Book review : The Piano Teacher

This is the second novel by Janice Y.K. Lee that I’ve read. A few years ago, I enjoyed her excellent The Expatriates, so I was curious to read this novel set in Hong Kong in the lead-up to World War II and the time of the Japanese occupation. Lee is from Hong Kong and covered…

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Book review: Midnight Blue

I bought this book at an airport bookstore in Amsterdam’s Schipol heading back home from a long flight. It then sat for two years on my bookshelf before I remembered about it and picked it up. Am I glad I did! Written by Dutch novelist Simone van der Vlugt, this novel was translated to English…

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Book review: I leoni di Sicilia

We all know the old adage that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But when lockdown ended in Rome and I could walk around and visit bookshops (!!) when they were one of the first non-essential businesses to be allowed to open, I couldn’t resist the stunning cover of I leoni di Sicilia.…

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Book review: The Masterpiece

This is the third Fiona Davis novel I’ve read. Her novels are ideal for someone like me, who enjoys dual storylines: one historical, one contemporary. It’s a plus that Davis’ novels always include a New York landmark that serves as an additional story protagonist. In her first novel, it was the Barbizon – housing for…

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Book review: A Gentleman in Moscow

I adored this novel, the story of “former person” Count Alexander Rostov. In 1922, Count Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club and Master of the Hunt – is declared an enemy of the state and informed he will be shot if he ever ventures out of his…

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Book review: At the Edge of the Orchard

I enjoy historical fiction and I’ve read of all of Tracy Chevalier’s novels, so I was happy to learn about her latest when it was released. This was my favorite novel since A Girl With A Pearl Earring. At the Edge of the Orchard is set in the mid 1800s, and follows the difficult lives…

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Book review: Wake

Oddly, I’d had this book on my shelf for some time. I remembered it only after picking it up in French in a French bookstore and being drawn in by the story and the excellent blurbs – before realizing I shouldn’t buy it because I had the original version back home. : ) This novel…

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Does an author owe something to her readers?

As a reader, there are many types of books I don’t like. If a book isn’t well written, it’s an easy write-off for me. If it’s not a genre I enjoy – most action/spy novels or science fiction fall under this category for me – I’m not expecting much either, even if they are well written.…

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Book review: Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia

Unlike Dante’s warning at the entrance to hell, all hope is not lost to ‘ye who enters here. I am speaking, of course, to those of us who find ourselves adrift now that Downton Abbey has come to an end. For Downton creator/writer/producer Julian Fellowes has a new historical fiction novel out – Belgravia. Like…

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