Nancy E's Book Reviews

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley

Historical fiction meets fantasy in this story of travel, adventure and friendship during the Victorian era. Merrick Tremayne, a botanist injured while smuggling opium for the East India Company, is sent by them to Peru to steal shoots from the “quinine tree” so that the Company will have its own supply. Merrick finds forests full […]


The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Based on the true stories of the brave and intrepid women spies of WWI, this novel flies with excitement, terror, dread. Told in two voices, that of the spy Eve Gardiner, code name Marguerite, as she is recruited and, in spite of enormous fear, acts with great ingenuity, and of Charlie St. Claire, an unmarried […]


Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century by Lorene Carey

Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century by Lorene Carey

Written in a conversational style, like listening to the friend who starts stories in the middle, this memoir is of the year Lorene and her family shared their home with her 100 year old grandmother, so they could help her as she came to the end of her life. The story wraps the reader in […]


The Altruists by Andrew Ridker

The Altruists by Andrew Ridker

Sardonically titled, the only true altruist dies in the beginning, setting her husband and two adult children spiraling downward. Each is in crisis, searching for how to live. All are blind to themselves but quick to point out hypocrisy and self-indulgence in others. It makes for challenging relationships. Written with mocking humor, we watch the […]


I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell

It is a mystery to me that the author, who is celebrating her survival into her 40’s despite bad decisions that could have led to her drowning twice, strangulation by a stranger, deathly childhood illness, car accidents, robbery with deadly weapons and more, has titled her book with a quote from Sylvia Plath, the poet […]


This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Rosie, a doctor and mother of four boys, does everything she can think of-scientifically and superstitiously- in order to ensure her fifth child is a girl. Of course, she and her husband instantly fall in love with their new baby boy, Claude. However, when Claude is three, he says he wants to wear dresses and […]


The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

Gentler than I expected, this is the story of a morally upright German woman whose husband was one of a band of conspirators who tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Hitler. She promised at the time to take care of the wives and children if their husbands did not survive the attempt. Marianne lives with her children […]


The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

I listened to this charming story of a young man, unexpectedly pushed into being Emperor of the Ethuveraz, learning to govern while earning his own and others’ respect. Maia, the son of the late Emperor, an imperious and cruel man who is killed in an airship crash, along with the three sons he acknowledges, had […]


Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman

Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman

Not all lead characters in Elinor Lipman novels are charming, some you want to strangle, but the way in the which they complicate their lives makes for a good time. Daphne, recently divorced, is floundering. She decides to clean out her apartment of that which does not give her joy, including the small town high […]


Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Free will and the freedom to use it are all that Sancia , twenty year old resourceful orphan, wants. Oh, and enough money to buy food for herself. This latest thieving job is way overpaid so she is sure to have enough food for a good long time.  It sounds like it will be easy. […]


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