Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.
Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past couple of weeks:
At Home With Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly — from the author
The Austen Addicts are back!
It’s summer and renowned actress, Dame Pamela Harcourt, has organised a treat: the first Purley Hall Jane Austen holiday — to the home of Mr. Darcy no less.
With Katherine and Warwick, Robyn, Dorris Norris and the rest of the gang, it’s going to be a trip to remember. But then a hardened journalist and a non-Janeite, Melissa Barry, joins the party. Fearing a stitch-up, the friends rally together, hoping to convince Melissa that the only way is Austen… (publisher’s summary)
Land of Dreams by Kate Kerrigan — from William Morrow
Irish immigrant Ellie Hogan has finally achieved the American Dream. But her comfortable bohemian life on Fire Island, New York, is shattered when her eldest adopted son, Leo, runs away, lured by the promise of fortune and fame in Hollywood. Determined to keep her family intact, Ellie follows him west, uprooting her youngest son and long-time friend Bridie.
In Los Angeles, Ellie creates a fashionable new home among the city’s celebrities, artists, and movie moguls. She is also drawn into intense new friendships with talented film composer Stan, a man far different from any she has ever met, and Suri, a beautiful Japanese women and kindred spirit, who opens Ellie’s eyes to the injustices of her adopted country.
While Leo is dazzled by Hollywood’s glitz, Ellie quickly sees that the golden glamour masks a world of vanity and greed. Though she tries to navigate the family around heartbreak and the dangers of their new home, she will not be able to protect them from a darker threat: war. (publisher’s summary)
The Color of Courage by Julian Kulski — from Aquila Polonica
“If there is going to be a war, I do not want to miss it.”
-Julian Kulski, age 10, Warsaw, Poland
A rare and fascinating look at WWII through the eyes of a child.
This remarkable diary follows Kulski, a 10-year-old Boy Scout when WWII begins, as he is recruited into the clandestine Polish Underground Army by his Scoutmaster, undertakes a secret mission into Warsaw Ghetto, is captured by the Gestapo, sentenced to Auschwitz, rescued, fights in a Polish Commando unit in the Warsaw Uprising, and ends as a 16-year-old German POW. (publisher’s summary)
If I Knew You Were Going to Be This Beautiful I Never Would Have Let You Go by Judy Chicurel — a surprise from Putnam
No matter how beautiful some dreams are, there comes a time when we must let them go. It is the summer of 1972, and Katie has just turned eighteen. Katie and her town, Elephant Beach, are both on the verge: Katie of adulthood, and Elephant Beach of gentrification. But not yet: Elephant Beach is still gritty, working-class, close-knit. And Katie spends her time smoking and drinking with her friends, dreaming about a boy just back from Vietnam who’s still fighting a battle Katie can’t understand. In this poignant, evocative debut collection, Judy Chicurel creates a haunting, vivid world, where conflicts between mothers and daughters, men and women, soldiers and civilians and haves and have-nots reverberate to our own time. She captures not only a time and place, but the universal experience of being poised between the past and the future. (publisher’s summary)
Past Encounters by Davina Blake — from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
From the moment Rhoda Middleton opens one of her husband’s letters and finds it is from another woman, she is convinced he is having an affair. But when Rhoda tracks her down, she discovers the mysterious woman is not his lover after all, but the wife of his best friend, Archie Foster. There is only one problem — Rhoda has never even heard of Archie Foster.
Devastated by this betrayal of trust, Rhoda tries to find out how and why her husband, Peter, has kept this friendship hidden for so long. Her search leads her back to 1945, but as she gradually uncovers Peter’s wartime secrets she must wrestle with painful memories of her own. For if they are ever to understand each other, Rhoda too must escape the ghosts of the past.
Taking us on a journey from the atmospheric filming of Brief Encounter, to the extraordinary Great March of prisoners of war through snow-bound Germany, this is a novel of friendship, hope, and how in the end, it is the small things that enable love to survive. (publisher’s summary)
The Madness of Mr. Darcy by Alexa Adams — from the author
**I’m excited about the fact that I edited this book! Check out an excerpt and an international giveaway here (closes Sunday, October 19)
The year is 1832 and regrets beleaguer Fitzwilliam Darcy. All he ever cared for has been taken from him: his pride, his sister, and his true love, Elizabeth Bennet. Now, having nearly murdered a man in a fit of rage, he might lose Pemberley, too. More than just his home, his very identity is at stake. In desperation, he seeks the help of Dr. Frederick Wilson, owner and proprietor of Ramsey House, a madhouse for fine ladies and gentlemen. Is Darcy’s confinement the inevitable end to his tortured descent, or will he rediscover what he lost in the most unlikely of places? (publisher’s summary)
1932 by Karen M. Cox
“…the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry.” When Elizabeth Bennet left Fitzwilliam Darcy with those words, she was a sheltered, naïve girl who had never felt the sting of real poverty. What if her circumstances were more precarious? Would she still express herself using those harsh words? What if she were the victim of a raging storm of worldwide economic hardship that touched virtually everyone? How would the consequences of that hardship affect the other beloved characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? If Elizabeth thought she was running out of options, what would happen then? 1932 is a twist on Jane Austen’s classic tale. Elizabeth Bennet has always led a pampered existence as the daughter of a university professor in the Midwest until the safety of her world dissolves around her due to unforeseen adversity. Amidst the ensuing upheaval, what — and who — might she discover as she rebuilds a life for herself and her family in the sleepy, backwater town of Meryton? (publisher’s summary)
From the library sale:
Great House by Nicole Krauss
For twenty-five years, a reclusive American novelist has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young Chilean poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet’s secret police. One day a girl claiming to be the poet’s daughter arrives to take it away, sending the writer’s life reeling. Across the ocean, in the leafy suburbs of London, a man caring for his dying wife discovers, among her papers, a lock of hair that unravels a terrible secret. In Jerusalem, an antiques dealer slowly reassembles his father’s study, plundered by the Nazis in Budapest in 1944.
Connecting these stories is a desk of many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or have given it away. Great House is a story haunted by questions: What do we pass on to our children and how do they absorb our dreams and losses? How do we respond to disappearance, destruction, and change?
Nicole Krauss has written a soaring, powerful novel about memory struggling to create a meaningful permanence in the face of inevitable loss. (publisher’s summary)
While We’re Far Apart by Lynn Austin
In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades their lives.
Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother.
Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie’s wife is dead, Penny feels she’s been given a second chance and offers to care for his children, hoping he will finally notice her and marry her after the war.
And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary.
Broken and hurting, yet drawn together through difficult circumstances, a new kind of family is forged…to face the return they’ve all been waiting for. (publisher’s summary)
Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham
At the first of every month, when the office has reached its pinnacle of hysteria, Maggie, Roxanne, and Candice meet at London’s swankiest bar for an evening of cocktails and gossip. Here, they chat about what’s new at The Londoner, the glossy fashion magazine where they all work, and everything else that’s going on in their lives. Or almost everything. Beneath the girl talk and the laughter, each of the three have a secret. And when a chance encounter at the cocktail bar sets in motion an extraordinary chain of events, each one will find her biggest secret revealed.
In Cocktails for Three, Madeleine Wickham combines her trademark humor with remarkable insight to create an edgy, romantic tale of secrets, strangers, and a splash of scandal. (publisher’s summary)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
(I read this already, but I borrowed it from my daughter and wanted my own copy.)
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.