Reviews by Carol T. (Ankeny, IA)

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A Bitter Feast: Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James
by Deborah Crombie
As always, a keeper! (11/12/2019)
I admit I'd read anything Deborah writes, but I'd read A Bitter Feast if someone else wrote it, too. An interesting departure from the London-based usual, and excellent character development.
Other People's Houses
by Abbi Waxman
Good afternoon's read (11/11/2019)
Not as spectacularly good as her first, but definitely worth reading. Waxman is a writer to watch.
The Grammarians
by Cathleen Schine
Words win (11/9/2019)
I wish I could give this separate stars for plot and the love of words. The plot was slow to stars. But for the words, I'd have stopped after a chapter or two, certainly before the middle. The words, though, pulled me through to the meat of the matter. Words 5, plot 3. Average: 4.
The Garden of Small Beginnings
by Abbi Waxman
Couldn't put it down (11/8/2019)
Absorbing. I couldn't put it down. Too bad Abbi can't write faster. I need more like this! :-)
The Gilded Hour
by Sara Donati
Pulled me in (11/2/2019)
Nice job, Sara Donati! You pulled me in and held me, even though I read Where the Light Enters first. As I go back and read your earlier works, I see you were excellent from the beginning. Highly recommended.
Where the Light Enters
by Sara Donati
Oh, my... (10/12/2019)
Not only an enthralling story, but exceedingly well written. The second in a short series that is, itself an extension of an earlier series, Where the Light Enters stands alone very well. I'm ashamed to say I've not read Sara Donati before and will be searching out her earlier books to see the development of this excellent author. Any chance she needs more early readers?
The Undying: Pain, vulnerability, mortality, medicine, art, time, dreams, data, exhaustion, cancer, and care
by Anne Boyer
She found the words I looked for (10/10/2019)
It's been so long since my own diagnosis and treatment that the trauma has (mostly) faded into the mists. Boyer's triple negative was far worse than my stage 1, but her descriptions were right on and her poet's brain said things my less poetic writing could not.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
by Abbi Waxman
Need an antidote for reality? (10/7/2019)
Exactly what I needed to combat reality!
The In-Betweens: The Spiritualists, Mediums, and Legends of Camp Etna
by Mira Ptacin
A little disappointing. (10/6/2019)
Mira Ptacin is a better writer than this subject turned out to be, unless you're really entranced with spiritualism. Apparently, I'm not.
The Ventriloquists
by E.R. Ramzipoor
Disappointing (9/21/2019)
I looked forward to this because the story behind it is so different from all the others out there right now; However, I couldn't get past the author seeming to be enamored of her own writing.
Today We Go Home: A Novel
by Kelli Estes
Oh, my (9/9/2019)
I read far too many books in search of one as satisfying as this one. I wish I'd written it; imagine the fun in the research.
The Secrets of Mary Bowser
by Lois Leveen
The Civil War as I'd never seen it (8/24/2019)
It's hard to believe The Secrets of Mary Bowser is Lois Leveen's debut novel. Or that it is a novel at all. Mary and all the other characters - and the period - are so real.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel
by Kim Michele Richardson
Very satisfying (8/17/2019)
This would have been 5 stars except the first quarter of the book seems way too constrained by the author's need to let us know she did the research necessary. Once she worked her way through her research and actually developed the characters, the story took off. Highly recommended.
Time After Time
by Lisa Grunwald
More than a romance (8/13/2019)
Nora and Joe's unusual romance in Grunwald's Time After Time is just the frame for the mesmerizing plot and the other two main characters: place and time. Too bad we "have" to give every book a label. The "romance" almost pushed me away. This book is so much more than a romance.
What Rose Forgot
by Nevada Barr
Unexpected (8/4/2019)
This really IS your mother's book. Give it to her! A real break from the standard mystery or thriller.
America for Beginners
by Leah Franqui
Warm, witty, wise (8/1/2019)
America for Beginners is warm, witty, and wise. Leah Franqui is an author to watch.
Women Rowing North: Navigating Life's Currents and Flourishing As We Age
by Mary Pipher
Uneven (7/14/2019)
Started out well, but about the middle the Pipher seemed to be struggling to find enough to write about.
The Stone Circle: Ruth Galloway Mysteries
by Elly Griffiths
Intriguing (7/13/2019)
One of the best in the series. I didn't see the answer coming.
A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II
by Sonia Purnell
Mesmerizing (7/11/2019)
Almost reads like a novel.
The Right Sort of Man
by Allison Montclair
The right sort of book (6/25/2019)
Everything the early reviews claimed. Question is, can Montclair write quickly? We need more!

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