit, she'll do anything for those kids....more
I've really been enjoying this series since I picked it up at book three and despite missing books one and two, I have never felt like I'm missing anyI've really been enjoying this series since I picked it up at book three and despite missing books one and two, I have never felt like I'm missing anything, thought I can't for the life of me remember her previous experience with Agent Williams. Either he was in book one or two, or there's been too much time between novels and I've forgotten.
But I digress. Louise is a former clerk for America's secret agency. It's WWII and she's in D.C. working a new job with the Foreign Morale committee. I've heard of this before and this is extremely interesting to me. During the war, we made fake letters and postcards and graffiti to discourage Nazis and German soldiers...to lower their morale. Louise takes us into the backrooms of this project. Her mission is to turn German POWs who've recently been incarcerated in the States. They are needed to plant the propaganda behind enemy lines.
But while interviewing the POWs Louise gets involved in a murder mystery.
And her secret lover pops up again, though there's very little of this twist this time.
I like how the author delves into the attitudes toward women and women working during the war, the changing attitudes and the resistors. The writing is stellar, and I must applaud the author for something. Often when reading mysteries in which there are a lot of suspects, I grow confused. Too many characters are introduced too soon and too many backgrounds, causing me to lose track of who is who. Not so in this novel. All the prisoners relevant to the story are introduced with just enough detail that we can tell them apart and remember who's who.