The forty year relationship between Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) and Edgar Degas, (1834-1917) is the subject of Robin Oliveira’s latest novel. Both artists were associated with the Impressionist group, which went outside the Paris art establishment, L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, with its annual juried “Salon” show, to win acceptance for their non-traditional paintings.
Caucus-Meteor comes across as a deeply human and interesting person who will win your respect and compassion. His tribe made Nathan and two other captives run the gauntlet. An old acquaintance and rival of Caucus-Meteor, Bleached Bones, a gambling man, places bets on Nathan bring deliberately harmed. Caucus-Meteor accepts the bet. Working behind the scenes, Caucus-Meteor tries to make the gauntlet easier for Nathan. He succeeds, and Nathan’s bravery as he ran the gauntlet wins the Indian’s admiration. They adopt him.
It would be a shame if readers overlook this vivid, sensuous novel because of the plain cover and cryptic title. Written in the third person, it reveals the heart and mind of a girl in her late teens who blossoms in the art world. Irish-born, London-based Cherry Smyth, the author, is uniquely qualified to write such a novel, being an art critic, curator, poet and creative writing professor.
In Falling Snow is a great book with a little bit of everything—history, family drama, romance, lighter moments with Iris and Violet, and even a little bit of mystery. MacColl notes that the telling of the story itself and capturing the spirit of Royaumont and the women who ran in was more important than scrutinizing every historical fact and figure, and I feel she pulled this off very well.
Bristol House is as unique a literary mystery as one is ever likely to read. Swerling makes some interesting choices with her narrative. At first impression, Annie Kendall strikes the reader as a brilliant, competent researcher whose personal transgressions have cost her, deeply, on a professional level. There are moments in the story where her carefully reconstructed self—the self rebuilt from countless AA meetings and confronting her deepest fears and strongest weaknesses—nearly shatter and the former, scarred Annie threaten to reemerge.
The reader will see first hand what comprises the life of a writer. It is a lonely endeavour, one that can very quickly be speckled with controversy. The reader will almost be able to picture Dana sitting all alone in his hotel room, eating, and writing stories that will help readers realize how hard the lives of Native Americans really is.
This is not the type of novel you can expect to race through or finish in a weekend. Ausubel’s lyrical, beautiful language and disturbingly compelling imagery seize the reader almost immediately. Even if the reader wants to turn away at some of the more graphic scenes, they don’t turn away for long, as Ausubel manages to capture the best parts of the human spirit while not shying away from describing the atrocities of war.
She was always a writer first and foremost. She kept a diary from a very early age. One of Pearl’s favourite pastimes was to sit down and write about her experiences and feelings. Some of her journal entries are contained in the book.
The knowledge that this author has firsthand experience of wartime journalism comes as no surprise when reading this engrossing book. With her thorough research and attention to historical detail, I felt as if I was taking a peep into hitherto hidden war files, rather than reading a work of fiction.
Though the ultimate purpose of the book does appear to be didactic – global warming and impending environmental catastrophe are generally accepted within the mainstream scientific community as proven fact – and the parallels between Dr Lipkin and the author’s own studies are probably the subject of at least a few fascinating interviews, the story reads well as fiction, creating each world entirely so that the reader becomes engrossed in the historical time and place along with the protagonist.