Life By Kristen

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Book Review: Kiss Carlo

Synopsis: It’s 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: business is good, they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a re-match.

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more—more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players and to the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father. Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him or chart a new course and risk losing everything he cherishes.

Told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, this novel brims with romance as long buried secrets are revealed, mistaken identities are unmasked, scores are settled, broken hearts are mended and true love reigns. Trigiani’s consummate storytelling skill and her trademark wit, along with a dazzling cast of characters will enthrall readers. Once again, the author has returned to her own family garden to create an unforgettable feast. Kiss Carlo is a jubilee, resplendent with hope, love, and the abiding power of la famiglia.

My review:  4 stars

Adriana Trigiani is one of my favorite authors. The Shoemaker’s Wife is among my favorite books and I think she has a real talent for historical fiction and character development. This new book is no exception. It’s rich with detail, but not in a way that makes it feel dragged out or overly long.

I received this book to review in May in the middle of a month of celebrations, preparations for the conference I co-chaired (including running the silent auction which was a HUGE task), and so on. I started the book the weekend before the conference and brought it with me thinking I’d have all this down time at night to read which clearly is a sign of how little I knew about running a conference because I worked 14 hour days and was in bed about 830 every night. Then the past week have been overwhelming with Q’s brother-in-law’s death, so reading really has been the last thing on my mind ( which is saying a lot since it’s one of favorite things to do in life). But this past weekend we didn’t have a ton of things going on, so I powered through the book in no time- which is saying a lot considering it’s 544 pages!

The story really is more about Nicky than the Palazzini family, but what I love about Trigiani’s writing is how she weaves in the lives and details of other characters to create a whole universe that helps you to understand more about the main character and their decisions. She does this very well in this novel. I could easily see several of theses characters having their own spinoff books. I’d particularly be interested in reading more about that character of Hortense Mooney, the African American taxi dispatcher/Western Union telegram lady and Nicky’s guardian angel of sorts. I found her to be dynamic, funny, and heartwarming. I am glad she has a happy ending in Kiss Carlo, but I want to know more!

It’s a novel about love, family, and relationships. It takes place in 1949 Philadelphia and is rich with stories that depict how much change was in the air after World War II. If you enjoy family stories with great character development that really transport you back in time, this novel is for you. Even though it’s lengthy, I think it’s the perfect read for a rainy weekend or summer vacation.

The only negative of this book is that I received an advanced reader copy (ARC) which often are missing acknowledgements or author’s notes, which was the case here. In other Trigiani books, she often provides a rich backstory on what propelled her to write the novel, who some of the characters are inspired by, and so forth. I’ll definitely be looking for the book at the library or bookstore to read that as my curious writer’s mind always likes to know the story behind the story.

Kiss Carlo releases today!

As part of the TLC Book Tour for this book, I was provided an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: White Fur

Synopsis:

A stunning star-crossed love story set against the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City.

When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in public housing without a father and didn’t graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.

The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love, but also for their lives.

White Fur follows these indelible characters on their wild race through Newport mansions and downtown NYC nightspots, SoHo bars and WASP-establishment yacht clubs, through bedrooms and hospital rooms, as they explore, love, play, and suffer. Jardine Libaire combines the electricity of Less Than Zero with the timeless intensity of Romeo and Juliet in this searing, gorgeously written novel that perfectly captures the ferocity of young love.

My review: 2.5 stars.

I’m not quite sure why I wasn’t a huge fan of the book. The writing was decent, though more of a literary prose than I often choose ( but it’s good to get out of the regular reading choices). Each chapter is essentially one month in the life of the couple and follows them over a period of just over a year.

I think my main issue was that I didn’t connect at all with any of the characters so found it difficult to relate or really care about them. I didn’t think about the characters or the book after putting it down. I didn’t find that I really understood them that well, and that could be because of the style of writing.

To be clear, it’s not a typical love story with happy endings and warm fuzzies. The relationship between Jamey and Elise was often difficult to read at times. I found a lot of the intimate scenes to be unnecessary and gritty. I wouldn’t consider myself conservative, but I found some of the sexual encounters to be more gratuitous for shock value than for moving the story forward or making me understand the relationship between Jamey and Elise better.

