Jeanne S. (bookwormmama) - Reviews

1 to 20 of 30 - Page:
Abraham's Well
Abraham's Well
Author: Sharon Ewell Foster
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 6/7/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I just started this, but it is a fascinating read. Foster tells the story from the point of view of an elderly woman relating her history. The woman is a black slave raised with a wealthy Cherokee/white family in the Cherokee lands just before the time of their removal. We follow her tragic story. It is a fast and great read based on the author's personal history and her extensive research. I can't wait to finish it and hope the ending lives up to the beginning. Great book for a discussion group, as it touches on a lot of little know history of the American Natives.


Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
Author: Lorna Landvik
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 94
Review Date: 5/23/2010
Helpful Score: 1


a favorite of mine, full of humor, hardship, and adventure. The character development is good and well-thought out, though some might see a cliche. Not a typical chick-lit novel, but much more complex. I really enjoyed reading it (twice).


A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox, Bk 1)
A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox, Bk 1)
Author: Charles Finch
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 115
Review Date: 7/17/2010
Helpful Score: 7


i found the book entertaining, but didn't really stop to analyze the writing style, dialogue and other elements, as previous readers. I read more to entertain myself. I enjoyed the story, the historical references, and the setting. Very engaging, but not a fast-paced novel. I also enjoyed his second book, though it got a bit confusing at times. Give it a try, as it's better than a lot of the cozy mysteries, but may not be as good as the classic mysteries.


Bel Canto
Bel Canto
Author: Ann Patchett
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 872
Review Date: 4/16/2013
Helpful Score: 1


I like Patchett's style of writing and use of language. I have read other novels by her and her style is rich, languid, and haunting.

That aside, I decided that I really didn't care for the characters in this book, they did not interest me that much. However, the chapters I read were engaging. She sets up the novel in a slow, observant manner and I think it will turn into a good story, but is outside of my area of interest, this time.


The Bondwoman's Narrative
The Bondwoman's Narrative
Author: Hannah Crafts, Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 2/9/2009
Helpful Score: 3


I have read this twice now and I am still very compelled by the story presented. Crafts is an intuitive and bold writer. Some of the passages are over-dramatic, but not in a way to detract from the story. Considering this was written in 1857 or so, the novel is still easy to read. I enjoy her personal comments on topics such as slave marriage, celibacy, and others; many of them contrary to the public view. I just wish the last chapter was more in depth and didn't end. However, it was written in the present tense, contemporary with the author's own life.

If you like this, there is also a book of critical essays edited by Gates that discuss the many mysteries surrounding Hannah Crafts and her story. Noted scholars have been unable to determine the true identity of Hannah, but have all come to some common conclusions about her life.

This is also a great book for discussion. I proposed it for our book club and can't wait to find out what the other members think. Enjoy!


The Dress Lodger
The Dress Lodger
Author: Sheri Holman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 216
Review Date: 6/29/2012


This is an interesting book. I found it very gloomy and a pretty accurate picture of street life in the lower class of 1830 London. Debates the ethics of grave robbing and has some unique characters. If you are bothered by the harsher elements of life during this time, you may want to chose another book. If you're fascinated though, this is a good read. It's hard to remember just how different and difficult life was before the industrial age, but this book will remind you of how grateful we should be for our modern enviroment.


Driving with Dead People
Driving with Dead People
Author: Monica Holloway
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 84
Review Date: 9/3/2009
Helpful Score: 2


The book was pretty good, though I wish there had been more humor, as the back promotes it as a funny & tragic book. The author had a very harrowing childhood and I am left feeling sympathy for all she went through. I'd say there is more sarcasm, not a lot of humor. I just hope she found the process of writing cathartic and is now having a happier life.


The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons
Author: Mary Alice Monroe
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 59
Review Date: 4/12/2010
Helpful Score: 2


I really enjoyed this book, it captivated me from the beginning to the end. I wouldn't call it a great literary piece, but the story is good, characters are engaging, and there is enough tragedy to make it a good read. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the relationship of the four sisters. I have two sisters, so I can relate to a lot of the feelings between the women. A good read overall and I recommend it.


Garden Spells
Garden Spells
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 370
Review Date: 5/23/2010


my book club enjoyed this book immensely. A good, fast read, but very intriguing and passionate. The humor is great to balance the emotional ride the characters take throughout. The story isn't too heavy on the mystical, just enough to make it good.


