The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

The Map of Time
By Felix J. Palma
Atria Books, $26.00

Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time boasts a triple-play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and thereby save the lives of an aristocrat in love with a murdered prostitute from the past; of a woman bent on fleeing the strictures of Victorian society; and of his very own wife, who may have become a pawn in a 4th-dimensional plot to murder the authors of Dracula, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, in order to alter their identities and steal their fictional creations. 

But, what happens if we change history? FÉlix J. Palma raises such questions in The Map of Time. Mingling fictional characters with real ones, Palma weaves a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting, a story full of love and adventure that also pays homage to the roots of science fiction while transporting its readers to a fascinating Victorian London for their own taste of time travel. 

I have to start by saying that I liked this book enough to go out and buy it with my own pennies just so I could finish it. I had been sent an e-galley of Felix J. Palma's  The Map of Time that sadly timed out on my computer before I was done reading. And I am glad that I had to go buy a copy. If nothing else but to see the gorgeous cover!  I'll paste in the clearest cover image that I can find below. The attention to detail is stunning. This all comes on the heels of an interview that I just completed with another author (I'll post it here soon) and we'd veered off a bit and were  both lamenting that book covers now seem to be more simple and less works of art, simply because a lot of people buy books online and the publisher knows that the buyer won't SEE the works of art that so many covers used to be. Not so with The Map of Time!  The cover art for the US version is gorgeous, it very easily could be a lithograph, framed and hanging on a gallery wall!    OK enough about the cover.

 The Map of Time is a complex and intricately woven tale, its divided into three parts, all connecting, but still separate. To me, its "steampunk" on its own level with the legendary H.G. Wells popping up through out the story. And it's useless to say that when you have H.G. Wells in the story, can some sort of time travel be far behind? And this time with a love story woven through out.

I found Palma's characters well written and my suspension of disbelief fully engaged. The Map of Time was first published in 2008 and was later translated from the author's native Spanish into English in 2011 for the UK and the US audiences.  I was happy to learn that it was a translation when I searched around a bit, as some of the wording seemed a bit "off" to me and when I confirmed this I was happy to over look some occasional awkwardness in words and phrasing. I wish I could read Spanish as I'd love to be able to read this as it was written.

I can't give too much away here, as I don't want to spoil the read, so suffice it to say, I liked it. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. Go buy the book or check it out from the library, you need to see that cover close up!

* Cover art copyright: Atria Books

This review copy was originally provided to me by the publisher in a time sensitive, expiring  e-galley format and in no way affected my review, however I did finally purchase the book with my own funds on order to complete the review. 

The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly

The Little Women Letters
By Gabrielle Donnelly
Touchstone, $25.00

With her older sister, Emma, planning a wedding and her younger sister, Sophie, preparing to launch a career on the London stage, Lulu can't help but feel like the failure of the Atwater family. Lulu loves her sisters dearly and wants nothing but the best for them, but she finds herself stuck in a rut, working dead-end jobs with no romantic prospects in sight. When her mother asks her to find a cache of old family recipes in the attic of her childhood home, Lulu stumbles across a collection of letters written by her great-great-grandmother Josephine March. In her letters, Jo writes in detail about every aspect of her life: her older sister, Meg's, new home and family; her younger sister Amy's many admirers; Beth's illness and the family's shared grief over losing her too soon; and the butterflies she feels when she meets a handsome young German. As Lulu delves deeper into the lives and secrets of the March sisters, she finds solace and guidance, but can the words of her great-great-grandmother help Lulu find a place for herself in a world so different from the one Jo knew? 

Growing up, I wasn't a huge fan of Louisa May Alcott's stories, but I was a fan. Unlike my friends and family I didn't re-read Little Women over and over. One reading was the perfect number for me. So when I had the opportunity to review The Little Women Letters it was a journey that I had not been on for a very long time  and it was a joy! As author Gabrielle Donnelly surely wanted, I identified with Lulu, the finder of the "Jo" letters.

