Author Archive > Davida Chazan

The Living

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Living by Lean Cullinan, book reviewWorking on the website for the small publishing house Bell Books is hardly an exciting life. Even so, since it is Cate’s first job after graduating Dublin’s Trinity College, there is no reason for her to balk about it. She has her college friends and her choir – Carmina Urbana – to keep her busy and entertained after a boring day at work. Then Eddie MacDevitt’s memoire manuscript comes in, and strange things begin to happen. Her boss is hiding the book from everyone, there’s that dark car Cate keeps seeing, that new British tenor in the choir who is so secretive, and even her family are being unusually guarded. Surely, the meanderings of some ex-activist (who knew her uncle, and her boss, back in the day) can’t be all that hush-hush, even if there are still people who want him dead. This is The Living by Léan Cullinan.


Continue reading

I Stopped Time

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Jane Davis, I Stopped Time, book reviewWhen Lottie Pye died at the age of 108 she left her whole collection of thousands of photographs to her son James, who she hadn’t seen in almost 80 years. When James happens upon Jenny Jones, a University student studying photography, he decides to let her go through them and catalog them, never realizing that this could finally be a way to get to know both his mother, and himself. This is Jane Davis’ novel I Stopped Time.

I just adore strong female characters, especially those who find their own paths, even if that causes them problems. Lottie Pye is just that type of character – a woman ahead of her time, unwilling to be confined by the dictates of society, even if that causes problems for her or others.


Continue reading

Campari for Breakfast

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Campari for Breakfast, Sara Crowe, book reviewSue Bowl has been through a lot more in life than most 17 year olds. Her mother, Buddleia, committed suicide, and not long after that, her father took up with another woman. Buddleia’s sister, Aunt Coral, was still mourning the loss of their father when Buddleia took her life. Looking for comfort, and knowing Sue needed some comforting herself, Coral invites her to Egham to spend her gap year in her mother’s ancestral home. Of course, Sue can’t out of Titford fast enough, mostly because she’s sure that Green Place will be the perfect setting to start writing her novel. And while she’s there, perhaps she can find some answers about her mother, with a dash of romance on the side. This is Sara Crowe’s debut novel Campari for Breakfast.

One of the first things readers will find in this book is that it has heap-loads of charm, part of which is due to it taking place in the late 1980s in a semi-rural village outside London.


Continue reading

Light Shining in the Forest

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Light Shining in the Forest Paul Torday, book reviewNorman Stokoe is the new “Children’s Czar” of England’s Northumberland, and he has fallen between bureaucratic cracks with the newly formed government. He has a brand new position but no green-light to do anything. Still, with a good salary, his secretary Pippa and an office with a budget, things could be worse. Then Willie, a small-time reporter from a local newspaper, comes to him with a theory about some children who have gone missing. Everyone has labeled them as runaways, but Willie doesn’t believe it. Soon both Pippa and Norman agree, but now they’re on their own to find out the truth.

If one had to choose a tagline for Light Shining in the Forest, Paul Torday’s last novel, it would have to be “Every five minutes a child goes missing in the UK”.


Continue reading

The Pure Gold Baby

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret DrabbleAnna seemed like a normal baby when she was born to her unwed mother Jess. As she grew, she seemed ultimately happy. She was the type of child who glowed from within. So when Jess realized that Anna wasn’t normal, that she’d never learn to read or do math, she decided to do everything she could to protect and care for her. But her mostly abandoned career in anthropology continued to hover in her periphery. This is The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble.

Drabble’s style is elegantly simple with a contemplative quality to it, which weaves between being squarely based in reality and the more esoteric and philosophical passages.


Continue reading

The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon, book reviewDuring the early part of the 20th century, there was a rash of public figures that were barely more than puppets for the many gangsters that flourished. From this time comes the story of Judge Joseph Force Crater and his mysterious disappearance on August 6, 1930. The investigation and speculation that followed for decades afterwards, garnered him with the title of “the missingest man in New York.” This cold case has now been fictionally re-opened from a new angle – that of the women in Crater’s life, in Ariel Lawhon’s debut novel The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress.

