Monthly Archives: March 2008

The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)

The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)
Author: Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
Publisher: Enchanted Self Press
Rating: 
Reviewed by: Elaine Raterman

The Girl is in fifth grade, she’s in love with the new boy in school, she hates it when her parents fight, and she’s here to tell us The Truth

The Truth is 115 pages of observations told from the perspective of a young girl on the verge of adolescence.  She isn’t a girl growing up in the 21st century, she is a girl of a past generation, but she still talks about many things young girls today can relate to – boys, school, parents, siblings, friends, teachers, growing up. 

This is also a wonderful book for the parents of girls.  Sometimes it’s hard for adults to remember what childhood feels like, this book helps bring some of that back, and helps build understanding across the generations. 

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Filed under Self-Help, Teen Non-Fiction

Mistress of the Revolution

 Mistress of the Revolution
Author: Catherine Delors
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Rating: 
Reviewed by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Well-drawn characters, gripping storylines, and rich descriptions fill the pages of debut author Catherine Delors‘s Mistress of the Revolution.

Set during the years leading up to and through the French Revolution, this epic novel finds young noblewoman Gabrielle de Montserrat falling in love with commoner Pierre-Andre Coffinhal. Her brother forbids their union and forces her into a marriage to an aging and wealthy cousin who mistreats her.

After the sudden and unexpected death of her abusive husband, Gabrielle goes to Paris to make a life for her and her young daughter, Aimee. As the threat of revolution hangs overhead, Gabrielle becomes a kept woman and a lady in the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. When Gabrielle is faced with the guillotine, she reaches out to Pierre-Andre, who had fled to Paris to become a lawyer when he was denied her hand in marriage. The two lovers search for a way to hold onto each other, as violence swirls around them; pulling everyone and everything into its grasp.

Every so often I pick up a book whose hook has such dramatic impact that I must read it again. Such is the case with Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors. Many years in the future, the narrator, Gabrielle tells of the exhuming of the bodies of the late King and Queen of France, thereby setting the scene for all that will unfold in subsequent pages.

While a first person narrative often distances the reader from the story, Gabrielle never once distracted me from all that was happening in and around France in the late 1700’s. A tremendous amount goes on within the 450 pages of this fascinating and captivating novel. Fully explored were the relationships between Gabrielle and her family, Pierre-Andre, her lover Villers, Aimee, and the friendships she maintained and lost through the years. Rich and vivid details flowed throughout, drawing the reader deeper and deeper into a story that realistically portrayed the plight of the late 18th century woman and the tragic events that unfolded in France during the reign of King Louis XVI and beyond. 

My one and only disappointment is the cover. The artwork was taken from a famous painting titled, The Stolen Kiss, by Jean Honore Fragonard. The image was reversed so that the table and chair are on the left and the gentleman stealing the kiss on the right. I would much have preferred to have seen more of the image of the gentleman–which is hidden inside the book flap–than the furniture, but it is still a strikingly handsome cover.
 

Mistress of the Revolution is a story of impossible love pitted against the most tumultuous time period in France’s history. It is a novel that will reward the reader in every aspect and leave her desiring to read it again as soon as the last word is read. I eagerly look forward to the next book by talented newcomer Catherine Delors.

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Filed under Historical Fiction

Kiss Me, I’m Single: An Ode to the Solo Life

Kiss Me, I'm Single: An Ode to the Solo Life
Kiss Me I’m Single: An Ode to the Single Life
Author: Amanda Ford
Publisher: Conari Press
Rating: 
Reviewed by: Dorothy Thompson

I am so very, very impressed with this book, I can’t even find the words to describe the joy I’m having at received it to review.

Kiss Me, I’m Single: An Ode to the Solo Life by Amanda Ford is one of the best and most fun reads I have read in a long time.  

Amanda Ford’s wisdom on being single shines like a star in the dateless horizon for those women (and men!) who have tired of the dating rituals and want to finally say I’m happy with myself and there’s not a darn thing wrong with it.

  

As Amanda says in her book, “Love has nothing to do with another person; it is a condition of your own heart.”

  

Inside these wonderful pages of singledom wisdom comes refreshing antidotes that the author herself has gleamed from years of being single.  Who’s more perfect to write about being single than someone who has been there, done that?  Not only that, she’s an expert in her field and the proof is in the pages of this entertaining book.

  

But the main point Amanda is making with this book is that it’s okay to be single and once you fall in love with yourself, everyone else will fall in love with you, too!

Kiss Me, I’m Single: An Ode to the Solo Life by Amanda Ford should be on every singles’ bookshelf as a testament to being proud of who they are.

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Filed under Self-Help