The Gargoyle
The Gargoyle
Author: Andrew Davidson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 58
Review Date: 6/29/2012
Helpful Score: 2


I enjoyed this book, in the end. I found it difficult to start with because the first few chapters are pretty graphic and disturbing, but once I made it past those, the story is very engaging. Davidson is a passionate writer with unique characters. My book club read this and we all enjoyed the four lovers' tales. A good book for discussion because of the variety of themes presented. It's well-written and masterfully crafted. A suggestion is to be familiar with Dante's "Inferno", as Davidson alludes to the book often. I enjoyed it without being familiar, so it's not necessary. Enjoy!


The Heretic's Daughter
The Heretic's Daughter
Author: Kathleen Kent
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 156
Review Date: 5/29/2011
Helpful Score: 2


I enjoyed this novel and found it intriguing. If you're expecting a book about the trials, I think this covers it, but not in the way you expect. The story leads you into all the affects of the trial, the misery, mistrust, and pain these trials created.

A good read, melodramatic in some ways, but truthful and descriptive. I think you will enjoy it if you like 18th century lit or reading historic fiction.


Hunting and Gathering
Hunting and Gathering
Author: Anna Gavalda, Alison Anderson (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 5/28/2012


I really liked this book, though it was hard to get into at first. The style of writing is a little different, as not everything is explained in detail. However, the characters are intriguing, passionate, and all have their own stories, which they reveal in time. Gavalda is French and I love the way she uses language. A good story for a book club or summer read. Definitely will read more of her novels.

One of the main understandings you get from this book, is the sense of family that develops between the characters. I'm a believer that family is what you make, not what is given to you, and Gavalda illustrates this with her novel. Bon Appetit!


The Ice Queen
The Ice Queen
Author: Alice Hoffman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 262
Review Date: 2/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


The main character travels very complex emotional journey which begins with the death of her mother at age 8. It all begins to change with a lightening strike.
I found the book interesting, though it was bit slow to read, due to the emotional angst the main character experiences. Its very well-written and I think you will enjoy it. The ending is unusual and the writer uses some mystical elements in the story. Overall, an interesting read.


If You're Reading This, It's Too Late (Secret, Bk 2)
If You're Reading This, It's Too Late (Secret, Bk 2)
Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 4/26/2010


2nd in the great series by Bosch. Try all of them, they are good read for parents and kids alike. My son loves the series as it appeals to his sarcastic and quirky sense of humor. Really great for the 9-12 year olds who may not be ready for teen literature, but want a fun and challenging read. Enjoy!


Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (Jane Austen, Bk 1)
Review Date: 4/16/2013


I found this book boring and not very well-written. The author tries to imitate Austen's style, but it lacks finness and charm. I just couldn't get into it. The plot was complicated, too. I hope someone else has better luck with the series. If you're a fan of Austen-esque books, then you might enjoy it. Give it a try!


The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 5707
Review Date: 3/9/2009
Helpful Score: 3


I loved this novel. It was also suggested by my book club, and I am so very glad it was. The novel is moving, sad, honest, and a fascinating portrayal of the life of young boys. Hosseini's use of language is wonderful. Keep the tissues handy, as some of the scenes are difficult and heart-breaking. There is some joy in the novel, though, it's not just a sad story.


The Mammy (Agnes Browne, Bk 1)
The Mammy (Agnes Browne, Bk 1)
Author: Brendan O'Carroll
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 114
Review Date: 3/22/2010


Great read, short, sassy and pretty funny. Some tragedy mixed in, but just enough to make it interesting. Brush up on your Irish slang, as some of the terms are a bit confusing. My book club read and really enjoyed it.


A Mercy
A Mercy
Author: Toni Morrison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 5/29/2011


This book is a bit confusing, but if you stick with it, it will all make sense. It's an interesting read, for sure. It's short, but a good look at early slavery and the life of a young girl caught up in a world she has no control over. Morrison uses several characters to tell the story, in their own way and time. The prose is beautiful, haunting, and painful.


The Name of this Book is Secret
The Name of this Book is Secret
Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 4/26/2010


my 9-year-old son loves this book and I do, too. It's full of wit, secrecy, adventure, and two characters who just aren't sure what they are doing, but give it a try anyway. I'm surprised the series isn't more popular, but give it a try and I think you'll enjoy it. Great for those 9-12 year olds. The author really hooks the kids when he starts the book with "I can't tell you the real name of the characters" and words like this.


Objects of Desire: The Lives of Antiques and Those Who Pursue Them
Review Date: 5/23/2010


found this book fascinating, though it's pretty obscure. Great if you love antiques and mysteries. Short, but enjoyable.


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