A Day of Fire

The destruction of the ancient city of Pompeii by Vesuvius in AD 79 has inspired countless works of fiction and non-fiction over the years, but when I heard Sophie Perinot (of The Medicis' Daughter fame) talk about A Day of Fire at this year's literary festival in Newburyport, it piqued my interest. Perinot is one... Continue Reading →

Luck by Ed Meek

I don’t usually review non-historical fiction; but when I heard Ed Meek read from his new short story collection “Luck” at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, I knew it was something I wanted to write about. Meek’s concise, elegant prose zooms in on the lives of Bostonians both at home and farther afield, and is... Continue Reading →

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Julie Berry's new novel The Passion of Dolssa intrigued me for many reasons. It is historical fiction; it is set in the Middle Ages; it features a saint-like character; and - most interestingly, given the spiritual subject matter - it is geared towards young adults. I admit: I'm not a YA reader, much less writer.... Continue Reading →

Modern Girls by Jennifer S. Brown

Modern Girls, a novel about a mother and daughter who find themselves in a family way in the 1930s New York, could easily have been yet another feel-good story where the heroine makes the right decision after a bit of hand-wringing, and all is well. But life is messy, and choices are rarely black-and-white. Thankfully,... Continue Reading →

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

Catherine Lowell’s debut novel The Madwoman Upstairs is equal parts an intellectual coming-of-age story, a romance and a literary mystery. Does it deliver on all counts? Twenty-year-old Samantha Whipple, still mourning the death of her father in a house fire five years ago, arrives at Oxford to begin her studies in literature. But she’s not... Continue Reading →

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