Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Finds 4-3-2009

Here are my finds for this week - only three as I am still a little under the weather. Thank you to everyone for both the birthday wishes and the get well wishes!

Bedlam South by Mark Grisham and David Donaldson

I just found this one yesterday from At Home With Books.

From the back cover:

Set in the heart of the Confederacy, Bedlam South is the story of ordinary people who fought and suffered, and loved and lost during the Civil War. The novel begins and ends in an insane asylum outside Richmond, Virginia, as it interweaves the fates of its characters in a panoramic view of the Civil War. The asylum's chaos and internal strife echo the military and personal battles taking place over four years.

The story begins in 1862, when Dr. Joseph Bryarly leaves England to head Richmond's Wingate Asylum, run by the sadistic and scarred Captain Samuel Percy. Bryarly launches his own war battling the Captain on behalf of the inmates, while also battling his own demons. On the frontlines near Fredericksburg, seventeen-year-old Zeke Gibson joins his brother, Corporal Billy Gibson. In the midst of heavy fighting, they are separated. Each embarks on a path that will take him deep into lunacy and a struggle for survival as the war progresses and their fates become intertwined with Dr. Bryarly's.

Coventry by Helen Humphreys

I found this at Fresh Ink Books.
Humphreys's lethargic latest depicts the intertwining lives of two British women during the world wars. Harriet and Maeve meet on the streets of Coventry, England, in 1914. Both are of troubled mind: Harriet's husband has just left for the battlegrounds of France, and Maeve can't shake a deep sense of loneliness. The women share laughs on a bus ride, but afterwards their lives continue on different paths. Harriet's husband, Owen, goes missing (and is presumed killed) in action, and Harriet spends the next two decades mourning his loss. Maeve becomes pregnant out of wedlock and works a string of odd jobs to raise her son, Jeremy. In the chaos of the German bombing of Coventry in 1940, Harriet befriends Jeremy, who, at 22, stirs intense memories of Owen. Together, they search the town for Jeremy's mother and forge an intense bond. Humphreys's characters are given to poetic tendencies that occasionally yield interesting insights on the nature of loss and change, though the cast tends toward the indistinct and the narrative feels too in service of the historical record. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Etta by Gerald Kolpan

I found this one at Booking Mama.

Beautiful, elusive, and refined, Etta Place captivated the nation at the turn of the last century as she dodged the law with the Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Her true identity and fate have remained a mystery that has tantalized historians for decades. Now, for the first time, Gerald Kolpan envisions this remarkable woman’s life in a stunning debut novel.

Kolpan imagines that Etta Place was born Lorinda Jameson, the daughter of a prominent financier, who becomes known as the loveliest of the city’s debutantes when she makes her entrance into Philadelphia society. Though her position in life is already assured, her true calling is on horseback. She can ride as well as any man and handle a rifle even better. But when a tragedy leads to a dramatic reversal of fortune, Lorinda is left orphaned, penniless, homeless, and pursued by the ruthless Black Hand mafia.

Rechristened “Etta Place” to ensure her safety, the young woman travels to the farthest reaches of civilization, working as a “Harvey Girl” waitress in Grand Junction, Colorado. There, fate intervenes once more and she again finds herself on the run from the ruthless Pinkerton Detective Agency. But this time she has company. She soon finds herself at the legendary hideout at Hole-in-the-Wall, Wyoming, where she meets the charismatic Butch Cassidy and the handsome, troubled Harry Longbaugh, a.k.a. the Sundance Kid. Through a series of holdups and heists, Etta and Harry begin an epic and ultimately tragic romance, which will be the greatest of Etta’s life. Then, when Etta meets the young and idealistic Eleanor Roosevelt, her life is changed forever.

Blending a compelling love story, high adventure, and thrilling historical drama, Etta is an electrifying novel. With a sweeping 1900s setting, colorful storytelling, and larger-than-life characters, Etta is a debut that is both captivating and unforgettable. (description from Amazon)

What great books did you find this week?? Stop over at Should Be Reading and share yours!


bermudaonion said...

I read Alyce's review of Bedlam South and thought it sounded good too!

Passages to the Past said...

I too added Bedlam South to my wishlist based on Alyce's review - sounds sooo good! Coventry is also on there!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I thought the same thing - Bedlam South sound really good!

jess said...

I have heard good things about Etta.

Unknown said...

I've added Bedlam South to my TBR pile... Thanks for sharing! :)

gautami tripathy said...

I too have added this to my TBR pile!

Come find this great book

Anonymous said...

Oooh Etta sounds great! While her name sounded familiar to me I couldn't really place who she was until I read your full summary, how sad is that? Which means I need to read it immediately to be fully knowledgeable!

This happened to me recently when reading a book set in Louis XV's royal court. I kept thinking why did La Pompadour (the name of his mistress) sound familiar? When I realized it was due to the pouffy hairstyle I knew I need to read more about the REAL Pompadour.

avisannschild said...

I recommend Coventry too! I should be reviewing it soon.

Darlene said...

I really enjoyed Coventry and I'd like to read Bedlam South and Etta one of these days too. Take care and feel better!

Cheryl said...

Bedlam South sounds really great!

Unknown said...

All three sound really good. More for my list.


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