Laura Lyons is a housewife in 1913 living with her family in an apartment in the New York Public Library where her husband is the superintendent. She enrolls in Columbia Journalism School and finds a new world outside of the library walls and herself where women have their own identity. When someone starts stealing rare books and her lifestyle is at risk, she has to make a choice.
Eighty years later, Laura’s granddaughter, Sadie, is hired as a curator at the New York Public Library. When rare books from an exhibit Sadie is setting up starts to go missing, Sadie starts to dig into the past and may not like what she finds.
Readers of my blog will know that I love historical fiction. I fully expected to be fangirling in this review when starting the book. The mystery, varied timelines, New York Public Library tie-in, sounds fascinating on paper. The paper on which it is fascinating is not the pages of this book. The Lions of Fifth Avenue is not the worst book I’ve ever read. It felt self-indulgent on the part of the author. Davis wanted this setting and timeline tie but the story and characters never really seemed to come together. This is the only book I’ve read by Fiona Davis so the rest of her books might be brilliant. Am I likely to find out? No.
If you are looking for books dealing with human rights, check out those that have been reviewed on this homepage. Our main post with an overview of books and movies were reviewed for human rights day 2016 will be published later. At the moment, enjoy the Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016 and make sure to visit this site later.
Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism by Mark Curriden & Leroy Phillips
Genre: nonfiction, human rights, political science, African-American studies
In 1906, a white woman was brutally raped in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ed Johnson, a black man, was working at his restaurant job when the attack happened but was arrested and charged with the crime. When his lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay of execution and that stay was granted, local folks, led by officials, took the law into their own hands. In a history-changing move, the lynch mob faced federal legal repercussions. Ed Johnson cleared of the rape charges 100 years later. You can read the review of a “Contempt of Court” here.
In Playing Charlie Cool by Laurie Boris Charlie Trager has a great family that supports him in everything he does. Adam Joshua Goldberg, Charlie’s boyfriend, doesn’t have the same generous loving support. Josh has an ex in progress trying to work her way into perfect position to destroy everything Joshua loves and that’s not something Charlie can allow. Can Charlie and Josh find a happily ever after with everyone in their lives?
In Queen Henry by Linda Fausnet, Henry Vaughn Jr. prides himself on a manly presentation of himself to his team-mates on the Baltimore Orioles. He won’t allow them to see him with his much-needed inhaler and when Henry hears that there may be a gay player on the team, this shocking news horrifies and disgusts him. An experimental drug for asthma that will save the inhaler and save Henry’s face leaves him with an attraction to men and, worse, one specific man. Will Henry risk all of come out or lose the relationship that is most important to him?
Charles and Edward by Beau Garçon De La Nuit is a modern-day pretty woman novel. Edward is a young man with a rough past making his way by his wits when he meets the British Aristocrat, Charles. Edward and Charles embark on a business relationship that takes Edward places that he’s never been. Will the ambitious Edward change? Charles and Edward is a relationship chronicled in an email format.
In A Fool Among Fools by John Terracuso, it’s the mid-1980s in New York and Michael Gregoretti is a junior copywriter at an ad agency working on a campaign for aerosol butter. He hates his boss and is taking stock as he closes in on his thirtieth birthday. With good friends to keep him sane and a new relationship with a dashing southern gentleman married to his work for excitement, can Michael make life in the big city work or is it time to focus on his own creative ambitions?
In Diary of a Heretic by Kathleen Maher, coffee shop owner Malcolm Tully wants a life with something to anticipate. Everything is the same as it has been every day. He wants companionship and people saying things that should be said, but no one ever gives voice. When he vents his frustration to his baker Carlos, Malcolm never suspects how his life will change. All he wanted was a forum for people to talk freely, and suddenly he’s caught up in a whirlwind of bread blessings and audience attended éclaire glazing. He’s on a ride to the top that will open his eyes to the world around him.
In The Other Guy by Cary Attwell, Emory James is left at the altar on his wedding day when his fiancé’s ex, The Good Looking Bastard, stops the wedding and sweeps her off her feet. Emory, The Other Guy, longs to just once be the Good Looking Bastard. If only he could be the heartbreaker instead of the heartbroken. When Emory goes decides to go alone on his honeymoon to Thailand, he pledges to be someone better than himself. He soon meets Nate, a photographer from San Francisco, who thinks Emory is pretty great just the way he is, but what will happen with the vacation is over and Emory heads home to Chicago? Can he go back to being The Other Guy?
Interview with Paulette Mahurin—author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
Paulette is my first author interview. I asked her questions that I thought potential readers would find interesting and those who had read would want to know without spoiling the novel for those who wish to read. She was friendly, encouraging and lightening fast with her response.
I’d like to thank Paulette for making this such a nice experience. I hope you find the interview fun and informative and if you haven’t read Paulette’s book are convinced to pick it up after you witness how delicately she treats the errors in my questions. Lesson one for Rabid Reader: Mark and go back to what you’d like answered. Enjoy.
In The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin, Mildred Dunlap is a generous and loving soul, but in the eyes of the townsfolk, already has one strike against her—in the tradition of her father before her, she doesn’t go to church. When news of Oscar Wilde’s conviction in England hits little Red River Pass, Nevada, she discovers that she might have something else to fear. Edra, known to all as Mildred’s cousin, is actually her life partner. With the townsfolk calling for Wilde’s blood, what will happen if they find out about her? She has a plan to ward off the busybodies but can she pull it off or, in the end, will everything be made worse?
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