Book review: “Winner’s Curse” by M. Rutkoski

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer September 26, 2016
Book review: "Winner's Curse" by M. Rutkoski

Kestrel is the piano-playing daughter of a general in this YA fantasy offering, book one of the three in the “Winner’s Trilogy”. Kestrel’s father, the Valorian General Trajan, is frustrated with his daughter who shows no inclination to join the army or marry. Still stinging from the early death of her mother and the slave […]

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Book review: “A Hundred Summers” by Beatriz Williams

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer September 19, 2016
Book review: "A Hundred Summers" by Beatriz Williams

In 1931 New England, lifelong friends Budgie Burn and Lily Dane drive up from college to see Budgie’s latest flame play football. It’s on the football field that Lily first sets eyes on QB Nick Greenwald. Despite Nick’s half-Jewish heritage and the societal challenges that entails, Lily and Nick embark on a great love affair which culminates […]

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Book review: “The Secret Keeper” by Kate Morton

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer September 12, 2016
Book review: "The Secret Keeper" by Kate Morton

It’s 2011 and actress Laurel Nicholson and her siblings are watching as their 90 year old mother falls into ill health. But Dorothy Nicholson does not spend her waning days peacefully, looking at photographs, crying over the past, and speaking wistfully of “second chances”. Laurel is anxious to get to the bottom of her mother’s ravings, particularly […]

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Book Review: “As Death Draws Near” by Anna Lee Huber

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer September 6, 2016
Book Review: "As Death Draws Near" by Anna Lee Huber

Kiera and Gage are newly married, but their relaxing honeymoon in the Lake District is rudely interrupted by Gage’s disapproving father. Lord Gage asks the newlyweds to journey to Ireland where a distant cousin of Lord Wellington’s, a novice at an abbey outside of Dublin, has recently been killed. With nothing to go on but […]

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Book review: “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer August 29, 2016
Book review: "Lab Girl" by Hope Jahren

Botanist Hope Jahren, of the University of Hawaii, wrote this book which is half ode to plants and half memoir. I picked up this book because, as a research scientist myself (pharmacology), I’ve always been fascinated by other female scientists’ life stories. How did they get here? Why? And what drives them forward? It’s no […]

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Book review: “Last Original Wife” by Dorothea B. Frank

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer August 22, 2016
Book review: "Last Original Wife" by Dorothea B. Frank

Dorothea Benton Frank explores those who stop – nearly 30 years after saying “I do” – to take stock of their lives and do not like what they see. Leslie and Wes have been married over 30 years, have two adult children, and now Wes’ best friends are leaving their first wives to go after […]

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Book review: “Committed: A Love Story” by Elizabeth Gilbert

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer August 15, 2016
Book review: "Committed: A Love Story" by Elizabeth Gilbert

Anyone who has been divorced understands the skepticism with which a person subsequently views the institution of marriage. It is this apprehension that “Eat, Pray, Love” author Gilbert embraces in her book “Committed”. Gilbert fans will remember “Felipe”, the Brazilian man Gilbert meets in EPL. They embark on a global love affair and make lasting […]

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Book review: “The Girl in the Glass Tower” by Elizabeth Fremantle

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer August 8, 2016
Book review: "The Girl in the Glass Tower" by Elizabeth Fremantle

As Elizabeth I enters old age with no acknowledged successor, “Bess of Hardwick”, the dowager Countess of Shrewsbury, angles to get her granddaughter, Arbella Stuart in line as the best candidate. Arbella (or Arabella, as there are various spellings of her name) is daughter of Beth’s daughter Elizabeth Cavendish and Charles Stuart, the younger brother of Lord Darnley […]

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Upcoming reviews to finish the summer

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer August 1, 2016
Upcoming reviews to finish the summer

Coming up on the blog: As we face the last complete month of summer, I wanted to mix it up a little bit with more of my usual historical fiction (because when is that not in season?) but also some more contemporary, beach-appropriate reads, such as Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Committed” and Dorothea Benton Frank’s “The Last […]

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Book review: “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer July 25, 2016
Book review: "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert

Author of “Eat, Pray, Love” Elizabeth Gilbert tackles the creative life here in “Big Magic”. She busts through so many writer misconceptions such as you must be struggling to be an artist, you should be angry and frustrated when your muse doesn’t cooperate, and that you shouldn’t compromise your work in any way, shape or […]

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