Nice book with the torrid history of rum and the distilling process described. The author also includes a number of Caribbean Islands' history and itsNice book with the torrid history of rum and the distilling process described. The author also includes a number of Caribbean Islands' history and its relationship to rum and the distilleries on each of the islands in little sections. There is also an extensive list of rated rums that the author has tried which he has rated on a five star scale with key flavor notes. One little problem I had with it is that its a hard cover, kinda big (hard to handle), but it has lots of pictures.
A sweet and tasty little book that has loads of punches with relatively easy recipes and gThis review was originally published at Layers of Thought.
A sweet and tasty little book that has loads of punches with relatively easy recipes and great pictures.
A thing about trying and tasting punch recipes is that you either have to have a party, drink a whole punch bowl yourself, or break down the ingredients into smaller portions. To save my sanity and liver I resorted to the later - and regardless of the lack of a party I had fun doing so. How could you not, especially if the recipes are tasty?
I tried the authors’ versions of some classic drinks - Pimm’s Punch (a low-alcohol version of the Pimm’s Cup which I love and gives the drinker a taste of an English summer); the Old Fashioned Manhattan Punch (a delicious cross between the two classic cocktails which also uses orange juice as an ingredient); a Skinny Moscow Mule (a low-cal version of the Moscow Mule with diet ginger ale and vodka); and Jungle Juice (a variation on the potent College Punch that is a combo of six juices and four different kinds of booze). The last one really packed a punch (pun intended), but all of them were refreshing and delicious.
As for the book’s appearance and usability, it’s a hardcover and a small book so it’s easy to handle. It only has 112 pages. But it packs a wallop with 50 different punches. Almost every recipe has an additional corresponding page with a pretty idea-laden photograph of the punch. With each recipe there’s a short description, the ingredients listed logically, then simple yet specialized directions.The authors have also included tips for ice molds (which are suggestively and gorgeously pictured throughout the book) and directions on how to make the specialized simple syrups (a homemade water and sugar blend) needed for the punches. There is also a page that lists punches by types of alcohol and lastly an index that includes names of each punch as well as the individual ingredients so that you can find each punch by its name or content.
The recipes are broken down into Classic Cocktail-Inspired Punches (which includes the above punches that I tried), a section on wine called Sangrias and Champagne-Based Punches, Tropical and Exotic Drinks, Lazy Sundays (including a boozy iced tea called Palm Springs), Height of Summer (that has an interesting-sounding Spiked Spa Water), Fireside Cocktails (including Aztec Chocolate Punch which is a spicy hot chocolate drink with tequila), and Nonalcoholic Punches (which includes an orange juice and ice cream combo called Fifty-Fifty Punch) which are perfect for a children’s get-together.
As you can see that this is a fun book that I had a blast researching it. It’s a perfect gift for a host or hostess which can come in handy during the upcoming holidays or for any party or season. I give PUNCH BOWLS a 4-star rating.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. If you have a blog you can sign up too. ...more
If you're a cook that loves apples and/or have an apple tree (in other words - what to do with all those apples?) this is a book that you should have.If you're a cook that loves apples and/or have an apple tree (in other words - what to do with all those apples?) this is a book that you should have.
It also has resources on where to find apples (for those not blessed with a tree), different kinds of apples, as well as her favorite applejack and hard cider suppliers. Fun stuff!...more
Perfect book for the beginner or those looking to refresh their basic knowledge regarding the basics of gardening. Easy to read, clear and well organiPerfect book for the beginner or those looking to refresh their basic knowledge regarding the basics of gardening. Easy to read, clear and well organized, and it has pictures!
