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Book Review | Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

From the publisher: An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . .

Silvia Moreno-Garcia has written quite a few novels, but this is the first of hers that I’ve read. I’m glad I read it, and it was a quick read, but it wasn’t blow-your-mind-amazing. It was predictable, pulling from many of the gothic foremothers and forefathers, but that set this up to be a softer texture of spooky. I wish I would have saved it for a cool fall evening, so if you’re reading this and I end up convincing you to read Mexican Gothic, please do yourself a favor and wait until it’s at least below 65 degrees and you have hot cocoa and flannels handy…

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Book Review | The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

From the Publisher: Omakayas and her family live on the land her people call the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker. Although the “chimookoman,” white people, encroach more and more on their land, life continues much as it always has: every summer they build a new birchbark house; every fall they go to ricing camp to harvest and feast; they move to the cedar log house before the first snows arrive, and celebrate the end of the long, cold winters at maple-sugaring camp.

This is a highly recommended read for any Little House on the Prairie fans (along with Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park), as well as other readers interested in the mid 1800s and pioneering time period and aspects of American history. Louise Erdrich, an enrolled…

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Book Review | The Godmothers by Camille Aubray

From the publisher: Filomena, Amie, Lucy, and Petrina become godmothers to one another’s children, finding hope and shelter in this prosperous family and their sumptuous Greenwich Village home, and enjoying New York life with its fine dining, opulent department stores and sophisticated nightclubs. But the women’s secret pasts lead to unforeseen consequences and betrayals that threaten to unravel all their carefully laid plans. When their husbands are forced to leave them during the second World War, the Godmothers must unexpectedly contend with notorious gangsters who run the streets of New York City.

I found The Godmothers to be an excellent novel that kept me distracted through a day of…

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Book Review | John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews

From the publisher: Yorkshire, 1843. When disgraced former schoolmaster John Eyre arrives at Thornfield Hall to take up a position as tutor to two peculiar young boys, he enters a world unlike any he’s ever known. Darkness abounds, punctuated by odd bumps in the night, strange creatures on the moor, and a sinister silver mist that never seems to dissipate. And at the center of it all, John’s new employer Bertha — a widow as alluring as she is mysterious. John and Bertha contend with secrets, danger, and the eternal struggle between light and darkness. Can they help each other vanquish the demons of the past? Or are some evils simply too powerful to conquer?

John Eyre is a mash-up retelling of Jane Eyre and another classic novel (I won’t say which, as…

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Book Review | The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

From the publisher: A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

This book is bonkers. It contains every crazy thing you can imagine in an adventure story – pirates, flying houses, assassination attempts, gothic abbeys, kidnappings, tea parties. Somewhat like The Princess Bride on steroids.

As such, The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels will not be to everyone’s taste. It is full of nonstop nonsense. The author is in love with her own cleverness, which doesn’t necessarily aid the story. People used to listen breathlessly while the latest installment of a new tale…

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Book Review | The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

From the publisher: London, 1885. A romance develops as a detective partners with a lonely-hearts columnist to solve a murder mystery.

The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is an entertaining clean historical romance. It has strong, interesting female characters and a sympathetic hero. The plot takes some unlikely twists, but nothing struck me as outlandish. The book pushes the edges of acceptable behavior for women in 1885 in a believable way and introduces societal issues like street urchins and the institutionalization of people with intellectual disabilities. The bad guy is stereotypical with no nuance, but I didn’t mind too much since the story flirts with being a gothic romance.

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Book Review | Daughter of Black Lake by Cathy Marie Buchanan

From the publisher: In a world of pagan traditions and deeply rooted love, a girl in jeopardy must save her family and community, in a transporting historical novel by nationally bestselling author Cathy Marie Buchanan.

It’s the season of Fallow, in the era of iron. In a northern misty bog surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields, a settlement lies far beyond the reach of the Romans invading hundreds of miles to the southeast. Here, life is simple–or so it seems to the tightly knit community. Sow. Reap. Honor Mother Earth, who will provide at harvest time. A girl named Devout comes of age, sweetly flirting with the young man she’s tilled alongside all her life, and envisions a future of love and abundance. Seventeen years later, though, the…

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