From the description, I thought there would be more vivid settings of New York City and Newport in the 1980s. Other than the copious amount of popular 80s drugs mentioned like cocaine and LSD, I thought the story could take place in almost any city of the 1980s. I would have liked to see more geographical/people/historical event references to really capture the feel of the overdone 80s. Overall, it was a quick read but not a story that will stay with me.

 

As part of the TLC Book Tour of this book, I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Close Enough to Touch

Synopsis: Jubilee Jenkins has a rare condition: she’s allergic to human touch. After a nearly fatal accident, she became reclusive, living in the confines of her home for nine years. But after her mother dies, Jubilee is forced to face the world—and the people in it—that she’s been hiding from.

Jubilee finds safe haven at her local library where she gets a job. It’s there she meets Eric Keegan, a divorced man who recently moved to town with his brilliant, troubled, adopted son. Eric is struggling to figure out how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. Jubilee is unlike anyone he has ever met, yet he can’t understand why she keeps him at arm’s length. So Eric sets out to convince Jubilee to open herself and her heart to everything life can offer, setting into motion the most unlikely love story of the year.

My review: 4 stars.

I started to read this book on the Sunday of the fire and it was a few days before I was able to pick it back up again, but I’m so glad I did. This was a wonderfully heartwarming story with some great character development of the main character Jubilee and a light love story.

The book is set into three parts and for most of the book, the chapters alternate between the two main characters of Jubilee and Eric. While there is a love connection between the two of them, I think the main course of the novel is more about their own personal self-development and self-awareness as they both struggle with their own issues. As Jubilee comes to terms with living independently and becoming herself despite her allergy, Eric grapples with issues with his children. Together, Eric and Jubilee’s friendship and chemistry between the two of them allows each to work through their own personal struggles and find some resolution.

My 4-star review is only because I found part three at the end of the book to not be as well-developed as the rest of the story. A few of the bits, particularly Eric’s story line with this 2 kids, seemed to be glossed over a bit. Likewise, Jubilee’s story is quickly wrapped up and then explained further in the epilogue. I definitely feel some aspects would have been better served with a more detailed approach. I really came to like Jubilee throughout the novel, so I felt like the ending didn’t have as much of her personal insight and personality as the rest of the book.

With a personally stressful week, it was the perfect thing to pick up each night to read that was light and enjoyable to read, but well-written with characters I cared about. I definitely recommend it and would have likely read in a weekend, if not for the other circumstances of life.

 

As part of the TLC Book Tour of this book, I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Goodnight from London

Synopsis:

From USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—author of Moonlight Over Paris and Somewhere in France—comes a lush historical novel that tells the fascinating story of Ruby Sutton, an ambitious American journalist who moves to London in 1940 to report on the Second World War, and to start a new life an ocean away from her past.

In the summer of 1940, ambitious young American journalist Ruby Sutton gets her big break: the chance to report on the European war as a staff writer for Picture Weekly news magazine in London. She jumps at the chance, for it’s an opportunity not only to prove herself, but also to start fresh in a city and country that know nothing of her humble origins. But life in besieged Britain tests Ruby in ways she never imagined.

Goodnight from London, inspired in part by the wartime experiences of the author’s own grandmother, is a captivating, heartfelt, and historically immersive story that readers are sure to embrace.

My review: 4 stars.

It’s probably no surprise that I liked another historical fiction novel about World War II. Give me some creative writing on actual historical events that is well-researched, with great characters and a little love story thrown in, and I’m usually a fan. This book was even more interesting to me because it is inspired from actual events from the author’s grandmother’s experiences during the war.

This was the kind of book that I looked forward to reading when I got home from work. I read it on one Thursday night and got so close to finishing, but did the adult thing and went to bed at a reasonable hour because, work. ( Though one of my favorite adulting things is staying up way too late reading because I can’t put something down. That and ice cream for dinner). I liked the main character Ruby, especially for her intelligence, strength/perseverance, and courage. When she describes the air raids night after night, the fatigue from lack of sleep, and the strength it took to make it through each day, I thought a lot about how I would have reacted in a similar situation (probably with tears and crankiness).

The first half of the book, before the United States gets involved in the war, was primarily focused on the Blitz and how England and its citizens were coping with being at war with Germany. The time period jumps forward every few chapters or so which I felt helped move the plot forward at a good pace. There is some conflict/drama with Ruby and her past that presents itself in the last part of the book that felt a little forced and unnecessary, though it does help her connect more deeply with Bennett, her love interest.

