Thursday, January 18, 2018

THE PERFECT NANNY


THE PERFECT NANNY
by:  Leila Slimani 

Author, Leila Slimani has French and Moroccan citizenships and thus this is probably why one of the main characters in her new novel is a French Moroccan lawyer named Myriam.  Myriam decides to return to work and needs a nanny to look after her two young children.  She and her husband find Louise.  Louise is quiet, polite, devoted to the children and even cleans the house!  The relationship between the couple and the nanny becomes more and more symbiotic and as it does, tensions rise to a shattering climax. Slimani has a beautiful writing style.  The words and phrases she uses are descriptive and elegant.  This is a short, compulsively readable thriller.   
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Thursday, January 11, 2018

BEST DAY EVER


BEST DAY EVER
by Kaira Rouda

I love psychological thrillers and this is a good one.  Another thing I loved about this book is that the setting is Lakeside, OH where my family and I have spent many summer vacations.  I read that the author has also spent time at Lakeside so her description of the community is spot on.  This story is about a day that a husband, Frank, has planned for his wife - the best day ever, a romantic get away at their lake house in Lakeside, OH.  The book is divided into different time periods beginning at 9:00 a.m. on a Friday morning and ending 4:45 a.m. on Saturday morning.   When you begin reading, Frank and his wife, Mia seems to have an idyllic marriage.  The book is written from Frank's viewpoint and as you read further into the book, red flags begin to appear. Is Frank all he appears to be?  How about Mia?  This tantalizing read will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

THE ONLY GIRL IN THE WORLD, A MEMOIR


THE ONLY GIRL IN THE WORLD, A MEMOIR
by Maude Julien


In 1934 France, a single, rich, thirty-four year old man was initiated into a lodge of Freemasonry.  He believed in an extremely dark spiritual vision of a fallen world.  To this end, he wanted to produce and mold a "super human."  He adopted a six year old blonde girl from a poor mining family with the understanding that they would never try to contact her again.  He raised this child and paid for her to have a superlative education. When she reached the age of 22, he married her and she bore him a blonde daughter.  This daughter was to be the super human.  This peculiar memoir is the tale of her upbringing which I almost can't believe.  Maude and her mother were virtual prisoners in their home and Maude endured a strict upbringing with many lessons on how to survive by withstanding brutal treatment.  This book just goes on and on describing horrendous treatment of Maude.  I kept waiting for the climax to this book but it never came.  Maude eventually does escape her tortured life but I did not feel that her life after leaving home was very detailed.  I do not recommend this book.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library
 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

PRAIRIE FIRES, THE AMERICAN DREAMS OF LAURA INGALLS WILDER


PRAIRIE FIRES
THE AMERICAN DREAMS OF LAURA INGALLS WILDER
by Caroline Fraser
 
This is an in depth biography about the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the Little House in the Big Woods series.  I grew up believing these books were the autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Essentially the series is her autobiography but her life was much more difficult than depicted in her books and events are not written in exact chronological order. Laura loved her parents dearly and wanted to preserve her memories of them in a positive way.  Many of the most difficult parts of her life were omitted from the series.  The author painstakingly recreated Laura's life by examining unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records.  Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, was the editor for her books.  Rose Wilder Lane was the only living child of Laura and Almanzo Wilder.  Much of this biography details Lane's life and how intertwined her life was with her parents' lives.  Laura Ingalls Wilder was an amazing woman who lived a truly amazing life.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

THE WAR BRIDE'S SCRAPBOOK


THE WAR BRIDE'S SCRAPBOOK
A Novel in Pictures
by Caroline Preston

This is a quick, fun book to read.  It's the story of a couple that marry after only knowing each other for several weeks because he is going overseas to fight in WWII.  The story is told through letters, recipes, telegrams, newspaper articles, advertisements, etc. from this time period.  It was fun to read, knowing my parents lived at this time.  I believe that this is a story that many people in this era lived through.  The author has collected antique scrapbooks since she was in high school.  She worked an an archivist at the Peabody Essex Museum and Harvard University.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library


Thursday, December 21, 2017

THE LAST GIRL


THE LAST GIRL
By Nadia Murad
 
Nadia Murad was born and raised in the northern part of Iraq in the town of Kocho.  This small town is made up of farmers and shepherds and their families.  All of the families in this town are of the Yazidi religion.  This is an oral religion, it has no written book.  It is only passed down orally through the generations.  Because of this, people of the Yazidi are looked down upon by other religions in the Middle East.  On August 15, 2015, when Nadia was 21 years old, Islamic State militants stormed into the village of Kocho murdering most of the people and only sparing the young girls and women to forcing them into sex slave trade.  Nadia lost 6 brothers and her mother in the massacre.  She was transported to Mosul where she was held captive by several militants and beaten and raped repeatedly.  This was the same fate that awaited thousands of Yazidi girls who were brutally yanked from their homes.  Nadia was one of the few lucky ones.  She was able to escape from her captors in Mosul.  She went to a random house and knocked on the door of a home that happen to belong to a Sunni family.  This family helped Nadia get to safety.  Nadia is now a human rights activitis and is the UN's first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.  She has also founded Nadia's Initiative which is a program dedicated to helping survivors of genocide and human trafficking.  This is an important book for everyone to read.  How human beings can treat each other the way Nadia was treated is totally out of my scope of understanding.  The whole world needs to be aware of cases of genocide and put a stop to it.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Monday, December 18, 2017

ENCHANTRESS OF NUMBERS





ENCHANTRESS OF NUMBERS
by Jennifer Chiaverini


This is a historical novel written about Ada Lovelace, daughter of the poet Lord Byron.  Ada's parents separated when she was quite young.  Her mother always seemed to be concerned that Ada had "bad Byron" blood.  She forbade Ada to be imaginative and instead made certain her education stressed mathematics and science.  Ada grew to love mathematics and studied diligently.  Her whole life though, when people learned who her father was, she was regarded with curiosity.  When she came of age she was  introduced into London society and began a friendship with Charles Babbage.   Babbage was an inventor of the "difference machine."  Ada was awestruck by the machine and studied it in great detail.  Because of Ada's study of the difference machine and her unending study of mathematics, she ended up being a pioneer in the field of computing.  I found this very intriguing because I had no idea that in the mid 1800's a woman began the study that led to the computers of today.  This book also included a lot of information pertaining to the biographical family information about Lord Byron's family.  This book is wonderful!  Jennifer Chiaverini is a very talented author who makes history come to life.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library