I saw Lulu as the underachiever in her family, one of three sisters and the one still struggling to find her way into the world. Ms. Donnelly writes a great story, her many characters are all clearly drawn and developed.  The plot flows smoothly and envelopes the reader so that you bounce between the world that is spoken of, with such detail in Jo's letters and the world of the present day Atwater family.

My only "issue" as it were, is that I was at times drawn more to the letters than to the present day story. Maybe that's what Ms. Donnelly wanted. Maybe not, but it's what I most enjoyed and found myself most looking forward to reading. But then, I am on record here confessing in other reviews, of being a lover of books full of letters written years ago.  One of my favorite books of all time is 84 Charing Cross Road by the brilliant Helene Hanff. That tells you a lot about this book lover.

All in all, I enjoyed the read with Ms. Donnelly's THE LITTLE WOMEN LETTERS and think you will too!  Be sure to share it with other Louisa May Alcott lovers and get a group together to talk about the two stories of the three Atwater sisters and the four March sisters. I think it's well worth the time!

3 out of 5 stars

This galley was provided to me by the publisher and in no way affected my review.

45 years ago today Dark Shadows made its debut!

Instead of our usual Monday Books to Movies post, I'm posting about the 45th Anniversary of the show Dark Shadows.   It was ground breaking, in so many ways!  It changed the demographics of daytime television and it forever changed the way we look at vampires.  Dan Curtis changed it all. The vampire as a trapped victim.  Barnabas Collins...ahhhh ... played by the wonderful Jonathan Frid!

Be still my silly young school girl heart...

Today we saw Victoria Winters on the train, coming to Collinwood, to be the governess to young David Collins. Gothic romance at its best! There were books based on the series, so I can tie it that way. ;)

AND....we know that Johnny Depp bought the rights to Dark Shadows on the death of creator Dan Curtis. Depp and his Gothic collaborator Tim Burton are currently filming the remake in the UK.

AP photo found here. 

The Ninth Wife by Amy Stolls

The Ninth Wife
By Amy Stolls
Harper Paperbacks, $14.99

From the publisher: What sane woman would consider becoming any man's ninth wife?
Bess Gray is a thirty-five-year-old folklorist and amateur martial artist living in Washington, DC. Just as she's about to give up all hope of marriage, she meets Rory, a charming Irish musician, and they fall in love. But Rory is a man with a secret, which he confesses to Bess when he asks for her hand: He's been married eight times before. Shocked, Bess embarks on a quest she feels she must undertake before she can give him an answer. With her bickering grandparents (married sixty-five years), her gay neighbor (himself a mystery), a shar-pei named Stella, and a mannequin named Peace, Bess sets out on a cross-country journey—unbeknownst to Rory—to seek out and question the wives who came before. What she discovers about her own past is far more than she bargained for.

The Ninth Wife really surprised me. I knew that this book would either be really great, or really not. One of the other. Hit or miss.  It's a hit!  Author Amy Stolls has written an interesting and thought provoking saga of a man with quite a past and a woman wanting a future.

While we are learning about Bess and Rory, Stolls wisely introduces Bess' grandparents into the mix,  as I think they serve as not only a mirror into her own family past, they also serve as a window in which to see the joy and heartache that revolves around a long marriage.  At the time, I got the impression that I was reading two novels with overlapping characters. Normally for me, that wouldn't be a good thing, but in The Ninth WORKS!  Amy Stolls somehow managed to write the character of Rory as a likable and endearing guy! Who'd a thunk it?  And somehow Bess was reacting and thinking the way I was...most of the time.

Stolls also throws in some unique friends and neighbors...and the wonderful Stella to complete the secondary characters.  Some of those will also grab your heart.  I think The Ninth Wife is a perfect read this summer, just don't think this is another piece of fluff. It's a thinking reader's book, that won't make your head hurt. BUT it will make your heart and mind grow as the story comes to an end.

I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

This galley was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley and in no way affected my review.

More about Pottermore

Here's Jo Rowling herself giving us an  idea of the fun we can expect from her new POTTERMORE website!

