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Dieveney has commented on (20) products.

My Notorious Life by Kate Manning
My Notorious Life

Dieveney, December 29, 2014

I picked this book at random looking for a fun interesting read and was thrilled to find such a captivating, no holds barred, timely story that I'm surprised it wasn't on everyone's "Best Of 2013" list last year. Based on a notorious midwife of 19th century NY, Kate Manning takes us on a journey full of adventure, Dickensian waifs, orphan trains, and the struggle to create something from nothing. As if that weren't enough, it is a striking portrait of the fight women face to achieve their ambitions and autonomy. Although the story takes place in the Victorian era, the narrative is a stunning contribution to the present conversation regarding equal rights and women's healthcare.
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Longbourn by Jo Baker

Dieveney, November 15, 2014

Jane Austen’s most well known heroine Lizzie Bennett was famous for her long walks and muddy petticoats but no one stopped to consider the maid who had to scrub the mud off those boots and petticoats until her hands were raw and sore. While the Bennett sisters are dealing with affairs of the heart, Sarah their housemaid has dreams of her own and they include being noticed by anyone and less laundry. I’m not a fan of revisiting favorite Jane Austen characters in sequels or retellings, but this has very little to do with the Bennett sisters and everything to do with being trapped in a life of drudgery and trying to find a way to happiness. Not to say this is a dark tale, in fact Sarah is a plucky hopeful heroine who feels like maybe the most real of all the characters at Longbourn. No need to be a Jane Austen fan to enjoy this well researched and entertaining novel but if you are a perennial Pride and Prejudice reader, this book will add lovely new layers to the story.
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Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz
Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine

Dieveney, November 13, 2014

I didn't expect this to be such a page turner but I literally read cover to cover in a matter of hours. While I expected it to be mostly about Dr Mutter’s famous collection of marvels as displayed in the Philadelphia museum, it was much much more. A biography of a incredibly forward thinking compassionate brilliant doctor, the history of medical schools in America, the invention of plastic surgery and anesthesia and every other essential treatment that brought humanity to healing. Definitely the most fascinating biography I’ve read in a very long time but also one of the most entertaining books I’ve read this year. This is definitely going to be my go to holiday gift for everyone this year.
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Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley
Season of Storms

Dieveney, October 22, 2014

1920s actress Celia Sands mysteriously disappears on opening night of a production written especially for her. Fast forward 80 years and another actress named Celia Sands has been invited to play the role of a lifetime or at least the role of her namesake in the same production set in a gorgeous Italian Villa and previous home of the original Celia. The play has never successfully been produced due to its “Scottish Play” like curse but an aspiring actress can’t pass up the chance to play the lead even if she’s not sure she’ll make it to opening night herself. Enter a eccentric cast of characters including a handsome but brooding producer and grandson of the original playwright as well as some rather entertaining theatrical folks ready to put on a show. Susanna Kearsley has been one of my favorite authors for so long due to her loveable characters, gorgeous landscapes, and clever mysteries. While this novel is one of her first, it definitely captures the magic of her later books.
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The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford
The Sea House

Dieveney, October 22, 2014

A gorgeous character study wrapped around a historic mystery where the most compelling character is the incredible Hebrides islands. Ruth moves to historic Sea House, on the remote and mysterious Scottish islands and almost immediately uncovers an ancient skeleton of what appears to be a mermaid child. Fighting demons from her past, she throws herself into uncovering the identity of this child. Flash back 130 years and Stephen, local vicar and owner of the Sea House is diving into his own obsessive research of the identity of mermaids. Told in alternating chapters, these characters demonstrate the challenges we face unless we turn and embrace the past. When the third voice Moira begins to tell her story, prepare to be immersed until the book is finished. There’s nothing supernatural about this beautifully researched novel, just very very good storytelling.
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