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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

THE SPACE BETWEEN THE STARS by Anne Corlett

THE SPACE BETWEEN THE STARS  by Anne Corlett
Space has been conquered and Humans populate many planets. But a devastating virus has depopulated the worlds. Few humans are left.  One human is Jamie, the lonely survivor on her planet.  Her problem is to return to Earth to begin to repopulate the universe.  The few survivors gather and then….
Humans are human – mean, selfish, cruel, selfless, kind, arrogant….  What kind of a world do they want? What will they get? Who will win and who will lose?
The main characters are clearly drawn. The plot is full of twists and turns. The worlds are varied and interesting.  Humans are in charge as they always have been, aren’t they?

4 of 5 stars

EMMA IN THE NIGHT by Wendy Walker

EMMA IN THE NIGHT  by Wendy Walker
This psychological thriller held my attention during the read, but two days after finishing it I have completely forgotten it.  Two sisters disappear one night and three years later only one returns home.
There are lots of lies, innuendoes, miss directions and scary characters.  Emma is quite well drawn. The other characters are known only in retrospect. The plot will keep you guessing until the end.
So, is this a good book? Well it will hold your interest and is a good beach read. Is it profound? Not really.

4 of stars

THE GIRL WITH NO NAME by Diney Costeloe

THE GIRL WITH NO NAME   by Diney Costeloe
Although this book was too long (486 pages), the tale of a Jewish girl sent to England during the Kinder Transport of WWII who loses her memory because of injuries received during the Blitz and spends many months as a “lost child,” is interesting for its portrayal of life in England during the war. Charlotte spends time in London and in a rural area of England.  The differences in quality of life are astounding.  The Blitz was terrifying.  Life in the rural areas was more peaceful, but many hardships were endured.
The side tale of Harry is extraneous and interrupts Charlotte’s more interesting plot.  If you are interested in British life you will like this book.  If you like fast moving plots, skip this one. 

3 of 5 stars 

THE WINDFALL by Diksha Basu

THE WINDFALL  by Diksha Basu
This book is not funny. It is just sad. A bunch of pretentious people trying their hardest to be even more pretentious is just depressing. I would have preferred a book about Mrs. Ray and Uben, somewhat minor characters who serve as foils for the Jha’s and Chopra’s. Mrs. Ray offers a breath of lightness and air in this very arid book. The Jha’s have come into money and are determined that everyone will know how wealthy they are.  They wear uncomfortable clothes, sit on a very uncomfortable sofa and befriend very unlikeable people.  
The writing is okay but totally wasted on this depressing book.

1 of 5 stars

Saturday, May 13, 2017

THE SCRIBE OF SIENA by Melodie Winawer

THE SCRIBE OF SIENNA by Melodie Winawer
A 20th century neurosurgeon is transported to Siena, Italy, in 1346AD where she becomes a scribe and falls in love. That is the short story of this vastly absorbing and intriguing novel.
The characters are fully developed, especially Beatrice, Gabriele, Clara and Accorsi.  The plot is constantly offering a new twist even as the threat of the Bubonic Plague approaches. The flavor of medieval Italy is beguiling, however some of the more “indelicate” and primitive aspects of life are glossed over.  The patterns of daily life in and around a bustling market and monastery are clearly set forth.  The talents needed of a scribe in a society where most had little or no education are delineated.
I don’t think I would make Beatrice’s choices, but the book is a winner.

5 of 5 stars

Saturday, May 6, 2017

BIRDS OF A FEATHER by Jacqueline Winspear

BIRDS OF A FEATHER  by Jacqueline Winspear
A tight plot and likeable characters people this mystery set in post World War I England.  Masie is a detective and a psychologist and uses both to solve interesting and informative crimes.  This one is no different. Hired to find a runaway daughter, Masie stumbles on a serial killer.  Well written, with believable and clearly drawn characters with interesting backgrounds and a spot on sense of time and place, this series gets better as it continues.  While the second in the series, there is no need to have read the first before beginning this one.
5 of 5 stars

WHITE COLLAR GIRL by Renee Rosen

WHITE COLLAR GIRL  by Renee Rosen
Although not as good as Rosen’s earlier WHAT THE LADY WANTS, WHITE COLLAR GIRL tells an interesting and informative tale of what it was like to be a “professional girl” in the 1950’s working for the illustrious Chicago Tribune. Jordan Walsh, hired as a cub reporter under the assumption she was a male, is quickly relegated to the “women’s page”, society weddings and food stories.  Her struggle to be taken seriously is the plot of this tale.
Jordan and the other reporters are well drawn characters.  The working conditions and pay of the 1950’s are laid out clearly as is the politics in Chicago under the first Mayor Daley.  Although occasionally dropping to the level of women’s romantic fiction, the book still offers a wise glimpse into the workings of a big city newspaper and the blatant discrimination against women in the work force.

4 of 5 stars