Category Archives: 20th Century

review: Gone with the Windsors

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Gone with the Windsors by Laurie Graham Written by a Wallis Simpson friend in diary format, Gone with the Windsors is not unlike the popular British series Bridget Jones’ Diary, except Maybell is a bit more old-fashioned and reserved than Miss Jones. The socialite’s life includes planning parties, shopping for the perfect outfit and trying to meet the elite and… Read more »

author interview: Margaret Wurtele

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“A young Italian woman risks her life to defy the injustice surrounding her in Margaret Wurtele’s The Golden Hour, a touching novel of forbidden love in war-torn Italy… It is autumn 1943 when German forces invade the peaceful vineyards and olive groves of Giovanna Bellini’s village in Tuscany. At first, the seventeen-year-old finds herself fascinated by the dashing Nazi officers…. Read more »

review: The Hours Before

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The Hours Before By Robert Stephen Parry Set during the Belle Époque era, The Hours Before is the story of Deborah Peters, a once-celebrated clairvoyant turned dejected society matron, who is bent on revenge and readying herself for a final assignation with her adversary. Readers take a backward look at the events leading up to the protagonist’s current wretched state,… Read more »

book club guide: The Shadow Queen

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• Note: Book Club Guides contain spoilers! Do not proceed unless you’ve read the book. THE SHADOW QUEEN BY REBECCA DEAN Book Club Guide 1. Wallis is depicted as a perfectionist from a very early age. What other qualities shaped her into an intriguing woman? 2. Wallis’s ailment is ingeniously portrayed and supports the handful of historic comments from herself… Read more »

review: Page from a Tennessee Journal

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Page from a Tennessee Journal by Francine Thomas Howard Tennessee, 1913. Annalaura Wells is struggling to feed her four children after her husband takes their money and leaves without a word. Months pass as the family desperately tries to work their sharecropped tobacco farm. A bad harvest, combined with less hands to work the land bring trouble when the landowner,… Read more »

review: The Golden Hour

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The Golden Hour by Margaret Wurtele Giovanna Bellini is just seventeen years old when her hometown of Lucca, Italy is occupied by German soldiers, putting a halt to all diversions and semblances of a normal life for a young lady just out of school. To make good use of her time, and offer services to the war effort, Giovanna agrees… Read more »

review: Dark Mirror

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Dark Mirror by M. J. Putney Victoria ‘Tory’ Mansfield is a gentleman’s daughter in the year 1803. Through an act of bravery she exposes the fact that she has magical powers to the genteel society and finds herself shipped off to Lackland Abbey, where young ‘mages’ are sent to cure them of their unsavory nature. Though the common people of… Read more »

review: 1939: Into the Dark

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1939 Into the Dark by Paula Phelan I accepted this book for review with some trepidation, as I do with all books that aren’t in my particular favored eras (Medieval through Victorian), not because I doubt their worth; because I don’t have a lot of knowledge and experience to put into a review. I don’t know why I am so… Read more »

review: Roses

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Roses by Leila Meacham Spanning eight decades (1910’s-1980’s) and chronicling three affluent families in a fictional East Texas town, this is an immense and engrossing story that holds the reader’s attention from start to finish. The Tolivers farm cotton; The Warwicks process lumber; and the DuMonts bring the town of Howbutker fine retail goods. The families have a long history… Read more »

review: The Storycatcher

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The Storycatcher by Ann Hite Ann Hite, 2012 Georgia Author of the Year returns us to Black Mountain with her latest novel, The Storycatcher. Shelly Parker finds herself being stalked by the ghost of a woman who disappeared generations before and eventually learns that a storycatcher spirit is trying to unravel a series of events to right wrongs both current… Read more »

review: Madame Picasso

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Madame Picasso by Anne Girard At the close of the opulent Belle Époque era in Paris, Eva Gouel makes her debut as a seamstress/designer at the glamorous cabaret Moulin Rouge, where she first spots Pablo Picasso in the audience. Another meeting at an art exhibit furthers their acquaintance, and they begin a tête-à-tête that blossoms into a deep and inescapable… Read more »

review: The Shadow Queen

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The Shadow Queen by Rebecca Dean You are a woman of great destiny. The man who will love you will love you with every atom of his being. Kissed by the sun, he will be the ruler of kingdoms and you will be his shadow queen. The love you share will echo down the centuries. Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson is… Read more »