The fact that this infamous case may not be familiar to most readers should have nothing to do with their decision to read it or not.


Continue reading

Perfect

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Perfect, Rachel Joyce, book reviewByron Hemmings is a clever boy with an equally clever best friend James Lowe. When they hear about adding an extra two seconds, the idea astounds them both. But then Byron notices his watch moving backwards at the exact time the accident happened, and nothing will ever be the same. Together, these boys attempt to put things right during that spring and summer of 1972. 40 years later, the mental institution that Jim has been in and out of since he was 16 is closing its doors. Now Jim has to figure out how to live in the real world, and how to protect it from any harm he might cause. In this fascinating story, told in chapters that alternate between 1972 and 40 years later, Rachel Joyce (author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) once again takes us on a uniquely personal journey in her second novel Perfect.


Continue reading

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion, Fannie Flagg, book reviewMrs. Earl Poole Jr., better known as Sookie, is almost 60 and still can’t get out from under her overpowering, and mentally unstable mother, Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore’s rich Simmons background and standing in the community is in a league of its own, and not one that Sookie ever felt comfortable in. But apparently, much of her family history was fiction. When Sookie finds out the truth as it applies to her in particular, it puts her into a tailspin, and takes her back to events in American history she never knew existed in a journey of discovery both of her own life and her heritage. This is Fanny Flagg’s The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion.

There are far few too authors out there that can make their readers laugh and cry at the same time.


Continue reading

Under the Wide and Starry Sky

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Under the Wide and Starry Sky,  Nancy Horan, book reviewFanny Osbourne is running away from America with her three children. She’s had enough of her husband’s cheating ways; surely Antwerp is far enough away. But when her youngest son falls ill and then dies, she’s encouraged to recuperate in provincial France. There she meets Robert Louis Stevenson, who immediately falls in love with her. As he’s several years her junior, she doesn’t initially return his affections. But soon she’s under his spell, and thus begins the whirlwind lifetime of land and sea, from frozen mountains to tropical rainforests, in sickness and health, for richer and poorer and until death did them part. This is Nancy Horan’s Under the Wide and Starry Sky.


Continue reading

The Puttermesser Papers

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Puttermesser Papers, Cynthia Ozick, book reviewRuth Puttermesser is a keenly intelligent woman and a fervent feminist, who by all rights should have been living an exceptionally amazing life. But despite her Ivy League law degree and total dedication, at age 34 she seems stuck with her lack of ambition in an ambiguous sounding New York City municipal department. But that doesn’t mean she’s boring. In fact, she’s anything but that, mostly because she’s been observing things – everything. So when work suddenly turns sour she takes things into her own hands. But are the upheavals and chaos that ensue her own doing, or not? This is The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick.


Continue reading

The Thread

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Thread, Victoria Hislop, book reviewDuring the 20th Century, the sea-side Greek city of Thessaloniki saw it all – fires, wars and earthquakes. This is the backdrop of Victoria Hislop’s novel The Thread. In it, we get to know the story of this city through a fictional cast of characters. As the book opens, Katerina and Dmitri’s grandson has come to visit. He asks them why they still live in this city, since their children and their families are all in England or the USA. The answer to his question is the story of these two people and this special city.

Novelist Hislop is well known for her love of the Mediterranean. Her first novel “The Island” was about Crete, and her second “The Return” was about Granada, Spain.


Continue reading

The Kitchen Daughter

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Kitchen Daughter, Jael McHenry, book reviewGinny has Asperger’s, and one of the few things that calms and comforts her during times of stress, is cooking. So when she’s trying to cope with the sudden death of her parents by making one of her grandmother Nonna’s recipes, and Nonna’s ghost appears in the kitchen, she’s not sure what to think. Is she being cursed or has she got a gift? One thing for certain, she can’t tell her sister Amanda, or she’ll certainly have to move in with her and her family. More importantly, what was the message Nonna was trying to tell her, just as she faded away? Whatever it was, Ginny knows one thing – she wants to be left alone to find out and take care of herself, no matter what Amanda thinks. This is The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry.


Continue reading

prev posts