This is the first time I read anything by Jennifer Robson, but her other books have been on my to-read list for awhile (since 2014 according to my Goodreads list). I will definitely be going through her back list in the near future!

More info on the book and author here!

As part of the TLC Book Tour of this book, I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Book Reviews: Wait for the Rain and Bridges

Wait for the Rain and Bridges are two titles by author Maria Murnane that follow the characters of Daphne White, KC, and Skylar, three best friends from college who gather in their 40s to deal with the various curve balls and milestones that life has thrown their way.

The first novel, Wait for the Rain, brings together the the trio on the event of celebrating Daphne’s 40th birthday on a getaway to a fictitious island in the Caribbean.

The second novel, Bridges, has the gals gathering in New York City to celebrate Skylar’s engagement.

I enjoyed both of these titles. Even though I read them one after the other, I don’t think it’s necessary, but adds layers of character development and story line that I found to be delightful. Both novels are love stories for female friendship, as well as celebrating the idea that life is constantly evolving and people grow/learn, no matter our age/stage in life.

In Wait for the Rain, a lot of the novel resonated with me as Daphne is a divorced mom coming to terms with her new life, as well as lamenting the missteps  of the past that led her to that moment. Even though I’m not a mother, I definitely related to many of the regrets and tortured thoughts related to divorce that Daphne expresses, especially as she deals with how to overcome the failed marriage and disappointment in the life she had versus the life she wanted in college. Totally been there. There was even a line in the book that I know I said myself during my divorce process– “I’m divorced. There I said it, and the world didn’t end.”

I definitely think I’ll check out some other Maria Murnane titles over the summer as her writing was fluid, easy to read, and enjoyable– both Wait for the Rain and Bridges are the perfect pick for beach bags or rainy days! She’s also a former corporate person who chose a fulfilling life of writing over the rat race, so she’s another beacon of hope for me that I can get to my dream of full-time writing some day!

Book Review: Maisie Dobbs

Synopsis: Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator, began her working life at the age of thirteen as a servant in a Belgravia mansion, only to be discovered reading in the library by her employer, Lady Rowan Compton. Fearing dismissal, Maisie is shocked when she discovers that her thirst for education is to be supported by Lady Rowan and a family friend, Dr. Maurice Blanche. But The Great War intervenes in Maisie’s plans, and soon after commencement of her studies at Girton College, Cambridge, Maisie enlists for nursing service overseas. Years later, in 1929, having apprenticed to the renowned Maurice Blanche, a man revered for his work with Scotland Yard, Maisie sets up her own business. Her first assignment, a seemingly tedious inquiry involving a case of suspected infidelity, takes her not only on the trail of a killer, but back to the war she had tried so hard to forget.

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My review: 4 stars.

As always, I’m late to the game when it comes to popular fiction series, so when I had the opportunity to read Maisie Dobbs, I took it. It’s a title on many to-read lists for fans of historical fiction, as it was first published in 2003. Author Jacqueline Winspear is about to publish her 13th (!) book in the series. And I can see why– the characters are endearing, Maisie Dobbs is a fascinating woman, and Winspear skillfully blends suspense/detective work with a little bit of romance and great story lines.

Maisie Dobbs takes place after World War I, and the first book in the series establishes her life story and experiences that brought her to her role as a private investigator who has great instincts and the ability to connect with people/clients in meaningful ways. The story starts in 1929, then shifts back to her younger years and then the War, before then shifting back to 1929 present day to wrap up the novel. This sort of structure worked for me, as it kept me reading through the first section as I wanted to figure out more about her back story.

This novel’s great mystery involves a place called The Retreat that is essentially a rest home for World War I veterans who had major injuries, as well as the unseen injuries of “shell shock,” which we now call PTSD. One of the nights I was reading the book, Q was watching the movie The Hurt Locker on TV, and it was an interesting comparison of the similar emotional struggles and trauma of the soldiers written about in Maisie Dobbs and those in modern-day Iraq.

Serious subject matter aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will definitely be adding the 12 other titles to my reading list. You can check out more of them here and learn more about Jacqueline Winspear’s other titles on her website.

 

tlc tour host

As part of the TLC Book Tour of this book, I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Dragon Springs Road

Synopsis: From the author of Three Souls comes a vividly imagined and haunting new novel set in early 20th century Shanghai — a story of friendship, heartbreak, and history that follows a young Eurasian orphan’s search for her long-lost mother.

