Historical

Book Review: At the Water's Edge

Book Review: At the Water's Edge
Author: 
Gruen, Sara
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This was my first Sara Gruen book and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I have not read many books from this time period set in Scotland, so it was interesting to see how they were living their lives. I liked the characters (well, except for Ellis, but I loved that I disliked him so much). A slight mystical element rounded out a truly good story.

Reviewer's Name: 
Krista

Book Review: Shadows Over Paradise

Book Review: Shadows Over Paradise
Author: 
Wolff, Isabel
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I love dual timeline novels, as long as they are well done. This one alternate betweens Jenni, who is a ghostwriter who prefers to dig into other people's lives rather than deal with her own past, and Klara, a Dutch woman who was interned in a camp on Java during WWII. Jenni is an interesting character, but I felt like she was more of a foil for Klara's amazing story of survival. Very powerful book, one that will linger in my mind for quite a while, I'm sure.

Reviewer's Name: 
Krista

Book Review: The Watson's go to Birmingham - 1963

Author: 
Curtis, Christopher Paul
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This was a good book. The narrator was very entertaining and the weird Watsons were fun to get to know. The characters had some depth, especially the Byron character, and I think if this book had been an adult novel the characters could really have been explored. It's a kids chapter book and so it's not as fleshed out as it could be, but was enjoyable nonetheless. I would have liked to see a bit more focus on the events towards the end of the novel, but I can see that the purpose of focusing on Byron in the beginning was to show his growth toward the end.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See

Author: 
Doerr, Anthony
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Set during World War II in France and Germany, this beautifully written novel tells story of a young blind French girl named Marie-Laure and a young German boy named Werner, whose paths cross only briefly in the story. For a time, we are caught up in the lives of these two sympathetic characters and the lives of those around them, caught up, like them, in the war itself.

Reviewer's Name: 
Bill

Book Review: The Aviator's Wife

Author: 
Benjamin, Melanie
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

While the subject of this historical fiction novel is captivating, with the narrator assuming the voice of Charles Linbergh's wife, Anne Morrow, the novel lacked going beyond what is commonly known of the family. I often found myself internally restructuring sentences because they were choppy or confusing. The novel is still worth the read and implored me to do research on my own on the infamous family.

Reviewer's Name: 
Melissa

Book Review: Orphan Train

Author: 
Kline, Christina
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book was really good. The story was engaging and the characters were interesting and multi-dimensional. It was about a week ago that I finished this book, so really I don't remember what I was going to review. But it was good. The only problem I had was that something major happened towards the end of the book that I didn't feel was addressed enough or resolved completely.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: The Invention of Wings

Author: 
Kidd, Sue Monk
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book was incredible. The narrative was so powerfully written I felt transported in time to the antebellum south. I'm embarrassed that I'd never heard of Sarah and Nina Grimke before this book. They are inspirational heroes of their time. Handful was so beautifully and hauntingly drawn that I felt she was as real as Sarah and Nina. I can't recommend this book enough! Sue Monk Kidd did her research, that's for sure. The story was so realistic it could pass for nonfiction. Awesome!

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: The Angel Makers

Author: 
Gregson, Jessica
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

I would start this novel and read a few chapters, then lay it down for a day or so, then pick it back up and have no idea what the book was about. The beginning doesn't grip at all. It gets better towards the middle. I'm not sure why I kept reading it, to be honest. The storyline is interesting, but the writing is disconnected.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Alias Grace

Author: 
Atwood, Margaret
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I really enjoyed this masterful work of historical fiction. Atwood did a great job researching the historical accuracy of her characters and admits when she was led to "invent" to fill in the blanks. Her creative use of imagery leaves you stunned, amused, thrilled, and pleased. I really enjoyed this novel.

Reviewer's Name: 
Donna

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