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My Reviews

The Mists Of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Brilliant, Epic
The Mists of Avalon

Brilliant and inspiring! Mists of Avalon gives us an authentic view into the roles and fates of women in King Arthur's court and Camelot. We are carried away to a majestic era when women were goddesses, men were knights, chivalry lived, religious differences were prevalent. A time when the tribes of the Druids and their simple religion was devoted to the beauty and sustenance in nature, and in preserving the mystery and dignity of human relationships. Women were respected and honored by the "pagan" tribes, but with the advent of Christianity and priests, women were once again subjugated to men and given little or no participation in their communities. The priests emphasized and preached that women were the source of original sin and were not to be given any freedom in their lives. "Mists" is profound and told from the women's perspective of the times...and we cheer these women as they "speak" and are powerful and clever and independent. This glorious book gives us romance, adventure, war, religious difference, arranged marriages, incest, political turmoil...explores virtually every emotion and behavior...beautifully written in the spoken language of the 5th century. Truly a masterpiece!

The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Kitchen House

Our book club unanimously loved this book! We found it to be well- written, excellent character development, wonderful story. Book is historical novel set in Virginia in early 1800s and poignantly educates the reader with the dreadful plight of slaves both black and white, and the class struggles of this era. Exceptional book to explore the terrible conditions for women in America and their problems as the property of their husbands and/or masters. Fantastic story about family and family loyalty. Excellent first novel...eager for Grissom's next book.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Insightful, Interesting
What Alice Forgot

We thought this book was \\\"light\\\" reading until we found ourselves in the midst of a wonderful, feisty, spirited discussion about marriage, relationships, family, and women. The plot was unique and had a surprise twist at the end. All our members enjoyed the book and most especially the vibrant discussion that it inspired.

 
Insightful, Adventurous, Interesting
The House of the Spirits

Possibly because it is a translation...the book is poorly written with page after page of without any paragraphs, and filled with run on sentences. Characters are more like caricatures, drawn in extremes with no attention to real human behavior. Overall book is page after page of anguish and human suffering; even the love relationships are difficult and distressing. I wanted to like this book, but could not. The only redeeming thing was that I was inspired to read about the coup in Chile in 1973, aided by the USA. Very intriguing chapter in history.
SHelley Portnoy (Happy Bookers)

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Slow
Under the Wide and Starry Sky

Excellent book...beautifully written story of the romance and marriage of Fanny to husband and author Robert Louis Stevenson. Horan has made the characters come alive, and she has created some very strong femaie characters that reflect the repression of women in the late 1800s. The book gives us insight into the minds and lives of the authors and artists of the day, as they gathered in their salons and traveled to exotic locales. Fanny and RLS overcome the stigma of marriage between a younger man and older woman...their relationship is real, gritty, and loving...an unconventional and exciting partnership. Everyone in our book club loved this one!

Flight Behavior: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
FLight Behavior

Our book club loved this book! Loved the elegant writing, the captivating story and characters, and an education into climate change and its impact on a small community in rural Appalachia. HIghly recommend this...another Kingsolver winner!

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Inspiring

The Aviator's Wife: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
The Aviator's Wife

Our book club loved this book about the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. We were inspired by her growth as a woman, a mother and wife, as a career woman, and as a woman living independent from her hero husband. We were also fascinated by the development of their marriage...many of our women could relate to Anne's feelings and desires. Excellent historical novel!

The New Colossus by Marshall Goldberg
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Dramatic
If you only read one book...make it this one!

I loved The New Colossus! I am a voracious reader, and have high standards...this book met and exceeded my highest expectations! Its beautifully written, inspiring, with an incredible story of strong and engaging women...this book is unique and has a wonderful historical look at the early 20th century...and the emergence of Nelly Bly, first female journalist to break through the male dominated arena. Excellent!

Centennial: A Novel by James A. Michener
 
Book Club Recommended
Epic, Brilliant, Informative
Centennial- James Michener

Our book club loved this masterpiece by Michener! The history of the development of the \\\"wild West\\\" gives us this fantastic novel with many stories and characters that leap off the page! THis masterpiece is a must read...the stories of Colorado and the opening of the West is mesmerizing...and the stories are compelling, eye opening, and informative! Extraordinary book!

A Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Fun, Inspiring
Wendy Wax Writes The Best Female Relationships!

Our book club loved this insightful and entertaining book about four women and their dynamic, feisty, loving, and authentic relationships...as well as the men and children in their lives. A fantastic fun book about women written for women...another home run for Wendy Wax! Eager for her next book in the 10 Beach Road series!

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
Flight of the Sparrow

We loved this book unanimously! Based on a true story, a historical look at Mary, a Puritan wife living in the mid 1600s, captured by Native Americans. We loved learning about the Indian culture and the many fundamental differences between the cultures. Adventure, romance, historical issues, children, relationships...a bit of everything from this era. Excellent book for book clubs...lots of fascinating discussion topics.

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Dramatic
The Marriage of Opposites

We loved this book! It was “like reading art”... Hoffman's writing being so descriptive and so flowing…loved how she weaved together the fact with the fiction…there were so many themes including religion, social classes, family, romance, marriage, wealth, etc…we learned so much, including that the Danish in St. Thomas passed freedom of religion laws for Jews and others…we enjoyed the “magical realism”, a fiction genre in which magical elements blend to create a scope of reality...Hoffman writes so that one can visualize what she is describing...excellent!

Jane Eyre (Signet Classics) by Charlotte Bronte
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Inspiring, Beautiful
Jane Eyre, the First Feminist!

Our book club unanimously LOVED "Jane Eyre"! We loved the exquisate writing, the very developed characters, the many issues of social class, religious persecution, child abuse, romance, adventure, lunacy, etc...something for everyone! We especially were fascinated by Jane as the first Feminist...her strong determination, independence, and moral compass were as current today as in the 1800s. Brave Jane Eyre...and bravo Charlotte Bronte!

The Perfume Collector: A Novel by Kathleen Tessaro
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Insightful
The Perfume Collector

Our club unanimously loved this book...well written, fun and intriguing characters, strong women, and romance...all a backdrop to a story about women achieving independence and the freedom to choose...in Paris, with perfume as a main character.

Windfallen by Jojo Moyes
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Adventurous, Inspiring
Windfallen

Our book club really enjoyed this JoJo Moyes early novel. Jojo Moyes as always pulls the reader in with a beautiful and convoluted plot that keeps the pages turning without ever becoming dull. It is a portrait of the 1950s mentality; it’s traits and conventions and how it will affect the lives of our protagonists. This one is set in 1950s and 2000s, with Lottie as the main character who ties the stories together. This is a novel of relationships—family, friends, romantic—that plays out against the backdrop of a fabulous art deco house in a British seaside town. Perhaps one of the best ways to describe this book is sweeping. It captures one and carries one through turbulent, sometimes-broken lives from the 1950s to the 21st century.There is a fascinating array of characters presented--including some strong female characters-- and somehow the author makes the reader feel part of the story rather than an outsider looking in. Especially the more contemporary character Daisy; one felt sorry for her struggles as a single working mother.

The Bridal Chair: A Novel by Gloria Goldreich
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Epic
The Bridal Chair

The Bridal Chair was a wonderful inspiration for us to study the art and life of Marc Chagall...absolutely fascinating. We enjoyed the book, but wanted more of Marc. Also the first half was repetitious and slow...the character development picked up in the second half. The book stimulated our discussion as to whether Marc Chagall was a narcissist, and look at the many different media that he worked in...a creative genius.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Loved the new Lisa See book: Tea Girl!

Our entire book club loved this book! Lisa See's extraordinary research into the culture of the Chinese hill tribe, the Akha, made this story a page turner! Strong female characters, weave together a story filled with intrigue, surprising turns, abundance of spiritual rituals and inspiring characters, and an education into the maze that is the Chinese adoption process. And an incredible introduction into the mesmerizing world of tea...and how the tribe's survival depended on it. A fantastic read...one that's meant to be read twice!

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