The names of these characters alone would be enough to inspire a novel, but Forsyth goes deeper, exploring a range of themes that includes the impact of tyranny (shown on multiple levels – both domestic and historical), emotional strength and weakness as manifested in drug addiction and prejudice, and the enduring power of the human spirit and love even when under great duress. In short, The Wild Girl is a novel that speaks, like the fairy tales that are woven deftly throughout the narrative, to the very nature of human existence in all of its frailties and strengths.
American Sycamore is as intimate as a chat with a friend or a reminiscence on a summer evening in a big comfortable armchair on the front porch. While reading, you physically sense the smell of the river, and the insects. You feel the place. You want to hold this book, carry it around to accidentally open, and read new stories.
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.
The author’s touch is very unique in this book: as it was already said, every chapter is written from one or the other character’s point. Four Parts of the Universe have a lot in common with classic “stream of consciousness” books. You can actually judge the character by his thoughts, the way he sees the world and, as well, by his actions. The rest of this fictional world is described through four pairs of eyes.
Schnitzler’s prose in Anthea Bell’s luminous translation can best be described as spare and poetic. Every detail seems not only important but necessary. There is a precision of scene and expression. Not a single word is wasted.
Steampunk and fantastical elements are in evidence (chronometers, automata, dirigibles, et al.) but don’t intrude unduly. And there are wondrous, moving passages full of lyricism, elegy, wonder and suggestive speculation. Cherish them as you puzzle out Rupetta’s world and its underlying culture and history. This is a strangely enchanting, wholly convincing novel.
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.
As a reviewer, books show up in my letterbox and I know I must read them soon to turn them around in a reasonable time frame. Occasionally it’s a chore. Vengeance is Now arrived in my letter box on a Friday. I picked it up after work. On Saturday morning I opened it, intending to read the first chapter to see what I’d be in for. By Sunday morning I’d finished reading the whole book. It’s one of ‘those’ – those rare books that you can’t put down until you get all the way to the end.
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.