Out of several books checked out from our local library for beginning gardening this is my favorite....more
Nice book with loads of pictures and gardening projects. It's also well organized. However, there is not a lot of information on how to actually gardeNice book with loads of pictures and gardening projects. It's also well organized. However, there is not a lot of information on how to actually garden. It's really an overview. Great book to pick up from the library or possibly for teens or older kids....more
A fun book with loads of pictures, a nice layout, and easy to handle size that gives the reader a basic introduction to mixed drinks (which we erroneoA fun book with loads of pictures, a nice layout, and easy to handle size that gives the reader a basic introduction to mixed drinks (which we erroneously call cocktails.) In fact she conveniently lists these different types of mixed drinks as well as types of alcohol, bar essentials, glass selection, bitters, homemade syrups, herbs and spices, edible flowers, garden tips, how to make your own infusions, and much more. So it's perfect for a reader that is interested in the basics of creating drinks as well as some more complex aspects of making a fresh "cocktail". It's especially for those interested in creating drinks with the twist of using these kitchen created fresh and garden ingredients which sure beats a drink made with a store bought mixer.
There is an element of complexity in creating many of the recipes in the book. So be forewarned. However some are fairly simple. A few of the interesting and accessible recipes that I found are for Limoncello Della Casa, Tahitian Vanilla Rum, and a Michelada - which is a mixture of beer, spices, and tequila and is very different than most of the recipes I've found for it which contain tomato juice instead of tequila. She's also included some interesting versions of classic cocktails.
Recommended for "cocktail" buffs and foodies, but probably not for the casual drinker. ...more
I liked the fact that it covers the entire Mediterranean including Africa and that the author includes little snippets of her expeExcellent cookbook.
I liked the fact that it covers the entire Mediterranean including Africa and that the author includes little snippets of her experiences, sharing cultural insight and regional practices around the recipes. The best part is that since the Mediterranean has a natural tendency to focus on vegetable dishes for a meal, the book does not feel like it's excluding meat. It's just featuring vegetables.
It's perfect for omnivores looking to include more vegetable based foods in their diet. But the book does includes some cheese and eggs in the recipes which the resourceful vegan can tailor to fit their diet restrictions.
For fun, there's some suggestions for light libations (like a splash of pastis with water, and wine mixed with juice)from several of the Western European countries such as France, Italy, and Spain that are rather nice and civilized....more
A terrific and simple vegetarian cook book with many basic recipes for standard French recipes (like white and bechamel sauces) as well as notes aboutA terrific and simple vegetarian cook book with many basic recipes for standard French recipes (like white and bechamel sauces) as well as notes about the monastic life. ...more
Perfect for the recent cocktail renaissance, within this book you will find a fun and easy way of making 3Original review posted at Layers of Thought.
Perfect for the recent cocktail renaissance, within this book you will find a fun and easy way of making 32 different seasonal cocktails. And best yet it has lots of pictures!
Eric Prum and Josh Williams are best friends and have a design company called W & P Design in Brooklyn NY. And since they love cocktails and have created a cocktail shaker called the Mason Shaker (pictured on the book’s cover), it stands to reason that they would write a book on how to make cocktails too. But don’t worry, you don’t need to purchase one of their nice $30 shakers to make yourself cocktails - you can use a clean mayonnaise jar instead!
The duo has a premise on which they base their cocktail making - it should be “fun, simple, and social”. And the book is social since all the recipes are based on making a two-drink batch so that you can share. There are 8 cocktails for each of the four seasons, many using fresh local ingredients, so there are a lot of tasty ways that you can have fun. The book is also simple, broken down into the basics of cocktail crafting with fundamentals such as stocking your bar (where they suggest 12 different types of moderately priced booze); what types of glassware to choose; what types of ice and sugar to use; how to muddle; and, of course, techniques on how to “shake”. And since the book is mostly pictures it adds even more to the simple and fun feel.
