This book caught my eye on NetGalley and I’m so glad I was given a chance to review it. What a fascinating account about a little known aspect of hist...moreThis book caught my eye on NetGalley and I’m so glad I was given a chance to review it. What a fascinating account about a little known aspect of history. I was shocked at the White House’s state of disrepair and what had been done to the load bearing walls and supports! I knew that the White House had undergone some major renovations but I never knew the extent until I read this very well researched and fascinating account.
My Review: As stated above Robert Klara has done an excellent job researching and writing an engaging account of a house renovation. It also gives a great picture of the dysfunction of political committees. And it makes me appreciate Harry Truman quite a bit more. Imagine being president and having to live in a cramped little house.
The review copy I received was an ebook version and 25% of the book is taken up by the acknowledgment and endnotes. Very good proof that this book is thoroughly researched with ample citations. The many quotes served to make this a very engaging book on what could have easily been a dry topic.
At the beginning of each chapter is a photograph that relates to the chapter. I’ve included two pictures from whitehousemuseum.org that give you an idea of what a massive undertaking the reconstruction this was.
I learned a lot about the White House, Harry Truman, and life in Washington during the end of World War II and the start of the Cold War. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in history and particularly those topics.
What an enjoyable read! A beautiful romance, intellectual discussions, a bookstore, poetry. What more can you ask for in a novel? This is a book I wil...moreWhat an enjoyable read! A beautiful romance, intellectual discussions, a bookstore, poetry. What more can you ask for in a novel? This is a book I will very likely be buying for my personal library, one I will certainly recommend when discussing books, and one I will very likely buy as a gift for friends.
Celia is a delightful heroine, she’s smart as well as pretty, but the focus is on her love for books, flowers and art, not her appearance. She can hold her own when conversation involves Tennyson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Pascal, Dickens, and Josephus just to name a few. Yes, this book has plenty of literary discussions.
I don’t know anything about the author as I type this but it is amply evident that she understands literature, loves roses, understands Christian apologetics and is a talented writer who can weave all of that into a Beauty and the Beast like tale.
All of the characters were important to the story and there were plenty of them. There were a few times I couldn’t quite remember which lady in the town was who but that really didn’t detract from the story and there was always a reminder in the scene or conversation that followed. Often times recently written historical romances only contain a handful of characters but I enjoyed the richness of a full cast.
Some might say parts of the book get “preachy” but it is a very important part of the plot and is line with the other intellectual literary discussions in the story – the only difference being the subject matter. The vocabulary is on a higher grade level than most fiction written today which might slow down or turn some people off as well. I ended up reading this book in two sessions even though I can usually manage a book of this length in one sitting.
The romance is clean and the gentlemanly restraint is heartwarming even as the intense physical desire is acknowledged. The tender affection that the Chestleys show for one another is endearing and sweet.
I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good discussion about literature and who loves romance set in 1876 Massachusetts.
I just finished reading the first novella from The Tales of Goldstone Wood. It was quite good but now I really want to know if we’ll find out more abo...moreI just finished reading the first novella from The Tales of Goldstone Wood. It was quite good but now I really want to know if we’ll find out more about Munny. What is his real name? Who is his mother? Who was his father? And the captain. What’s his story? He wasn’t afraid of Risafeth. Why?Who is the lady in the portrait?
And yet for all the questions this book raises, it does answer some questions. All of which concern Leonard the Jester. It’s been a long time since I’ve read Veiled Rose which is the book during which this novella takes place. But I think this story shows us more about his character and some of the things he learns on his journey to Lunthea Maly.
Just like in Anne Elisabeth’s other books there are universal themes woven in that make it much richer and deeper than a mere adventure on the high seas story. In this book honor, loyalty and self-sacrifice are deftly portrayed.
In hind sight Goddess Tithe reminds me of C. S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The glassy sea, the fierce storm, the creatures below the water (though they were friendlier in Narnia’s ocean at the end of the world), and of course the sea serpent.
