RESTLESS by William Boyd is one of those novels with a parallel plot. There is the present-day told from the point-of-view of Ruth Gilmartin a 20-something PhD student at Oxford and a […]
Cynthia Sally Haggard was born and reared in Surrey, England. About 30 years ago she surfaced in the United States, settling in the Mid-Atlantic region as she wound her way through four careers: violinist, cognitive scientist, medical writer, and novelist.
In June, 2015, Cynthia graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University, Cambridge MA.
Her first novel, "Thwarted Queen," a frustrating tale (hence the title) of a woman who was nearly crowned Queen of England, was shortlisted for many awards, including the 2012 Eric Hoffer New Horizon Award for debut authors. To date, sales have surpassed 38,000 copies.
Her second novel, "Farewell My Life," a Cinderella-ish tale with not-so-charming princes who inhabit the edgy setting of 1920s and 1930s Berlin during the rise of the Nazis, won a Pinnacle Award for Historical Fiction (2019) and was a Distinguished Favorite for the 2019 New York City Big Book Awards.
Who was Stefan George? If you look him up, you will find out that he was born in 1868 and died in 1933, and that he was a poet. In fact, he […]
I am a fan of Kate Forsyth. I love the way in which she takes folk tales and put a new twist on them. I loved Bitter Greens (her take on Rapunzel), […]
I wasn’t at all sure that I wanted to help that irritating cat, not to mention those platter-shaped beings, but my husband Richard had fought hard for the people’s rights in the […]
KUSHNER INC.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary story of Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump by Vicky Ward. Narrated by Vicky Ward & Fiona Hardingham.
Whenever I complained about Ivanka Trump, my husband would tell me: “Don’t knock Ivanka. She’s the only adult in the room who can do anything about Trump.” I was never so sure. […]
Ostensibly, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES is the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch, who founds an orphanage at St. Cloud Maine, and of his favorite orphan Homer Wells, who follows in his footsteps […]
A CASUAL VACANCY by J. K. Rowling is the story of a bitter class struggle between the smug, wealthy inhabitants of Pagford, and their much poorer neighbors who inhabit the council flats […]
I peered in. There were various things sticking up in a container to one side. Were these weapons? Perhaps they were specially shaped arrows, or knives. Whatever they were, they did not […]
NANA by Emile Zola is an interesting take on sex-obsessed Paris of the nineteenth century, the Paris that has now become a stereotype for sexual behavior in our own times. The heroine, […]
Here is what Indie Reader had to say: Droll, dramatic, frightening, immersive, FAREWELL MY LIFE grabbed my attention from the first pages and kept it the entire way. Cynthia Sally Haggard’s FAREWELL […]
THE LOST DAUGHTER by Elena Ferrante is a meditation on motherhood. When 40-something Leda decides to rent a beach house near Naples for the summer, her unaccustomed solitude leads her to meditate […]
I don’t usually read memoir, as I normally don’t find it very interesting. And this quiet narrative of family strife would normally cause me not to continue due to boredom. But there […]
I seethed, like a pot on the boil, anger making me forget my fear. Just at that moment, Roomba careened into the long velvet train of my plum-colored court gown and growled. […]
Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s THE LEOPARD (Il Gattopardo in the original Italian), about Sicily on the brink of the Risorgimento in 1860, is based on the life of the author’s maternal grandfather, Prince […]
A brilliantly wicked piece set in the movie world of Berlin in the early 1930s (LAUGHTER IN THE DARK)
“Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he […]
Marguerite Duras’ THE LOVER (“L’Amant in the original French) is a semi-autobiographical story of forbidden love between a 15-year-old French girl and her 27-year-old Chinese lover, the son of a millionaire. The […]
While these thoughts stirred in my mind, Augustus opened a small door in the wall of an entryway and brought out an object shaped like a large platter, such as we would […]
FAREWELL MY LIFE is a novel about dissolving, crumbling and the vanishing of comfortable lives and assumptions. Again I was SO LUCKY! While doing research on the novel, I noticed that Alfred […]