Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme created by Marcia, formerly from The Printed Page, where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. Mailbox Monday currently is on tour, and this month’s host is Lori’s Reading Corner.
I haven’t posted my books in a few weeks due to various tour dates, but here’s what I received since Christmas:
Emma, perhaps the most technically accomplished of all of Austen’s novels, is also, after Pride and Prejudice, her most popular one. Its numerous films and television adaptations testify to the world’s enduring affection for the headstrong, often misguided Emma Woodhouse and her many romantic schemes. Like the previous volumes in Harvard’s celebrated annotated Austen series, Emma: An Annotated Edition is a beautiful and illuminating gift collection that will be treasured by readers.
Stimulating and helpful annotations appear in the book’s margins, offering information, definitions, and commentary. In his Introduction, Bharat Tandon suggests several ways to approach the novel, enabling a larger appreciation of its central concerns and accomplishments. Appearing throughout the book are many illustrations, often in color, which help the reader to better picture the Regency-era world that serves as the stage for Emma’s matchmaking adventures.
Whether explaining the intricacies of early nineteenth-century dinner etiquette or speculating on Highbury’s deliberately imprecise geographical location, Tandon serves as a delightful and entertaining guide. For those coming to the novel for the first time or those returning to it, Emma: An Annotated Edition offers a valuable portal to Austen’s world. (publisher’s summary)
From the editor of the popular Annotated Pride and Prejudice comes an annotated edition of Jane Austen’s Persuasion that makes the beloved novel an even more satisfying and fulfilling read. Here is the complete text of Persuasion with hundreds of annotations on the facing pages, including:
- Explanations of historical context
- Citations from Austen’s life, letters, and other writings
- Definitions and clarifications
- Literary comments and analysis
- Plentiful maps and illustrations
- An introduction, bibliography, and detailed chronology of events
Packed with all kinds of illuminating information — from what Bath and Lyme looked like at the time to how “bathing machines” at seaside resorts were used to how Wentworth could have made a fortune from the Napoleonic Wars — David M. Shapard’s delightfully entertaining edition brings Austen’s novel of second chances vividly to life. (publisher’s summary)
The year is 1942, and Norway is under Nazi occupation. Twelve-year-old Marit has decided to take action, decided not to heed her grandfather’s warnings. But will her plan work? Can she really complete her part of this secret code? And even if she can, will it make any difference to the Resistance?
As this novel reveals what Norwegian people did to preserve their dignity and freedoms, it uncovers a startling statistic: the German secret police systematically rounded up one teacher in ten and sent them to concentration camps for their refusal to teach Nazi propaganda to Norwegian schoolchildren. Set on an island of sturdy fishing trawlers and brightly painted homes, this is a riveting novel about a young girl taking risks, keeping secrets, and constantly wondering whom she can really trust. (publisher’s summary)
At the end of the Second World War, an estimated thirty thousand Nazi war criminals fled from justice, including some of the highest-ranking members of the Nazi Party. Many of them have names that resonate deeply in twentieth-century history — Eichmann, Mengele, Martin Bormann, and Klaus Barbie — not just for the monstrosity of their crimes, but also because of the shadowy nature of their post-war existence, holed up in the depths of Latin America, always one step ahead of their pursuers. Aided and abetted by prominent people throughout Europe, they hid in foreboding castles high in the Austrian Alps and were taken in by shady Argentine secret agents. The attempts to bring them to justice are no less dramatic, featuring vengeful Holocaust survivors, inept politicians, and daring plots to kidnap or assassinate the fugitives.
In this exhaustively researched and compellingly written work of World War II history and investigative reporting, journalist and novelist Guy Walters gives a comprehensive account of one of the most shocking and important aspects of the war: how the most notorious Nazi war criminals escaped justice; how they were pursued, captured, or able to remain free until their natural deaths; and how the Nazis were assisted while they were on the run by “helpers” ranging from a Vatican bishop to a British camel doctor, and even members of Western intelligence services. Based on all-new interviews with Nazi hunters and former Nazis and intelligence agents, travels along the actual escape routes, and archival research in Germany, Britain, the United States, Austria, and Italy, Hunting Evil authoritatively debunks much of what has previously been understood about Nazis and Nazi hunters in the post-war era, including myths about the alleged “Spider” and “Odessa” escape networks and the surprising truth about the world’s most legendary Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal.
