The Mapmaker's Children
I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.
by Sarah McCoy Published by Crown/Archetype
on May 5th 2015 Genres: Contemporary Women
, Literary Pages:
When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril. Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance. Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.
I was a little hesitant when starting The Mapmaker’s Children because more often than not I tend to dislike alternating point of views if they’re not done too well, especially when it comes to stories that are taking place in the past and present. That being said, I really enjoyed this book and it worked perfectly, keeping my interest throughout the three hundred pages (I wish the font was bigger).
Sarah Brown and Eden seemed to have only an infertility problem in common at first, but their stories unfold and I could see how these two different women, from very different times could intertwine and make such an interesting story. I personally loved Sarah’s chapters a lot more because I found the historical aspects more interesting than some of Eden’s life. Although, despite not going through the same trials and dangers as Sarah Brown, Eden was also a woman who had endured through pain and despair. They’re both strong.
The Mapmaker’s Children is a must read for any historical fiction lover or someone who likes really interesting reads such as this.
by Hermione Eyre Amazon Published by Crown/Archetype
on April 14th 2015 Genres: Fiction
, Visionary & Metaphysical Pages:
“Using an alchemy all of her own, Eyre’s postmodern take on the 17th century renders it dazzlingly fresh and contemporary.” —Guardian (UK) Venetia Stanley was the great beauty of her day, so dazzling she inspired Ben Jonson to poetry and Van Dyck to painting. But now she is married, the adoration to which she has become accustomed has curdled to scrutiny, and she fears her powers are waning. Her devoted husband, Sir Kenelm Digby—explorer, diplomat, philosopher, alchemist— refuses to prepare a beauty tonic for her, insisting on her continued perfection. Venetia, growing desperate, secretly engages an apothecary to sell her “viper wine”—a strange potion said to bolster the blood and invigorate the skin. The results are instant, glorious, and addictive, and soon the ladies of the court of Charles I are looking unnaturally youthful. But there is a terrible price to be paid, as science clashes with magic, puritans rebel against the decadent monarchy, and England slides into civil war. Based on real events and written with anachronistic verve, Viper Wine is an intoxicating brew of love, longing and vanity, where the 17th and 21st centuries mix and mingle in the most enchanting and mind-bending ways. From the Hardcover edition.
It’s always a shame to DNF a book, but here’s my latest.
The cover is what initially drew me to Viper Wine (my cover is a little different than this one). Give me a pretty cover and I’ll try to read almost anything. Historical Fiction usually always works for me, but this one wasn’t the case. The writing was beautiful at times, although sometimes there were descriptions that were a bit awkward. I really could not get into the story and the modern references just weren’t my thing, so I couldn’t make myself push through the entire book. It was by far the most bizarre Historical Fiction I’ve ever come across, so it is very unique. If you like quirky books, try reading this.
The Girl in the Road
by Monica Byrne Published by Crown/Archetype
on May 20th 2014 Genres: Fiction
, Science Fiction
, Visionary & Metaphysical Pages:
A debut that Neil Gaiman calls “Glorious. . . . So sharp, so focused and so human.” The Girl in the Road describes a future that is culturally lush and emotionally wrenching. Monica Byrne bursts on to the literary scene with an extraordinary vision of the future. In a world where global power has shifted east and revolution is brewing, two women embark on vastly different journeys—each harrowing and urgent and wholly unexpected.When Meena finds snakebites on her chest, her worst fears are realized: someone is after her and she must flee India. As she plots her exit, she learns of the Trail, an energy-harvesting bridge spanning the Arabian Sea that has become a refuge for itinerant vagabonds and loners on the run. This is her salvation. Slipping out in the cover of night, with a knapsack full of supplies including a pozit GPS, a scroll reader, and a sealable waterproof pod, she sets off for Ethiopia, the place of her birth.Meanwhile, Mariama, a young girl in Africa, is forced to flee her home. She joins up with a caravan of misfits heading across the Sahara. She is taken in by Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. They are trying to reach Addis Abba, Ethiopia, a metropolis swirling with radical politics and rich culture. But Mariama will find a city far different than she ever expected—romantic, turbulent, and dangerous. As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama’s fates are linked in ways that are mysterious and shocking to the core. Written with stunning clarity, deep emotion, and a futuristic flair, The Girl in the Road is an artistic feat of the first order: vividly imagined, artfully told, and profoundly moving.
The briefest brief review:
There was a lot of hype surrounding The Girl in the Road. The writing itself was good although confusing. A good deal of people really enjoyed the book, so don’t let me discourage you if you may be interested in reading it. Unfortunately, I could not force myself to finish the book. The story started off slow and was, again, confusing. There were things that happened that made me really uncomfortable (like the molestation of a young girl). I tend to try to give all books a chance, but I just could not finish The Girl in the Road.