Since this is a novella there are fewer descriptions, but I could still picture the scenes and Anne Elisabeth’s illustrations are informative as well. If it were a full length novel I can imagine more details about life aboard the ship, a sub-plot involving other crew members and perhaps more hints about the captain’s past as well, and longer descriptions of the sea and Risafeth. But I’m not complaining. I love the idea of a Goldstone Wood novella and am thrilled Anne Elisabeth will most likely be writing some more.
I thoroughly enjoyed this quick trip to the world of Goldstone Wood and the voyage of the Kulap Kanya. Any fan of Anne Elisabeth’s and anyone looking for an exciting ocean adventure involving a vengeful sea monster will enjoy this novella.
I’d forgotten how much I enjoy Jody Hedlund’s historical fiction. And she writes true historical fiction – it’s based on real events, mentions real pe...moreI’d forgotten how much I enjoy Jody Hedlund’s historical fiction. And she writes true historical fiction – it’s based on real events, mentions real people, and yet is a work of her imagination. Going into it I didn’t remember or didn’t know whose story she was somewhat telling. I’m glad of that – it let me just enjoy the story and not wonder what was based on historical happenings and what was made up. But at the end I got to ponder of the story and reflect on the historical couple.
I really enjoyed this story. The characters were fun and witty. There was suspense, romance, danger, a wise and unconventional grandmother, plenty of wit, and it shows a side to pre-revolutionary war colonial American politics that I haven’t read a whole lot about.
The story takes place mainly in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1763. The war at this point is over a decade away but already people were grumbling against the taxes, many were unhappy with having to feed and quarter British soldiers and smugglers honed their sailing skills.
The mystery was well written and I could feel the icy fear of the girls as they ran through the forest. The author did a great job of balancing out the evil with good.
Oh and the romance was really rather scandalous considering the time period; but quite good and it somehow managed to be proper for the most part. Bit of a contradiction I know, but it’s still true. The author has a knack for writing a great kissing scene without it being too much.
If you like historical, clean romance set in pre-revolutionary war America then you should read Rebellious Heart.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
This was another very fun book. The back cover gives you the idea it is more about Cimorene, when it’s really about Mendanbar and his quest to find ou...moreThis was another very fun book. The back cover gives you the idea it is more about Cimorene, when it’s really about Mendanbar and his quest to find out why there are large bare, almost burnt out patches of nothing in his forest. He is sent by a squirrel to see Morwen who tells him to visit Kazul. Only problem is Kazul is missing.
Thus Cimorene and Mendanbar set off together to find the Dragon King. Along the way they meet the usual giants, dwarfs, magicians and royalty. Except none of them are actually “usual” as you may suspect if you’ve read book one.
For example, the giant is fed up because “every three months, regular as clockwork, one of those boys shows up and there’s never been a Tom, Dick or Harry among ‘em. Just Jacks. The English have no imagination.” (p.101-102)
Similar to the first, this book has a dash of romance but in this tale it’s mainly friendship and mutual interests that then blossoms into love at the very end. There is also plenty of adventure, mystery and lots to chuckle about.
In Dragonwitch we finally get to hear the full story of the brothers Akilun and Etanun. We find out what happened to Starflower’s land after she left...moreIn Dragonwitch we finally get to hear the full story of the brothers Akilun and Etanun. We find out what happened to Starflower’s land after she left it. We also learn more about the goblin kingdom. And it’s the very fascinating tale of a scribe, a scrubber, a betrothed girl and the heir-apparent. But there’s more to them than meets the eye.
The ageless themes of beauty, loneliness, love, family-ties, loyalty and forgiveness are all expertly woven into this tale.
If you love adventure, fantasy, clean fiction, an epic fight that stretches over centuries, a dash of romance and everyone’s favorite cat Eanrin, then this is a book for you.
After reading several novels where the main and only point is the romance, it is refreshing to read a novel where there is more to the story. The thre...moreAfter reading several novels where the main and only point is the romance, it is refreshing to read a novel where there is more to the story. The three children are important characters and a lot of the story revolves about them grieving their father and getting used to their new life with Jennings.
