Thank you Berkley Publishing #partner for this review copy.
London, 1938. The effervescent "It girl" of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy moves in rarified circles, with powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose, the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe, and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire.
But their love is forbidden, as Kick's devout Catholic family and Billy's staunchly Protestant one would never approve their match. When war breaks like a tidal wave across her world, Billy is ripped from her arms as the Kennedys are forced to return to the States. Kick gets work as a journalist and joins the Red Cross to get back to England, where she will have to decide where her true loyalties lie--with family or with love . . .
I had barely heard of Kathleen Kennedy before reading this book and I realized that I didn’t really know much about any of the Kennedys, except Jack. In this book, Kerri Maher weaves details about all the siblings as well as some interesting insight into “Kicks” friendship with Deborah Mitford. Kick’s story is fascinating and she was a beautiful, brave woman who grows up during a very difficult time in history with a high profile family. This is actually the first of two books I have read in the last couple of months about the Kennedys and I think I may have found a new obsession! I would recommend this whether you are a fan of historical fiction or not as it is an interesting story of a strong woman that would appeal to many!
When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent, and keeps insisting that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed.
But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him and take the rest as it comes. What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time.
What I liked best about this book was the author’s rendering of Gatsby and Zelda’s courtship and early years. They were deeply in love despite their reckless lifestyle. Fowler brings to life the Jazz age with all the big names and glitzy, party scenes. It’s fascinating to me, to read about Paris in those years and the group of Gatsby, Hemingway and Picasso and how they would spend their time. This book does have a lot of historical detail which I usually love but it did make the book slow at times. Overall, I really enjoyed it and would like to read more about the Jazz era.
Thank you TNZ fiction #partner for this review copy.
When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.
Being a huge CS Lewis fan, I was surprised to discover, when I read this book, how little I actually knew about his love story with Joy Davidman. This book not only tells about how Joy and “Jack” came to know each other and fall in love, but it also reveals how God used the relationship to grow Joy deeper in her faith. The book does an excellent job of letting the reader in on some of the deepest thoughts of Lewis and Davidman. I appreciated the historical accuracy of the book due to the author’s extensive research, much of which was based on actual letters between the two. Whether you are familiar with CS Lewis or not, this is a book I think many readers would enjoy!