J.K. Rowling announces Pottermore

J.K. Rowling today, Thursday 23rd answered mounting speculation about the nature of her new project and announced  Pottermore, a unique and free-to-use website which builds an exciting online experience around the reading of her hugely successful Harry Potter books, and is partnered by Sony.  

The announcement today was heralded by the revealing of the website’s name via an online search for its letters, and a ‘coming soon’ holding page which received over a million visits within 36 hoursof launching.

For this groundbreaking collaborative project, J.K. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books.  Pottermore will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with  J.K.  Rowling’s publishers worldwide,  and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans.  As the Pottermore Shop develops, it is intended that it should include further products designed specifically for Harry Potter fans, offering a potential outlet for Sony products and services related  to Pottermore.    In keeping with Harry Potter’s international appeal, the site will launch in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages to follow.

In the new website, the storyline  will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience.  As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.  

At a press conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Rowling revealed some key features of the website. In an announcement which will thrill fans, she described how she has brought to life both the Sorting Hat and Ollivanders experiences from her books for the first time on Pottermore, by revealing the questions asked by the Sorting Hat  - which places newcomers into their Hogwarts houses according to their characteristics - and the magic behind the Wand Chooser – which finds the right wand for each user from over 33,000  possible combinations. She also revealed glimpses of the new information she has provided on some of the best-loved characters. J.K. Rowling’s announcement on YouTube and today revealed that Pottermore (along with the Pottermore Shop) will be open to all users in October 2011.  

From today, 23rd June, fans can submit their email addresses on in order to be contacted by the site following the opening of registration on 31stJuly, Harry’s birthday.  Also on that date, an online challenge will be launched, whereby the first million people to complete their registration will gain early entry into the website, and help put final touches to the experience.  

J.K. Rowling commented,“I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new digital generation.  I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have.   Just as I have contributed to the website, everyone else will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment – Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories 
with your friends as you journey through the site.”

Pottermore has been made possible with the support and  partnership of Sony.

My Jane Austen Summer: A Season in Mansfield Park

My Jane Austen Summer: A Season in Mansfield Park
By Cindy Jones
William Morrow

From the publisher: Lily has squeezed herself into undersized relationships all her life, hoping one might grow as large as those found in the Jane Austen novels she loves. But lately her world is running out of places for her to fit. So when her bookish friend invites her to spend the summer at a Jane Austen literary festival in England, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself.
There, among the rich, promising world of Mansfield Park reenactments, Lily finds people whose longing to live in a novel equals her own. But real-life problems have a way of following you wherever you go, and Lily's accompany her to England. Unless she can change her ways, she could face the fate of so many of Miss Austen's characters, destined to repeat the same.

I found My Jane Austen Summer  patiently waiting for me on the front display table at my neighborhood Borders. Yes, I am happy to say that we still have a neighborhood Borders and I promptly grabbed it from the table and began reading it while standing in line to pay. See there is something to be said for a "brick and mortar" store as I would never have found this gem online.  I went in for a magazine and came out with this wonderful book!  I forgot to get the magazine.

I thought author Cindy Jones developed a very likable and believable lead character in Lily Berry. Poor Lily has been dumped by her ex and has sadly resorted to stalking him around Dallas just to be near him, really.  I've never felt so badly for a character so quickly, as I did Lily.  Then she gets fired and as if her live wasn't more miserable, she finds out that her recently widowed father is about to marry the woman he's been having an affair with, behind her mother's back. With her mother now deceased and her dad moving the chippie in, Lily needs to get

When a chance to spend the summer working at an Austen festival in the UK comes her way, Lily is outta there and winging it across the pond.  Once there, she finds that her "job" is not as secure as she had hoped and that she's not really wanted. Jones writes a heroine that I often wanted to shake, but always found her engaging and endearing!

I really liked My Jane Austen Summer and Lily Berry This is Cindy Jones' first book and it's a great fun read, perfect for this time of year. Pour up some iced tea or a margarita and grab a shady spot and lose yourself in a different Mansfield Park.

I hope Ms. Jones plans on writing a follow up for Lily, as I'd love to see what's up next for her..and what Austen background will be visited by Lily the next time!

4 out of 5 stars.

