Thursday, 9 February 2017

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

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Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land
Publisher: Penguin-Michael Joseph (12th January 2017)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:

Disclaimer: I received a complementary digital copy from the publisher, Penguin-Michael Joseph, via NetGalley in exchange for a non biased review.


Description:
NEW NAME . NEW FAMILY. SHINY. NEW. ME.

Annie's mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind.As her mother's trial looms, the secrets of her past won't let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name - Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water. Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother's daughter...Translated into over 20 languages, Good Me, Bad Me is a tour de force. In its narrator, Milly Barnes, we have a voice to be reckoned with, and in its author, Ali Land, an extraordinary new talent.Good Me Bad Me is for fans of quality psychological suspense and reading group fiction.


My Thoughts:
WOW...an intense and truly twisted tale...Ali Land's remarkable debut offering, 'Good Me, Bad Me', is an exceptional psychological thriller. Compelling and addictive from the outset, I felt irritated when my attention was demanded elsewhere and I had to put it down for any length of time.


Milly is a damaged, haunted fifteen year old and she has informed the police about her mother's latest killing of a young boy. The catalyst being that she knew this victim.
To await the trial she is placed in a safe environment only to suffer the hostility of the insecure daughter of the dysfunctional foster family.


Set in London, England, 'Good Me, Bad Me', is written in the first person narrative giving Milly's perspective of events. With an intense, fast paced plot-line, and devious, complex characters, it makes a hugely entertaining compulsive read. The tension and anguish of Milly's contradictory feelings she has for her mother are palpable and truly heartfelt. I routed totally for her during her torturous moments reliving her disturbing past. Milly loves, but is also terrified of, her mother. Most of all she's afraid of herself, and becoming just like her.


However, it's not without its flaws, being a touch (ok, very) over the top with scenarios involving the unlikely, aggressive court questioning of a minor who, for the past ten years, has been subject to mental, physical and sexual abuse, and been witness to several child murders.  I'm not convinced this would be allowed to happen in today's court proceedings. The accident scene was a little contrived and implausible too with regards to the suggested timeframes, etc, etc, in my opinion.

These two niggles aside, 'Good Me, Bad Me' is an explosive, pulse racing, tortuous thriller with a convincing portrayal and perceptive character study of the behaviour and thought processes of the daughter of a serial killer mum.  I really enjoyed it.

With a great plot and gripping storyline, it's perfect for fans of, 'The Girl on the Train', 'Gone Girl', and all the other psychological thrillers of the genre.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Little Deaths by Emma Flint

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Little Deaths by Emma Flint
Publisher: Pan Mcmillan/Hachette Books (January 2017)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Rating:

Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of Little Deaths by Emma Flint was provided by Hachette Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest unbiased review.

Synopsis:
It's the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.

Noting Ruth's perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation.

Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can't help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press. Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.

Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive - is she really capable of murder?

Haunting, intoxicating and heart-poundingly suspenseful, Little Deaths is a gripping novel about love, morality and obsession, exploring the capacity for good and evil within us all.

My Thoughts:
Well, I wasn't expecting that !

I thought I was in for just 'another psychological domestic thriller' in Emma Flint's debut novel 'Little Deaths', but I was pleasantly surprised.  'Little Deaths' is a well written, compelling, literary crime novel with a classic crime noir influence.

Set in Queens, New York during the stifling hot Summer of 1965, Ruth Malone, a single mother wakes one morning to find that both of her children have gone missing.  Ruth is not the conventional mother or wife (of the times) and at her instigation she has been separated from her husband Frank for the past year. Her priorities also appear a little skewed especially her obsession with her appearance purely to make her attractive and desirable to men.

Frankie Jr's and Cindy's bodies are soon found and in light of a conversation with her lawyer ending with, ‘He can’t have the kids. He can’t have them. I’d rather see them dead than with Frank’, Ruth becomes the prime suspect.

Ruth is not an easy character to like and I found myself judging her, (and boy is she easy to judge), for not behaving in a manor deemed appropriate for a caring mother, or for her lack of emotion as a grieving mother.  As a result i wondered if she could indeed be guilty of murder in order to live the glamorous lifestyle she craved.  I did warm to her somewhat during the course of the book as her narrative gives a privileged insight to her thought processes.  I still didn't agree with her choices or actions, but I did gain an understanding of why she behaved as she did.

