MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Reviews by Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)

Power Reviewer  Power Reviewer

Note: This page displays reviews using the email address you currently use to login to BookBrowse. If you have changed your email address during the time you have been a member your older reviews will not show. If that is the case, please email us with any older email addresses you have used for BookBrowse, and we will do our best to link these older reviews to your current profile.
Order Reviews by:
And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis
by Stephanie Marie Thornton
America's Queen (12/25/2019)
Loved this book. Stephanie Marie Thornton is able to look into the souls of her characters to truly convey their hearts. We all know the story of Jacqueline Kennedy but this one brings her closer to us. Her strength and grace are incomparable. It helped a country and a world to get through horrible tragedies. But in this book we witness her vulnerability and devotion to her children throughout her struggles.
Lady Clementine
by Marie Benedict
Bravo to Clemmie!! (12/1/2019)
I knew very little about Clementine Churchill before reading this book. Now I just want to learn more. She was a formidable woman who truly was the strength behind one of the most powerful men in the world at the time. It hearkens back to the relationship between Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt. This book is well written, and I lost myself in its beautiful prose. Looking forward to reading more by Marie Benedict. She is a superb historical writer.
Never Have I Ever
by Joshilyn Jackson
Suspenseful read (4/20/2019)
Joshilyn Jackson's Never Have I Ever is a great read. The suspenseful story of what happens when a new neighbor presents herself and seems to know everyone's secrets. But Roux has some secrets of her own. I really enjoyed the way that each character's mysteries were revealed throughout the book and also the way that their lives intertwined. Amy Whey seems to be the pillar of the community but then we learn her story.
American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt
by Stephanie Marie Thornton
Loved it! (11/24/2018)
I loved this book! Reading the accounts of the historical Alice Roosevelt Longworth was truly a pleasure. Alice had a complicated relationship with her father Theodore which is reminiscent of many of us. Scandals abound in a time where these things were kept under wraps. This colorful character was a true patriot although I was disappointed to learn that she was not sold on women's suffrage. It was also interesting to hear about the falling out with the other Roosevelts, Franklin and Eleanor. Ms. Thornton's writing was a delight.
The Kennedy Debutante
by Kerri Maher
Actually a 3.5 (7/3/2018)
While I enjoyed reading the story of Kick Kennedy and her whirlwind times and romance, I wish the author would have given us a little more depth and history. I have read a lot of Kennedy history but had not really seen much about Kick. It was good to hear her story.
by Christina Dalcher
Vox - WOW! (6/3/2018)
With shades of Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's tale lingering around the verbiage, Vox is an easier read than Atwood's tome. But many of the same themes are threaded throughout this book. With our current administration and Congress attempting to take away women's rights on a regular basis, this story is almost too close to being truth and it is frightening. All females are limited to 100 words a day and if they surpass this restriction they are jolted with an electronic charge. Even little babies are given these horrible torture bracelets. As we see Jean face these difficult constraints while trying to raise her family with her husband Patrick, it is hard to imagine how I would deal with a similar situation. Very pertinent to our country. May we all work to defeat such horrific injustices.
Only Child
by Rhiannon Navin
Only Child (1/24/2018)
Only Child is the story of an all-too-common event - a school shooting - as told from the perspective of a six-year-old student. Zach brings us through the moment that the shooter enters the school on through the mixture of emotions that a young child goes through when suffering such a tragedy. He tells us his struggles as well as those of the adults around him. His perceptions are keen, difficult but necessary to read. It makes me more aware that I need to be more cautious with my words around the very young. Gun violence has become the norm in our society. Reading this makes me more determined to continue working to stop the gun culture we have here in the US.
Other People's Houses
by Abbi Waxman
Other People's Houses (12/21/2017)
I loved this book. Right book at the right time. One couple's marital issues affect the whole neighborhood in one way or another. This is a story of friendship, marriage, and community. The writing reminded me of Liane Moriarty. We all know people who resemble the characters in this book. I will definitely be looking into other books by Abbi Waxman.
Next Year in Havana
by Chanel Cleeton
Next Year in Havana (10/29/2017)
Absolutely loved this book. Chanel Cleeton helps us experience the rich heritage of Elisa Perez and her family. Elisa's granddaughter, Marisol Ferrera, discovers family secrets on her trip to Cuba to scatter her grandmother's ashes. Her journey is 'always a double edged sword, Keeping her close to me, but it also makes me feel her presence more acutely.' As Marisol finds out more about her family's history, she also finds her family's homeland draws her in despite the dangerous regime that is still in place. The difficult past continues to affect those who were born in the country as well as their descendants. 'What does it say about a place that people will risk certain death to leave it?' Marisol posits. But Cubans 'exist in a constant state of hope.' Ms. Cleeton's language is full of grace and beauty. Although there are parallel love stories, this is definitely not a 'romance novel' and the cover is a bit deceiving. It is a great historical tome that gives us a glimpse into loyalty and betrayal both. Beautifully written.
Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
by Heather Harpham
Happiness (6/28/2017)
I fell in love with this family at the first page. Reading about the love story and struggles of Heather and Brian was enthralling. One line that truly caught me was "Memory is fluid and shape-shifts to our desires." How true.