Another thing I liked about the book is that it is a paperback with those nice cover flaps which makes it easy to save your place when browsing or making several cocktails at once. The index is also accessible and broken down by cocktail name, spirits, and key ingredient. Out of the thirty-two cocktails (several non-alcoholic) some examples are the Rosemary Bourbon Sour, Spiced Rum Old Fashioned, Pickleback Me (two shots – one pickle juice and one tequila), and the Flat Ditch. The Flat Ditch is my favorite so far out of the 10 or so that we have tried – it combines dark rum, lemon juice, fresh ginger, and strong ginger beer. Another plus is that most of the ingredients (or reasonable substitutions) can be found in your local grocery store and won’t tax your wallet too much.
It’s a book that I would consider for the newbie-cocktail-drinker, or for those looking to expand their drinking repertoire from the standard wine, beer, and basic store bought cocktail mixers. It’s an entertaining guide that I’d rate 4 out of 5 stars. I am looking forward to trying more of its cocktails and recreating favorites once again.
A complimentary book was received in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books. If you are a blogger you can get copies of books in exchange for reviews too. Just visit bloggingforbooks.org....more
A concise little novel with mystical and horror elements for the adult and older teen reader. It’s a perfeOriginal review posted at Layers of Thought.
A concise little novel with mystical and horror elements for the adult and older teen reader. It’s a perfect book for discussion since it’s layered as well.
Description: An Englishman relives a traumatic youthful event with dark fairytale-like happenings which have colored his memories and his life.
Thoughts: This is my second Neil Gaiman book. The first was The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman; illustrated by Yoshitak Amano and like the first book it has a distinct, clear and simply articulated style. I like this aspect of his writing - a lot.
It’s a great book for the Anglophile with its English setting, as the reader gets to take a trip down memory lane during a time in the not-so-distant past. There’s the sights, sounds, and tastes (yes tastes - Gaimen uses a variety of foods to illustrate the time) that many readers will love - those that have lived it and those who wish to visit it vicariously.
It has a touch of the mystical, which makes me wonder if Mr. Gaiman has been mining some of the more esoteric sciences and mysticism, since there appears to be a speckling of these ideas throughout the more mind-bending parts of the book. Certainly the disciplines contain elements that are conducive to transcending reality which this book of course does. Conversely, there is a firm grounding in a very relatable world at first, which helps to create my favorite kind of speculative story. It takes off from reality, moving into dark and weird territory which I find makes a book accessible.
There are lots of things that go into making a great book, and there are several things I loved about the trade paperback edition that I read. It contains some extras which make the book even nicer to read and handle - its cover; an informative interview with the author which includes a recipe for crepe-like pancakes with lemon and sugar on them; the copy has those lovely flaps on the front and back cover that you can use to mark your place; and best yet are the questions to consider when doing group discussions. The trade paperback is perfect for book groups. And because most book groups are generally women, elements in the story like the characters that represent women as the maiden, mother, and crone may facilitate more in-depth discussions.
Definitely, a dark book - it’s a book for adults that I think it would appeal to older teens. It’s one of my favorite books in 2014 with so many of my favorite techniques and features; it’s a 4 star for me. Highly recommended. ...more
A wonderful women’s historical fiction story set in Renaissance Italy and France, layered with the fairytaOriginal review posted at Layers of Thought.
A wonderful women’s historical fiction story set in Renaissance Italy and France, layered with the fairytale of Rapunzel and a slight touch of dark magic.
Description: It’s France, June of 1666 (note all the 6’s) and Charlotte-Rose de la Force, an actual person and writer, has been banished from the court of King Louis XIV due to scandalous behavior. The king has forced her to live in a secluded convent where she serendipitously hears the story of Rapunzel from an old nun.
But it’s more complicated than that, with it’s layered and convoluted storylines. There are a bunch of things which add to its complexity - in front of each section are poems about Rapunzel written by other writers; the author has included operatic titles for each section of the book and the way the story builds has an operatic feel to it; and each of the key characters’ stories are told within the story of the others. Charlotte-Rose tells her story in first person, while Soeur Seraphina tells the fairytale to Charlotte-Rose, Margherita is the child that has been banished to a secluded tower, and Selena Leonelli (La Strega Bella) is the gorgeous witch. We get an involved tale about each of these key characters, all mixed up and blended together nicely.
