Wow, just, wow, this book is great! I wasn’t expecting so many holding my breath moments. It always fascinates and horrifies me to learn of the treatmWow, just, wow, this book is great! I wasn’t expecting so many holding my breath moments. It always fascinates and horrifies me to learn of the treatment in some of these so called hospitals and the reasons so many women were put into these places. Poor Clara all she did was fall in love with a man her father didn’t approve of so she was locked up and lied about and left there with no-one to turn to, in 1929 this was okay for a father to do to his child. Clara starts out in a little better place at least she had one nice nurse but when the crash hits and her father can no longer pay the bill Clara ends up in Willard hospital a state run home that is an awful, awful place! In the present day we have Izzie, she is a foster child whose mother is in prison for killing her father her foster parents are doing a project on Willard for the local museum and when Izzie finds Clara’s diary she becomes fascinated with learning more about this woman. Both of these stories are interesting Clara’s more so but there are parts of Izzie’s story that will break your heart too.
This book grabbed me right from the beginning and didn’t let go till the end it was never boring and there were times I was yelling at my ipod because of things that happened to Clara and Bruno. I was surprised at how invested I got in these characters and that there were some really intense scenes I wasn’t expecting.
Tavia Gilbert’s narration was as always fantastic; everyone had a different voice and inflection so you were never confused as to who was talking. All voices from the main characters Izzy & Clara to the side characters were all done to perfection.
Loved the ending …Oh Clara!
If you are a fan of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox I’d say to give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed.
What a fun book I didn’t want to stop listening, it was rip-roaring fun on the high seas! These two ladies are so different Martin/Mary dresses like a What a fun book I didn’t want to stop listening, it was rip-roaring fun on the high seas! These two ladies are so different Martin/Mary dresses like a man and fights in a war and goes to sea and ends up on a Pirate ship. Anne Bonny on the other hand is all woman all the time, she ran away from her husband and became mistress to a pirate though in all honesty I think Anne ran the ship and just let Captain Calico Jack think he did.
When Anne can’t seem to get Martin to pay attention to her and then Calico makes the comment that Martin is in love with her Anne sets out to find out the truth, these scenes are hilarious because as readers we know Martin is really Mary however Anne Bonny is not used to a man who wants nothing to do with her. I loved how she couldn’t comprehend a man not falling for her feminine wiles, and poor Mary trying her best not to cross Anne because she is a pirate after all and has the temper to go with it. And Mary as Martin is a gentleman she is tough as nails and can fight and shoot and do the jobs on the ship but she always tries to be a gentleman.
However our dear Martin/Mary is in love another seaman Peter who has no idea that she is a he, this complicates their relationship, so she moons over him from afar and tries her best to keep him alive because he is not much of a seaman and not a fighter at all, he came to sea because he is the 2nd born or the spare as they were known in the day, wanting to learn about longitude and clocks because at this time in history it was sailing by the stars and I believe people went of course a lot.
All the characters in this book were very interesting, and it made me want to know even more about these ladies and as I always say a sign of a good historical fiction book is that it makes me want to research more and this one definitely did that.
New to me narrator Shiromi Arserio was very good she had many different accents and I liked how she had 2 different voices for Martin and Mary even though they were the same person. Very well done and I will be on the lookout for anything else she has narrated.
This was a new author and narrator for me and I truly enjoyed them both and if the author writes any other historical fiction books I will be reading them for sure.
If you enjoy the Jackie Faber/Bloody Jack books give this one a try I think you will enjoy it.
4 ½ Stars
I received this from the author for a fair and honest review, and I am so glad I said yes! ...more
First off I need to tell you I am a huge classic movie fan; I think movies made before 1950 are the best movies out there. That is why I requested thiFirst off I need to tell you I am a huge classic movie fan; I think movies made before 1950 are the best movies out there. That is why I requested this book from edelweiss but then I saw that Cassandra Campbell narrates it so I waited for the audiobook.
I loved all the insider info into the fights, casting, script writing, censors and producers that went on during the filming of this movie. I am so glad Louis B. Mayer didn’t get his way and that David O. Selsnick filmed the ending he wanted because it was the best ending possible!
