January 2015! New Year New Books...

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
The story of a scarf, the women who wore it and the life it lived from September 1911 to September 2011. Solid historical fiction that brings to life Ellis Island in New York Harbor, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, the immigrant experience and life in the early 1900's. The corresponding contemporary story includes flash-backs of the collapse of the World Trade Towers. If you've ever wondered about the past life of objects we cherish and wonder what their story is, this one's for you. Recommended.

Maude by Donna Foley Mabry
In 1906, Maude was fourteen years old, and getting married. Her older sister, Helen, basically put the whole thing together to get Maude out of the house since she was pregnant again and needed the room. Despite the obvious, Maude and her new husband were very happy having known they would get married since the first tme they saw each other. Of course there's bound to be sadness and Maude's life unfortunatly has a few extra doses. Beautifully writen by Maude's, niece, Donna Foley Mabry. A wonderful, heart-breaking story about love and sacrifice.

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
Set in contemporary Oxford, England, we are introduced to Isabel McFarland, an elderly woman giving a rare interview about what it was like to live thorugh the blitz. As Hitler threatens to bomb London, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside -including fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her younger sister Julia. A story of many twists and turns; camoflaged in wedding dresses, we fianlly discover who Isabel McFarland really is.

Some Luck by Jane Smiley
Since I couldn't even get through the first few chapters, I should not comment on this book -- however the chapters I did read were like wading hip-deep through cement that is starting to set up. Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction - so what do I know?

December and No Time to Read!

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
A beautiful story about a woamn growing up in 1900 as told to her grandaughter. Addie is the daughter of Russian immigrants, the only one born in the New World and as it happens, "a real American." The story includes her sister Betty who becomes a saleswoman at Filene's, and of course Addie embraces new freedoms women are claiming. It's not all roses --  the 1918 flu epidemic claims two nephews and, an a romance with a traumatized World War I veteran. Diamant is author of one of my favorite books, The Red Tent (1997) and I expected more from her.