Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme created by Marcia of To Be Continued, 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 BermudaOnion.
Here’s what I received over the past two weeks:
Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom by Deborah Yaffe — from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for review
They walk among us in their bonnets and Empire-waist gowns, clutching their souvenir tote bags and battered paperbacks: the Janeites, Jane Austen’s legion of devoted fans. Who are these obsessed admirers, whose passion has transformed Austen from classic novelist to pop-culture phenomenon? Deborah Yaffe, journalist and Janeite, sets out to answer this question, exploring the remarkable endurance of Austen’s stories, the unusual zeal that their author inspires, and the striking cross-section of lives she has touched.
Along the way, Yaffe meets a Florida lawyer with a byzantine theory about hidden subtexts in the novels, a writer of Austen fan fiction who found her own Mr. Darcy while reimagining Pride and Prejudice, and a lit professor whose roller-derby nom de skate is Stone Cold Jane Austin. Yaffe goes where Janeites gather, joining a pilgrimage to historic sites in Britain, chatting online with fellow fans, and attending the annual ball of the Jane Austen Society of North America — in period costume. Part chronicle of a vibrant literary community, part memoir of a lifelong love, Among the Janeites is a funny, touching meditation on the nature of fandom. (publisher’s summary)
The English German Girl by Jake Wallis Simons — from Skyhorse Publishing for review
This powerful, meticulously researched novel is a moving tale of one girl’s struggle against a world in turmoil. In 1930s Berlin, choked by the tightening of Hitler’s fist, the Klein family is gradually losing everything that is precious to them. Their fifteen-year-old daughter, Rosa, slips out of Germany on a Kindertransport train to begin a new life in England. Charged with the task of securing a safe passage for her family, she vows that she will not rest until they are safe. But as war breaks out and she loses contact with her parents, Rosa finds herself wondering if there are some vows that can’t be kept.
A sweeping tale of love and loss, with the poignant story of the Kindertransport at its heart, this is an exceptional accomplishment from one of Britain’s bravest and most vibrant young writers. (publisher’s summary)
All God’s Children by Anna Schmidt — from Barbour Publishing for review
Living in Munich with her relatives was supposed to result in a dream fulfilled. Instead, Beth Bridgewater, a German American, finds herself in a nightmare as World War II erupts — a war in which she takes no side, for she is a Quaker pacifist.
Apprehension rises in the household of Beth’s Uncle Franz and Aunt Ilse, and the presence of Josef Buch only adds to it. Josef seems a good man, a passionately patriotic German and a medical student who rents the attic space above Beth’s uncle’s apartment, but his father is a high-ranking government official. Could Josef be spying on them?
Just as she gains opportunity to escape Germany, Beth decides to stay, feeling called to help the helpless. And Josef is becoming involved in his own secret ways of resisting the Nazis…
Despite differing motivation and beliefs, Beth and Josef join together in nonviolent resistance, and they cannot deny the spark between them. But in the midst of such evil, does their love stand a chance…if they even survive at all? (publisher’s summary)
The Ghosts of Rue Dumaine by Alexandrea Weis — from the author for review
Ready to get her life back on track after ending a painful marriage, Danica Giles returns to the Creole cottage where she grew up in the New Orleans French Quarter. Danica is anxious to rekindle her friendship with a former resident from her old neighborhood, the seductive Gaston Deslonde. But Gaston isn’t exactly a normal guy. The charming man has been dead for over a hundred and fifty years, and the childish crush Danica once had on her ghostly playmate quickly turns into something much deeper. When a handsome new man enters Danica’s life, Gaston vows to do whatever he can to hold on to her. Danica soon discovers that the most forbidden of all desires cannot be satisfied without paying a grave price.
Love can blur the lines between life and death when you are living among the ghosts of Rue Dumaine. (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
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