Nancy E's Book Reviews

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

As an adult, Nathaniel tries to recover his memories and what they meant from his childhood during WWII. First deserted by their father and then their mother, Nathaniel and his sister Rachel, are left in the house with a stranger who is to care for them. Bit by bit, the house fills with shady, unexpected […]


Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this charming story, though I’m sure this will be just as delightful on the page, electronic or otherwise. Noel, raised by his well-educated, practical and rebellious godmother in London, becomes, after her death, a war evacuee and is settled with an anxious, uneducated, unsuccessful petty crook. Vera is not very […]


House on Endless Waters by Emunah Elon

House on Endless Waters by Emunah Elon

Yoel Blum, a highly successful Israeli writer, is in Amsterdam for the first time since his mother fled with him and his sister during the Holocaust. Though he had promised his late mother never to return to Amsterdam, his publisher insists he be present for the launch of his newest novel. While there, Yoel wanders […]


Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

Suspenseful and with unexpected plot-twists, this novel kept me on edge. Frankie, her sister Toni and their brother Vito have been left at a Catholic orphanage in Chicago during the Depression. Their mother died and their father can’t afford to keep them. The ghost who watches Frankie has been dead since the Spanish Flu epidemic. […]


The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine

The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine

Language mavens, read and forwynsumian. Ah, the play of words, the joy of vocabulary! Not only are Laurel and Daphne red-headed identical twins, they are named for the same Greek myth. They love the power and mastery of grammar and each other. The twins are surrounded by family and friends who are amazingly tolerant of […]


The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

Nuri was a beekeeper with his cousin Mustafa in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo before the civil war broke out in 2011 and he lost all he loved. His cousin left first but Nuri and his wife Afra were reluctant to leave the place where their families had lived for generations. Finally, they decided […]


Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

This is a quick entertaining read with a well-tied up ending though, since it only takes place over nine months in 1940 England, the characters will go on to have other war adventures. Written as diary entries and letters, we enjoy many first person accounts of how the war affects a small community of (mostly) […]


Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl

Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl

If you loved Gourmet Magazine, if you used the recipes, this book is for you. I felt like I was meeting again with old friends whenever a familiar name like Kempy or Sertl or Grimes appeared. The stories of the excess of money thrown around during the early 2000’s (Ruth had a clothing allowance, driver, […]


The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

Like a kaleidoscope that is infinitely unfolding, this WW II tale of danger, daring and despair, brings into focus love and sacrifice in a cruel time. The plot revolves around several engaging characters, each one trying to do what is right in the face of great evil. Emotionally fraught, engaging and exciting, this is one […]


Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi

This story of three generations of an Omani family was the first Arabic book to win the International Man Booker. The women in the novel are trapped whether they are mistresses of households, enslaved, married, single. Their lives are circumscribed but so are the men’s. Tradition and superstition rule even as times change and the […]


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