Posts tagged with the keyword: ‘book reviews by petrea burchard’

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The Diary of a Young Girl

The Diary of a Young Girl
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Some classic books are so famous that you think you know them even if you haven’t read them: Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird, Oliver Twist…. Some I’ve read and some I haven’t, though all are on my shelves. Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl was one of those […]

The Buddha in the Attic

The Buddha in the Attic

If I were to write a novel about the experience of a large group of people, I might choose to identify one or two characters and examine their lives in depth. I think most authors would go this way. But in her novel, The Buddha in the Attic, Pen/Faulkner Award winner and National Book Award […]

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

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 […]

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 Grand Duchess of Nowhere

The Grand Duchess of Nowhere

When a novel opens with a two-page diagram showing generations of the Romanov family tree, I admit to being daunted. Yet The Grand Duchess of Nowhere by Laurie Graham is not daunting at all. Told in the chatty, first-person voice of the Grand Duchess Victoria (Melita) Feodorovna, it’s brisk and lively. I quickly came to […]

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

Early in Andrew Sean Greer’s The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, Greta walks with her beloved twin brother, Felix, near their childhood home, a brownstone in Patchin Place, Manhattan. It’s their 31st birthday and they’ve just left the party, happy in each other’s company. When a neighbor is outwardly unkind to them Felix asks her, […]

Out Stealing Horses

Out Stealing Horses

Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses shimmers with blue: the bright blue of a Norwegian summer sky, the dark blue of a moonless night, the blue-black of a flowing river, even the faded blue flowers on the cloth of a woman’s dress. From his perspectives as a 67-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy, Trond Sander tells […]

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Madame Michel, the concierge at an exclusive hotel particuliere in Paris, believes the rich people she serves think her ugly and dull. She’s wrong. They don’t notice her at all. Madame Michel, in Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, does her best to keep it that way by playing the stereotypical concierge. She wears […]

Without a Net

Without a Net

Esther Bradley-DeTally has had adventures most of us will never undertake, nor would we want to. On a whim and a (literal) prayer, Esther and her husband Bill lived in Russia in the early 1990’s, for several months at a time, as missionaries of the Baha’i Faith. Bradley-DeTally’s Without a Net isn’t about the Faith, however. […]

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