This book is from my own overflowing bookshelves, paid for with my own meager pennies.

Books to Movies Monday - Mr. Popper's Penquins

I think the Atwaters might be amazed  to see the new Jim Carrey film inspired by their 1938 book. Or maybe not.

From what I've been told, the 5 year old target audience loves the movie!   BUT what I hope for is that it will bring new young readers to the original Newberry Award© winning story!

Book cover copyright Little Brown, movie poster copyright 20th Century Fox.

A Young Wife by Pam Lewis

A Young Wife
By Pam Lewis
Simon & Schuster

From the publisher:

When fifteen-year-old Minke van Aisma travels to Amsterdam to care for the dying wife of an older, wealthy man named Sander DeVries, she has no idea what awaits her. Within hours of his wife's death, Sander proposes marriage, and within days the couple sets sail for the burgeoning oil fields of Argentina.
But the future that seemed so bright takes a dark turn the morning their son, Zef, is kidnapped. Dire circumstances dictate that Sander immigrate to New York at once, leaving Minke little choice but to wait for their new baby's arrival, follow Sander to America, and abandon her firstborn.
What follows is a triumphant turn-of-the-century saga of love, betrayal, and redemption that takes readers from the opulent life in Amsterdam during the 1900s to rough life on the Argentine coast to the impoverished life of a recent immigrant in New York. 
An indelible portrait of one woman's struggle to steer her own fate, A Young Wife is a powerful journey that will stay with readers long past the final page. 

Author Pam Lewis tells a hypnotic tale of love, intrigue, foreign adventure and personal growth. In 1912 fifteen year old  Minke is chosen (over her older sister Fenna)  by Mr. Sander DeVries to accompany the much older and dashing man to Amsterdam, where Minke is to  to care for De Vries'  dying wife, Elizabeth.    Minke's FIFTEEN!  I kept reminding myself that if she were alive today she'd be a sophomore in high school. Elizabeth soon dies and within hours Sander weds the young, naive and sheltered Minke so they can board the ship that will carry them to the new and developing Argentine oil fields where they will open a store.

We quickly learn that people and situations are not always what they seem and that the trusting Minke has fallen wildly, crazy in love with Sander. Again, I kept having to remind myself that Minke is only fifteen when I am frustrated by her easy trust in people. She's soon pregnant and her dashing husband isn't quite so dashing anymore.

In A Young Wife, Lewis writes a story that is loosely based on the events of her maternal grandmother's life. I couldn't help but wonder what events and happenings were true and which were developed for this story in which the young Minke sees her first child abducted, she sees the aftermath of betrayal  by people she cares for, and she sees the damage that happens when lies and money become more important than the soul and human relationships.

Lewis writes Minke's responses to the events of her life as a young girl would react!  Lewis chronicles the development and growth of Minke's own survival skills and maternal instincts. One thing that does not betray her is  the Comodoro Rivadavia area of the Argentine. Minke loves its people and its land. Somewhat like Scarlet O'Hara, Minke belongs to the Argentine land.  She decides she must do what's necessary to find  her son and eventually her way back to the land and the people where she can be her own person.

I highly recommend A Young Wife!  It's a great plot driven story, and the fact that is it plot driven is my only whine. I do wish we knew a bit more about the characters, but I think that author Pam Lewis gave us all of the information we needed for her to tell her grandmother's story. It's my curiosity that made me want to know more.

I give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

This galley was provided to me by the publisher and in no way affected my review.