Thoughts:Bitter Greens is well written and drew me in, with just enough historical details to give it depth and cultural context. And despite the complexity of the format for the story it is mostly easy to read and follow. I believe I was only confused once or twice when reading the trials of one of the many characters. I liked that the author takes the reader into 17th century France and 16th century Italy and that the character Charlotte-Rose was a real person. It was interesting to find out more about the court of King Louis XIV and the role that women played in society at the time. Also intriguing were the histories around the religious strife that occurred during his reign, as well as the complexities of Italian life and living in the time of the Black Death in Venice during the 1500’s.
Since I love to read and like the feel of real books, I want to mention that the lovely hardbound version of the book is easy to handle and well organized. It contains its operatic storyline sections listed in the first part of the book, there are also chapter titles and dates included for each of the sections, and poems are listed in front of the chapters. I liked that the chapters are typically short and that there are sometimes shorter sections broken down within the chapters, so that it is easy to dip in and out of the book.
All in all a terrific book that will appeal to women readers who like fairytale retellings, enjoy a touch of the magical in their reads, like strong and dark female characters, and love historical fiction. It is definitely a woman’s book. I also loved how the story ended which, importantly for me, is not one of those fantastical happily-ever-after conclusions. 4.5 stars for this page turning historical fiction with a touch of fantasy. It was a complete pleasure to read....more
A literary mystery novel set around the death of a local teenager.
Description: Vivian and Nowell Gardiner are young and recently married when Nowell’s grandmother passes away and they inherit her home in the country. When a local girl is found dead in the woods near their new home, the mystery begins. Naturally the newlyweds Nowell and Vivian are shocked, but each has their own self-involved concerns about their own lives, which is what the story is mainly about.
The author carries us through their trials as the couple question the shocking death and try to sort out their home for future sale. And as a matter of course suspicions and self reflection abound within both the main characters and the community – was it murder or was the death an accident?
Thoughts: Now for the good and the not so good. The author has great story telling skills so that I was immediately drawn in and captured; and I love atmospheric thrillers which is what I was expecting when starting to read The Qualities of Wood. However, what caught me off guard was the “literary factor”. Yep the book is literary fiction. Not that I don’t like literary fiction, but this book takes it a bit beyond what I enjoy. It goes on and on with endless descriptions and more. I was not in the mood for long explanations of the feelings of the main characters, especially in the last third of the book. I wanted some escalation, tension, and then some well-deserved resolution. By the time the conclusion was finally divulged, I had skipped A LOT. Sadly, it had started out so promising. Now of course I did read the ARC version of the book so hopefully some of the more tedious parts were edited out.
I don’t usually post reviews for books that I find disappointing but I wanted to warn other potential readers who perhaps may be caught off-guard, like I was. And although I did not enjoy the entire book, I am sure there are readers that will. So I would recommend it for readers who like dark literary fiction with a reminder that this story only finishes successfully at the very VERY end of the book. It was a bit frustrating and disappointing for me so I’d rate the book 2.5 stars. It was okay. ...more
A very readable, thrilling, and lurid historical fantasy set in a dark, medieval world.
Description: Elisha Barber is the main character who carries the title of his profession as his last name. As the title suggest he’s a barber, which during medieval times was a pseudo-doctor of sorts. This immediately brings out horrific and cringe-inducing thoughts; and this book definitely delivers. It is of course gruesome work, but Elisha has the gift of a healer and is not as barbaric as some of the other “doctors” that he is forced to work among.
When the story begins Elisha attempts to assist with the birth of his brother's child. When a tragedy occurs he’s accused of murder and is faced with the choice of working as a surgeon in the King’s war or facing death. When he travels to the battle field, Elisha doesn’t realize that he has powers that are beyond his barbering skills.