In 1908, Jialing is only seven years old when she is abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate near Shanghai. Jialing is zazhong—Eurasian—and faces a lifetime of contempt from both Chinese and Europeans. Without her mother’s protection, she can survive only if the estate’s new owners, the Yang family, agree to take her in.

Jialing finds allies in Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the haunted courtyard for centuries. But Jialing’s life as the Yangs’ bondservant changes unexpectedly when she befriends a young English girl who then mysteriously vanishes.

Always hopeful of finding her long-lost mother, Jialing grows into womanhood during the tumultuous early years of the Chinese republic, guided by Fox and by her own strength of spirit, away from the shadows of her past. But she finds herself drawn into a murder at the periphery of political intrigue, a relationship that jeopardizes her friendship with Anjuin and a forbidden affair that brings danger to the man she loves.

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My review: 3 stars.

Dragon Springs Road is essentially a coming of age novel set in early 20th century China– a time period that I know little about, though this book didn’t entirely have me searching for more information or googling events or people.

The major themes of growing up and learning about what matters in life, identity, and overcoming societal stereotypes and biases are clear throughout the novel as Jialing struggles to make her way in the world as an orphan and mixed-race girl. It was about way more than just finding her mother, but also about what a person may be willing (or unwilling to do) for love, friendship, money, status, education, and so on. With those things in mind, I wanted the book to be so much more in these areas, especially as Jialing became an adult and was finding her way in the world.

There is a huge element of Chinese folklore and mysticism in the book with the Fox character, who plays an important role in Jialing’s life from her childhood. This part of the book was interesting to me, but I also found I was often lost in the details of those encounters between Jialing and Fox. This might say more about my ability to suspend practicalities while reading and less about the author’s writing and the role of Fox within the story.

Not knowing a ton about this time period in Chinese history– really about a lot of Chinese history in general– was one of the reason I wanted to read the book as I look to expand my literary horizons. I found myself more interested in the brief insights into missionaries in China during this time period more than anything else, and after reading the author’s notes at the back of the book, understand that this was some of her original intent for the book. Had I not read that it would have seemed more random for this part of the storyline, but it makes sense to me now.

Learn more about the author or purchase the book here!

 

tlc tour host

As part of the TLC Book Tour of this book, I was provided an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

 

Book Review: The Wicked City

Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams recreates the New York City of A Certain Age in this deliciously spicy adventure that mixes past and present and centers on a Jazz Age love triangle involving a rugged Prohibition agent, a saucy redheaded flapper, and a debonair Princetonian from a wealthy family.

When she discovers her husband cheating, Ella Hawthorne impulsively moves out of their SoHo loft and into a small apartment in an old Greenwich Village building. Her surprisingly attractive new neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement at night. Tenants have reported strange noises after midnight—laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano—even though the space has been empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the place hid a speakeasy.

In 1924, Geneva “Gin” Kelly, a smart-mouthed flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at this Village hideaway known as the Christopher Club. Caught up in a raid, Gin becomes entangled with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia’s most notorious bootleggers.

Headstrong and independent, Gin is no weak-kneed fool. So how can she be falling in love with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent when she’s got Princeton boy Billy Marshall, the dashing son of society doyenne Theresa Marshall, begging to make an honest woman of her? While anything goes in the Roaring Twenties, Gin’s adventures will shake proper Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead—secrets that will echo from Park Avenue to the hollers of her Southern hometown.

As Ella discovers more about the basement speakeasy, she becomes inspired by the spirit of her exuberant predecessor, and decides to live with abandon in the wicked city too. . . .

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My review: 3 stars.

As one of my ‘must read’ authors, it’s always exciting when there is a new Beatriz Williams book. Even though the Jazz Age isn’t my favorite period of American history, this story had more of the 1920s Prohibition history in it which I do find fascinating.

This book was part ghost story, part finding oneself after life falls apart around you. Overall, a quick read but it left me wanting more. First of all, I’m not entirely sure the contemporary story of Ella was needed. I understand that the author is trying to make connections with other characters from her other novels ( which is something as a reader I enjoy), but this felt forced to me. There were connections in the 1920s story with one of the characters from her other books ( Julie Schulyer), so I’m not sure that it was necessary to add the Ella storyline. I almost think the book could have just been Geneva Kelly’s story alone without the contemporary angle added in at all. I was far more interested and intrigued by Geneva than Ella in any way and like in other Williams’ books that have the same setup of past-present, I didn’t think there were connections made between the two women beside being in the same building.

