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Search tags: Historical-Fiction
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review 2017-08-16 19:04
The September Society - Charles Finch

I enjoyed this book but it was pretty slow paced for my liking. There were a few details that I figured out and knew what would happen eventually. There was also a lot of political discussions and talk about the clubs that seemed like filler to make the book longer. I lost interest in those parts. Otherwise, it was a good story and even though I knew some things in advance I didn't mind and actually looked forward to the time when it would happen. I'm just giving it 3 stars because of the stuff that didn't seem relevant to the story and made the book drag.  I did not mind the parts where he wants to ask Lady Gray to marry him but doesn't for so long because he is insecure.  I know some guys who are the same way so it seemed realistic to me.

 

Charles Lenox, amateur detective. receives a visitor one morning.  Lady Annabell is worried about her son who is missing.  She has already lost her husband and couldn't bear losing her son as well.  She told Lenox her story and when she told Lenox there was a dead cat in the middle of his room, stabbed with a letter opener, he decided to go at once. There he found several other things that seemed odd and one was a card that says "The September Society."  Lenox was sure that Lady Annabelle's son George had left him clues.

 

Throughout this story, Lenox is caught up in his thoughts about Lady Gray.  He wants to ask her to marry him but he is insecure and worried about ruining their friendship. When he sees a man coming from her home he starts to worry that he is too late and she has already chosen another man.  There are several times in the story when he sees her and wants to talk to her and ask her to marry him but the time never seems right and there are other people pulling her away.  

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review 2017-08-14 05:07
Wow, I've Never Read Anything Like This
Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders

Most amazing narration with 166 different people, stars, musicians, family. Their unique voices and characters make this a most unusual and fascinating story. I admit to being a bit lost in the beginning till the time line clicked in my head and I understood the voices POV. The characters kept referring to the sick boxes, I was so confused till, I got it and then everything clicked. Looking at life from the other side, it made me think.
Fascinating ghost story, filled with dramatic historical events, people along with a great cast of fictional charters to spice it up. I loved each one, each from a different time, each brought something from that time to the story. Some crude, some fearful, some so intense, all entertaining. Even the dialog was tailored to fit the time of the characters. Each in denial, each has a summit to pass. Young Willie Abraham Lincoln's son was just a small drop in the pond, the wave changing each life, or after life. Amazing.
What a movie this book would make.

The 166-person full cast features award-winning actors and musicians, as well as a number of Saunders’ family, friends, and members of his publishing team, including, in order of their appearance: 
 
Nick Offerman as HANS VOLLMAN
David Sedaris as ROGER BEVINS III
Carrie Brownstein as ISABELLE PERKINS
George Saunders as THE REVEREND EVERLY THOMAS
Miranda July as MRS. ELIZABETH CRAWFORD
Lena Dunham as ELISE TRAYNOR
Ben Stiller as JACK MANDERS
Julianne Moore as JANE ELLIS
Susan Sarandon as MRS. ABIGAIL BLASS
Bradley Whitford as LT. CECIL STONE
Bill Hader as EDDIE BARON
Megan Mullally as BETSY BARON
Rainn Wilson as PERCIVAL “DASH” COLLIER
Jeff Tweedy as CAPTAIN WILLIAM PRINCE
Kat Dennings as MISS TAMARA DOOLITTLE
Jeffrey Tambor as PROFESSOR EDMUND BLOOMER
Mike O’Brien as LAWRENCE T. DECROIX
Keegan-Michael Key as ELSON FARWELL
Don Cheadle as THOMAS HAVENS
and
Patrick Wilson as STANLEY “PERFESSER” LIPPERT
with
Kirby Heyborne as WILLIE LINCOLN,
Mary Karr as MRS. ROSE MILLAND,
and Cassandra Campbell as Your Narrator

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review 2017-08-11 18:30
Concentration Camps of Canada
Concentration Camps of Canada: Based on a True Story - Baron Alexander Deschauer,Lucky Deschauer
Migizi is an Indigenous Canadian who is pulled away from his family and sent to a residential school with other Indians as the government attempt to strip away everything 'Indian' about him.  Migizi is now called David, he is not allowed to speak his own language, practice any customs or traditions or talk about his old life.  All of the children must work and if they fall ill, they are sequestered away until they die.  No doctors are called.  The children that survive are often abused by the Brothers and Sisters that run the school.  After school, Migizi is still required to get a permit whenever he would like to leave the reservation.  Migizi works for a living but soon falls into a cycle of alcohol abuse and spousal abuse.  Trying to set himself right, Migizi joins the army and returns a war hero.  Even with this status, in Canada, he is still considered an Indian and has limited rights.
 
