Shades of Milk and Honey
By: Mary Robinette Knowal
Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane’s skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face. When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right—and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.
I believe they pitched this novel as a cross between Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (commentary) and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (review) so naturally I was intrigued. May contain some spoilers ahead!
The Weird Sisters
By: Eleanor Brown
There is no problem that a library card can’t solve.
The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there.
See, we love each other. We just don’t happen to like each other very much.
But the sisters soon discover that everything they’ve been running from-one another, their small hometown, and themselves-might offer more than they ever expected.
This is another one of those books that I had been eyeing on for so long but took forever getting around to, lol. It has all of the elements that screamed “Read me!” to me: family drama, a father who speaks in Shakespearean verse, characters who read a lot. So I finally got around to read this book. May contain some spoilers ahead!
The Prague Cemetery
By: Umberto Eco
19th-century Europe—from Turin to Prague to Paris—abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Conspiracies rule history. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies both real and imagined, lay one lone man? What if that evil genius created its most infamous document?
This is the second book I’ve read by Umberto Eco. I read The Name of the Rose a few years ago but have been meaning to re-read it; I don’t think I quite appreciated the depth and scope of the novel the first time around. Anyways, I picked up this novel because the premise sounded intriguing–the 19th century indeed was a period fraught with all sorts of upheavals and turnovers–and knowing now what to expect form an Eco novel, I was prepared to exercise a bit of brain power to understand the novel. Contains some spoilers ahead!
The Book of Joby
By: Mark J. Ferrari
Lucifer and the Creator have entered, yet again, into a wager they’ve made many times before, but this time, the existence of creation itself is balanced on the outcome. Born in California during the twilight years of a weary millennium, nine-year-old Joby Peterson dreams of blazing like a bonfire against the gathering darkness of his times, like a knight of the Round Table. Instead, he is subjected to a life of crippling self-doubt and relentless mediocrity inflicted by an enemy he did nothing to earn and cannot begin to comprehend.
Though imperiled themselves, the angels are forbidden to intervene. Left to struggle with their own loyalties and the question of obedience, they watch Lucifer work virtually unhindered to turn Joby’s heart of gold into ash and stone while God sits by, seemingly unconcerned.
And so when he is grown to manhood, Joby’s once luminous love of life seems altogether lost, and Lucifer’s victory assured. What hope remains lies hidden in the beauty, warmth, and innocence of a forgotten seaside village whose odd inhabitants seem to defy the modern world’s most inflexible assumptions, and in the hearts of Joby’s long lost youthful love and her emotionally wounded son. But the ravenous forces of destruction that follow Joby into this concealed paradise plan to use these same things to bring him and his world to ruin.
As the final struggle unfolds, one question occupies every mind in heaven and in hell. Which will prove stronger, love or rage?
This book had been sitting on my shelf for quite a long while; I had been meaning to get to it but you know how it is, other books push and shove for priority so yeah, I hadn’t gotten around to it until recently. I was fascinated by the idea of drawing from the Book of Job and retelling it with a dash of fantasy (not to mention it’s not very often you come across a fantasy story that spans one volume). Contains some spoilers ahead!
Happy 1st of February and a Happy Friday to everyone! And here’s the first issue of Femnista for 2013 to kick off the brand new month =D
For this issue of Femnista I wrote on Millais Culpin & Ethel Bennett from BBC’s Casualty 1900s series. I love how their relationship gradually develops as they work together at the London Hospital but their connection has more or less been there from the start (Charity Wakefield & William Houston’s chemistry in this show is just xD). I think episode 3 from Casualty 1907 remains my favourite with these two–so much development! <3
Also, what's really cool about this couple is that they're based on real-life individuals (just like the rest of characters show) who worked at London Hospital and these two did fall in love (though it sounded latter happened away from when they were stationed British Shanghai).
(image source; edits are my own)
Anyways, this issue is a fantastic one covering romances from a wide range of different mediums (tv, movies, books) from an assortment of time periods. Be sure to check it out! =)