• book reviews, Book Reviews

Book Reviews

book reviews, Book ReviewsBeing a writer means being a reader, so why not share some book reviews? I have always enjoyed getting lost in fictional worlds and delight in beautiful and evocative language. It is this love of novels that has prodded me to write. As I began my writing journey, I remember asking myself, “Can I really do this?” Like all artists, I am inspired to emulate art I admire. And so I read—all the time. This is a page where you can keep track of what I’m reading for pleasure as well as for inspiration / research for my next novel. 

As I realized my dream of becoming a novelist, I began to appreciate even more how important it is to spread the word about great books. Writing book reviews helps me engage critically with the work I’m reading and join fellow readers worldwide in conversation. I will post book reviews here but make sure to follow me on Goodreads and BookBub to see my most recent reads! I am also a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books. You’ll find those (more extensive) commentaries below, but you can check them all out on my NYJB page.

If you’d like to learn more about how my reading is influencing my current writing process, or delve deeper into the inspirations behind my first two novels, Eden and The Nine, just click on Writing Inspiration to the right. I am also excited to share the works of fellow authors whose books I’ve been asked to blurb in the far right column.

Want to chat about a book I’ve reviewed? Have a recommendation for me? Drop me a line to start the conversation!

Recent Reads

The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal

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The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal The human organ at the center of it all, around which so much is attributed. The love, the imagery, the life - the heart is more than a pulsing muscle. This novel is successful in its ambition to capture everything, from the poetry of the heart to…By jbadmin|

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas

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The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas This is a big meaty book that allows you to inhabit a character's mind as you would your own. Or at least that of a close friend with whom you are very intimate and familiar. This the story of a woman permitting the men in her life…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Vera by Carol Edgarian

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Vera by Carol Edgarian This novel is an exciting, personal (fictional) account of the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906 from the point of view of a fabulous character—Vera Johnson is the illegitimate daughter of the city’s most prominent madame during an era of miners,…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel

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The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel Loved the sparse concise writing style and the weaving in of spiritual Santero influences. This is the type of fiction I love, following terribly flawed humans through devastating experiences and watching them carry on nonetheless. Plus…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia · NYJB Review

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Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia This review was originally posted on the New York Journal of Books. Of Women and Salt is a tale of family legacy that juxtaposes the story of four generations of matrilineal descendants in a Cuban family spanning 150 years with the experiences…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee

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Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee Casey Han is young woman trying to figure things out. She often gets herself in a bind and does what isn't expected - a dagger to the heart for her hard-working, immigrant parents. There should be more books with female protagonists in…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins · NYJB Review

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Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins This review was originally published by the New York Journal of Books. Caul Baby is an ambitious and unique novel set in a Harlem neighborhood where a powerful Creole family, the Melancons, conduct a secretive trade from their bodega storefront.…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

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The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel The Glass Hotel is the type of book that surprises you with where it ends up. The characters are terrific and the weaving of their experiences is deft. The main character, Vincent, is a whip-smart, beautiful, wounded soul. I especially enjoyed…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

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Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell Where to start? The premise, the language, the way the structure weaves around events and characters. We have all grown up with Shakespeare, but to dive into this historical speculation is a treat nobody should miss. Titled "Hamnet," after Shakespeare's…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

The Listening Path by Julia Cameron

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The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention (An Artist's Way Book) by Julia Cameron This is a manual for paying attention. A companion book to the Artist's Way, which I really love, The Listening Path describes a six-week program that takes you to higher and higher levels…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House by Cherie Jones · NYJB Review

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How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House by Cherie Jones This review was originally published by the New York Journal of Books. How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House is the type of novel you finish and then return to Chapter One to begin again. Because it is that good,…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi · NYJB Review

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Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi This review originally appeared in the New York Journal of Books. Burnt Sugar is an incredible novel with messages and characters that remain with its reader far beyond the final line. In this sometimes humorous, sometimes dark, always ephemeral…By jbadmin|

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase through one of these links, I may make a small commission (at no additional cost to you), which I will donate to literary organizations in Boston. Thanks!

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Books I’ve

Blurbed

book reviews, Book ReviewsZero O’Clock is a beautiful and timely YA novel that is both heartbreaking and whip smart, a glimpse into the world of virtual friendship… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsMt Moriah’s Wake unfolds masterfully, alternating timelines in a way that had me eagerly reading on to the final, most satisfying plot twist… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsWith incredible elegance and insight, Leaving Coy’s Hill strikes a perfect balance between historical setting and a rendering of the inner woman… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsAlthough set in the nineteen sixties, David Hirshberg’s Jacobo’s Rainbow is infused with prescient relevance today… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsElise Schiller’s Watermark is a poignant novel that gripped me from beginning to end. Masterfully structured and told… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsIn her literary debut, Deborah Goodrich Royce has given us the sort of thriller that wants to be devoured in one sitting. Written from… Read More

book reviews, Book Reviews

Hard Cider is a fabulous novel about starting a business, taking on challenges, and building a family. The real treat was… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsReading My Mother’s Son is like opening up a time capsule and sifting among the treasures. 1952 Boston comes alive as… Read More