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Mar 25, 2016

Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell

Friday, March 25, 2016

Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell
Published May 3 2011, 389 pages
eBook library loan
Born to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday arrives on the Texas frontier hoping that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. Soon, with few job prospects, Doc Holliday is gambling professionally with his partner, Mária Katarina Harony, a high-strung, classically educated Hungarian whore. In search of high-stakes poker, the couple hits the saloons of Dodge City. And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins— before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology—when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety.

Having totally loved Epitaph by the author - it was a favorite for this year- I went back to read the novel that came before it. This novel is a wonderful re-imagining of Doc Holliday's life and is very enjoyable. The writing is very well done but the only draw back is when the author seemed to digress into another person's detailed mini-biography. The author was clearly showing her research prowess of the era, but there were times this detail drew me away from the story at hand.

If you like the movie Tombstone, and enjoy the wild west type of stories, each of the novels by Mary Doria Russell will fit the bill. It is a very character-driven atmospheric tale, and the Earps are an intriguing lot. Add them to the story of Doc Holliday and it's a win-win.

I'm really enjoying my 2016 of Books, as I read whatever the heck I want on any old whim. I am also loving the eBook library loan feature plus the free book a month via Prime (just one?!) as I've finally embraced my Kindle Voyage full force.

Mar 23, 2016

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Adored this novel!

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
Sourcebooks re-issue 2012
Source eBook plus own personal autographed copy

My previous Susanna Kearsley posts and reviews can be found here.

The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.

As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.

Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past...until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time.

I am not really sure why it took me so long to get to this novel, especially given how I love this author and her work; this novel marks the seventh of the author's that I have read. I have had the eBook since 2012, and I recently went to an author event and purchased another copy there so I could have her autograph it. I finally read the eBook on my Kindle so I wouldn't spoil the newness of my new copy.

This book is another one of the time slip historical gothic novels that Kearsley is known for, and this one has romance, paranormal activity/fantasy, religion, time travel, suspense and historical details. When I say religion it just is a small conceptual fact to add to the history-- so atheists will still enjoy this. The time slip has Julia flashing back to the Charles Stuart era with folks wanting Richard Cromwell to rise up and defend his father's dream of the Commonwealth.

 Do you have a soul mate? Do you believe in reincarnation?

I absolutely love loved loved it, and the ending really was so good that I was tearing up. If I had been alone at that exact moment I probably would have let the tears flow. I loved how Julia's character was portrayed as she was so realistically portrayed that she was easy to like and then of course the time-slip counterpart of her was also a character that was very easy to empathize with. There were probably so many tiny clues hidden that when I finished the novel and finally realized the "mystery" I felt compelled to start over. I will miss Julia and would love to see another book with this set of characters. I always enjoy the settings of Kearsley's novels of England and I could wax poetic but there's no need.

If you have not read Mariana yet, please go do so. Thank me later.

I love the resolution of 2016 -- reading what I want, when I want. It has meant that my reviews are all going to be for good books, because I am not going to waste time on books I don't like anymore!

Mar 14, 2016

The Midwife's Revolt

Monday, March 14, 2016


The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard
Published April 7, 2015
426 pages

Source: free eBook via Kindle Lending Library

"On a dark night in 1775, Lizzie Boylston is awakened by the sound of cannons. From a hill south of Boston, she watches as fires burn in Charlestown, in a battle that she soon discovers has claimed her husband’s life.
Alone in a new town, Lizzie grieves privately but takes comfort in her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams. Soon, word spreads of Lizzie’s extraordinary midwifery and healing skills, and she begins to channel her grief into caring for those who need her. But when two traveling patriots are poisoned, Lizzie finds herself with far more complicated matters on her hands—she suspects a political plot intended to harm Abigail and her family. Determined to uncover the truth, Lizzie becomes entangled in a conspiracy that could not only destroy her livelihood—and her chance at finding love again—but also lead to the downfall of a new nation."

I came across the author browsing for available selections in the Amazon Prime Member's Kindle Lending Library. I was intrigued by 'Our Own Country' and saw that it was actually a sequel of sorts to The Midwife's Revolt, so I started in the beginning despite other reviewers indicating that the titles could read as a stand-alone.

The Midwife's Revolt is a novel set in the very intriguing period of America's birth. The American Revolution has begun, and Lizzie is forced to make do on her own on a modest farm, but it turns out that neighbors are Abigail Adams and the Quincys, which makes for a captivating storyline of political intrigue and the nuance of hobnobbing with the royalty of America.

But the heroine Lizzie was a fun character to watch, as she was intelligent, rash, emotional only at the most passionate times, and was a true friend to all. There were several characters who helped to round out the story and add romance and mystery at the same time. There was a traitor somewhere and people were being murdered, and Lizzie had to be very cautious. Book two will tell me the continuing story of Lizzie's friend and sister in law, Eliza, and I am looking forward to it. The historical details were really well done and the novel is another example that we need more American Revolution novels!

The author's writing was well paced and kept me interested throughout the plot, even though some unrealistic moments had to be brushed off. And the other annoyance was the way the novel would stop and say 'dear reader, I must tell you..' and I didn't want to be reminded that I was merely reading a story, just tell me the story but don't make me a part of it. It was a quick weekend read, and as soon as I am able to get another free ebook from Amazon I will download Our Own Country.

 *The link to the title on Goodreads where the novel has about a 4 star rating after 3,000 reviews: