“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead ★★★

Fictionalized account of one woman's harrowing journey out of the Deep South via the escape route dubbed "The Underground Railroad".  This author's version uses a play on words by portraying the railroad as an actual system of train tracks and tunnels dug underground, each section only traveling a short distance before it would reach another … Continue reading “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead ★★★

“Virgins” (.5 Outlander) by Diana Gabaldon ★★★★

Diana Gabaldon never fails.  This novella (.5 in the Outlander series) covers a small snippet of time where we meet Jamie Fraser and Ian Murray at around 20 years old.  The story picks up right after Jamie received his 100 lashes from Captain Randall and he learned his father had died.  Jamie is suffering from … Continue reading “Virgins” (.5 Outlander) by Diana Gabaldon ★★★★

“Follow the River” by James Alexander Thom ★★★★

Excellent fictionalized account of the true-life story of 23yo Mary Draper Ingles, who survived a Shawnee attack on her Virginia settlement on July 3, 1755. [I apologize in advance.  I do include spoilers in this post.] After witnessing the murders of the majority of her people in Draper's Meadow (including her mother and her brother's … Continue reading “Follow the River” by James Alexander Thom ★★★★

“Ravished by a Highlander” by Paula Quinn ★★★★★

Despite the cheesy title, this is an excellent romance novel set in the Scottish highlands. The narrator was top notch.  She was competently able to differentiate the voices of multiple characters, including female and male, English and Scottish accents, in a believable way. Her narration was very helpful in actually being able to hear the … Continue reading “Ravished by a Highlander” by Paula Quinn ★★★★★

“Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton ★★★★★

Along with providing food for thought regarding the tug-of-war between passion versus responsibility, I think this may have been Wharton's warning to her readers to avoid making a hasty decision on whom you will marry.  Avoid the shrews!   Ethan Frome was the most handsome man in his little town of Starkfield, Massachusetts.  He was an … Continue reading “Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton ★★★★★

“Forever Amber” by Kathleen Winsor ★★★★★

This is a fun, fictionalized epic taking place in the court of King Charles II.  It follows the life of Amber St. Clare for a period of a dozen years, beginning when she is 16 and falls for a handsome Cavalier who passes through her little village.  She follows him to London, although he tells … Continue reading “Forever Amber” by Kathleen Winsor ★★★★★

“True Grit” by Charles Portis ★★★★

Interesting fictional narrative account of 14-year-old Mattie Ross, who leaves her Arkansas home and heads toward Oklahoma and the Choctaw Indian Territory during an 1870s winter, searching for the "cowardly" Tom Chaney, the man who robbed and killed her father in cold blood.  It is her intention to capture him and bring him back to … Continue reading “True Grit” by Charles Portis ★★★★

“The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton ★★★★★

Portrayal of a young woman, Lily Bart, navigating high society New York circa 1903 without the benefit of a supportive family to guide her or the financial means to support the lifestyle after her father's wealth falls away. "She had no tolerance for scenes which were not of her own making..."  --in regard to Mrs. Bart … Continue reading “The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton ★★★★★