Emma Flint has written a thought provoking story based on the '60's real case of Alice Cribbins, and she has kept pretty close to the original facts in this reimagined account albeit with a neat resolution which I found a bit contrived, and coming from nowhere. However I do appreciate that for some readers a finality to a plot is preferred, which is more than can be said for the real case.

Gripping, intensely upsetting in parts, 'Little Deaths' is an impressive debut novel and perfect for fans of Megan Abbott.

I absolutely loved it.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Christodora by Tim Murphy

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Christodora  by Tim Murphy
Publisher: Pan Mcmillan (23 February 2017)
Source: Publisher (NetGalley), The NUDGE and New Books Reviewers
Pages: 496

Rating:

Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of Christodora was provided by Pan McMillan via Netgalley and a hardcopy via Newbooks Reviewers in exchange for an honest unbiased review.

Synopsis:
In this vivid and compelling novel, Tim Murphy follows a diverse set of characters whose fates intertwine in an iconic building in Manhattan's East Village, the Christodora. The Christodora is home to Milly and Jared, a privileged young couple with artistic ambitions. Their neighbour, Hector, a Puerto Rican gay man who was once a celebrated AIDS activist but is now a lonely addict, becomes connected to Milly's and Jared's lives in ways none of them can anticipate. Meanwhile, the couple's adopted son, Mateo, grows to appreciate the opportunities for both self-realization and oblivion that New York offers. As the junkies and protestors of the 1980s give way to the hipsters of the 2000s and they, in turn, to the wealthy residents of the crowded, glass-towered city of the 2020s, enormous changes rock the personal lives of Milly and Jared and the constellation of people around them. Moving kaleidoscopically from the Tompkins Square Riots and attempts by activists to galvanize a response to the AIDS epidemic, to the New York City of the future, Christodora recounts the heartbreak wrought by AIDS, illustrates the allure and destructive power of hard drugs, and brings to life the ever-changing city itself.

My Thoughts:
During the late 1920's the 'Christodora', a building situated in Manhattan's East Village was where new immigrants and the poorer members of the community would often find themselves housed. In the 1980's the building was redeveloped and made into luxury apartments where only the affluent could then afford to reside. With the beginnings of gentrification of the area the occupants of these luxurious apartments understandably caused resentment from the less affluent and homeless now unable to afford such accommodation where they'd once had little choice but to reside. Inevitably as tensions grew the infamous riots of New York ensued.

Tim Murphy's masterpiece uses the 'Christodora' as its focal point in the novel and is where its pivotal characters, sculptor Jared Traum and his artist wife Milly, and others live. We also follow a group of interconnected friends, artists, and gay activists over a span of four decades, ranging from the 1980's to 2020.

Being British, I couldn't say that I related much to the drug or gay scene of New York. I did however have gay friends, and some friends who took drugs, but I didn't personally know anyone with HIV. 
What I do remember is the paranoia drummed up by the news media and our 'then' Government about the 'AIDS' plague, that a promiscuous gay community had brought upon themselves, and that it was now a threat to all of us if we were bisexual or had more than one sexual partner.
It had also become a requirement for more than one male applying for a joint mortgage and for gay men applying for health insurance, to take an HIV test before consideration. A positive result meant refusal of application, and a blemish on medical files, forever! Eventually we were better informed about this horrific, unprejudiced virus which would claim people from all walks of life, gender and sexual orientation.

'Christodora' educated me in many ways about the HIV plight of the 1980's and of the role 'gay activists' and scientists in America played in the fight for medical research, better health care, and legal rights for both gay men and lesbian women.  It is because of these dedicated brave individuals that AIDS no longer needs to lead to a premature death or that its sufferers be subjected to discrimination, prejudice and fear.

Tim Murphy writes with real depth and clarity about his characters that it's hard to believe they aren't living and breathing people. One character's narrative had such a powerful impact on me that I felt breathless and giddy reading as she ploughed from one scene to another with a volatile energy gathering in pace and momentum, and with her increasing irrational, embarrassing and inappropriate behaviour. I felt 'manic', my head was in turmoil.  Ava and the symptoms of her bi-polar disorder are so incredibly well written, I felt as if I was in the same headspace...as uncomfortable as this was it was brilliantly done!

