Book Review – The Madonna of Pisano

Touted as “A new twist on The Scarlet Letter”, this book held my attention from the first page. I felt it was a healthy mix of The Scarlet Letter (which I have not read, but will) and The Thornbirds.

 

Set in Sicily in the 1800s, it’s a story of rape, betrayal, disgrace, love, and forgiveness. It’s a real page-turner and will keep your attention throughout the book.

 

I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review and I honestly loved this book. I’m encouraging my husband to read it and will most likely offer it to the book club at my church to read. There are, to date, two more books in this series that I plan to also read.

 

Read it! You won’t be disappointed.

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The Mapmaker’s Children

   The synopsis reads: “When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the Slave Quilt codes and hiding her maps within her paintings. As the country steers toward civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril. A century and a half later, Eden Anderson, reeling from personal disappointment, moves with her husband to an old house in suburban Washington, D.C., a last-ditch effort to save their marriage and start a family. In the house’s cellar, she discovers a long-hidden porcelain doll that holds extraordinary secrets from the days of the Underground Railroad. Sarah and Eden’s connection soon bridges the past with the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way, illustrating the ways in which history and destiny are interconnected on one enormous, intricate map.”

     I’ve always been fascinated with stories of the civil war, slavery and their eventual freedom, and the quilts. When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed.
     The author, Sarah McCoy, successfully intertwined the two leading ladies and the two centuries in which they lived. There are only two things I would have liked to have seen: more of Sarah’s artwork being mentioned and used in the book and that Sarah and Eden would have been related. 
     Overall, an excellent book and I highly recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.

A Book Review: The Other Typist

When I first saw this book I was intrigued by the title. I spent my life as a secretary and was blessed by God to be a fast and pretty accurate typist. Although I hated being a secretary (and the more glorified title of “administrative assistant”), I did learn to love to type. I used to say, “Just sit me in front of a computer and give me straight typing and I’ll be happy”.

So, when I saw this book I knew I had to have it.

First, the synopsis as printed on the back of the book: “Confessions are Rose Baker’s job. A typist for the New York City Police Department, she sits in judgment like a high priestess. Criminals come before her to admit their transgressions, and, with a few strokes of the keys before her, she seals their fate. But while she may hear about shootings, knifings, and crimes of passion, as soon as she leaves the room, she reverts to a dignified and proper lady. Until Odalie joins the typing pool.

As Rose quickly falls under the stylish, coquettish Odalie’s spell, she is lured into a sparkling underworld of speakeasies and jazz. And what starts as simple fascination turns into an obsession from which she may never recover.”

To me, this book was a prime example of what can happen if you fall into the wrong crowd. I had my doubts about the type of person Odalie was from the very beginning. I didn’t trust her. And Rose shouldn’t have.

I saw myself in Rose – young (well, I was once!), naive, wanting to fit in and be accepted. And when this new girl comes on the scene who is everything Rose is not – and was accepted by her – well, I can see how Rose followed after her like a little puppy dog just wanting to be petted.

This book was set in the 1920s – the days of prohibiition, speakeasies, and jazz. And sin abounded! By the end of the book, Rose was a changed woman – or was she?

I liked this book. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it was when I first started reading it, but that’s ok. I’m not even sure what I thought it would be. Yes, I would recommend this book. The end is where it gets really exciting!