Out today! That Churchill Woman

The novel moves back and forth in time allowing the reader to understand Jennie’s upbringing in the Gilded Age and her father’s influence on her life. The reader also learns about the traumas of Jennie’s early life, including the profound loss she faced, her father’s affairs, her move to Europe, etc.

Jennie glitters in British society. There are numerous appearances in the book of Bertie, the Prince of Wales and his wife Princess Alix. Other American women who married into the British aristocracy are also characters in the novel.

The reader empathizes with Jennie, especially during a time when a young Winston is quite ill. Further, as Jennie learns the truth about her husband, (I don’t want to include spoilers), one truly feels for her.

I highly recommend this novel for those who like historical fiction, those who are Anglophiles and those interested in the family in which Winston grew up.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this absorbing read.

For help with anxiety, a children’s title: Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree

This is another entry in the series published by the American Psychological Association. Thanks to them and to NetGalley for the e-galley of this book which was given to me in exchange for my honest opinion.

The illustrations in this book are appealing and much of the text is rhyming. Bea is expressive throughout. Bea starts out as a pretty happy kid. However as Bea starts to think about her birthday party, she begins to worry about all that could go wrong. She perseverates in her thinking and her worries grow and grow, as shown in the illustrations of the willow branches with leaves. Plenty of space is given to Bea’s concerns. Her mother tries to help and Bea also helps herself through mindful breathing, a good technique and one that is empowering.

I think that this book could be helpful to children who experience excessive anxiety. I also feel that it would be important to talk with whoever is reading this book, as they may feel more worried as they see all of the things that Bea worries about. This story serves as a reminder that children’s anxieties should be respected and addressed, not jollied away. It is another helpful entry in a helpful series.

#MindfulBeaAndTheWorryTree #NetGalley

A great beginning reader: Monsters Move

I wish that all beginning readers were this entertaining! With a simple vocabulary, funny and fun illustrations and some good rhymes, this is a great choice for a new reader.

Kids will feel successful about their reading skills and will also see that reading can be fun as they go through the story. For the adults, there are helpful suggestions at the back of the book.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for another good title in the Reading Stars series.

#MonstersMove #NetGalley

An e-book bargain: Evening Class

Evening Class: A Novel by [Binchy, Maeve]For those who enjoy Maeve Binchy’s novels or would like to read one for the first time and those who would like to spend time in Ireland and Italy, an e-book bargain. I liked this book when I read it a while ago.

From School Library Journal:

Aidan Dunne, a middle-aged Latin teacher, has lost out on his bid to become headmaster of his Dublin school. Lonely and estranged from his family, he dreams of returning to Italy, where he had spent several holidays as a young man. Aidan is given the opportunity to start a program of evening classes at the school, and to his delight, Signora appears and offers herself as a teacher of Italian language and culture. Signora is a native Dubliner who followed her Italian lover to Sicily 20 years earlier, knowing he would not marry her, but living for the times he could slip away from his wife and family. His sudden death has brought her home. Her enthusiasm and energy attract students of all ages to her class, and the novel is their story, as well as hers and Aidan Dunne’s. Relationships between the young students and their parents, and the relationships that develop among the students in the class are vividly portrayed. The climax of the book, a class trip to Italy, involves a threat of murder, a chance for Signora to return to Sicily, and the opportunity for several of the students to demonstrate their resourcefulness as well as their language skills. As with Circle of Friends, Binchy brings a diverse group of characters together and draws readers into their lives. YAs will identify with these people and their struggles to find independence, love, and self-respect.?Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Marie Benedict, Author

The Other Einstein: A NovelCarnegie's Maid: A NovelThe Only Woman in the Room: A Novel

I enjoyed Carnegie’s Maid and have the author’s other two books in my TBR pile.  See below for a link to an article on this author and my review of Carnegie’s Maid.

My review:

Imagine that your family sends you (alone) to the U.S. because of financial hardship in Ireland and you will need to support your relatives back home. Imagine that you are able to take on someone else’s identity to become the servant of Andrew Carnegie’s mother. Will you be found out? Will your position be secure? These are among the premises of this richly detailed historical novel. Relationships between upstairs and downstairs, specifically between Clara and Andrew Carnegie are a major part of this novel. Read it too to learn more about the business world and women’s roles in the post Civil War U.S. Overall, an enjoyable read.

Here is the link to a NYT article on this author.

Come to Prince Edward Island: Anne of Green Gables

Some readers of my blog may recall that last summer I went to an Anne of Green Gables brunch. So, you may know that I am a big fan of this novel. This is a recently published edition of the classic and I enjoyed sitting down and reading about Anne again.

Anne is the orphan sent to Marilla and Matthew, who had requested a boy to help with their farm. Marilla is unsure about keeping Anne while Matthew has empathy for her from the start. As you read the book watch how Marilla softens over time.

The characters in this novel are wonderful. Anne is adventurous, outspoken, warm-hearted and a loyal friend. She will take a dare and work hard to be the best student in her class. She touched my heart and could touch yours too.

Anne of Green Gables is an old fashioned book, reflecting its publication date. Nonetheless, I recommend it highly as a chapter book read aloud with a child or as a book to read for yourself as an adult.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me spend time with one of my favorite fictional characters again!

#AnneofGreenGables #NetGalley

A yoga primer: Bee Calm

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this e-galley of Bee Calm, The Buzz on Yoga. I feel better already!

The text of this picture book is rhyming and the illustrations are appealing. The reader observes Bee as he buzzes about and spends a little time with many of his friends. They are all doing yoga poses. At first, Bee is not sure that he is interested but then he decides to give it a try. He learns more about yoga and starts to make it a part of his life.

This is another in the series published by the American Psychological Association. There is a reminder about the hectic pace of life and the need for kids to learn ways to let go of that. A helpful section at the back of the book suggests ways in which adults can practice yoga with children.

I highly recommend this title. It makes yoga feel appealing, fun and helpful.

#BeeCalm #NetGalley

A Village Mystery: Dangerous Deceits by Cherith Baldry

Gawaine is urged by his honorary aunt, Christabel, to look into the murder of Father Tom.  Father Tom is a young Anglican priest who was temporarily assigned to the parish.  The villagers hold differing opinions of him, with some disagreeing with his more conservative views such as not allowing divorced people to receive communion, to others who respected him.

There are many parishioners to fill in the roles of suspects.  In addition to Gawaine, detecting is assisted by his friend David.  Reporter Seffy also is close to these two.

In many ways this was a very traditional mystery.  The suspects are all gathered together at the end in an Agatha Christie like way as the murderer is revealed.

I enjoyed this book with one caveat.  The clues to the killer were not really set up fairly as there is a reveal that the reader could not possibly have guessed.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this read.  The opinions are my own.

#DangerousDeceits #NetGalley

A Note From the Publisher

On leaving: Goodbye, School

This is another entry in the excellent series of books published by the American Psychological Association.  Goodbye, School is about Franny who is leaving her school.  The reader does not know why but assumes that she is most likely moving.  In any event, the reason matters less than the process.

This story is about the importance of saying goodbye, not being whisked away.  Even with sadness, the ritual is important.  The reader watches as Franny revisits her classroom, sees her teacher and spends time outside.  She says her final goodbye when she is ready.

As always, there is a helpful section for caregivers at the end of the book.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this e-galley in exchange for my honest review.

#GoodbyeSchool #NetGalley