Marmee: A Novel of Little Women, by Sarah Miller — A Review

From the desk of Jayda B. Justus:

I am a huge fan of Little Women and read it multiple times as a child and adult, laughing and crying along with the March sisters (and desperately longing for sisters like them!). Marmee is a new novel retelling of the story from the point of view of the sisters mother, Margaret March. Author Sarah Miller has turned the familiar story to focus on how the antics of the sisters and the absence of Mr. March affected Margaret, the saintly mother, and wife who held the family together in the midst of war and near poverty. Continue reading “Marmee: A Novel of Little Women, by Sarah Miller — A Review”

Little Women (Abbeville Illustrated Classics), by Louisa May Alcott, with Illustrations by Clara M. Burd, & Introduction by Alice A. Carter — A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Few novels have touched and inspired young readers as profoundly as Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888). Originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, it is a remarkable coming-of-age story of four sisters with distinctive, endearing personalities set during the American Civil War, and after. Continue reading “Little Women (Abbeville Illustrated Classics), by Louisa May Alcott, with Illustrations by Clara M. Burd, & Introduction by Alice A. Carter — A Review”

Unnatural Creatures: A Novel of the Frankenstein Women, by Kris Waldherr — A Review   

From the desk of Sophia Rose:

When one considers classic horror, there are few tales that leap so quickly to the mind as Frankenstein. Published in 1818, the tale was originally spun by Mary Shelley as a campfire ghost tale during a summer gathering of literary giants vacationing along the shores of Lake Geneva. Much homage has been paid to the original story, in print and film, yet here is a sparkling, standout gem of a companion novel written by Kris Waldherr not only paying proper tribute to both the radical author and her disturbing tale, but with an added twist. Unnatural Creatures spotlights the women of the Frankenstein story. Continue reading “Unnatural Creatures: A Novel of the Frankenstein Women, by Kris Waldherr — A Review   “

Marple: Twelve New Mysteries, by Naomi Alderman, Leigh Bardugo, Alyssa Cole, Lucy Foley, Elly Griffiths, Natalie Haynes, Jean Kwok, Val McDermid, Karen M. McManus, Dreda Say Mitchell, Kate Mosse, and Ruth Ware — A Review

From the desk of Amy Louise:

It has been 45 years since Agatha Christie’s last Miss Marple novel, Sleeping Murder, was published posthumously in 1976. First introduced to readers in a story Christie wrote for The Royal Magazine in 1927, Jane Marple made her first full-length appearance in the 1930’s novel, The Murder at the Vicarage. Marple, a collection of new stories by twelve Christie devotees will be a timely reminder why Jane remains the most famous fictional female detective of all time. Continue reading “Marple: Twelve New Mysteries, by Naomi Alderman, Leigh Bardugo, Alyssa Cole, Lucy Foley, Elly Griffiths, Natalie Haynes, Jean Kwok, Val McDermid, Karen M. McManus, Dreda Say Mitchell, Kate Mosse, and Ruth Ware — A Review”

The Matchmaker’s Gift: A Novel, by Lynda Cohen Loigman — A Review

From the desk of Rachel McMillan:

“A drop of love sometimes brings an ocean of tears.” (137)

After learning that Lynda Loigman’s forthcoming book was about a matchmaker in 1910s New York City, I begged her for any early PDF file. She was kind enough to oblige. After all, I had quite enjoyed the emotional depth of her previous historical novels. Having read The Matchmaker’s Gift twice, I am able to appreciate it not only for its central story but also its evocative blend of history and wisdom: as intricately and beautifully design as the Ketubahs elaborately serving as the frame for wedding contracts (and Continue reading “The Matchmaker’s Gift: A Novel, by Lynda Cohen Loigman — A Review”

Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës, by Devoney Looser — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

If you’ve ever wished that Jane Austen’s family had preserved more of her personal letters, have I got a surrogate wish-fulfillment for you. It is my pleasure to introduce the gifted nineteenth-century novelists Jane and Anna Maria Porter. Although their copious correspondence remains unpublished—and may always, as the writers themselves expressed was their wish—it has been carefully curated into a stunning biography of these innovative writers. Continue reading “Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës, by Devoney Looser — A Review”

The Marriage Portrait: A Novel, by Maggie O’Farrell — A Review

From the desk of Theresa Smith: 

“You,” Elisabetta breathes, maliciously, almost delightedly. “You will be blamed. So be careful, Lucrezia. Be very, very careful.”