A story of love, tragedy, loyalty...FAMILY. I enjoyed her prose and insight.
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
by Kathleen Rooney
Lillian (10/1/2016)
I love Lillian Boxfish. What a lovely story. At her advanced age, she has lived, loved and overcome so much. I enjoyed learning about her as the story was told. I want to be like her when I'm that age. Hope I can be.
North of Crazy: A Memoir
by Neltje
North of Crazy (7/9/2016)
I started out enjoying this book. A sad story that proves that money and status do not always equal happiness. The book just ended up very slow moving and I had a hard time finishing it. She led an interesting life that is for sure but the writing was a bit sluggish.
The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs
by Matthew Dicks
The Perfect Comeback (6/2/2015)
I loved this book. Read it in a day. How many of us have wounds that still surface on occasion from something that happened in childhood? I'd say the great majority of us. This book talks about just that. For all of you who were not a part of the "in crowd" growing up, you will enjoy reading the trials and tribulations of Caroline Jacobs. At times raucously funny and at others sensitively sad, this book brings you back to your school days. I found it interesting that Matthew Dicks was able to capture the female perspective so well. Great read for the summer.
Make Your Home Among Strangers
by Jennine Capó Crucet
Interesting read (5/18/2015)
A couple of things made Make Your Home Among Strangers an interesting read. First, it hearkens back to the time of Elian Gonzalez and all the drama that unfolded during that incident in our history. But also with the new relationship between the United States and Cuba, it is good to see how lives of Cuban immigrants are different and see how they are similar. The book was a little slow for me but it may have been due to a busy schedule. I'm glad that I read it as it gave me insight into a culture I know little about.
Her Name Is Rose
by Christine Breen
Rose (2/17/2015)
A sweet walk through the lives of the Bowen family. Iris Bowen loses her husband and his dying wish was that she find their adopted daughter Rose's birth mother. He wants to make sure that if something happens to both of them, Rose still has family to count on. Christine Breen's writing truly did remind me of Maeve Binchy's writing including the fact that it is set in Ireland. I enjoyed getting to know the Bowen's and sharing the struggle of trying to find her family. I had just seen the movie Philomena and so much of this also reminded me of that movie. Just a lovely story!
A Fireproof Home for the Bride
by Amy Scheibe
Fireproof Home for the Bride (12/31/2014)
This novel hearkens back to the innocent time of the early 1950's Midwest. Emmaline Nelson is coming of age during this time, not sure whether to follow the expected way that was being created for her or to break out on her own. The changing times of the civil rights movement are brought forward in this book and actually offer a chilling mirror image of what is happening in our country today.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
by Barbara Leaming
The Untold Story (12/2/2014)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It gave new perspective to someone that I have admired greatly over the years. I was just a babe in arms when President Kennedy was killed but I have always had a fascination with the Kennedy family.

