Book review: “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer April 25, 2016
Book review: "People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks

In this 2008 novel by Pulitzer-prize winning author Geraldine Brooks, we are invited to view a fictionalized history of the Sarajevo Haggadah. For those who don’t know, a Haggadah is a Jewish religious text used to oversee the Passover seder. Here, Ms. Brooks dreams up a fictionalized journey for one of the more famous editions. Australian antique […]

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Book review: “A Curious Beginning” by Deanna Raybourn

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer April 18, 2016
Book review: "A Curious Beginning" by Deanna Raybourn

In this first installment of the Veronica Speedwell mystery series, we meet Veronica, a foundling raised by two elderly aunts, the last of which has recently died, leaving her alone in the world. A passionate naturalist with an enthusiasm for butterflies, Veronica has traveled the globe in search of prized specimens and steamy romantic entanglements, according to her […]

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Book review: “How to be a Tudor” by Ruth Goodman

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer April 11, 2016
Book review: "How to be a Tudor" by Ruth Goodman

An insider’s look into the daily life of someone living in the Tudor period. This volume is a writer’s dream research volume come to life. Focusing not only on the wealthy (which is what most research texts do), this book goes into every day details of those from every corner of society, much of which corrects many […]

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Book review: “Little Century” by Anna Keesey

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer April 4, 2016
Book review: "Little Century" by Anna Keesey

Esther Chambers’ mother passes away and so she makes the journey from Chicago to the ranching lands of Century, Oregon. A distant cousin, Ferris Pickett, meets her and asks her to homestead a piece of land he hopes to one day add to his thriving cattle operation. Only 18, Esther doesn’t meet the qualifications for homesteading, […]

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Book review: “Vatican Princess” by C.W. Gortner

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer March 28, 2016
Book review: "Vatican Princess" by C.W. Gortner

When you’re a Borgia, nothing comes before la famiglia! Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of the man who became Pope Alexander VI, came from an infamous family and by all accounts, lived a turbulent life in a family that would do anything – including rape, incest, deceit, and murder – to get what they wanted. Lucrezia was one of […]

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Book review: “The Distant Hours” by Kate Morton

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer March 21, 2016
Book review: "The Distant Hours" by Kate Morton

A letter arrives on the doorstep of Edie’s mother, 50 years after it was sent. The letter deeply wounds her mother, Edie can tell, but her mother brushes it off and refuses to speak about it. Edie and her mother were never close, so she sets out to uncover the past her mother is so […]

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Book review: “Hanging Mary” by S. Higginbotham

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer March 14, 2016
Book review: "Hanging Mary" by S. Higginbotham

This review was originally published by the Historical Novel Society and can be found here. In this novel we meet Mary Surratt, the only woman convicted and executed in connection with the Lincoln assassination. The widow of a drunkard, Mary remakes her life as a boarding house owner in Washington, DC. With her eldest son, […]

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Book review: “Forgotten Room” by White, Williams, and Willig

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer March 7, 2016
Book review: "Forgotten Room" by White, Williams, and Willig

Authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig collaborate on this multi-generational collection of love stories. We meet three women: Olive (1893), Lucy (1920s), and Kate (1944) in their own time periods. Olive is a housemaid with an ulterior motive, serving the wealthy family she believes wronged her beloved architect father, leading to his suicide. Lucy is […]

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Book review: “America’s First Daughter” by Dray and Kamoie

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer February 29, 2016
Book review: "America's First Daughter" by Dray and Kamoie

This is an amazing look into the life of a strong woman behind a famous and influential man. This is the story of Martha Jefferson Randolph (Patsy), the longest surviving child of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, third president of the United States, philosopher, patriot, ambassador, and founder of the University of Virginia. […]

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Book review: “In the Heart of the Sea” by N. Philbrick

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer February 22, 2016
Book review: "In the Heart of the Sea" by N. Philbrick

A sea-going tragedy that was as well known in its day as the Titanic disaster is now, Mr. Philbrick provides an extremely thorough look into the loss of the whale ship Essex and all that her few survivors endured. The Essex, out of Nantucket Island, set out in 1819 on a routine 3-year expedition to hunt sperm […]

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