Thoughts: First off this book is VERY dark and can be shocking. It has details that can be considered gruesome which may not be to the liking of some readers (so potential readers are forewarned). However, the details are often medical in nature and readers who enjoy medical thrillers may like the book. I definitely did. I was completely engrossed from the first pages till the end, and even more so since it felt like I was reading a guilty pleasure. I liked the author’s writing style with gory situations only adding to the intensity of the story for me.
As a historical fantasy there are of course historical details from the 1400s England where it’s set. So there is an authentic feel to the book, even though the language is modern. However, there is no basis of historical fact for the novel. I was actually a bit disappointed to find that none of the characters are based on real people from the past. There is also a strong romantic thread, but it is certainly not a romance. I did like this aspect of the novel since the romance is twisted, which is another plus for horror and dark fantasy lovers.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy medical thrillers, horror, and especially dark fantasy, since it appears that the fantastical element becomes stronger within the second book. It’s a 3-star rating for this debut novel – I liked it. The second book has already been released in hardcover with the title Elisha Magus. I will be reading it hoping for more of the pure escapist pleasure that this first book in the series delivered. ...more
A fun, delicious, entertaining, and good-for-you cookbook that features plant-based foods that don’t contaOriginal review posted at Layers of Thought.
A fun, delicious, entertaining, and good-for-you cookbook that features plant-based foods that don’t contain meat or dairy products.
Description: Bryant Terry “remixes the favorite staples, ingredients, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present wholly new, creative culinary combinations that will amaze vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.” He is a “food justice activist” with food justice defined as “the basic human right to fresh, safe, affordable, and culturally appropriate food in all communities.”
Thoughts: Before I received this book I found Afro-Vegan’s recipe Tofu Curry with Mustard Greens in our local San Francisco Examiner’s Sunday food section. Needless to say it was delicious. And when Afro-Vegan, became available for review I jumped at the chance. From there we have tried (I cook and eat, my husband just eats) a handful of recipes – such as Summer Vegetable and Tofu Kebabs with Pomegranate-Peach Barbeque Sauce, Stewed Tomatoes and Black-Eyed Peas with Cornbread Croutons, Glazed Carrot Salad,(in its raw alternative form) and most recently watermelon juice and Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rinds and Jalapenos. All have been winners. And the best yet is that I have barely scratched the surface of what’s in this healthy treasure of a book.
I loved Afro-Vegan,. It’s thoughtfully and logically organized, divided into sections like – Spices, Sauce and Heat; Soup, Stew and Tagines; Greens, Squashes and Roots; Cold Drinks, Tonics and Cocktails. It also includes gorgeous and colorful pictures throughout. With its small hardbound cover, it’s easy to hold and it stays open easily, so you can refer to it while cooking. Each recipe has a clearly outlined list of items needed for the cooking and easy to figure out instructions. I liked that every recipe has its own separate page, where Terry has added his entertaining thoughts and descriptions about the recipe; and there is even some fun non-foody content - he’s included music for each recipe to listen to while cooking or eating, as well as books for some of them. And, importantly, all the books and music included are created by black artists. The only thing I can say that was difficult about the book is that the recipes may be a little complex and time consuming. But I believe that after a few times cooking one of the recipes an experienced or determined cook will be able to make a few changes to make the dish easier for themselves.
Overall, the thing I liked best about Afro-Vegan is that the author has a wonderful and subtle sense of humor. Bryant Terry has added fun to the book by including recipes for some wonderful sounding cocktails such as the Amy Ashwood, the Black Queen and the Congo Square,, all of which he suggests “will promote lively conversation, dancing, and frolicking.” And for more fun he’s included menu suggestions for celebrations and get-togethers for events like a Juneteenth Sweet-and-Savory Brunch and Saint Bob Marley’s Birthday. Best yet is the book is not preachy but is educational around the need for a plant-based diet to optimize health, as well as the inequalities of food access for a significant number of US citizens. A special book with delicious flavors that has health and social activism at its heart. It’s a 4.5 star for me. ...more
A wonderful, engaging historical fiction novel that has the science of botany as a key element. It has anOriginal review posted on Layers of Thought.
