“Will she be good, or will she be bad?”
That is the question I found myself asking throughout Ali Land’s debut novel and I couldn’t put it down until I had an answer. Psychological thrillers are not the genre I usually gravitate to, however, this one did not disappoint! It is an engaging and disturbing plot that keeps you guessing.
The main character, Milly, is the daughter of a female serial killer. One of the best aspects of the book is the point of view it is written in. It is written as if you were in Millie’s head. Her thoughts give us insight into her mindset from the time of the arrest of her mother until the actual trial. Throughout the book, the reader can’t quite pinpoint who Milly is – a good girl or a bad one like her mother. The storyline is unpredictable and I would never have guessed the ending which, to me, is the sign of any good mystery/thriller.
In addition to the engaging plot, this novel touches on teen bullying, which is such an important and relevant topic in today’s society. The insight this story gives into what teens are facing today is heartbreaking, but at the same time so critical to read about and discuss. The fact that this novel touches on this subject is not surprising, given the background of the author who has a degree in mental health and has worked in an adolescent mental hospital. For more about Ali Land follow this link:
I would definitely recommend this book – even if it is not your go-to genre. I hope we see more from Ali Land in the future!
“And when thou would solace gather
when our child’s first accents flow,
Wilt thou teach her to say “Father!”
Though his care she must fogo?
These are the words of the most infamous of the Romantic poets, Lord Byron. They refer to his daughter, Ada Lovelace, who is the heroine of Jennifer Chiaverini’s latest historical fiction novel, Enchantress of Numbers. I was thrilled when I heard that Chiaverini had a new book coming out, as she is one of my favorite authors. Once again, she delivers historical fiction with impeccably researched detail while writing the story of the life of mathematical genius, Ada Lovelace.
Ada Lovelace was a pioneer in computing and had a significant impact on the development of the first computing machines. Her story is seldom heard and Chiaverini brings it to life in a way that makes the reader admire and respect her accomplishments. We see here again the trend of focusing on little-known female accomplishments in history, which I love! The novel takes us through the journey of Ada’s difficult upbringing and the obstacles she faced being a female scientist. However, by overcoming these and many other trials, Ada Lovelace helps shape the future of the modern day computer.
I was fascinated by the story of Ada Lovelace! The question I always ask myself after reading a book is “What did I learn, or what did it inspire me to do?” With this book, I not only learned about a new heroine in history, but I was also inspired to read some of Byron’s poetry. I highly recommend this book, which comes out December 5, 2017. You can preorder it here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/540335/enchantress-of-numbers-by-jennifer-chiaverini/
Also, check out Jennifer Chiavarini’s website for more information on her other books – they are all fantastic! jenniferchiaverini.com/books/
“I knew from the first that you understood Miss Elizabeth. I heard it in your speech, and see it in your face now. You understand the sacred rights of mankind, and perceive the injustice of how those rights have been taken from us. You crave liberty, and have no more patience with injustice or tyranny than I.”
These are some of the first words Alexander Hamilton speaks to Elizabeth Schuyler in the opening of Susan Holloway Scott’s most recent historical fiction novel, I, Eliza Hamilton. From the beginning, it is clear that Alexander and Eliza have a connection due to their shared passion for the right to freedom and liberty. Through the telling of their love story, Scott reveals the ways that Eliza supported and encouraged Alexander during the American Revolution and the early days of America. From discussing and processing his ideas with him, to scribing many of his works, Eliza was an integral part of the success of her husband and Scott captures this beautifully.
This female-centered approach to storytelling is a new trend I am seeing in historical fiction that I absolutely love! Women are being highlighted in novels for the ways they influenced, supported and encouraged men who made great contributions to the world through out history. It has led me to discover many new historical heroines and I can now add Eliza Hamilton to the list. Not only was
she supportive of her husband, but she also remained strong through extreme adversity. In many circumstances that would have driven other women to give up, we see Eliza not only survive, but move on to accomplish great things herself.
Scott maintains an excellent balance throughout the book between Alexander and Eliza's love story
and the political strife of the time, which allows the reader to truly grasp the historical significance of the story.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, and especially to lovers of historical fiction. Thanks again, Kensington Books!