When Marlena de Blasi was given the assignment of writing about the interior regions of Sicily, she suspected that she got the job because others had turned it down. For “the center […]
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.
This is a magical book. Author Charles Stein takes us on a journey into the heart of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a spiritually transformative process that culminated in a rite at the temple […]
THE STONE BOUDOIR is a wonderful title for a book about Sicily, because Sicily is mountainous, and stony. And the people not only live in stone buildings redolent of history, or even […]
“I work as a clerk in the local bank, and make a decent income, enough to keep a wife and family. At least, I’m a cut above the laborers, carpenters, butchers, longshoremen, […]
PAN E POMODOR is the delightful tale of how an English couple, Margaret and Ian McEwan, bought a house near Vico in the Gargano region of Puglia, southern Italy, and set about […]
I was delighted to see that Mary Taylor Simeti had done a travelogue of Sicily, because I remembered her charming tale of Queen Constance and her various travels around Italy that I […]
Maria Bordihn’s THE FALCON OF PALERMO is an ambitious biography of an ambitious character. Emperor Frederick II (1194-1250), was known to his contemporaries as Stupor Mundi (the wonder of the world), because […]
The word ‘diary’ is etched in faded gold, the black leather cover is cracked at the edges, his name is written in flourishing copperplate: Robert Prisley Caveley. Friday, 20th June 1930 “Tomorrow, […]
This haunting novel begins in 1900, when many people in Tacarembo explained things to themselves by means or folk-tales or legends. It is a novel with three protagonists. The first one, Pajarita […]
I can see why Penelope Lively’s novel MOON TIGER won the Booker Prize in 1987. It is a beautifully written novel, awe-inspiring over its control of multiple points of view and in […]
I loved this book as a girl, another favorite I read over and over again. But what intrigued me so much about it then was Perdita, the witch’s daughter, the shy, neglected […]
Helena had met Dr. Vanderzanden in a Statistics class she’d had to take for her Business degree. She’d been number-phobic and miserable, but wanting to be a good role model for her […]
After the epic struggles of THE BRONZE HORSEMAN and TATIANA & ALEXANDER, THE SUMMER GARDEN, the third volume in the series, is a comparatively quiet book about how the main characters manage […]
TATIANA AND ALEXANDER is Volume 2 of Paullina Simon’s THE BRONZE HORSEMAN trilogy. Unlike most second novels, this one doesn’t disappoint, even though I had some problems with it that I didn’t […]
The intensity of emotion on the page makes this novel transcendent (THE BRONZE HORSEMAN by Paullina Simon)
What I love about THE BRONZE HORSEMAN by Paullina Simons is the intensity of emotion on the page which lifts a boy-meets-girl story and makes it transcendent. Seventeen-year-old Tatiana Metanova has led […]
Helena’s life had become folded into a logistical struggle of the little things in life, getting up in the morning, eating, going out, dropping the girls off at day care, showing up […]
Best wishes for a Happy Fourth of July 2020 from Washington DC! Stay safe…and don’t forget your mask:)
One of the joys of listening to a Simon Brett FETHERING mystery is that the characters are so well-drawn. In this episode, we have two women who seemingly could not be further […]