A wonderful, engaging historical fiction novel that has the science of botany as a key element. It has an amazing strong female character and an encompassing theory on the nature of all things.
Description: When Alma Whitaker is born in Pennsylvania, USA in the year 1800, her exceptionally wealthy British father Henry is pleased. Alma will be his only natural child, will receive an education uncommon for women, and will want for almost nothing for her entire life. Alma is not a beautiful woman, but her strengths lie in her brilliant scientific mind and her excellent constitution. She spends her childhood days categorizing plants and reading in her father’s huge library. As an adult Alma becomes one of the first women to publish within the field of botany.
This is the richly imagined life story of Alma Whitaker, her driven father whose interest and dedication to botany build him a fortune, and her stalwart and complex family. It is set relatively soon after the American Revolution, during the civil war, and while the theory of evolution was taking form.
Thoughts: There’s a lot to like about this book. From the very start it becomes apparent that Elizabeth Gilbert is an expert story teller. I was entirely swept away with writing that flows and that captured me from the first page until the last. I particularly like that the characters are well developed and complex with a lot of back story. The book also has some famous historical characters which adds to the richness of the story line - such as Charles Darwin and Captain James Cook, who where significant contributors to science and botany - giving the book an authentic historical feel. There are some interesting settings within the novel which may intrigue readers, such as Kew Gardens, a botanical garden in London established in 1756 that is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Tahiti, where the author goes into a good deal of depth about the culture and the setting.
As the title suggests one of the book’s major themes is a grand sweeping theory about the nature of humans and life in general, and since it is one that I agree with it made me like the book even more. My only quibble would be a strong and slightly embarrassing sexual thread that runs through the novel, which was a bit much for me. If this particular element had been a little lighter the book would have rated higher in my opinion. However, it’s a terrific novel and comes highly recommended. I would say one of my favorites this year at 4.5 stars. ...more
An atmospheric mystery with a moody setting that questions the connections behind a missing mother and aOriginal review posted at Layers of Thought.
An atmospheric mystery with a moody setting that questions the connections behind a missing mother and a murder.
Description: Set in the Ozark mountains, the story starts with a local photographer discovering the mutilated body of a mentally disabled young women at the base of a tree. Just eighteen years old, Cheri’s death disturbs the small close-knit community and particularly Lucy, who was a friend to Cheri and whose mother had gone missing when she was a small child. In the back of Lucy’s mind she cannot help but connect the two losses and becomes determined to find out more about both. What this determined young woman finds is disturbing and unexpected.
A convoluted, dark, coming-of-age story that is told in alternating chapters from the main character Lucy and her mother Lila, while also bringing in the perspective of the other key characters from the story as the book progresses. It unfolds piece by piece, slowly revealing what happened, with a shocking ending that questions the strength of the bonds between family members.
Shellie’s thoughts: The story has the perfect setting for a thrilling read. It’s a place with forested land and a large cave with a dangerous passageway that plays a significant part in the story. The small close-knit community that does not take well to strangers also contributes to the isolation and dark feeling that pervades the novel.
An excellent and accessible read with writing that flows, this is for the reader who likes thrilling stories that keep you guessing and engaged. It’s for readers who enjoy realistic settings since it does not contain any paranormal elements. And it’s definitely for fans of horror, as it has violent scenes as well as a variety of other mature themes. So it’s not for sensitive readers. And if you enjoy themes that highlights human darkness then this will be a great book for you.
Conversely, there is a small amount of romance which lightens the story a tad. And with it’s spunky 17 year old main character it will appeal to readers who like feisty female leads. The story will speak to women in particular since most of the main characters are female and it also addresses women’s issues. But I think many men will enjoy it too. This is a recommended read and a great debut from a promising new author who is one to watch out for. Highly recommended at 4 stars....more
An apocalyptic horror/thriller that has a parasitic insect at the core of the story.
