Marketing Coordinator. Enjoys science, nature, & food writing, historical & speculative fiction, fantasy & books about books. ~Bookie since 2017~
A classic tale of a wish gone wrong, modernized. Addie LaRue lives in small-town France in the 1700's and burns to escape her provincial life. She makes a bargain with a dangerous entity but is not careful about the parameters of the deal. She gains a sort of immortality but is cursed by being almost instantly forgotten by everyone she meets. Her story reaches modern-day New York where she meets a handsome young bookseller who, against all odds, seems to defy the curse and REMEMBERS her. This is a story about stories, books and writing, creation and art, and about how we use them to deal with life's disappointments, especially mortality. It clever twist of fairy tale and mythological motifs makes it a natural match for fans of Anne Rice, Naomi Novik, Alix E. Harrow, & Erin Morgenstern.
O'Connor chronicles the dark despair of the act of writing itself through the lens of London's famous Lyceum Theater. A book-within-a-book of the highest caliber, it treads the boards from the dazzling spectacle of Shakespeare to the quiet desperation of everyday life. It's also occasionally, as befits a story of Dracula's creator, creepingly spooky... Shadowplay made me laugh, weep, and most importantly, begat a sense of intimately knowing its real-life muses: Abraham Stoker, Ellen Terry, and and Henry Irving.
So good, simultaneously funny and heartbreaking. I'd recommend it to pretty much anyone who doesn't mind a corvid dropping lots of curse words. Helen McDonald, author of H is for Hawk and Vesper Flights, says that "Hollow Kingdom is a nature book for our own age, an exuberant, glittering, hard-hitting mashup of Dawn of the Dead and The Incredible Journey. It's an adventure lit by strange myths, brand-names, television and smartphone screens, a fable with teeth and claws about animals making new lives amongst the ruins of humanity. It's transformative, poignant, and funny as hell."
A worthy addition to the Austen canon, The Other Bennet Sister gives voice to a much-maligned character from Pride and Prejudice, sister Mary, the awkwardly bookish middle child. We see the events from the original story afresh through her eyes, and find out what happens after all her more glittering sisters are married off. Is poor bespectacled Mary doomed to spinsterhood or, even more terrifying, the itinerant life of a governess? The reader keenly feels the pain of living in the shadow cast by siblings gifted more liberally with those characteristics society and fiction reward - vivaciousness, beauty, elegance. Hadlow seamlessly and respectfully fits this side-story into the Austenverse while provoking new insights into the characters you thought you knew inside-out.