What a lovely story this was! I love stories with time travel and alternate or unusual timelines. I was a huge fan of The Time Traveler’s Wife – this one felt redolent of it for a while, although it wound up (much to my delight) traveling down a more original path than it suggested at first…
There’s a beautiful timeless love story, of course, but there’s also a fascinating exploration (although I don’t know how true – this is, after all, fiction) of Isaac Newton’s early years and a very original take on the inspiration for his major discoveries/theories. The characters really come alive in this one. Isaac himself is fascinating, of course – how could he not be, he’s Isaac Newton! But more interesting, I think, is Andrea. She’s a brilliant enigma, a girl of immense talent with immensely complicated relationships. She really brought the story to life for me. The ancillary characters (her father, Nate) were always present but were clearly set up in supporting roles (even though they were essential to the story)
There’s a twist – I will admit that I saw it coming, but that didn’t lessen the joy of the reveal for me at all. Instead it made it richer and feel like a coming-full-circle wrap up that tied things together nicely without feeling twee or too cozy. This was a very enjoyable and easy-going read, and I will definitely keep the author on my radar…
And, as a special bonus (since music is an essential part of this story), the publisher, Ballantine Books, would like to share this free playlist from Spotify! Enjoy, and see where the music transports you…
I really enjoyed this one. I have read a great many things set in the Victorian era, and was familiar with Victoria’s later (post-Albert) years, but knew very little about her pre-accession and early-reign years, so this one caught my eye immediately. I am so glad it did!
Goodwin’s story-telling style is very engaging and easy-going. She really brought the characters to life. Historical fiction can be tricky – so much history is full of features that seem to defy the bounds of reality, that it can be difficult to write a fictionalized version that feels authentic. This book did not suffer from that at all – it felt like reading the best non-fiction: a great intermingling of information and storytelling. I was surprised at much of what I learned in the reading – early-years Victoria and later-years Victoria were VERY different people… This should be surprising given the length of her reign and the changes in the world around her during its course, but it somehow was nevertheless. It made for more than a few “no way?!” moments while reading, which are always fun.
Upon finishing this one I was immediately drawn to find out more – particularly about the Albert/Victoria partnership years. I had picked up a non-fiction piece about precisely that as a kindle daily deal shortly before beginning this one, and turned to that next. That’s where I started to get a little, well, less enthusiastic about this Goodwin book…
Continue reading Book Review: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
Today I’m pleased to offer you the following interesting insights from author Dane Cobain. For more of Dane’s work, click here or here – or visit him on your own…
Five Awesome Author Sites that Bring Books to Life
by Dane Cobain
Ernest Hemingway didn’t have a website. Neither did Charles Dickens, nor William Shakespeare, Jane Austin or George Orwell.
But authors today have a whole host of tools at their disposal to get the word out about their work. Some opt for static ‘brochure’ sites, which are rarely updated but serve as a digital billboard for them to advertise their releases. Some go a step further and launch a blog so that they can keep their fans updated while helping new readers to discover them through search engines.
Most serious authors run a website, a blog and a social networking presence, but that alone is no longer enough to cut through the noise. That’s why some people take it a step further, creating a digital home that offers fans more than mere information – they offer an experience.
And so, without further ado, here are five sites that do just that.
Continue reading Guest Post: Five Awesome Author Sites that Bring Books to Life by Dane Cobain
“…there’s no such thing as the life you’re supposed to have.”
First my review.
Wow – there is a LOT going on here. I was originally drawn to the book because of the time travel angle – one I really enjoy. I rather rapidly discovered that it was so much more than that though – mostly in a good way, but sometimes in a slightly over-reaching one… The main plot line is still about time travel and the law of unintended consequences. But the book is not just about time – it is also a love story, a family drama, a “be careful what you wish for” cautionary tale, a dystopian warning, a self-help/personal growth narrative, a techno-thriller, and an exegesis on the dangers of dissatisfaction. That’s a lot of things to cover in less than 400 pages…
For the most part, the multiple topics/genres are handled well, although there are times that they feel a little too much. There were some eye rolls, where I feared we were heading into trope territory, but they usually resolved themselves in some odd or unusual way that fed back into the main narrative points without too much distraction. All in all, this is a complicated work from a talented author – juggling that many ideas while still maintaining an essential, underlying theme (self-stated: “there’s no such thing as the life you’re supposed to have”) is difficult; doing it with aplomb in a readable, thought-provoking AND entertaining fashion must be nigh on impossible – yet Mastai manages handily.
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And now, I’m pleased to share some thoughts on the book and the writing process, courtesy of the author and the publisher (Dutton). Continue reading Book Review and Author Q&A: All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai