Book Reviews

This Autumn, Fall in Love with a Good Book

Soon the seasons will change, and fall will arrive. What better way to face the cooling weather than curled up with a good book?

For your reading enjoyment, here are three distinctly different books to fill your afternoon or caress your evening as you greet autumn.

The Birdcage cover art smallThe Birdcage

By Eve Chase

Buy It Here.

Told from multiple perspectives, The Birdcage is a gothic British tale complete with secrets, an unkempt estate, and eccentric characters. Three half-sisters with the same father return to his neglected home after 20 years.

They slowly unpack the summer of 1999, during which they stopped going to their father’s.

There is trauma for each sister based in her mother’s relationship with him, but something much darker occurred between then and the present day.

Flora and Kat, hiding their unspoken anxieties, seem to remember the event that interrupted their days together, but Lauren hides it in the recesses of her mind.

She is wary of her father’s art studio with its birdcage, pigments, portraits, and memories; however, she is still drawn to it.

The women must face the past to move forward. Haunted by a dark figure, they receive anonymous threats, explore dusty corners of the studio, and revisit seaside haunts.

Birds are a key motif in the novel, from the family bird to an abandoned aviary and the titular birdcage itself. But what do these have to do with Lauren and her father’s former lovers?

Readers who enjoy psychological suspense will devour this complex novel.

The Physicists Daughter cover artThe Physicists’ Daughter

By Mary Anna Evans

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The Physicists’ Daughter  is a riveting piece of historical fiction featuring a woman in wartime.

Justine Byrne is the brilliant daughter of now-deceased immigrant scientists who finds herself working in a New Orleans factory and riding a bus daily to join hundreds of female colleagues aiding the war effort during World War II.

She isn’t sure what her Carbon Division does but puts her unique math and science skills set to work. After a fatal accident, however, she begins to sense something amiss.

Recurring incidents seem to be orchestrated. The story takes us through her learning about the factory’s practices while attempting to be discreet; however, she can’t seem to escape the attention of the men working there. Is one of them a spy? How can she know whom to trust?

After confiding in her parents’ associate, Gloria, she finds a new mystery surrounding her parent’s death. Justine continues to work through the data she’s gathered and eventually begins to see a solution; however, there may not be time to act.

Through Justine, author Mary Anna Evans has given a nod to women of science.

Her novel is absorbing and fast-paced; I recommend it for readers interested in women’s wartime contributions.

Young Again cover artYoung Again

By Don Trowden and Valerie McKee

Buy It Here.

Set in the Mississippi Delta, home of the blues, Young Again introduces 90-year-old music legend Mabel Johnson, who has lost her granddaughter and is also losing her memory.

Mabel, a renowned pianist, and singer, wants to impart her knowledge to her great granddaughter Priscilla, who is on extended visit.

One night, after seeing how frustrated Mabel has become about her aging state, the young woman prays that her great grandmother will become young again.

Overnight, Mabel turns 40 again. She reaches a new audience, conducts an awkward romance, and finds a new but chosen family among music lovers.

Peppered with musical references, Young Again is enjoyable and refreshing. The authors take us on a joyous tour through jazz and blues history, introducing new musicians to explore and addressing occasional cultural and political issues.

This multicultural tale would be enjoyed by many, especially those caring for an elderly loved one or who find themselves nearing Mabel’s age.

Happy reading!


Rae DeShong

Rae DeShong is a Dallas-based writer with a background in news reporting and information science. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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