by Penny: I don't write a lot of reviews but this book is one I just can't stop thinking about. I listen to a lot of audiobooks because of my long commute and I had a hard time turning it off every day, and when the end was near I didn't want it to be over. Ms. Setterfield's writing is beautiful and the characters are well thought out and detailed. The ending was very satisfying and all the questions were wrapped up nicely. I highly recommend.
by Joe D.: The story of a young woman who runs away with the circus sounds a bit trite, but Fontaine tells the story of a year in her own life, and it is captivating. She joins The World of Wonders, America's last traveling side show. Fontaine weaves stories of her ailing mother and stories from her childhood into the story of her time with the sideshow. One of the quotes on the back cover says: "I have never read a book more tender or more true." This quote would never have prompted me to read the book, but having read the book, I can attest that it is apt. For readers who dislike memoirs, as I do, I urge you to make an exception. An unusual, highly readable book.
by Florrie Cooper (Midwest USA): The lives of three generations of Miltons spanning most of the 20th century on the Eastern Seaboard sometimes appalls, always intrigues, and never bores. Grappling with personal tragedies and triumphs set within the context of a cosmic shift in American societal attitudes, some of the Miltons do their best to embrace change, while others cling to a way of life embodied by their family island retreat that remains a constant though the decades.
The author, Sarah Blake, is a stunning writer and an extraordinary storyteller. Highly recommended for individual fans of family sagas and book clubs.
by Dhruv Kandhari (India): The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz is a novel published in the year 2007 to unprecedented acclaim, and the novel turned to be a huge critical and popular success winning The National Book Critics Award and The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Junot Diaz published his debut, which was called Drown, a collection of short stories that also received high acclaim from multiple critics including Hermoine Lee, the great literary biographer of Penelope Fitzgerald; yet it was not until this first novel, this masterpiece of diasporic fiction that he shot his way up to the stars.
by anne: This is not my usual choice, I happened across it at a duty free shop at an airport many years ago. I opened it and read the prologue and bawled my eyes out. I felt that I had found someone that been lost and without a voice for many, many lifetimes. It still moves me deeply, not being a religious person I do not know the Bible well and this for me was not about religion but a story of a woman lost to history with a story of her own to tell. Maybe it resonates how I have felt at times but more likely it reflects the experience of many women - lost to the bigger voices of men. I have not seen the film so don't know how it differs, my copy came into my hands a long time before that.
by Sandi W. (Illinis): There are not many books that get a 5 star rating from me. However this book rose right to the top. I had to often remind myself that this book is fiction. In story and character it ranked right up there with the true crime books that I often read.
Lee Isaacs is a defense attorney. She takes on the case of one young man who is accused of helping skinheads kill a gay man. Her client, Jeremy refuses to talk to her, but he has confessed to the crime. Lee must use all her experience and vices to fester out what really happened, who is really to blame, and why her client refuses to help defend himself.
This is my first read by Winer, who is a retired criminal attorney herself. Writing to her own experience is indeed much to the readers delight. This novel was tight, succinct, and a definite page turner. There was belief in the characters, a couple of laugh out loud moments, and building suspense as the book developed. It is well worth the time to read.
by Salama: One of the best books I've read in a while. The song of Achilles pulls you in and you kinda just keep flipping the pages, that before you know it, you're at the end and feeling so sad because you wanted it to go on forever. Madeline miller is truly an amazing author
by Cathy: The book thief is a poignant and powerful tale a young girl named Liesel growing up in Nazi Germany. This is the kind of book which demands quite a few re-readings and I have discovered a number of microscopic details after each read. Highly recommendable for literature and history buffs alike, this is a timeless tale which is masterfully told. This masterfully crafted novel is sure to make the readers come back for more.
by Jennifer Shaw (Irving, TX): Gorgeous, descriptive writing. The characters are multi dimensional. I loved how the author mixed characters that were dealing with modern day problems while dealing with old superstitions and folklore, characters from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and the restrictions of the time from different gender perspectives. There are book to read for pleasure and books to read for discussion. This is one of those rare books that works for both.
by Jacob Allen (Australia): Molly Booth has written an excellent debut novel. Saving Hamlet is a timeless classic that alternates between themes of romance, theatre and time travel effortlessly. After reading the first page I immediately thought 'This is a GOOD book' something I don't usually think, particularly about books by little known authors. Saving Hamlet however, is clearly an exception. I would highly recommend you read this, and that you read it now.