Julie Crawford a young writer from Indiana comes to Hollywood to write for the movies, on her first job she doesn’t get a message to one of the directors of Gone With the Wind fast enough and is fired on the spot, however she has just met a beautiful woman who says she will help her out. When someone asks if she knows who the lady is she admits she looks familiar but can’t place her; the woman turns out to be Carole Lombard soon to be wife of Clark Gable who stars and Rhett Butler in the film. What I found a little weird about these scenes was if you are going to Hollywood to write for the movies wouldn’t you at least know a little about the stars you hope to write for? But she and Carole become very good friends and I loved all the scenes of them together Carole seemed like a very down-to-earth person. Also on that day she meets Hank Weinstein and they start a relationship even though he is Jewish. This is 1938-39 so Hitler is starting his holocaust of the Jewish people including Hanks grandparents so he is having a tough time of it.
I was impressed with Gable’s civil rights ideals (I really hope they were true) when he sees that the bathrooms and other places are segregated he has a fit and fights for their rights of non-segregation. Including almost not going to the premier because Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen would have to use a back door and sit in the colored section, even though it was Hattie who convinced Gable to go even when she boycotted the event.
This was a fun book it was such an insider’s look into old Hollywood and especially Carole Lombard & Clark Gable’s relationship. I did think Julie could be quite naïve but it was the 30’s and she grew up in Indiana so …
Cassandra Campbell’s narration was as always fabulous, I like how she made Clark gruff but didn’t try to imitate his voice, every character had their own cadence and tone and you were never left guessing as to who was talking.
If you are a fan of old Hollywood, and /or Gone With the Wind I think you will enjoy this book very much. I have enjoyed all of Alcott’s books so if you haven’t read anything by her before give her a try you’ll be glad you did!
Rich party kids Ellis, his wife Maddie and their best friend Hank could care less that there is a war going on, all they want to do is party, but whenRich party kids Ellis, his wife Maddie and their best friend Hank could care less that there is a war going on, all they want to do is party, but when a night of partying goes a bit too far and Ellis causes his parents some embarrassment they are tossed from the family home. To try to get back into his parent’s good graces the threesome decides to travel to Scotland to find the great monster that caused quite a stir when Ellis’ parents were involved in the search years ago. What starts out as a whim turns into something completely different.
Both Ellis and Hank are exempt from fighting in the military Ellis is color blind and Hank has flat feet so they both seem so oblivious to the fact that there is a war going on that they travel by ship into Nazi infested waters to the great Loch ness but what they see on the ship and in Scotland still has no effect on the two men but Maddie is starting to see the world, her husband and his friend with very different eyes. Once in Scotland we see a very different side to Ellis and it is not a pretty side he seemed like a happy-go-lucky party boy but there is a dark side a very dark side and Maddie does not like what she sees.
I loved Maddie's journey throughout this book from party girl without much will of her own to a strong woman on her own two feet. I really enjoyed this book and read it very quickly, I enjoyed the growing friendships Maddie made in Scotland and the side stories about the locals.
The writing of this book, the descriptions of Scottish countryside and how the war affected the locals were so good it gave a bit of a day in life of these people so affected by the war. Plus we have the loch ness monster and who doesn’t enjoy a loch ness story.
All in all I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it.
I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher for a fair and honest review. ...more
Xe Sands narration was wonderful she had distinct voices for both of these women and she was able to give emotion to what these women were going throuXe Sands narration was wonderful she had distinct voices for both of these women and she was able to give emotion to what these women were going through in a wonderful way especially with Libby towards the end.
These two sisters are really as different as can be, yet are so close that they both dress up as men and enter the fray of war. Libby decides first to do it; she is going to kill 21 men one for every year her dear husband was alive but killing someone isn’t as mindless as the soldiers would like you to think. Josephine can’t let her sister go off on her own so also dresses as a man and goes off to war. Although Libby does become a very good soldier Josephine ends up with feelings for a fellow soldier but he thinks she is a man and doesn’t want or can’t return those feelings.