Overlong at times, and confusing with time shifts leaping back and forth as characters gave their points of view, it was definitely worth the perseverance as I was rewarded with the 'payoff' as gradually everything made sense and the segments slowly slotted into place.

Hugely encyclopaedic in scope 'Christodora' is also a raw emotive 'coming of age' tale of sorts. I found every character compelling from the aforementioned Ava, struggling with her manic episodes, to one of the most intriguing but equally frustrating, and at times intensely unlikeable characters in the book, Hugo Villanueva.

'Christodora' is intelligently, and compassionately written with complex, flawed individuals, and evokes a real sense of an era full of fun, passion, pace and energy, with a vibe of the creative arts, and excitement of the music industry; then it turns on itself like a rabid dog and relentlessly drives us down into an abyss with descriptions of the devastating catastrophic effects of drug abuse (chiefly meth addiction), and the fear, pain and despair of losing, or leaving behind, friends and loved ones because of an unknown disease.

Utterly compelling and educational in respect of the relationships and interrelationships of the characters before, during, and after the emergence of a devastating disease that cut dead the excitement and euphoria of the gay, drug and disco days of the 80's...Highly recommended.


Sunday, 8 January 2017

WATERSTONES Pompey Recommends: #PompeyBooksLoves

These are the books that staff at WATERSTONES Portsmouth have really loved reading over the last few months and highly recommend giving a read:

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This is the first instalment of #PompeyBooksLoves at #Waterstones #Portsmouth on Facebook and Twitter and there will be more new recommendations, and in depth reviews to come.

📖 https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-witches/stacy-schiff/9781474602266
📖 https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-atomic-weight-of-love/elizabeth-church/elizabeth-j-church/9780008209292
📖 https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-goldfish-boy/lisa-thompson/9781407170992
📖 https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-eye-of-the-world/robert-jordan/9780356503820
📖 https://www.waterstones.com/book/homegoing/yaa-gyasi/9780241242728

Saturday, 17 December 2016

SPOTLIGHT: HF Virtual Book Tours: Marlene: A Novel of Marlene Dietrich by C.W. Gortner

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Marlene: A Novel of Marlene Dietrich by C.W. Gortner

Paperback Release Date: December 13, 2016
William Morrow, Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062406071; 432 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary Women/Biographical

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Marlene Dietrich�s femme fatale persona defined her, but behind the glitz of 1930s Hollywood was a remarkably modern woman, determined to live by her own terms.

A rebellious girl, Marlene�s genteel family expectations curtail her until Germany's defeat in the Great War gives rise to the decadence of Weimar Berlin. Here, Marlene finds her niche as a cabaret actress. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, and androgynous tuxedo, she performs to packed houses and has a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention until she finds overnight success in the scandalous movie The Blue Angel. As Hitler seizes power, Marlene sets sail for America to become one of Hollywood�s top leading ladies, starring opposite Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and Cary Grant. When Hitler tries to entice her back to Germany, Marlene defiantly declares her stance, risking her life to perform for Allied troops. And upon the war's savage end, she finally returns to Germany to discover a heartbreaking secret amidst the war�s devastation.

MARLENE is out in paperback on December 13 and features exclusive extra content. A perfect gift for lovers of old Hollywood and strong dames! To find out more, please visit: www.cwgortner.com/Marlene.html.

Synopsis

From the gender-bending cabarets of Weimar Berlin to the tyrannical movie studios of Los Angeles, this sweeping story of passion, glamour, art, and war is a lush, dramatic novel of one of the most alluring legends of Hollywood�s golden age: Marlene Dietrich.
Raised in genteel poverty after the First World War, Maria Magdalena Dietrich dreams of a life on the stage. When her budding career as a violinist is cut short, she vows to become an actress, trading her family�s proper, middle-class society for the free-spirited, louche world of Berlin�s cabarets and drag balls. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, and androgynous tailored suits, Marlene performs to packed houses and conducts a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention until she finds overnight success in the scandalous movie The Blue Angel.