This was a very eye-opening read.  I had no idea that indigenous Canadians were put through injustices for so long.  Through following Migizi from third grade through adulthood I had a good picture of the abuse of the Indigenous Canadians throughout time and how the government practices perpetuated the cycles of addiction and abuse.  I was appalled at the school that Migizi was sent to; how the Brothers and Sisters felt they could beat the Indian culture out of the students and that they received no medical care.  I was even more upset at the fact that this practice continued to happen as Migizi's grandchildren went through the schools.  Migizi's time in the Service seemed to be the only time that he was treated as an equal.  I was impressed with Migizi's skill and dedication to the army and how his missions helped to win WWII.  However, the racism that prevailed when he returned as a war hero quickly erased all of his accomplishments. Overall, this is an overwhelming story that increased my understanding of the struggles and injustices that the Native Canadians have faced and continue to face today.
 
 
 
 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
 
 
 
 

 

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review 2017-08-11 16:24
"The Weed That Strings The Hangman's Bag - Flavia de Luce #2" by Alan Bradley
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag - Alan Bradley

This is the second book about eleven year old Flavia De Luce, who was first introduced in "The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie", where she put her considerable talents to work in solving a murder her father had been accused of.

 

In this installment, Flavia becomes involved with a traveling puppeteer who has a show on the BBC, a shocking murder and ripples from the death of young boy, alone in the woods.

 

It's a decent mystery in its own right, steeped in the atmosphere of rural England after the Second World War, but what makes it exceptional is Flavia De Luce herself.

She is a wonderfully wrought character: dauntless, clever, manipulative, and eccentric in the great English aristo tradition. She is fascinated by and skilled in making poisons. She knows how to get people to tell things they would never otherwise reveal and she is relentless in her quest to find out who did what and why.

 

All this makes her rather intimidating. Flavia knows this of course. At one point, when she shows too much insight into the affairs of a young woman she is helping, the young woman points it out to her:

“You are terrifying,” Nialla said. “You really are. Do you know that?” We were sitting on a slab tomb in the churchyard as I waited for the sun to dry my feverish face. Nialla put away her lipstick and rummaged in her bag for a comb. “Yes,” I said, matter-of-factly. It was true—and there was no use denying it.'

During the denouement, Flavia reveals a crucial piece of information to the Detective Inspector debriefing her. When he turns to his team, demanding to know why they didn't know this,  the response is:

"With respect, sir." Sergeant Woolmer ventured, "it could be because we're not Miss De Luce

For all her ferocious intellect and startling precocity,  she is still an eleven year old girl. She is observant enough to uncover an affair but innocent enough not to be entirely sure exactly what is involved in such an undertaking.

 

She is also a lonely girl without enough love in her life. Her elder sisters treat her badly. Her father is distant, repressed and as obsessed with stamps as Falvia is with poisons. Her mother is dead and her only connection to her is to sit in the Rolls she owned or to ride the bike she used, which she has rechristened Gladys and sometimes treats as if it were sentient.

 

Flavia is not a girl who is trying to be older. Above all she seems to be trying just to be herself which she does with great self-assurance. When she turns up late (again) and her father describes her as "Utterly unreliable:" she thinks to herself

Of course I was! It was one of the things I loved most about myself. Eleven-year-olds are supposed to be unreliable.

 

Flavia knows that she is willing to overstep the bounds of politeness and perhaps even decency, to get the infomation she wants but she's reconciled to that aspect of herself. She says:

Sometimes I hated myself. But not for long.

This was a delightful read and a pleasing sequel. I will be back for more.

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review 2017-08-11 13:30
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzi Lee

It might be impossible for me to completely sum up why I love this book so much, but I will definitely try. I think this was one of my most anticipated releases this year and there was so much hype surrounding it. I'm so glad it lived up to the hype.


This book really shines with the characters. From the very beginning I fell in love with Monty, Percy, and Felicity, all for different reasons. Monty is hilarious and snarky in a way that makes me die laughing. His struggle with self worth and coming to realize he is worth something was done so well. Percy is sweet and I love how he deals with his illness. I feel like most books don't take the stance that Percy has with illnesses and I loved it because it just seemed so much more realistic. Felicity is the gem of this book, she's one of the only female characters and she's badass. I loved the group dynamic throughout the book because it was so realistic. I can't get enough of the three of them.


The romance made my heart melt. I love Monty and Percy's relationship as friends and I really enjoyed seeing it develop into more than that. Even though the book starts out with Monty's feelings already there, it doesn't feel like fake feelings or a forced romance. It's sweet, but they also have issues that they have to work through. There's tension, but it's not because of their sexuality, even though that would have been a problem during their time. 


The plot was very interesting to me and ties in really well with Percy's illness and Monty's desire to cure him, even though he doesn't necessarily want that. Their adventure was never boring because after one thing happened, something else was already lined up. It was a fast paced read, so the 500 pages didn't feel that long at all. I actually wanted more because I just loved the story so much. 


I can't say enough good things about this book. I'm so excited for the sequel that's supposed to be narrated by Felicity. I have a feeling that one is going to be even better.

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