If you plan on reading this, it would be best to read Pat Barker’s previous novel, The Silence of the Girls, as it sets the stage for Women of Troy. Both novels are based on the epic of The Iliad, as seen from the captured Trojan women’s point of view. Women of Troy is heavy on characterization, and you need to know your Greeks and Trojans in order to keep everyone straight. Women begins with the arrival of the Trojan horse, and concentrates on Briseis, a former queen of a neighboring kingdom of Troy that was sacked by Achilles. Now his son Pyrrhus is the feared Greek warrior, who kills Priam, King of Troy, setting off a whole ethical debate. I had a hard time finishing this novel; it was a bit too heavy on characterization and focus on the terrible treatment of Trojan women by the Greeks during the war for my taste.
Aphrodite, goddess of love, and Ares, god of war, are on trial before her husband, Hephaestus, for being lovers. But Aphrodite accuses him of not knowing the meaning of love between gods, and illustrates with two stories of true love between mortals. Both stories involve soldiers of the Great war, WWI, and the heroic women with whom they fall in love. Julie Berry has weaved fact and fiction in this wonderful novel about love triumphing over all evils, especially war. I love reading historical novels for the lessons they impart about events we may know little about, and this one is stellar. Be prepared with a box of tissues, however — it’s a first class tear jerker.
When Effie’s parents divorced, and she met her dad’s new younger girlfriend, Krista, Effie was prepared to like her. But she rubbed Effie the wrong way, and she just couldn’t trust Krista. So they became opponents, trading thinly veiled insults at family gatherings. Worst yet, Krista has now convinced Effie’s dad to sell their childhood home. And Effie’s not invited to the “housecooling” party. So she decides to sneak into the party, deciding to recover a hidden childhood memento. As Ellie skulks around, she overhears different family conversations, revealing secrets that astonish her. Sophie Kinsella writes with her trademark humor, and this is yet another of her heartwarming novels. She is one of my absolute favorites…
Misty Copeland’s new book, Black Ballerinas, is released Tuesday November 2nd. The Strand bookstore is sponsoring an hour-long talk with the author. Copeland is the first African American principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Following her successful autobiography, Life in Motion, Misty writes about growing up with her mother and five siblings in a motel never believing her dream of dancing would come true. Be sure to check out Misty’s new book to hear more from this inspiring dancer.
The latest thriller by Lisa Jewell is definitely an enthralling read. A woman’s daughter and her boyfriend attend a party one evening and then simply vanish. Kim is beside herself with fear over what happened to Tallulah, her daughter and her boyfriend, Zach. A year has gone by when she meets Sophie, a writer living locally, who becomes intrigued with the case and lends a hand. The novel is told in flashbacks, varying perspectives between Kim, Tallulah and Sophie. I really enjoy Ms. Jewell’s writing, I highly recommend her latest novel.