The book focuses on the fact that Jackie Kennedy suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. While this was not diagnosed at the time nor was it classified as a specific illness, it makes perfect sense after what she went through. How many of us would have handled a loved one dying in our arms in such a violent manner with the amount of dignity that she displayed. Also interesting were the sections on how she was used as a political pawn by Lyndon Johnson, the Kennedy family and others. The fact that she was close to suicide on several occasions was also something that is not surprising however I had not heard this before.

It was startling to read of how the public "turned" on Jackie after her efforts to block the publishing of a book about the assassination and her subsequent marriage to Aristotle Onassis. This "second injury" had to have been so difficult for someone who had been much idolized.

The feeling that President Kennedy's murder had "set something loose" in the country that allowed the violence to continue in the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy rings true and I think we are still feeling it today.

The one disappointment I had was that Barbara Leaming did not delve much into Jackie's relationship with her children, Caroline and John. She was a fiercely protective mother and I think it would have been nice to have more information about their closeness.

Overall a very good read
by Harriet Lane
Her a bit disappointing (6/2/2014)
The strange story of Emma and Gina is entertaining but has some flaws. It's a subtle stalking story that you really can't quite figure out until the twist is revealed later in the book. As a short book, it is entertaining and the final dagger does catch you off guard. Some of it just didn't seem to work for me and was a little disappointing.
Mating for Life
by Marissa Stapley
Mating for Life (3/26/2014)
How can three sisters grow up to be so different? Or are they. Marissa Stapley's Mating for Life is an entertaining look at three women whose mother was a Joni Mitchell-esque singer who never really thought much about marriage. Until….in her later years she is contemplating this while her daughters are dealing with their own partnership issues. Fiona states toward the beginning of the novel, "how strange it was that there were truths that could exist in families that everyone ignored, even though they were devastating." Many of us can relate to that I'm sure. Each daughter's father was absent in some way either by death or non-interest. Do we need that man to guide us or do we just need each other? Interesting stuff. As Fiona discovers and states with a Cezanne quote, "We all live in a rainbow of chaos." And yes, I believe we all do!
The Deepest Secret
by Carla Buckley
Secrets (12/30/2013)
Does everyone have a secret? As we meet Eve Lattimore, her family and neighbors, this is definitely the case. The secrets may be small and insignificant in nature or they may be life changing and devastating but each member of the cast has them. Carla Buckley weaves this tale of mystery and family drama in such a way that I could not stop reading it. The turmoil that each of the characters experiences throughout this two week period in which the novel is set is heart wrenching. Also interesting is the tendency for people to turn against each other in times of stress as well as defend and protect those close to them. A very well written book that I would recommend to anyone.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossings
    by Alex Landragin
    Crossings is a beautiful, if slightly messy, time-bending debut. It reads like a vampire novel, sans...
  • Book Jacket: Pew
    by Catherine Lacey
    A quote often attributed to Leo Tolstoy states that "All great literature is one of two stories; a ...
  • Book Jacket: Waiting for an Echo
    Waiting for an Echo
    by Christine Montross
    Dr. Christine Montross had been a practicing psychiatrist for nearly a decade when she decided to ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Flight Portfolio
    by Julie Orringer
    At once a sweeping historical narrative, an insightful character study and a tender romance, Julie ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Woman Before Wallis
    by Bryn Turnbull

    The true story of the American divorcée who captured the Prince's heart before Wallis.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    With or Without You
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A moving novel about twists of fate, the shifting terrain of love, and coming into your own.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri

This moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel puts human faces on the Syrian war.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Every Bone a Prayer

Every Bone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms

A beautifully honest exploration of healing and of hope.



Solve this clue:

T Real M

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.