In The Marriage Portrait, O’Farrell gives us a fictional retelling of the short life and marriage of Lucrezia de’ Medici (1545-1561), third daughter of Cosimo l de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, fateful first wife of Alfonso d ’Este, Duke of Ferrara. Continue reading “The Marriage Portrait: A Novel, by Maggie O’Farrell — A Review”

Marvelous: A Novel, by Molly Greeley — A Review

From the desk of Rachel McMillan:

I first discovered Molly Greeley’s forthcoming novel Marvelous in a Publisher’s Lunch deal memo. Knowing Greeley was a fan-favourite after her two deliciously engaging re-imaginings of Jane Austen’s world (The Clergyman’s Wife, and The Heiress) I would read anything she wrote. The true story behind the couple from the “tale as old as time” that may have inspired the Beauty and The Beast fairy tale was my favourite trope-y catnip. Continue reading “Marvelous: A Novel, by Molly Greeley — A Review”

Persuasion: The Complete Novel, Featuring the Characters’ Letters and Papers, Written and Folded by Hand, by Jane Austen, curated by Barbara Heller — A Review

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

Happy Monday Dear Readers,

Coming your way tomorrow is a gorgeous new curated edition of Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion. It includes the complete unabridged text and thirteen pockets throughout containing replicas of items from the story such as maps, pages from newspapers, and recreated correspondence written as if you were picking up the very letter addressed to one of the characters in Austen’s novel. Wow. Just wow! The full title is a mouthful, but here it is: Persuasion: The Complete Novel, Featuring the Characters’ Letters and Papers, Written and Folded by Hand. Continue reading “Persuasion: The Complete Novel, Featuring the Characters’ Letters and Papers, Written and Folded by Hand, by Jane Austen, curated by Barbara Heller — A Review”

The Witch of Tin Mountain, by Paulette Kennedy — A Review  

From the desk of Molly Greeley:           

Three women, separated by time but connected by blood and the strength of their unusual powers. An ageless, sinister, smooth-talking minister who stalks each of them in turn. A setting—the Ozark Mountains—as steeped in magic and folklore as it is in natural beauty, where compasses refuse to point North and where ghosts hide in shadowed hollows. From its very first page, Paulette Kennedy’s The Witch of Tin Mountain sets itself up as an enthralling work of Gothic fiction—and none of the pages that come after disappoint. Continue reading “The Witch of Tin Mountain, by Paulette Kennedy — A Review  “

Women Who Write Are Dangerous, by Stefan Bollmann — A Review

From the desk of Tracy Hickman:

If women who read are dangerous, what about women who write? Following my review of Stefan Bollmann’s Women Who Read Are Dangerous, I thought I would explore its “sister” book: Women Who Write Are Dangerous, also by Bollmann.

Francine Prose, American novelist, essayist, and critic, sets the stage for Bollmann’s exploration of women writers in the foreword: Continue reading “Women Who Write Are Dangerous, by Stefan Bollmann — A Review”

My Top Ten Favorite Retellings & Spinoff Novels Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Anne and Captain Wentworth at Lyme, by Marsha Laurence at Etsy

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

The new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion aired on Netflix on Friday, July 15, 2022. It takes a creative approach to the Regency-era second chance love story, adding contemporary language, an American actress Dakota Johnson in the key role of heroine Anne Elliot, and breaking the fourth wall by having her speak directly to the audience while looking at the camera. The tried-and-true Janeites were all Continue reading “My Top Ten Favorite Retellings & Spinoff Novels Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion”

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