For Marlene, neither fame nor marriage and motherhood can cure her wanderlust. As Hitler rises to power, she sets sail for America to become a rival to MGM�s queen, Greta Garbo. As one of Hollywood�s top leading ladies, she stars with such legends as Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and Cary Grant. Desperate for her return, Hitler tries to lure her with dazzling promises. Defiant in her stance against the Nazis, Marlene chooses instead to become an American citizen, and after her new nation is forced into World War II, she tours with the USO, performing for Allied troops in Europe and Africa. But one day, she must return to Germany, where she will discover a heartbreaking secret amidst the war�s devastation that transformed her homeland and the family she loved.

An enthralling account of this extraordinary legend, MARLENE reveals the inner life of a woman of grit and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged her own path.

�Skillfully evokes the cross-dressing, sexually fluid atmosphere of the seedy nightclubs that helped Marlene define her unique appeal.
Well-detailed and truly moving; an ambitious account of the German-American star. � �Kirkus Reviews

�Full of the sizzle and decadence of Weimar Berlin, and the scandal and soirees of Hollywood�s golden era, this is a gloriously entertaining read.
CW Gortner�s Marlene is utterly beguiling, the kind of woman who only comes along once in a century. Reader, you can�t take your eyes off her!� �Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author

"From the ribald cabarets of Weimer-era Berlin to the glamour of golden-era Hollywood, beguilingly androgynous and fiercely passionate Marlene Dietrich . . . fairly leaps off every page." �Booklist, starred review

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | HarperCollins | iBooks | IndieBound


03_cw-gortnerAbout the Author

C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.

Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.

For more information visit C.W. Gortner�s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twittter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and YouTube. Sign up for C.W. Gortner�s Newsletter for updates.

Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, December 13
Kinx's Book Nook
A Bookaholic Swede
To Read, Or Not to Read
So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, December 14
The Lit Bitch
Unabridged Chick
The Never-Ending Book
Caryn, the Book Whisperer

Thursday, December 15
Impressions In Ink
CelticLady's Reviews
Please Pass The Books
What Is That Book About

Friday, December 16
Broken Teepee
Books, Dreams, Life

Saturday, December 17
SJ2B House of Books
Ageless Pages Reviews
Beth's Book Nook Blog
First Impression Reviews

Sunday, December 18
T's Stuff
100 Pages a Day
Passages to the Past

Monday, December 19
Book Nerd
A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, December 20
I Heart Reading
Creating Herstory
Just One More Chapter

Giveaway

To win a paperback copy of Marlene: A Novel of Marlene Dietrich by C.W. Gortner, please enter via the Gleam form below. Two copies are up for grabs!

Rules

� Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
� Giveaway is open to US residents only.
� Only one entry per household.
� All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
� Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Marlene Paperback


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Thursday, 15 December 2016

TLC Book Tours Review: I'll Take You There by Wally Lamb

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About I'll Take You There

• Hardcover: 272 pages
• Publisher: Harper; First Printing edition (November 22, 2016)
Rating:

In this radiant homage to the resiliency, strength, and power of women, Wally Lamb—author of numerous New York Times bestselling novels including She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much is True, and We Are Water—weaves an evocative, deeply affecting tapestry of one Baby Boomer's life and the trio of unforgettable women who have changed it.

I’ll Take You There centers on Felix, a film scholar who runs a Monday night movie club in what was once a vaudeville theater. One evening, while setting up a film in the projectionist booth, he’s confronted by the ghost of Lois Weber, a trailblazing motion picture director from Hollywood’s silent film era. Lois invites Felix to revisit—and in some cases relive—scenes from his past as they are projected onto the cinema’s big screen.

In these magical movies, the medium of film becomes the lens for Felix to reflect on the women who profoundly impacted his life. There’s his daughter Aliza, a Gen Y writer for New York Magazine who is trying to align her post-modern feminist beliefs with her lofty career ambitions; his sister, Frances, with whom he once shared a complicated bond of kindness and cruelty; and Verna, a fiery would-be contender for the 1951 Miss Rheingold competition, a beauty contest sponsored by a Brooklyn-based beer manufacturer that became a marketing phenomenon for two decades. At first unnerved by these ethereal apparitions, Felix comes to look forward to his encounters with Lois, who is later joined by the spirits of other celluloid muses.

Against the backdrop of a kaleidoscopic convergence of politics and pop culture, family secrets, and Hollywood iconography, Felix gains an enlightened understanding of the pressures and trials of the women closest to him, and of the feminine ideals and feminist realities that all women, of every era, must face.

