PositiveThe San Francisco Book ReviewOverall, I enjoyed the book as a fascinating look at a part of history I’m already a little familiar with. Those who have more knowledge about the Restoration may well beg more out of it, but even those who only know the basic facts (or who want to do a quick Wikipedia skim for a little background) will enjoy it. My one complaint was that it did not feel as urgent as I had hoped. There was high tension, but the quiet moments dulled it more than they provided a respite. In addition, I had some trouble remembering who was who ... My final thoughts, though, are that Act of Oblivion was a very interesting read, and I’m glad I picked it up.
PositiveManhattan Book ReviewBeatrice Hitchman’s writing is beautiful from the start, though I found the first part of the book rather dull. It was only when Eve and Julia’s story began to intertwine with those around them that I truly became invested. The little community that built up around them caught me by the heart at once, and I found I didn’t know how to escape it. I also found I didn’t particularly want to. This book won’t suit everyone ... it’s slow to start, despite a prologue with action plucked from later in the story. There were times when I found the names and action hard to follow. All the same, I found I loved it.
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.