The characters aren’t as fleshed out as I would have liked I would have liked to know what their life was like before this , were they strong women before they joined were they spoiled society girls, farm girls I never really got a feel of where they came from, or who they were outside of the world of war. And as Libby starts to lose her grip on reality and Josephine is pining for a fellow soldier who is confused about his own attraction to another man, the ending for me is where the story kind of falls apart it felt rushed and unfinished to me.
This was a pretty good story but maybe I read this too soon after finishing a similar book (Neverhome) maybe I should have put more time in-between.
All in all this isn’t a bad book it’s a good story I just wish there had been more character development.
Enthralled, captivated, fascinated, enamored, I'm not even sure if these words come close to explaining how great this book was and how captivated I aEnthralled, captivated, fascinated, enamored, I'm not even sure if these words come close to explaining how great this book was and how captivated I am with this woman. This book was impossible to put down I needed to know more and more and more. This is one of those books that when you get finished you want to go back to the beginning and start again because you don't want it to end.
She was definitely a woman before her time she was an absolutely fascinating woman, what she did, not only as a designer but as a single woman in France in the early 1900’s is awe inspiring, she did what she had to do and look what she accomplished, and when you learn where the famous trademark stems from and the origins of her famous perfume it is so interesting. Her rise and how she got there and the people she met along the way is so inspiring I am just awe-struck by this woman. I am far from being a fashionista but I want to go see these older dresses and see more of her life.
This book also made me look up everyone she meets along the way and to look at her styles and the scary lobster dress by her rival Schiaparelli . I love Chanel’s more conservative simple dresses; really without her we wouldn’t have the little black dress. And that she stopped women from wearing fruit and birds on their heads that was a great thing.
But above all she was a woman ahead of her time; independent, opinionated, beautiful and rich, but she didn’t start out that way and everything she had was from her hard work, yes, yes men helped her along the way but she paid every one of them back and without her talent she would have never become the icon that she became.
The life she lived and the people she knew is a who’s who in the artistic world of the time, she was accepting of everyone from the snobs of the British aristocracy, to gay men and women, to the drug addled artists, dancers and musicians, she accepted everyone despite their flaws, she was also a very caring woman though her outward attitude didn’t seem that way I believe from this book that if Coco liked you she would do just about anything for you. Some of the things she did during the war are tough but I believe this version she never wanted to hurt anyone and a person had to survive. I do hope that she was able to find some peace and love at the end of her life.
Okay, I could go on and on about this book but I will stop now and just say read this book the minute it comes out, you will not be disappointed!
5 Stars (if I could give it more I would)
I received this book from edelweiss and the publisher for a fair and honest review ...more
A fascinating, sad story. I read this book in a day I couldn't stop reading I had to find out what happens next.
It's written like an oral history youA fascinating, sad story. I read this book in a day I couldn't stop reading I had to find out what happens next.
It's written like an oral history you truly hear her voice in every phrase and story. At times she is an unreliable narrator but sometimes you need to lie to yourself to get through the day.
This is historical fiction and Ash/Constance is a compilation of many women who dressed as men during the Civil War to go fight the war. All had different reasons and Ash’s reason was because her husband was weak he was the soft one in the family and she was wire so she decided that she was the one who is going to go off to war. As she said I was strong he was not , so it was me went to war to defend the Republic.
Parts of this book are very gory because this is a no holds barred war story and you have to remember what medicine was like in those days. Plus there is no Geneva Convention so prisoners of war were treated so awfully that it’s hard for us to understand because there are rules about prisoner treatment now. The hardest part of this book to read is when she is held prisoner, those scenes are horrific but it is what happened during the civil war.
I loved the metaphor of the shave how it made you feel human again and you could forget the things you’ve seen for a few minutes.
Constance/Ash kept up an inner monologue with her mother who had been gone a long time but I think these conversations with her mother helped keep her sane. But it also teaches us about Constance and why and how she became Ash the reasons go so much deeper than just her husband is the soft one.