Escape Artist by Ed Ifkovic

Escape Artist
By Ed Ifkovic
Poison Pen Press

From the publisher - In 1904 Edna Ferber is a nineteen-year-old girl reporter for the Appleton, Wisconsin “Crescent,” an occupation that many townspeople, including her own family, consider scandalous for a proper young girl. By chance, she interviews Harry Houdini, in town visiting old friends. Houdini, as Ehrich Weiss, spent his boyhood years in the small town. When Frana Lempke, a beautiful young German high-school girl, disappears and is soon discovered murdered, Edna asks Houdini for help in solving the murder. The unusual crime baffles the local police because Frana mysteriously disappeared from a locked room at the high school. Houdini, the celebrated escape artist, takes a liking to Edna and agrees to help. But as Edna pursues the story, alienating any number of people, she senses that she is being followed. It’s a troubling summer for her. Her homelike is in disorder, though she is dedicated to a blind father. Her mother and sister dislike her walking the streets as a reporter. Worse, the newsroom has become a hostile environment, with a new city editor determined to undermine her. Piecing together the clues, she comes to see that her own life in the small town is unraveling. As the future best-selling writer starts to solve the crime, she understands that her involvement will impact her life forever. In 1904 future best-selling writer Edna Ferber, then a nineteen-year-old fledgling reporter in Appleton, Wisconsin, teams up with famed escape artist Harry Houdini to solve the baffling murder of a beautiful young girl who has mysteriously disappeared from a locked room at the local high school.

Holy handcuffs Houdini!  Grab a glass of sarsaparilla  down at the corner soda fountain and dive right into Escape Artist! What's not to like about this premise?!  Houdini in small town America...Appleton Wisconsin to be exact, and that's where we find the young, and struggling girl reporter Edna Ferber. Who knew back in 1904 where these two people would go in the "real" world?

Escape Artist is just plain old fashioned fun. I hated to see the mystery solved and the book end. Author Ed Ifkovic really captures the joys and the frustrations of small town, turn of the "other" century America.  Ifkovic places young Frana Lempke in the proverbial  locked room and yet, she disappeared. Not only did she disappear, Appleton's wanna-be reporter, well sleuth in this case, Edna Ferber, finds the body.

I won't detail much more of the plot, as I think that's a disservice to review readers. Ferber and Houdini are well fleshed out people in a fictional scenario that's brilliantly plotted and executed by Ifkovic. The author places Edna in an unhappy home, her family life is at best miserable. A cold mother and a diva sister do nothing but frame the good parts of that family.  The shining thread in this Ferber family is the sweet and yet complex relationship that Edna and her failing father, Jacob share.  These two souls tug at your heart and make you wish everything could be better for them both. That's what really stood out for me in this book, the loving relationship that Ifkovic gave us in this father-daughter relationship.

When I clicked the last page of this e-galley, I wanted more. I hope the author plans to give us another chapter from the life of Edna Ferber, reporter extraordinaire!

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars just for the real fun of the read!!

This  e-galley  was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley and in no way affected my review.

POTTERMORE website revealed

More Harry Potter mysteries?  Well, who knows about any more books, but SOMETHING sure is up!  This mysterious Pottermore website appeared.

Potter fans have were challenged to solve the puzzle when ten Harry Potter fan sites were given co-ordinates and then by using a "secret Street View" map that led to a different letter that spelled out the "Pottermore" screen name.

Of course this ignited the hopes of the fans that more Potter books would be on the way, but a spokesman for Rowling's public relations company, Stone Hill Salt told The Bookseller website :
 "It is not another Harry Potter book but we cannot reveal any more at this stage, fans will have to keep an eye on the website. It will be launching soon." 

So what's it all about?  Your guess is as good as mine...but the name POTTERMORE sure sounds like a clue to me. ;)

Keep a sharp eye here: for more news in 6 days...

Harry Potter and Pottermore Publishing Rights © J.K. Rowling 
Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warners Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved


Books to Movies Monday - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Here's the fabulous new green band (family friendly) trailer for  Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon theaters December 21.

Books to Movies Monday - THE HELP

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a hugely popular book and I predict it will be an even more popular movie!  


Here's a look at the Dreamworks' trailer for The theaters in August!