The reader also meets Jennings’ sister, Lydia, husband Palmer and their children. It is through this family that Jennings meets Marianne Walker. And it is also Lydia and Palmer to whom Jennings turns when he starts wondering about the Bible and Christ.
One thing I really like about this book and the series is how the author seamlessly includes portions of sermons and Bible verses. It’s not “preachy” and the sermons serve a purpose in the story.
Another aspect I really like is how the romance is handled; it’s sweet, it’s simple, it’s chaste.
I loved this book! I enjoyed it so much I made myself savor it and not rush through it in one sitting. It is a wonderful continuation of the adventure...moreI loved this book! I enjoyed it so much I made myself savor it and not rush through it in one sitting. It is a wonderful continuation of the adventure of Lionheart and Rose Red and Felix. This is book three in the series and they must be read in order. The first is Heartless and the second is Veiled Rose. If you haven't read Veiled Rose then there are a couple spoilers in this review.
The people and land of Southlands is slowly recovering from the dragon’s prolonged stay. Prince Lionheart was the only one who did not experience those five years in the country and no one quite knows what he did. But they do know that the prince acts strange and they blame it on that mysterious veiled girl who isn’t quite a girl. Rose Red.
When Lionheart reluctantly banishes Rose Red she disappears. Unbeknownst to him he just condemned her to capture by the evil goblin King Vahe who rules the hidden realm of Arpiar and who is also Rose Red’s father. King Vahe has spent centuries waiting, plotting and planning for the Night of Moonblood when he will gain the power to rule the whole world – both the Far and the Near World.
Lionheart is miserable and vows to redeem himself by finding Rose Red. Little does he know what awaits him when he follows Monster (Yes! Felix and Una’s cat returns!) into the mysterious Goldstone Wood. Legends come to life, tigers turn into men, a beautiful but terrifying unicorn searches for him. Can Lionheart renounce his pride and arrogance, can he accept forgiveness, can he face his worst nightmare?
I loved learning more about the history of Goldstone Wood (and surrounding – connected? areas). It still amazes me how Anne Elisabeth has woven such a complex tale. This book really ties the first two books together and shows just how epic of a series The Tales of Goldstone Wood can become.
It was so cool to discover who Monster actually is. After all, a blind cat who talks can't just be a cat; he’s got to be Somebody! And what a history he has! After Aslan, I think Monster is my favorite literary cat…who isn’t just a cat.
Lionheart’s struggle is an all too human struggle. Admitting our mistakes and bowing our knee to God. I absolutely loved the many forgiveness and redemption stories found in this novel.
This definitely gets 5 out of 5 roses. If you enjoy fantasy, adventure, grand tales, or stories about finding oneself then you should definitely read this book.
I loved this book. It’s fantastic! So much adventure and mystery, a myriad of strange and powerful creatures, happenings in the seen and unseen world,...moreI loved this book. It’s fantastic! So much adventure and mystery, a myriad of strange and powerful creatures, happenings in the seen and unseen world, and plenty of love, hate, loyalty and betrayal. The plot is intricate, the characters interesting and the author has an amazing imagination!
This is book two in the series and I’d encourage you to read the first book, Heartless, before reading Veiled Rose as the stories overlap and share a few characters. It’s not essential but helps fill in the story a bit. The first is very enjoyable and just as imaginative and rich a tale as this one.
The summer he was eleven Leo was sent to Hill House under the care of his aunt. He was a privileged boy of noble birth who thought the hills and mountains surrounding Hill House far more alluring than his studies. The servants and village folk spoke in worried tones about a monster than lived in the region and Leo decided he would spend his summer searching for and then fighting the monster. Instead he finds Rose Red. A strange girl clothed in rags and wrapped in veils, who is amazingly strong for one so little, and who knows the hills and mountains (and their secrets) like a taxi cab driver knows his city.
Leo and Rose Red have great fun together playing in a stream, wandering the forest and pretending to hunt the monster. But there are forces fighting to guide their steps that they are unaware of that summer. When Leo returns to Hill House several summers later and then takes Rose Red under his care as a servant (her father had died) a very real dragon appears, forcing them to each hunt and fight the monster on their own. But at what cost?