The Ella story line had SO many plot points and details that were not capitalized on or explained. As a reader and a writer, it definitely is something I notice and wonder what the point is to certain details or plot points that are mentioned, but never resolve within the larger arc of the narrative. I did learn from Williams’ Instagram that she just finished a sequel to Wicked City that will be out sometime in 2018- I can only assume that some of the big questions I’m left with at this point will be explained/resolved in that book, or at least I hope so! Even knowing that about the sequel, I still feel like some details of the Ella storyline could have been resolved better.

As a reader, I feel like the parallel storylines across time concept is becoming a bit overdone– or I may have just read far too many books that are in this vein ( Sarah Jio comes to mind). That doesn’t mean I won’t keep reading Beatriz Williams– in fact her next book, Cocoa Beach, will be out in July and it definitely will be a summer weekend read for me.

Buy the book!

tlc tour host

As part of the TLC Book Tour of this book, I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Reading Resolutions

Reading is by far one of my favorite things to do. My love for books has increased significantly in the past few years as audiobooks have transformed my daily commute and allow me to tackle more of the titles on my ever growing ‘to-read’ list.

I think I probably could have read more books if I didn’t spend a lot of my evenings reading articles and blogs on the iPad so hope to focus on bettering my reading habits in the new year.

2016  was filled with great books- some out of my comfort zone, reading the backlist of my favorite authors, and new discoveries for me like finally reading Harry Potter.

For 2017, my goal is, as always it seems, to read more from my own bookshelf and the books I own. As a general rule since about 2008 or so, I have tried to not buy any brand new books. This is mostly because of the aforementioned issues of never getting around to reading books I own. This is apparently not a problem only for me, but for millions of other bookworms and is called tsundoku.

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Many of these books were purchased at a local bookstore that a few years ago had a month-long $1 book bonanza. My mom and I thought this meant the store was going out of business, so we went a bit crazy. And after their $1 month, they announced they were ALWAYS going to be a $1 bookstore from then on! Good marketing for them, as it totally got us there to buy books when we weren’t planning on it.

I’m also trying to pass books along after I read them, either to friends/family who I know will enjoy or donating to the library. I used to be a person who kept every single book as a badge of honor of my reading prowess, but as a quasi-minimalist, I like the idea of passing along good titles to the next book lover instead of keeping them to myself. There have been a few books over the years I’ve held onto and make sure are returned to me when I lend them out ( Baker Towers being one of them), but overall, I read and pass along.

This year, I’m also trying to read outside my comfort zone, particularly with both fiction and nonfiction that will expand my horizons and get me out of my bubble of white privilege. The election and the happenings of the world have me wanting to retreat more into the bubble to escape the news and events, but I’m fighting hard against that because I realize doing that is part of the issues we have in the country. So while I look to reading as my entertainment and escape, I also need it to be more of my education too.

 

Book Review: A Certain Age

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Synopsis: As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingénue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

Full of the glamour, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’ fiction and alternating between Sophie’s spirited voice and Theresa’s vibrant timbre, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’s comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York

***

My review: 3 stars.

I actually read this book back in June when the hardcover first came out as Beatriz Williams is one of my “must-read” authors. I enjoy her style of historical fiction– well-researched and developed characters, great story, and a peppering in of real-life historic events and people.

But this one fell a little flat for me.

Maybe it was the time period ( the 1920s) which isn’t one I’m particularly interested in or the premise of a married woman with a younger man, even though she’s married. There were story lines and details that felt underdeveloped and left hanging without explanation, though I wonder if this is just setting things up for future Williams’ books, as she is known for placing characters from other titles into each book, creating a well-developed universe of people. I think that might be my favorite thing about her as a writer– she leaves you wanting more and wondering about a character well after a  book is finished, and then writes another title exclusively about that person.

The story line is also Williams’ loose interpretation on a well-known opera, which she explains fully in the author’s note at the back of the book. Knowing very little about opera this didn’t mean much for me, though I appreciate the retelling and interpretation on a creative level.

 

tlc tour host

I did not receive a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own. 

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