Bookish Bits


Time for another lighting round of book reviews…let’s go!

–Marissa

I was given a review copy of The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell from the fine folks at Simon and Schuster. This debut novel is right up the alley of folks who enjoy the novels of the Bronte sisters. Set in modern day, this is the story of Samantha Whipple, the last living descendent of the famous author sisters, who is studying at Oxford and doesn’t want anything to do with looking for an inheritance or studying the novels. But, between unraveling the clues her late father left her, a mounting crush on a professor, and her dubious living conditions, Samantha finds herself pulled into their orbit. I really enjoyed this novel, but I’m quite familiar with all the Bronte novels – I think without that background, I would have missed quite a bit of the nuance, or been confused. I particularly enjoyed the interplay between Samantha and her tutor, as well as the veiled references to Jane Eyre and “living upstairs”. Great for fans of the Brontes, women’s fiction and literary fiction!

The Escape by David Baldacci was actually an audiobook listen for me. Two brothers – one is imprisoned at Leavenworth for life, and the other is a do-gooder special agent for the Army; so what happens when the imprisoned brother disappears? The other has to track him down…and arrest him. This is a lengthy suspense novel with a lot of moving parts, but I really enjoyed it – great plot, great characters, good action!

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean is the first in her new “Scandal and Scoundrel” series, and it’s a good one! A Regency romance, this time we have a plucky stowaway in a carriage, a prickly Marquess, an ailing father, and a lot of sparks! MacLean is a Regency star – recommended!

I also read another “Anna Pigeon” book by Nevada Barr in my continuing quest to re-read the series…this time, it was Blind Descent, another great one! I also read Calendar Girl: January by Audrey Carlan, which is another “if you liked Fifty Shades” recommendation. It was eh – I’ll be curious how each “month” progresses.

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