Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two Book Recommendations: Grace Hammer and The Shiniest Jewel

Grace Hammer : a Novel of the Victorian UnderworldGrace Hammer : a Novel of the Victorian Underworld by Sara Stockbridge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Grace Hammer lived in Whitechapel, London, during Jack the Ripper's era. This Dickensian style story features Grace and her four children, who are petty thieves and pickpockets, although living in relative comfort and security. One day Grace's past catches up with her, as an evil man seeking revenge for a wrong she did him years ago seeks her out in London. This is not a light, easy book to read...there's plenty of squalor, thievery, violence, and poverty. But I liked Stockbridge's writing and I had a hard time putting it down.




The Shiniest Jewel: A Family Love StoryThe Shiniest Jewel: A Family Love Story by Marian Henley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Marian Henley writes the great comic strip "Maxine." In this comic novel--which took me only a day to read--she chronicles her journey to adopt a little boy from Russia, at the age of 50. In the space of a few weeks, she turns 50, gets married for the first time to her partner of several years, adopts her son from Russia, and loses her father. She does a beautiful job of portraying all of these life-changing, poignant events in graphic format. Loved it. What a wonderful love story in memory of her father and to her son, who share the same name.

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