This month’s installment of speed reviewing is a little shorter than last months — I guess that means there are fewer books that disappointed me! If you missed last month’s post check it out here.
Amanda Rosenbloom, a vintage clothier living in present-day New York is confronted with the past when she discovers a journal hidden in a mink muff. As Olive’s story unfolds, Amanda realizes that the past is closer than she thought. I particularly liked the main characters’ voices in this novel. Both Amanda and Olive seemed to have a distinct way of seeing the world and the author was able to show this. This novel falls somewhere between I’ll Be Seeing You and Gilt on the historical fiction cheese factor so if you prefer your historical fiction with a side of soap opera, this is your book.
Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak.
That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview.
Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married—an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations.
Taken from the GoodReads summary
Historical fiction with unlikeable characters — say it isn’t so! I wanted to like this novel so much but it was so difficult to care where the characters were going since none of them underwent any developments. From start to finish Budgie is awful, Nick is vindictive, and Lily is annoyingly passive.
Part memoir and part self-help book The Tao of Martha is Jen Lancaster’s answer to Eat, Pray, Love and others of its ilk. Lancaster tries to spend a year living like Martha Stewart, complete with Easter egg hunts and handmade baskets. Along the way she picks up a few house-keeping tips and a whole lot of interesting stories.
As much as I love both Martha Stewart and Jen Lancaster, I couldn’t get into this book. Lancaster spends a great deal of time talking about her dog’s health which makes this already slow memoir float by at a glacial pace. What could have been an interesting look at a “real persons” attempt to do Martha falls short and becomes a discussion of mundane life.