From its haunting chronicles of the heinous mass murders the Nazis perpetrated and the murky details of their post-war existence to the challenges of hunting them down, Hunting Evil is a monumental work of nonfiction written with the pacing and intrigue of a thriller. (publisher’s summary)
In this imaginative retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Amanda Grange now tells the classic story through the eyes of its compelling romantic hero, Fitzwilliam Darcy, in a series of revealing letters that casts a sparkling new reflection on the manners and morals of the landed gentry in nineteenth-century England.
Here, for the first time are the letters written by the exceedingly proud and stubborn Mr. Darcy, covering the life-changing events that defined him — from the death of his father, to his control of his Derbyshire estate of Pemberley, to his conflicted courtship with the lively, intelligent, and delightfully willful Elizabeth Bennet. Try as he may, he cannot deny his attraction to this woman with fine eyes, a playful spirit, a mind of her own…and an embarrassing family that is frankly and utterly beneath him. But it is Elizabeth who controls both their destinies, and whose surprises will change Darcy’s life yet again. (publisher’s summary)
She was a private woman who became a poet in order to reveal the truth about herself. He was a master of deception and a murderer whose greatest creation was his own shadowy persona.
Simon Worrall takes readers on a spellbinding journey into the lives of Emily Dickinson, Mark Hofmann, and the great literary forgery that links them together. (publisher’s summary)
Purchased With Christmas Gift Cards:
In the village of Highbury, young Emma Woodhouse is an expert in romance. Believing herself a matchmaker, she employs her knack for pairing people at every opportunity. According to her, she hasn’t been wrong yet, and the mere thought she could be is quite preposterous. When a single young lady — Harriet Smith — arrives in Highbury, Emma is determined to find her a suitable gentleman caller. Between card parties, suppers and carriage drives, everything seems to be going according to plan. However, love has other intentions! With her schemes backfiring in ways she could not anticipate, Emma finds her meddling is leading to heartbreak — her own! Can she set aside her agenda before true love goes asunder? (publisher’s summary)
Mr. Darcy Bites Back by Mary Lydon Simonsen (Amazon)
As Mr. and Mrs. Darcy approach the first anniversary of their marriage, they look upon their life together as very much an idyll. With one exception. Their lives will always be ruled by the lunar cycle as the Master of Pemberley is a werewolf.
As Darcy prepares his pack for nightfall, an unsettling rumor is being spread in the village that a phantom Ghost Buck has appeared in Wentside Woods on the Darcy estate. Because Darcy does not believe the stag exists, he wants to know who started the rumor. Is it possible that someone has learned his darkest secret and is trying to draw him out? (publisher’s summary)
For All the Wrong Reasons by Mary Lydon Simonsen (Amazon)
Pemberley, the Darcy estate, is entailed away from the female line. When Fitzwilliam Darcy learns that Peter Grayson, the prospective heir, is to marry Caroline Bingley, he realizes that he must quickly find a wife so that he might have a son. But will Elizabeth Bennet agree to a loveless marriage, and if so, will she marry for all the wrong reasons? (publisher’s summary)
The day after the assembly at Meryton, Fitzwilliam Darcy departs Hertfordshire believing that he leaves little of interest behind him. But when Elizabeth Bennet comes to Kent to visit the recently married Charlotte Collins, Darcy has an opportunity for a second look at the dark-haired beauty, and he is instantly smitten. Unfortunately for Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth has a long memory, and the gentleman from Derbyshire will have to earn her love. His efforts begin with a walk in the meadows at Rosings Park.
