Book Review: The Paris Library

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles on a wooden background.The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

 

This is a story told in dual timelines, primarily of Odile, a librarian at the American Library in Paris during WWII. This historical part of the book shines a light on the real life people who bravely kept the library open, circulated books, and resisted the Nazis during Paris’ occupation.

There is also a modern timeline set in Montana with Lily, a girl trying to find her place who turns to her neighbour, the now elderly Odile.

I loved this book. The writing was gorgeous and was a real treat for book lovers and history buffs. Charles brought a real compassion to the war and the occupation, showing how people coped, resisted how they could, and kept going and took care of each other in terrible circumstances.

The modern part of the book was an interesting counterpoint to the history – how people judge and try to fit in.

There was some great character development, especial with Odile and I loved the 2 views of her – as a young and an elderly woman. And the friendships she developed, both in Paris and in Montana, really enhanced the human aspect of the story.

 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

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Book Review: The Witch’s Heart

The Witch's HeartBook Review: The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

 

I was so excited to see this absolutely gorgeous book (props to whoever designed this cover) about Norse mythology and a witch. I love retellings and witches, so this was right up my ally.

After Angrboda angers Odin, she is left wounded and alone but makes a life for herself, deciding to stay out of sight and harm’s way. However, she falls in love with Loki and they have 3 children with fates that put them all in danger.

There is so much research obvious in this novel – and reconciling of the fluidness of myth. Angrboda is an interesting character, fiercely protective of her children, haunted by visions and glimmers of her past life, impatient with the world of the gods and their whims.

I enjoyed her friendships with the women who visit her, her independence, and her fierce loyalty, all of which make for some interesting ups and downs – joy and conflict.

The author writes beautifully and had me completely engaged, creating a wonderful picture of the world Angrboda lived. I didn’t even get confused with the world building, which can sometime be difficult in myth (and I appreciated the glossary at the end for more information). I happily and easily lost myself in this book.

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Book Review: A Solitude of Wolverines

A Solitude of WolverinesBook Review for A Solitude of Wolverines by Alice Henderson

 

This is the first book in an interesting new series featuring biologist Alex Carter. She’s a passionate environmentalist, tasked with studying wolverines in a remote area of Montana. But there’s something sinister going on, as evidenced by pictures of an injured man from her camera set to photograph the wolverines.

 

I really enjoyed the cross between environmental book and learning about wolverines – fascinating – and the thriller aspect to the book. The author has clearly done a lot of research and is passionate in her views. And the descriptions of nature are beautiful.

 

There is an almost larger than life thriller aspect revolving around who the injured man is and the clues leading to something sinister going on around the Montana nature preserve that Alex has to get to the bottom of. This also sets us up for an exciting second installment, which I’d gladly read, having enjoyed this one.

 

There was some pacing issues for me and some things just bothered me. Like why would a woman who is a researcher and being funded go out into the wilderness on her own without a satellite phone? But maybe that’s just me.

 

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the review copy.

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Book Review: The Echo Wife

The Echo WifeBook Review for The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

 

This evocative sci-fi thriller is set in the contemporary world, but one where cloning of people is starting to happen, and Evelyn is on the forefront of this research. Her husband, Nathan is unhappy in their marriage and clones her, creating Martine as his idea of an ideal wife. Now he is dead and the two women have to clean up the mess.

This is an interesting mix of thought experiment, an examination of women’s roles, pushing the bounds of technology and ethics, and what it means to be human.

Evelyn is cold, methodical, and diabolically brilliant. She’s hard to like, but she is fascinating. She feels she knows the lines of human and clone. She is willing to do the gruesome things to prefect her science. But when she meets Martine, the lines get blurred and it’s fascinating.

Martine, though she is Evelyn’s clone, is her polar opposite. She’s been designed to the be the perfect wife, attentive, nurturing, and self sacrificing. But she’s also a quick study.

These 2 women coming together to deal with Nathan’s death makes for an interesting ride. I love this kind of book that makes you think about everyday issues that we sometimes take for granted, like what makes a good wife, what limits should science have, and even what makes us human.

This is definitely a book I raced through, even though it’s not your typical thriller and is a little on the slower side. This is definitely a book I’d recommend for those who like speculative fiction.

 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

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