RaveManhattan Book ReviewThe description of the plot thrilled me — women at war! espionage! Russians! — but the execution didn’t impress me as much as I had hoped it would. The contrast between the glitz and glamor of the Riviera and the horrors of the French occupation often errs too much on the side of the former, leaving the author to remind the readers at least once per chapter that Lana is desperately worried about the plight of the French Jews. Lana’s War was an enjoyable book, but all the same, I couldn’t help hoping for more from it. It never quite reached the heights I hoped for it.
RaveManhattan Book ReviewThe Women of Chateau Lafayette, a richly detailed and lovingly written novel, tells the story of three such women ... All three women are powerful figures in their own way, with strength far beyond what any of the men expect of them. What blew me away was not their strength — I’ve read more than enough novels and seen enough of the world to know how strong women are — but how distinct they are. They aren’t just any three women; Stephanie Dray has breathed life into her protagonists, making them far more than just flat figures on flat pages.
PositiveSan Francisco Book ReviewA novel that weaves together the voices of mother and daughter into a tender narrative, painting a picture of how one woman’s fight to live the American dream cannot be just about that woman but must involve all those around her ... tinged by the fact that it’s a remembrance. It is occasionally slow but always beautiful, feeling elegiac even during the first chapters. I was fascinated by both women and found myself sinking into their voices, falling into their lives, and trying to see their relationship from both sides. Serena Burdick did a wonderful job of capturing a time long past and telling a story that at once embraces a whole time and pinpoints one particular relationship.