Literary


I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle
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How do you put into words the anguish and ecstasy of first love? Dodie Smith managed that and much more in her 1948 novel, I Capture the Castle, a YA (young adult) novel of the first rate, written long before the term was coined. It’s 1930’s England. Teenaged Cassandra Mortmain lives with her impoverished though […]

Unprocessed

Unprocessed

“As a city-dwelling 26-year-old, Megan Kimble was busy and broke, without so much as a garden plot to her name. But she cared about food: where it came from, how it was made, and what it did to her body. So she set herself a challenge: she would go an entire year without eating processed […]

Amy’s Own – a Review

Amy’s Own – a Review

How does one find one’s center? Learn to love? Grow up? BE a good mother? BE a loving wife? How does one love a mother “on the warpath”? Amy’s Own is a wild and crazy road trip of a novel by Kat Ward. In the ins and outs, back and forth of Charlene and Amy’s […]

Some Luck

Some Luck

Some Luck by Jane Smiley is the first installment in a trilogy, the second of which, Early Warning, has just been released. In Some Luck, Smiley has chosen to have every chapter cover one year; the first year being 1920 and the last 1953; thirty-three years in 395 pages in which a couple marry, have […]

Classic Ray Bradbury

Classic Ray Bradbury

It’s too early to tell if the works of Ray Bradbury will last far into the future, but since his death in 2012 the idea has been tossed around, and not just by me. Certainly Bradbury was not considered a classic by the person who bought his home of 50 years and destroyed it last […]

Orphan Train

Orphan Train

Christina Baker Kline‘s novel Orphan Train was published in 2013. Still selling strong, it’s a favorite with book clubs and readers of historical fiction. When my book club decided to take it on, I was excited. Between 1854 and 1929, more than 200,00 East Coast orphans were sent to the Midwest by train to find […]

The Girl You Left Behind

The Girl You Left Behind

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes is a split story—past and present, mystery and love story—much in the way of A. S. Byatt’s Possession (1990), but without the nuance, depth, and brilliant ending. It’s October 1916, just prior to battles of Somme and Verdun. The novel opens in a small town in France, […]

Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

Sarah Margaret Fuller (Marquess Ossoli) was a woman with more drive, persistence—and nouns—associated with her name than most. Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was a scholar, intellectual, feminist, crusader, investigative journalist, critic, editor, columnist, foreign correspondent, conversationalist, and Transcendentalist.¹ She was friends with the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Nathaniel Hawthorne, […]

The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers

At the beginning of The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, we learn learn that moss is an emblem of maternal love, a bouquet of marigolds represents grief, and a bucket of thistle, misanthropy. This is amidst the protagonist Victoria Jones detailing her dreams of fire (which she’s had for eight years), only to wake […]

What Came Before

What Came Before

What Came Before by Gay Degani was written by a woman who, admittedly, got “lost in living.” Like so many people, and I suppose I mean particularly women, Degani felt writing took up too much of her time, time that “should” be spent—and would be better spent—raising a family, i.e. taking care of others and […]

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