Review: Black Death at the Golden Gate; The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plauge by David K. Randall

Review by Amy H.

Overall this book was rated a 7/10

A detailed account of the bubonic plague outbreak in California during the early 1900’s. Includes a history of the public health of the United States, political cover ups and early bacteriology.

Review: Very well written with very detailed explanations of the plague and the country’s response. Written for the general reader to understand. Sometimes reads like a good mystery rather than a non fiction book. As I read the book it was interesting to note that the United States response to unfavorable circumstances has remained almost unchanged. The political world sought to cover up the possibility of the plague spreading throughout California just as it directs attention away from certain current day issues. Anyone interested in medical mysteries or a general US history interest will enjoy this read.

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Review: Lost Roses by Marth Hall Kelly

Review by Karen B.

Overall this book got an 8/10

Lost Roses is the Sequel to Lilac Girls

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly takes place in the years just before, during and after World War I. The book follows 3 women- Eliza, a New York heiress, Sofya a cousin of Tsar Nicholas II and Varinka a Russian peasant. Friends Eliza and Sofya are in St Petersburg just before the war breaks out. When Eliza leaves to return to New York Sofya and her family are unable to leave Russia and are forced to retreat to their country home outside St Petersburg. While there Sofya hires Varinka to work for the family and care for her young son, Max, a decision that has unforeseen consequences. Meanwhile, Eliza works in New York to assist Russian’s who have managed to escape the war torn country. When all contact with Sofya stops, Eliza is worried for her safety and works to uncover the mystery of what happened to Sofya and her family. Lost Roses travels from the court of Tsar Nicholas II to the wilderness of the Russian forests and from New York society to the streets of Paris. Eliza, Sofya and Varinka all deal with personal challenges, difficult decisions and heartbreak as they face the many casualties of war and find their lives intertwining in unexpected ways.

Lost Roses is the story of 3 young women during World War I. It is a prequel to Lilac Girls and is the story of Eliza Ferriday, the mother of Caroline, a character in Lilac Girls. The other 2 main characters are Sofya, a relative of the Tsar, and Varinka, a young Russian peasant girl. Lost Roses was slow to get started as each of the 3 characters’ stories are developed. However once the story starts to unfold it was a quick read. The book has a strong sense of place that contributes to each of the 3 main story lines. The setting includes the Russian royal court, Southampton and the streets of New York and Paris. This book would be perfect for fans of historical fiction and of course for the many readers who loved Lilac Girls.

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Review: Miracle Creek

Review by: Amy H.

This book launches April 16th! Please contact to preorder.

The book follows several families during a court trial. The story centers around the murder and arson trial. The mother of one of the patients undergoing treatments in a hyperbaric chamber is accused of setting fire to the chamber and the explosion kills her son and others. As the trial unfolds questions emerge about what exactly happened and is the right person on trial. Secrets are uncovered, dreams shattered and an entire community begins to question everything.

The information about the hyperbaric chamber to treat children and others with mental and physical disorders is interesting. Finding a book with a new idea to center a mystery and conflict around is tough. The author achieved it in this book. I didn’t know what was going to happen in the end although I wasn’t exactly surprised. The author did a great job exploring the honest and not always pleasant thoughts of her characters. Fans of Jodi Picoult and Chris Bohjalin will really enjoy this novel.

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Review: The Whispers

Reviewed by Austin K. Age 10

The Whispers is a book about Riley. Riley’s mom disappeared and Riley had to face the emotional problems about losing her. Needing to get her back, Riley set off to find the whispers, the magical creatures that Riley was told about. Will he find his mom? Read to find out.

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Review: The Age of Light

By Miranda K.

This book was released TODAY February 5, 2019. I have 2 copies in the store if you’re interested in reading for yourself.

            Whitney Scharer’s first novel “The Age of Light” follows the life of Lee Miller and her passion for photography and independence.  After being the one in front of the camera since she was a little girl, Lee decided she needed a change in her life.  That change would take her on a journey I don’t believe she expected but one that put her on the map as a woman in history who pushed against the beliefs of the time period.