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My Thoughts:
Ok first of all I just want to clarify that I am a fan of Wally Lamb and absolutely loved 'She's Come Undone', 'I Know This Much Is True', and 'The Hour I First Believed'. 

So, what to say about 'I'll Take You There'...All I can say is that it wasn't what I expected, with less pages than I'm used to with his previous novels, and sparser descriptions or depth of characterisation, I have to say it's not one I particularly liked or felt compelled to finish.

It's an easy read, with light inoffensive material about women, family and feminism. To me though it lacked depth and character build up, resulting in bland uninteresting characters and plot.

However, I do think it would be a perfect, uncomplicated quick 'holiday' read, and has huge potential and appeal for the commercial market reader, more so than the literary fiction fan. In fact I can see it doing very well in this market, and that's a good thing especially if it brings a wider audience to Lamb's books.

Ideal for book club reads for potential discussion about women's roles in society, and family, and feminism in general.

These are only my thoughts on the book and in no way would I wish to dissuade anyone from reading the book. In fact, my view is in the minority and therefore I hope that you take a look at what the other reviewers on this tour have had to say about it.

Disclaimer: I received a complementary advance reading copy of 'I'll Take You There' from the publisher and TLC Book Tours to take part in the blog tour.

Photo credit Chris Hetzer 
Photo credit Chris Hetzer

About Wally Lamb

Wally Lamb is the author of four previous novels, including the New York Times and national bestseller The Hour I First Believed and Wishin' and Hopin', a bestselling novella. His first two works of fiction, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, were both number-one New York Times bestsellers and Oprah's Book Club selections. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Christine. The Lambs are the parents of three sons.

Find out more about Wally at his website, and connect with him on Facebook.



Tour Stops


Tuesday, November 22nd: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Wednesday, November 23rd: Dolce Bellezza
Monday, November 28th: Turn the Page
Tuesday, November 29th: West Metro Mommy
Wednesday, November 30th: Lit and Life
Thursday, December 1st: The Well-Read Redhead
Monday, December 5th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, December 6th: What Will She Read Next
Wednesday, December 7th: Bibliophiliac
Thursday, December 8th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, December 9th: Booksie’s Blog
Monday, December 12th: Girl Who Reads
Wednesday, December 14th: Mother’s Circle
Thursday, December 15th: SJ2B House Of Books

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

HF Virtual Book Tours Review : THE SILVER BARON’S WIFE BY DONNA BAIER STEIN

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The Silver Baron's Wife by Donna Baier Stein

Publication Date: September 15, 2016
Serving House Books
Paperback 224 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997101065
Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating:


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The Silver Baron's Wife traces the rags-to-riches-to-rags life of Colorado's Baby Doe Tabor (Lizzie). This fascinating heroine worked in the silver mines and had two scandalous marriages, one to a philandering opium addict and one to a Senator and silver baron worth $24 million in the late 19th century. A divorcee shunned by Denver society, Lizzie raised two daughters in a villa where 100 peacocks roamed the lawns, entertained Sarah Bernhardt when the actress performed at Tabor's Opera House, and after her second husband's death, moved to a one-room shack at the Matchless Mine in Leadville. She lived the last 35 years of her life there, writing down thousands of her dreams and noting visitations of spirits on her calendar. Hers is the tale of a fiercely independent woman who bucked all social expectations by working where 19thcentury women didn't work, becoming the key figure in one of the West's most scandalous love triangles, and, after a devastating stock market crash destroyed Tabor's vast fortune, living in eccentric isolation at the Matchless Mine. An earlier version of this novel won the PEN/New England Discovery Award in Fiction."

My Thoughts:
Told in the first person narrative,  'The Silver Baron's Wife' flows effortlessly and with short chapters was a quick but satisfying read. Baier Stein, encompassing entries from 'Baby Doe's' diaries; using engaging prose and imaginative settings, weaves a compelling and engrossing, 'rags to riches, to rags', tragic love story.

 'The Silver Baron's Wife' is a fascinating fictionalised account of the infamous Elizabeth 'Baby Doe' Tabor, a fiercely independent and determined woman who, after divorcing her first husband, a scandalous affair with a married man, and financial ruin, still manages to survive and remain true to her own convictions.  A huge scandal of its time, the Tabor's were ostracised by society for their affair and subsequent marriage, and Baier Stein has written a heartbreaking but fascinating account about a truly amazing woman, and of the harsh realities of the mining lifestyle and consequences of her actions.