Bonus Short Story: Mr. Darcy Steps In. When Darcy learns that Mr. Collins plans to make an offer of marriage to Elizabeth Bennet, he knows that he must do something, but what happens next is completely unexpected. (publisher’s summary)
Artist Annie Wright likes her life free of complications, especially complications of the male persuasion. She has her dream job running an art gallery by the sea, her volunteer work rescuing abandoned dogs, and that’s enough for her. She doesn’t like to talk about her past, especially how she became a widow after just a few years of marriage…until one day when her past walks right into the Cape Light Gallery in the form of her late husband’s best friend, Jeremy, the man who left the country rather than see Annie married to someone else. Add in an abused and distrustful pile of fur named Bear and the machinations of the powerful Westing family, and Annie’s life is suddenly full of complications. (publisher’s summary)
Florence, Italy; September 1943: A country at peace seems within reach now that an armistice has been declared. And as they celebrate their mother’s birthday, the Cammaccio sisters have every reason to be happy. Caterina has had the final fitting for her wedding dress and Isabella is about to begin her last year at the university. Then the German occupation begins.
Unsure if her fiancé is alive, Caterina witnesses the human cost of war from the hospital where she works, while Isabella throws herself into the Resistance. As the winter deepens, the sisters make decisions that will change their lives and echo for the next sixty years.
In present-day Florence, Inspector Alessandro Pallioti is asked to take over a routine investigation into the murder of a lonely old man. But in his youth the victim had been a partisan hero, and it’s soon obvious that the crime is much more than an ordinary burglary gone wrong. Pallioti finds himself racing against time to solve a mystery that is every bit as deadly today as it was sixty years ago in the winter of Florence’s terror…when the lives of two sisters were shattered. (publisher’s summary)
Cate Kendall is no stranger to daydreams of brooding men and fancy parties — after all, she teaches one of her beloved Jane Austen novels in her English classes every year. But as for romance or adventure in her own life, the highlight of most weeks is Scrabble with her cute coworker, Ethan, and he draws the line at witty banter.
But Cate is ready for a change. when she finds a mysterious journal that seems to have a link to the soul of the great Jane Austen herself, she knows it’s her chance. And she grabs on with both hands…
Before she knows it, Cate has invented an alter ego with an attitude, attended some seriously chic soirees, and gotten tangled up with a delicious mystery man. And she’s uncovered enough secrets about Ethan that her Scrabble partner has taken to brooding looks and unfathomable silences. It’s a positively Austenite predicament, and Cate is sure she’ll land in hot water and heartbreak — but maybe not with Jane herself to guide her… (publisher’s summary)
Decades ago, as Nazi planes dominated the sky, eighteen-year-old Lily Verner made a terrible mistake. She’s tried for years to forget, but now an unexpected event pulls her back to the 1940s British countryside. She finds herself remembering the brilliant colors of the silk she helped to weave at her family’s mill, the relentless pressure of the worsening war, and the kind of heartbreaking loss that stops time.
In this evocative novel of love and consequences, Lily finally confronts the disastrous decision that has haunted her all these years. The Last Telegram uncovers the surprising truth about how the stories we weave about our lives are threaded with truth, guilt, and forgiveness. (publisher’s summary)
The year is 1777. As the war for American independence rages across the sea, London is swept off its feet by Jack Absolute, the dashing rogue in Richard Sheridan’s comedy The Rivals. That is, until the real Jack Absolute, former captain of the 16th Light Dragoons, returns after years abroad to discover this slander of his reputation. Before he can even protest, he is embroiled in a duel over an alluring actress of questionable repute, and his only escape is the one he most dreads: to be pressed again into the King’s Service — this time, as a spy for the British in the Revolutionary War.
Fierce, cunning, charming, and the blood brother of a Mohawk leader, Jack is the perfect scout to recruit the Iroquois tribes and thus swing the war in favor of the British. But he discovers that there are even deadlier opponents at work than the colonial rebels he seeks to quash: a secret society that has infiltrated the red ranks in pursuit of its own sinister purposes…with Jack as its first target.
From the streets of London to the bloody battlefields of Saratoga, from forest fights on the Hudson to the seedy corners of wintry Philadelphia, Jack Absolute marks the exhilarating beginning of an epic historical series and a character you won’t soon forget. (publisher’s summary)
Since ancient times, every Halloween, the ritual of Sanun in performed, freeing the dead to interact with the living for one night. One Evil Soul discovers a way to hide from the Return, remaining on Earth to meddle with the fates of the living. As the centuries pass, It begins to search for the High Priestess, intending to force her to do its bidding, no matter the cost.