Description: Trey Gilliard is a loner, a researcher who prefers his forays into the wilderness more than relationships. When the story opens he’s working for ITC – International Conservation Trust – in Senegal, West Africa. The horror begins when Trey hears screams and follows a trail of blood leading him to a local clinic.
He finds an examination room, where a local doctor and his headstrong daughter are guarding a dead soldier. The soldier’s midsection is a mass of shredded fabric and flesh. Although desperate to know what is happening, Trey is refused any information by the doctor and escorted out of the building. Later when informed by ITC that he’s no longer welcome in the area and told he must immediately report to Dakar, a city many miles away, Trey begins to believe that his encounter with the body must be the cause.
A man never to follow orders, Trey does the opposite and drives directly to an area in the local forest that caught his attention on his latest plane trip over the forest canopy, where he noticed unusual deforestation. He suspects that this may be the key to the apparent cover-up. There he has his first encounter with the bug.
With a heart-raising pace Trey and his team try to find other clues to this intelligent insect and what appears to be a grand global cover-up to a dangerous and world-altering threat.
Shellie’s thoughts: This is a well thought out and easy to follow read. It has great pacing and an interesting parasitic insect that will frighten most readers. It’s entertaining and is one of those nice small paperbacks with decent sized print that’s easy to read and carry, especially if you’re traveling. It fit easily into my carry-on bag and was easy to pick up and start reading where I left off.
I particularly liked that the story has some interesting science and has an in-depth take on what constitutes the concept of the insect hive-mind. So if you like biological thrillers with environmental themes and science fiction, this will probably interest you. Since it’s mostly action based with light gore and ends hopefully, the book will also intrigue readers looking for thrillers or mild horror.
My only quibble is that I did not get enough of the invasion. There just wasn’t enough information detailing the spread of the insect. It felt like the bug propagated all over the world in a matter of months, which felt unrealistic to me. But since I love science-based fiction and horror I enjoyed Invasive Species. A lot actually, so it comes recommended at 3.5 stars. ...more
A dramatic and messy high-profile divorce is told via documents which are facilitated by a twenty-something female attorney.
Description: Sophie Diehl is a young criminal defense lawyer who gets drawn into a high profile divorce case because the other lawyers who would normally cover family law are out of town. The wife from the wealthy couple seeking the divorce chooses Sophie even though the woman knows Sophie has no experience in family law. And the firm’s senior partner keeps Sophie on the case because the divorcing wife is the daughter of a favored and major client for the firm.
Told through emails, legal documents, personal correspondence, office memos, articles, and notes, the messy divorce, internal office politics, romantic entanglements and the main character’s personal growth dramatically unfolds.
Shellie’s thoughts: This is one of those intellectual chic-lit books which was very compelling for me because I love epistolary novels and enjoy legal aspects in my fiction reads. This may be a problem for some readers since the book is in part told via a number of legal documents, which for some may become tedious and boring. For me, contrarily, it was a book that I found difficult to put down (even including the legal documents) and I devoured it in a few sittings.
It gets predictably messy between the divorcing wife and the husband, with egos and revenge working in the emotional soup from the fall-out of the break up and the fight for legal custody of their daughter. It’s one of those stories that features a train-wreck-and-I-can’t-look-away aspect for the reader. But what becomes a key theme for the story is the internal workings inside the main character’s mind as she works on the case. She begins to question her own relationships and experiences growth in unexpected ways. This gives the book its traditional chic-lit connection.
A fun read although I am not normally a chic-lit reader. I would imagine that the book is not going to be enjoyed by many typical readers of the genre. And from looking at the reviews available for the book it looks like it’s a book that the reader either really liked or hated. I am from the former camp, it was a 3.5 star read for me. I liked it a lot. ...more