Prophecy by S. J. Parris

By S. J. Parris
Doubleday Publishers

The  US cover and alos the UK cover -

From the publisher:  

Autumn, 1583: Queen Elizabeth’s rule is under threat. Plans for an invasion to put Mary Stuart on the throne of England are secretly being laid. And an astrological phenomenon believed to herald the death of one age and the dawn of another has led to frenzied speculation of terrible events to come. Giordano Bruno, the maverick and charismatic agent of Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster to the queen, has infiltrated the plotters at the French embassy. His mission is to secure the evidence that will allow the execution of Mary Stuart and her cohorts for treason. But his position there is tenuous – while the ambassador trusts him, his beautiful and cunning wife Marie seems determined to prise out his secrets. Meanwhile, the murder of a maid of honour within the palace walls involves Bruno in deeper mysteries. Occult symbols carved into her young flesh point to black magic, but the truth could be even more sinister…

If you're a fan of Parris' Heresy with Doctor Giordano Bruno in the lead, then I don't think you're going to be disappointed one little bit.  It's 1583 and the "Great Conjunction" of the two most powerful planets aligning is about to take place and as if that wasn't enough to rattle the people of England,  the Catholics and the Protestants are at war over the throne of England.

It's into that world of upheaval that Parris places Bruno this second time.  I think Parris writes a fine and well researched historical mystery. While a maid is found murdered, I thought is was more the story of Elizabeth and her cousin Mary Stuart, as each of them claimed to be the heir to the Tudor throne. History tells us the fates of these women and their courtiers, but Parris tells a remarkable, enjoyable and very readable story.

My only concern or gripe, if you will, is that I found the third act a bit slow. I found myself skimming ahead to get to the ending. In retrospect, I'm not sure if it was because I wanted to see how Parris wrapped up Prophecy or if I thought the book to be a bit long. Maybe a little of both.

BUT since these are pretty much my only issues, then this is good mystery, a good story and a good piece of historical fiction. I do recommend S.J. Parris' Prophecy, and hope you enjoy it too!

I give Prophecy 3 stars out of 5.

This  ARC  was provided to me by the publisher and in no way affected my review.

Cover art - Doubleday Publishing

Sisters of Fortune by Jehanne Wake

Sisters of Fortune
By Jehanne Wake

Touchstone, $27.00

From the publisher:

As gripping as the best historical novel, Sisters of Fortune is the story of the exuberant Marianne, Bess, Louisa, and Emily Caton, the American sisters who enthralled the highest levels of English Regency society decades before the notorious Dollar Princesses of the Victorian era. The Caton sisters were descended from prominent first settlers of Maryland, brought up by their wealthy grandfather Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, and were expected to "marry a plantation." Instead, their grandfather made sure that they were well educated, raising four beautiful and charming young women who were unusually independent, intelligent, fascinated by politics, clever with money, and very romantic.
Arriving in Britain, the Caton sisters swept into the set of the Duke of Wellington and went on to forge their own destinies in the face of intense prejudice against Americans and Catholics. After capturing the heart of the Duke of Wellington, who could never marry her, Marianne shocked the world by marrying his brother Richard, Marquess Wellesley, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and taking a prominent place as a Catholic Yankee among the Protestant Anglo-Irish. Emily married Scots- Canadian John McTavish, heir to Montreal's North West Company, and stayed home in Maryland, where she managed the family's estates and wealth. Louisa became the Duchess of Leeds and a member of Queen Victoria's court, while Bess made a fortune speculating in the stock market.

Yes! Here's another non-fiction book that I am crazy about! Go figure. Sisters in Fortune author Jehanne Wake has beautifully sifted through the Caton sisters' private letters to mold a fascinatingly hypnotic true story of four women, Marianne, Bess, Louisa, and Emily Caton, easily ahead of their time! 

Wake's ability to craft a very readable story is evident from the first page. These were amazing women living in amazing times historically and Wake never lets their story drag or become dull. Just the opposite!  Historical books can be fun! We read about the social mores and fashions of the time, we read about life inside Britain's royal enclave and we read about the sister who does something unheard of for the time...she speculates and succeeds in the stock market. 

I loved this book and have shared it with friends, I'd love for everyone to know what these Caton sisters accomplished in the time way before women were allowed to vote.  Wake has written an engaging and riveting book, I highly recommend this one!  And just to remind women of what we are capable of doing...give it as a gift to everyone on your list!

4 1/2 of 5 stars!

**Cover image copyright Touchstone/Simon and Schuster

This galley was provided to me by the publisher and in no way affected my review.
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