I think more men than she knew were on to her but since she was such a good soldier none of them said a word, like the Colonel I think he knew for awhile. And in her journey home she learned so much about herself and the Colonel. Speaking of her journey home, when she reached home things weren’t as she hoped there either and this ending was so heartbreaking.
But as I said earlier yes this book is heartbreaking but it is also beautiful and lyrical and I feel it is a must read.
This was such a great book, it’s not only the story of the ladies that worked at the Lowell Mills but also a murder mystery, fabulously written by theThis was such a great book, it’s not only the story of the ladies that worked at the Lowell Mills but also a murder mystery, fabulously written by the author and fantastically narrated by Cassandra Campbell.
This was a fascinating look at the working conditions of the cotton mills of Lowell, how sick these girls got because the windows were closed and their lungs would fill up with so much cotton they would cough up balls of cotton. How awful is that? Also the machinery isn’t in the greatest condition and accidents happen more often than they should. All of the ladies are well written and each has their own voice. Alice is the main character, but the other ladies are great too and poor Lovey, she had so much going for her but her murder and the trial that followed brought about small changes in the mill that were good for the workers, not as much change as they should have had but as one worker said it’s uphill from where we were before. Of course, the owners of the mill are pretty much bad guys not wanting to change anything that would affect their bottom line and Hiram Fisk is a huge jerk. He has two sons one that truly wants to help the ladies and one that is just pretty much a waste. (Can you guess which one is involved in the love story?) There is a chaste love story that doesn’t overwhelm the book and actually had me hoping things would work out for the two of them.
Cassandra Campbell’s narration of this one is just superb; it may be my favorite of all Cassandra’s narrations to date. Everyone had a clear voice and you always knew who was talking, her narration of Hiram was perfection! All of her characters and accents were so perfect I absolutely loved this narration, and I have been a fan of Cassandra’s for awhile now but I think this is my favorite and I was very surprised it didn’t win an earphones award and won’t be surprised to see it as audie nominee for best female narration next year!
This book was a great story and I will read anything Kate Alcott writes I really enjoyed her book The Dressmaker too! If you like historical fictions with a good story give this one a try.
Wow this is something I never knew about and it breaks my heart, this book was fascinating it felt like a true story but was a fictionalized amalgamatWow this is something I never knew about and it breaks my heart, this book was fascinating it felt like a true story but was a fictionalized amalgamation of different people, and it worked well, I really came to care about Chrissy.
I never knew anything about the eugenics program before and was horrified that this happened in our country and how long North Carolina held on to this antiquated practice. If you don’t know what I am talking about eugenics is- forcing sterilization procedures on thousands of people deemed “unfit” to reproduce. And who decided this? People with fancy degrees who thought they knew better than anyone else. Kids who were sent to juvenile hall were sterilized, and girls like Chrissy whose mother was on welfare were threatened if she didn’t have the surgery they would lose their benefits, Chrissy’s mother worked a job but it wasn’t enough to raise all of her children. And yes before you think it Chrissy’s parents were married and had children then her father was killed in a car accident that is when they ended up on welfare.
That Chrissy was ever able to love & marry and have a happy life was a credit to her strength even when she felt she had Unfit tattooed across her forehead most of her life. How awful would that be to be told at the age of 14 that you are unfit?? Especially when Chrissy’s mother dies too and she loses all her brothers and sisters and feels the guilt of being mean to her mother after the surgery and what really bothered me they didn’t sterilize her mother and how could Chrissy not feel anger towards her mother who had signed the papers before Chrissy was even told what would happen to her.
This book grabbed me right away and was hard to put down, it is a fascinating read and well written. My only qualm was I so wanted Chrissy to find her siblings, I wanted them all to be okay and had been raised by loving happy parents but with a book like this the reality is she probably never could find them especially the little ones, but I wanted a happy ending for Chrissy, I wanted to hug her and tell her everything would be okay, so the author did a great job at making me care about the characters in this book. This book is a must read , about an embarrassing and heartbreaking time in North Carolina history.
Full disclosure: I received this book from Netgalley and publisher for a fair and honest review...more