Rosedale in Love, by Lev Raphael – A Review

Rosedale in Love, by Lev Raphael (2011)In honor of Edith Wharton’s 150th birthday yesterday, Kimberly Denny-Ryder has generously shared her review of this new novel inspired by Wharton’s The House of Mirth.

The Gilded Age of America is one of my favorite time periods to read about.  This is probably due to the fact that I grew up near NYC and also made frequent trips to the mansions in Newport, RI owned by the billionaires of that era.  The amount of wealth that was thrown around in those days is truly astounding.  To see the ostentatious nature of some of the landmarks of that era is mesmerizing: houses with elaborate ballrooms, private tea gardens, marble EVERYTHING, etc. etc. – you get the idea.  When Lev Raphael approached me about reviewing Rosedale in Love, a historical fiction novel taking place in the Gilded Age, you can imagine my immediate acceptance!

The time is 1905, and America is booming.  Considered the first real decade of consumerism and materialism, Americans were spending their hard-earned money in droves.  At the center of this madness in New York City is Simon Rosedale, a Jewish financial wizard who has big plans to break into the elite upper-class society that controls everything there is to control in the city.  However, not having any beneficial family ties, and feeling slightly outcast due to his faith, Rosedale sets his aim on marriage as his way into this exclusive club.  Enter Lily Bart, a down-on-her-luck member of this aristocratic society who has recently been fodder for the tabloids.  Rosedale sees a way in via Ms. Bart.  She’s hurt enough socially that she just might take the plunge with Rosedale.  But would she really marry someone like Rosedale?  Would this make the gossip go away, or would it intensify even further?  Add into this mix Florence, Simon’s cousin who is secretly head over heels in love with Simon and you have one hell of a love triangle. Continue reading

Follow Friday: Girlebooks

Girlebooks logoIf anyone hadn’t noticed, I love books! I work in a bookstore, I blog about books, a lot, and I have a household full of them. As a book reviewer, publishers and authors send me books weekly. I also buy *gasp* books, more than I would like to admit in this public forum. I have my special collection beautifully displayed in my ONE bookcase, stashes of them stuffed about the house, and boxes of them in storage. I am now maxed out on buying more physical books. Making me stop acquiring more books was not an option that I cared to even to contemplate. My solution was to buy a NOOK, Barnes & Noble’s nifty digital eReader. It has solved my space issues and also opened up even more possibilities of acquiring new books. Squee.

One great online source of digital books that I enjoy is Girlebooks, so I am selecting them as my Follow Friday this week. The “gals” Laura McDonald and Joyce McDonald  are experts at digital geeky stuff and offer many classics and some new authors too in a variety of digital formats. So who are Girlebooks and why are they so great? Here’s the low down from their website:

What is Girlebooks?
Much more than a simple ebook resource, Girlebooks aims to make classic and contemporary works by female writers available to a large audience through the ebook medium. The site was founded by Laura McDonald and her mom  Joyce McDonald with lots of help by volunteers and contributing bloggers.

Why books by women?
We love books by both men and women. However, if we may generalize, women’s most loved and re-read books are generally books by other women. The same is probably true for men. Also, as women authors were not always as celebrated and promoted as they are today, we are digging up many forgotten books that that we believe deserve a wider audience than they have. Continue reading