Appearances can be deceiving, even in Regency England. To most, Elizabeth Bennet is simply the second daughter of an insignificant country squire, but in truth, she is High Priestess and leader of an ancient cult secretly co-existing alongside British society. Confusion reigns when she learns that the man she despises, Fitzwilliam Darcy, is her soul mate, assigned to protect her from Evil. Can they work together to preserve the future? (publisher’s summary)
Acadian Waltz by Alexandrea Weis — from the author (Amazon)
At thirty, Nora Kehoe is feeling pressured to settle down. On a blind date, Nora unexpectedly ends up in the emergency room where she meets Dr. John Blessing. She hopes the pragmatic Dr. Blessing can make her life complete. Then, a passionate encounter with a childhood friend changes everything.
The charismatic Jean Marc Gaspard manages the family business, Gaspard Fisheries. But rumors abound that Jean Marc is running more than seafood through the waters around Manchac, Louisiana. When a family crisis sends Nora to Manchac, she is thrown headlong into the dangerous world of smugglers and swindlers. And as Jean Marc tries to protect Nora from his past, he realizes he may lose her because of it.
The dark bayou waters run deep with secrets in Louisiana, and every Cajun knows how to dance the fine line between the right and wrong side of the law. But for strangers, learning the steps of staying alive in the swamps can be tricky. Life, and love, will be dependent on how well one can master the…Acadian Waltz. (publisher’s summary)
From the author of The Books of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost letters of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries.
In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus — and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.
Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey — where Hugo conducted the séances — hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different — Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.
What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists. (publisher’s summary)
London, 1933. Two months after the body of an Indian woman named Usha Pramal is found in the brackish water of a South London canal, her brother, newly arrived in England, turns to Maisie Dobbs to find the truth about her death. Not only has Scotland Yard made no arrests, evidence indicates that they failed to conduct a full and thorough investigation.
Before her death, Usha was staying at the Ayah’s Hostel, alongside Indian women whose British employers turned them out into the street, penniless and far from their homeland, when their services were no longer needed. As Maisie soon learns, Usha was different from the hostel’s other lodgers. But with this discovery comes new danger — another Indian woman who had information about Usha is found murdered before she can talk to Maisie.
As Maisie is pulled deeper into a vibrant culture she finds fascinating, her investigation becomes clouded by the “unfinished business” of a previous case, and by a growing desire to see more of the world — to follow in the footsteps of her former mentor, Maurice Blanche. And there is her lover, James Compton, who gives her an ultimatum she cannot ignore.
Bringing a crucial chapter in the life and times of Maisie Dobbs to a close, Leaving Everything Most Loved marks a pivotal moment in this “outstanding” (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review) series. (publisher’s summary)
A place out of time, Ashaunt Point — a tiny finger of land jutting into Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts — has provided sanctuary and anchored life for generations of the Porter family, who summer along its remote, rocky shore.
But in 1942, the U.S. Army arrives on the Point, bringing havoc and change. That summer, the two older Porter girls — teenagers Helen and Dossie — run wild. The children’s Scottish nurse, Bea, falls in love. And youngest daughter Janie is entangled in an incident that cuts the season short and haunts the family for years to come.
As the decades pass, Helen and then her son Charlie return to the point, seeking refuge from the chaos of rapidly changing times. But Ashaunt is not entirely removed from the events unfolding beyond its borders. Neither Charlie nor his mother can escape the long shadow of history — Vietnam, the bitterly disputed real estate development of the Point, economic misfortune, illness, and tragedy.
An unforgettable portrait of one family’s journey through the second half of the twentieth century, The End of the Point artfully probes the hairline fractures beneath the surface of our lives and traces the fragile and enduring bonds that connect us. With subtlety and grace, Elizabeth Graver illuminates the powerful legacy of family and place, exploring what we are born into, what we pass down, preserve, cast off, or willingly set free. (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
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© 2013 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.