            In the late 1920s, Lee decides to take control of her life, move to Paris and challenge herself behind the camera lense. Moving to Paris she met a much older man, Man Ray, with whom she begins to have a professional and romantic relationship with. He initially teaches her about photography but as she begins to thrive and surpass him in the photography world he becomes possessive of her and her work. Over the years her interest in her relationship declines and eventually she breaks away. She wanted to challenge herself in her art and in doing so became most known for her photography during World War II.  Her journey shows the struggles and success’ of a woman trying to succeed on her own in a time period when the norm was being known as a housewife.

            Scharer’s writing is absolutely brilliant in her debut.  Jumping between historical events in time, including easier times in Paris to World War II, it helps create a very detailed picture of how historical events affected Lee’s life. Scharer makes you want to continue reading until the very end. I absolutely enjoyed this book and would recommend it not just to historical fiction fans but to anyone looking for a great read!

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Review: Stay Up with Hugo Best By Erin Somers

Review by Lee. E

Stay up with Hugo Best, by Erin Somers, is a tale of a young wanna-be comedienne (June) who gets tangled up with her former boss and TV-icon, Hugo Best.  He spies her doing stand-up in a dank club after his retirement party, invites her to his house in Connecticut, and she agrees to go.  They spend the long Memorial Day Weekend together in his glass house that overlooks acres upon acres and hangar full of cars, with his teenage son, and their housekeeper, Ana. After a fateful night on his boat, June learns that she’s no different than any other woman who has ever been in Hugo’s life…other than his mother.

          This novel left something to be desired…like a moving plot.  The tale was so stagnant that it gave me a headache each time I tried to get into it.  The reader is bombarded with so much minute detail about every scene that the natural dialogue and minimal forward motion of the story get lost.  Connecting with a character never happened, so I found myself not really caring what happened between June and Hugo.  Not being able to get into the book, I skipped to the end and was not at all surprised by it.  Typical “crush on your boss, he uses you, you get tossed aside” novel with no heartstrings attached…for the reader or for Hugo. 

Have you read this title? What did you think? Leave your comment below. If this is something you’d like to read let me know and I can order it for you or you can check out the links in the shop tab for audio/e-book versions.

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Review: To Keep The Sun Alive

ARC reviewed by Miranda K.

            Caprichos Books gave me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of “To Keep the Sun Alive,” By Rabeah Ghaffari.  This book takes place on the eve of the Iranian Revolution and is based around a large family who are evaluating their place within the ever changing society in which they live. When Shazdehpoor, the family patriarch, reminisces about a time 30 years prior each of these character’s differences plays out.

            Out of this large family there are two brothers, Madjid and Jamsheed, who are the son’s of Shazdehpoor and reject everything that he believes in. These two brothers grew up having strong opinions for themselves which lead them to good and bad choices.  Madjid is a beginning university student who is looking to use his education to help his country in the future. Jamsheed is the brother who is absent from the family most of the time due to his opium addiction. When a fight breaks out in the street between two men, one of them ends up dead. These two brothers end up coming together by taking the side of the man who killed his foe. The fight within the town streets creates a rift within the community. This sets off the political groups and they are torn between which side to choose. Throughout all of this, there is a beautiful love story happening between Nasreen and Madjid.

Nasreen and Madjid’s love story plays out over time. From the first time they saw each other, to their secret love meetings, it shows just how intense their love is for each other. This love affair is rejected by Shazdehpoor and is one of the many things that pairs the family against each other. All this is going on as the revolution begins, which brings a divided family tragic results.

            In Ghaffari’s debut novel, it shows the choices of people of power and how these decisions shape one’s character and the effects it has on those around them. I really enjoyed this book but for me it took a little while to get thru with its heavy storyline and making sure I was following each characters story. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction or just wants to try a new genre!

In Stock now at Caprichos Books

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