Tag: Books: NetGalley


Review: Victoria

Posted 23 November, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Victoria
By: Daisy Goodwin
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

I do not like the name Alexandrina. From now on I wish to be known only by my second name, Victoria.
Melbourne nodded. “Victoria.”

Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world. Surely she must rely on her mother and her venal advisor, Sir John Conroy, or her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who are all too eager to relieve her of the burdens of power.

The young queen is no puppet, however. She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.

Everyone keeps saying she is destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.

Drawing on Victoria s diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the young queen richly to life in this magnificent novel.

Readers of my blog know that I’m a big fan of period dramas and I am looking forward to sitting down and watching Victoria starring Jenna Coleman. I didn’t know that there was an accompanying (?) novel that was coming out alongside the series by the same person who penned the show. Admittedly this is not my first foray with Daisy Goodwin’s work; I started reading the eGalley of The Fortune Hunter (review) a few years ago but sadly had to put it down as I just had no time and the first chapter or so didn’t compel me to finish it. Nonetheless I was pretty excited to check out this title. This book will be available on 22 November 2016.

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Review: The Crew

Posted 16 August, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Crew
By: Joseph Kessel
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of Pushkin Press via NetGalley

The crew of a French reconnaissance plane during WW1 consisted of just two men: a pilot and an observer. Two such men are Jean Herbillon and Claude Maury. Herbillon’s dreams of glory as an air ace have been dashed after only a few months at the front; Maury suffers from a broken heart–his only hope is that his exploits as a pilot will win back his lost love. Together the two form one of the best crews in the air, fighting in the first aerial conflict in history–one in which a combatant can count his life expectancy in weeks. The pressure of war forges a strong bond between the two flyers, but can it survive the discovery that they are both in love with the same woman?

Joseph Kessel’s autobiographical novel is a staggering tale of courage, brotherhood and loss.

I’ve becoming something of a fan of the classics that Pushkin Press have been publishing after reading Alexander Lerner-Holenia’s Mona Lisa (review) so I immediately requested an eARC of this title when I saw it on NetGalley. It’s something different, this time from French literature, and I had heard of the author in passing. Of course it was only afterwards that I learned that he’s quite the titan in modern French literature. I also learned an interesting piece of trivia: his nephew is author Maurice Druon (see author tag). Anyway, this book will be available on 16 August 2016.

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Review: Girl in the Afternoon

Posted 4 July, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Girl in the Afternoon
By: Serena Burdick
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley

The Savarays are at the center of bourgeois Parisian society, as supporters of the Impressionist movement, friends of Édouard Manet, and citizens relatively unaffected by the Franco-Prussian war raging beyond their estate – until their beloved adopted son Henri, a burgeoning artist, disappears early one morning and 18-year-old Aimee Savaray sets out to find him. But Henri doesn’t want to be found, and only one member of the family knows why. As Aimee seeks refuge in the art world, mentored by Manet, she unwittingly finds her way back to Henri. After so many years passed and secrets buried, their eventual reunion unmasks the lies that once held the family together, and now threaten to tear them apart.

Serena Burdick’s rich and opulent saga, Girl in the Afternoon, brings the Impressionists to life in this portrait of scandal, fortune, and unrequited love.

I believe I first encountered this book while browsing GoodReads one day but I didn’t quite check out what the book was about until I saw it on NetGalley. The premise was definitely my kind of read–Paris during the Impressionist movement, family drama, secrets–so I requested a copy to read for revew. This book will be available on 12 July 2016.

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Review: Mona Lisa

Posted 13 June, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Mona Lisa
By: Alexander Lernet-Holenia, Ignat Avsey (Translation), Neil Gower (Illustrations)
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

‘Love does not need any comforting. It does not even need requiting. All it needs is itself.’

Florence, 1502. Marshal Louis de La Trémouille’s small army has stopped off en route to Naples, to buy objects d’art for King Louis XII of France. Naturally, Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop is on the shopping list; and during their visit to his house, the young nobleman de Bougainville chances upon the not-quite-finished Mona Lisa. He promptly, utterly and hopelessly falls in love with the woman in the painting, and is determined to find her – despite rumours that she has long ago died. A visit to an empty tomb, assault upon an Italian nobleman’s mansion, duel and execution later, the secret of la Gioconda’s smile is (possibly) revealed.

An entertaining story, told with style – about love, life, art, and the Quixotic things that a man will do to realise his dream.

I found out about this novella whilst parusing through NetGalley a few months back (a dangerous activity–ended up requesting for a number of ARCs, lol!). I’m always open to checking out lesser-known authors and translated works and the premise of this title sounded really interesting. So I was quite delighted to learn that I was approved a copy of this book to read. This book will be available on 14 June 2016.

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Review: The Flight

Posted 25 April, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Flight
By: Gaito Gazdanov, Bryan Karetnyk (Translation)
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

While summering on the French Riviera, the young Seryozha secretly becomes the lover of the much older Liza – who is also his father’s mistress. As autumn approaches, they reluctantly part: Liza to return to Paris, Seryozha to take up his studies at university in London. When he finds out about their affair, Seryozha’s father attempts to convince Liza to leave his son, for the sake of the boy’s own happiness. She finally gives in – but a sudden, fatal catastrophe changes everything…

It’s been a while since I’ve read some Russian literature, so this book came at a good time (plus the added bonus that I never heard of this author before, so that was cool). This book will be available on 25 April 2016.

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