Just a friendly reminder that all locations of The Seattle Public Library and the Central Library book drops will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. If you are looking for books to read over the weekend, consider the book recommendations below from the Friends’ Board meeting in May. You can just click on the links below to get to the SPL site to reserve a copy of these books. Quoted book review excerpts are reprinted with permission from Booklist.
The World Before Her, by Deborah Weisgall. This novel “explores the parallel worlds of two marriages a century apart yet forever interwoven through the beauty of Venice. We first encounter Marian Evans Cross honeymooning in Venice. Marian led an unconventional life for the late Victorian era through her lengthy extramarital relationship with George Henry Lewes and publication of Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, and Middlemarch under the pseudonym George Eliot. . . . A century later, sculptor Caroline Edgar Spingold returns reluctantly to Venice on a surprise tenth-anniversary trip planned by her husband, Malcolm. . . . Marian’s life will end unexpectedly without having attained great happiness or contentment . . . . , while Caroline will emerge from the fog of complacency to achieve the happiness she sought as an artist and as a woman. A compelling novel of introspection, the story is enhanced by vivid attention to the artistic and literary detail in both the historical and contemporary settings.” — Laurie Sundborg
Dream When You’re Feeling Blue, by Elizabeth Berg. This story is set “in Chicago during World War II, featuring three Irish Catholic sisters—Kitty, Louise, and Tish Heaney. The novel opens as Kitty and Louise say good-bye to their boyfriends at Union Station as they head off to war. Over the next three years, the sisters—amid the usual sibling squabbles over borrowed clothes and makeup—learn what it means to sacrifice during wartime. . . . [Berg] deftly mixes up the tone, moving easily between the wry dialogue of the long-married Heaney parents and the sad and affecting letters from the soldiers at the front. Although a final plot twist may not be fully credible, it does little to detract from this affectionate tribute to the patriotic 1940s and the women of the Greatest Generation.” — Joanne Wilkinson