Fervently religious and increasing in mental instability in her ageing years, she loses sense of reality, has visions, and speaks to the ghosts of her dead husband, her mother and daughters. 'Baby Doe' dies during the freezing winter of 1935, alone in her cabin where she'd lived in poverty for 30 years. Such a tragic ending for a courageous, pioneering woman, a selfless mother and wife, who's only failing was to fall in love with a married man.

I would definitely recommend 'The Silver Baron's Wife' to fans of American historical fiction, and anyone interested in reading about the Colorado gold and silver mining era of the 1800's.

Totally compelling, and insightful read that held my interest throughout.

Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of 'The Silver Baron's Wife' was provided by the publisher via HF Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest unbiased review.

Praise

"At long last we get to hear Baby Doe’s compelling side of the hurtful tale that made her the most hated woman in the West. Donna Baier Stein has captured young Lizzie’s Doe’s agency in her first marriage, as well as older Lizzie’s Tabor’s deep spiritual resilience during her decades of isolation. Through Stein’s artistry, Baby Doe’s story makes the heart ache." —Judy Nolte Temple, author of Baby Doe Tabor: The Madwoman in the Cabin

"Explosive, gripping and romantic, The Silver Baron’s Wife is a story that exposes not only the scandalous marriage and perplexing life of a woman starred in the wealthy 19th century social circles while being shunned from them. It also opens a fascinating window into 19th century American social mores and Washington DC’s politics.

An absorbing read about a fiercely independent woman who charted her own course only to find herself paying the price." —Talia Carner, author of Hotel Moscow, Jerusalem Maiden, China Doll, and Puppet Child

"The Silver Baron’s Wife is a beautiful and absorbing novel, rich in history and vivid period detail. In exquisite prose, Donna Baier Stein captures the extraordinary and tumultuous life of Lizzie “Baby Doe” Tabor, with all of its longings, joys, and tragedies. This is a moving and memorable book." —Ronna Wineberg, author of Seven Facts That Can Change Your Life, On Bittersweet Place, and Second Language, "With The Silver Baron’s Wife, Donna Baer Stein pulls off that most difficult of novelistic feats: breathing fictional life into historic characters and situations. From the dark, unpropitious, and dismal depths of Baby Doe Tabor’s biography, she mines a vein of pure silver." —Peter Selgin, author of The Inventors, Drowning Lessons, and Life Goes To The Movies

"Donna Baier Stein paints a heartfelt, poignant picture filled with loving details of Baby Doe’s celebrated life that lingers long after the last page is turned." —Ann Parker, author of The Silver Rush Mystery Series

"Donna Baier Stein reveals the deeper levels of Baby Doe Tabor, the fascinating 19th century woman who caught silver mining fever, and whose fortune vacillated again and again between stunning riches and hardscrabble dearth. Having lost children, spouses, and wealth Lizzie is drawn more than ever to the invisible world, yearning to know if the dreams and visitations which have guided her life are real. With sumptuous, tactile prose, rich historical detail, and an evocative recreation of the American West, The Silver Baron’s Wife excavates the legend of Elizabeth McCourt Tabor to expose a character’s humanity and soul." —Diane Bonavist, author of Purged by Fire: The Cathar Heresy


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About the Author

Donna Baier Stein is the author of The Silver Baron's Wife (PEN/New England Discovery Award), Sympathetic People (Iowa Fiction Award Finalist and 2015 IndieBook Awards Finalist), and Sometimes You Sense the Difference. She founded and publishes Tiferet Journal. She has received a Scholarship from Bread Loaf, a Fellowship from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, three Pushcart nominations, and prizes from the Allen Ginsberg Awards and elsewhere. Her writing has appeared in Ascent, Beloit Poetry Journal, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, Puerto del Sol, Writer’s Digest, as well as in anthologies from Simon & Schuster and The Spirit That Moves Us Press. She is currently completing a new collection of stories based on Thomas Hart Benton lithographs.
Donna was also an award-winning copywriter whose clients include Smithsonian, World Wildlife Fund, Citrix, and other non-profit and for-profit organizations. Her website is www.donnabaierstein.com. You can also follow Donna on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.