At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received but to check out the books others have received.
Wednesday Friday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.
We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.
The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan at Silver’s Reviews.
After renowned fashion designer Cressida Westcott loses both her home and her design house in the London Blitz, she has nowhere to go but the family manor house she fled decades ago. Praying that her niece and nephew will be more hospitable than her brother had been, she arrives with nothing but the clothes she stands in, at a loss as to how to rebuild her business while staying in a quaint country village.
Her niece, Violet Westcott, is thrilled that her famous aunt is coming to stay–the village has been interminably dull with all the men off fighting. But just as Cressida arrives, so does Violet’s conscription letter. It couldn’t have come at a worse time; how will she ever find a suitably aristocratic husband if she has to spend her days wearing a frumpy uniform and doing war work?
Meanwhile, the local vicar’s daughter, Grace Carlisle, is trying in vain to repair her mother’s gown, her only chance of a white wedding. When Cressida Westcott appears at the local Sewing Circle meeting, Grace asks for her help–but Cressida has much more to teach the ladies than just simple sewing skills.
Before long, Cressida’s spirit and ambition galvanizes the village group into action, and they find themselves mending wedding dresses not only for local brides, but for brides across the country. And as the women dedicate themselves to helping others celebrate love, they might even manage to find it for themselves.
“Curious to read what this group of women accomplish.”
The Fair by John A. Heldt at Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf.
Months after stealing two time machines from a madman who wants them back, the Lanes, a family of six, seek safety and contentment in 1893, the latest stop on a journey through time. While parents Mark and Mary find relief at Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition, an extravaganza of science and splendor, children Jeremy, Laura, and Ashley find romance, friendship, and thrills.
Older son Jordan, meanwhile, heads west in search of answers. Grieving the loss of a lover from 1865, he travels to Virginia City, Nevada, where he integrates himself into a storied mining community and the heart of a pretty library clerk.
Billionaire Robert Devereux could not care less. Reeling from the theft of his million-dollar devices, he sends an assassin to the past to retrieve his property and rid the world of his former business partner and his troublesome clan.
Filled with humor, heartbreak, and suspense, THE FAIR follows a modern family on the adventure of a lifetime as they navigate their way through an unforgettable year in American history.
“The World Expositions of the past have always fascinated me.”
Jane Austen, the Secret Radical by Helena Kelly at vvb32 Reads.
In this fascinating, revelatory work, Helena Kelly–dazzling Jane Austen authority–looks past the grand houses, the pretty young women, past the demure drawing room dramas and witty commentary on the narrow social worlds of her time that became the hallmark of Austen’s work to bring to light the serious, ambitious, deeply subversive nature of this beloved writer. Kelly illuminates the radical subjects–slavery, poverty, feminism, the Church, evolution, among them–considered treasonous at the time, that Austen deftly explored in the six novels that have come to embody an age. The author reveals just how in the novels we find the real Jane Austen: a clever, clear-sighted woman “of information,” fully aware of what was going on in the world and sure about what she thought of it. We see a writer who understood that the novel–until then seen as mindless “trash”–could be a great art form and who, perhaps more than any other writer up to that time, imbued it with its particular greatness.
“I love many things about Jane Austen and her novels, but this sounds fascinating”
The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers at Sam Still Reading.
The great scholar, W.E.B. Du Bois, once wrote about the Problem of race in America, and what he called ‘Double Consciousness,’ a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois’s words all too well.
From an early age, Ailey fights a battle to feel like she belongs, made all the more difficult by a hovering trauma, as well as the whispers of women – her mother, her sister and a maternal line reaching back two centuries – that urge her to succeed in their stead.
Ailey decides to embark on a journey through her family’s past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors – Indigenous, Black, and white – in the deep South. In doing so she must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story – and the song – of America itself.
Sweeping, compulsive and deeply moving, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is set to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
“This sounds fascinating.”
The Marsh Queen by Virginia Hartman found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.
Loni Mae Murrow’s life as a bird artist at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, is tidy, if a trifle constrained—until she’s abruptly summoned back home to the wetlands of northern Florida, where she grew up. Her mother, critical and difficult, has grown frail and been resentfully consigned to assisted living, and her younger brother, Phil, juggling a job, a wife, and two young children, needs her help. Loni may not be her mother’s only child, but there are some things only a daughter can do.
Going through her mother’s things when she returns, Loni finds a cryptic note from a woman whose name she doesn’t recognize: “There are some things I have to tell you about Boyd’s death,” it reads. Boyd is her father, a man who drowned in a boating accident out on the marsh when Loni was twelve and Phil just a baby. The circumstances of his death, long presumed a suicide, turn out to be murkier than anyone thought.
Against her better judgment, she finds herself drawn into a dangerous quest to discover the truth about how he died, struggling all the while to reconnect with her mother through the remnants of their past and to reconcile with her brother and his pushy, provincial wife. At last moved to avenge the wrongs done to her family, Loni has to decide whether to join the violence or end it.
“I like the sounds of this thriller.”
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby found at The Infinite Curio.
A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance.
Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.
The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss.
Derek’s father Buddy Lee was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed his father was a criminal. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy.
Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, hardened men Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their own prejudices about their sons and each other, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.
Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change – and maybe even redemption.
“This may be too gritty for my taste but it sure sounds like a good read.”
What books caught your eye?