Tag Archive | independence

Writing Clementine, by Kate Gordon (book review) – journaling secrets, reader optional

book cover of Writing Clementine by Kate Gordon, published by Allen & Unwin | BooksYALove.comWhen there’s nothing to write about
and you still have to write,
sometimes big truths appear…

Year 9 is tough on Clementine, with her best friends and family members growing away from her, until fascinating Fred arrives, dressed like a dandy from a bye-gone era, asking her to join his steampunk world and truly become the self she writes about in her philosophy class journal.

This Australian title arrives in the US on Sept. 1st , so your local library or local independent bookstore should be able to easily get it through Independent Publishers Group.

Several in-school personas in Writing Clementine  don’t match up with their leisure-time pursuits – what’s the most unusual public-private contrast you’ve seen?

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Book info: Writing Clementine / Kate Gordon. Allen & Unwin, 2015.  [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Clementine feels left behind as family and friends change, so a new student’s invitation to role-play in a steampunk society lets the Tasmanian teen experience acceptance and romance that she never even dreamed about in her journal.

Her best friends demand that Clem grow up in a hurry, then they move on. Her brother’s been holed up in his room for a year, and she feels responsible. Her philosophy teacher requires daily journal writing, but won’t read or comment on it unless asked.

A new student moves to town, like a reviving breeze with his elegant clothes and intriguing smile. Fred is such a contrast to creepy Sam and the other boys at school!

When Fred introduces her to the Burnie Steampunk Society, Clem finds new friends as they pretend to live in Victorian times.

Can she ever accept that Fred likes her just as she is?
Why can’t she just fix what’s wrong for her beloved big brother?
What should she do about Sam’s unwanted attention?

Clementine faces choices, changes, and challenges during her first year of high school, as recounted in the pages of her philosophy class journal. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Now You Tell Me! 12 College Students Give the Best Advice They Never Got, by Sheridan Scott, Nancy Allen, Anya Settle (book review)

book cover of Now You Tell Me! 12 College Students Give the Best Advice They Never Got by Sheridan Scott, Nancy Allen & Anya Settle published by ArundelGet up,
show up,
keep up!
Yes, classes are the main reason you go to college!

Great advice from real students who survived and thrived at college fills this book: get to know future classmates before you arrive on campus, try new things (but not everything!), stay hydrated, stay healthy, and remember that the dorm staff is there to help you.

You should be able to find this 2012 release at your favorite local library or independent bookstore – its advice is timeless! Download a free excerpt here.

What advice would you share with someone going to college or another new situation?
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Book info: Now You Tell Me! 12 College Students Give the Best Advice They Never Got / Sheridan Scott, Nancy Allen, and Anya Settle. Arundle Publishing, 2012.   [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Who better to tell you the real story about college life than recent graduates? This Now You Tell Me title can help you enjoy the good life at college while avoiding major pitfalls.

Whether at a small college or large university, several folks recommend waiting until the end of your first semester (or first year) to declare a major.

Read on for advice about dealing with difficult professors, your roommate’s dating and housekeeping habits, and other common situations of college life.

A dozen different experiences fill this book, so it’s no surprise that some advice contradicts what someone else earlier (join/don’t join a sorority/fraternity, etc.).

So put back half of the stuff you’d planned to take, bring your adventurous spirit, and learn from these 12 varied experience to make your college time the best it can be.

E for Elle in A Conspiracy of Alchemists, by Liesl Schwarz (fiction) – steampunk, magic, love, danger

book cover of A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz published by Del Rey BooksCorrect steam pressure in airship boiler? Check.
Passenger and cargo aboard? Check.
Clearance from Paris station to cast off? No? No?! Go, go, go, go!!

Being raised as a rational woman by her scientist father, airship captain Elle is most skeptical of Warlock Marsh’s claim that she will soon transform into Pythia as she becomes the world’s next Oracle, just as her runaway mother was…before her untimely death.

A wild chase after an artifact which must not fall into the hands of evil Alchemists takes Elle and Marsh from Oxford to Istanbul via Venice in this first book of The Chronicles of Light and Dark.

Can anyone outrun their destiny?
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Book info: A Conspiracy of Alchemists (Book One of The Chronicles of Light and Dark) / Liesel Schwarz. Del Rey, 2013. [author’s website] [publisher site]

My Recommendation:  A routine airship charter flight from Paris to London turns into a quest to close the gateway between evil Dark and the rational scientific world of Light for a young lady pilot in 1903, who little realizes that she is the gate-key that both sides will do anything to possess.

When a Warlock steals the sealed wooden box just given to her, Eleanor thinks she should have questioned her docking agent Patrice more closely before taking this charter. As gunfire starts at the Paris airfield, the young pilot knows that this is not a routine flight for her steam air-freighter at all, and when she arrives home in Oxford to find that her inventor father has kidnapped, she realizes that all these events are connected somehow.

Her charter passenger Mr. Marsh is really Viscount Greychester, an eminent Warlock on the Council which harnesses the Dark for productive purposes in this world. All signs point to Dr. Chance being abducted by the Alchemists, whose service to the undead Nightwalkers over centuries has made them hungry to unleash the Dark into this world for their own nefarious purposes.

Off go Elle and Marsh in the professor’s experimental gyrocopter, racing to reach the Council in Venice before the Alchemists can get there by train. No, Elle will not discuss her mother, who abandoned the family and was killed. No, Elle couldn’t have inherited her spiritual gifts, can’t possibly be an oracle, the Oracle, the key that would allow access to the full powers of Dark…

Unsatisfactory answers in Venice, reports that the Alchemists’ train is en route to Istanbul, visions appearing in Elle’s dreams… time is growing short, and the box stolen from Elle in Paris holds a magical substance that could allow the Alchemists to start pulling Dark power without the Nightwalkers’ assistance – if Dr. Chance is forced to create the triggering device!

Can they trust former allies in a strange land?
Is Elle truly on the verge of becoming the Oracle foretold?
Is Marsh really walking into her dreams of love?

There’s danger at every turn as Elle and Marsh must battle air pirates, rescue Dr. Chance, and race against time to save the world from Darkness eternal in this steampunk-paranormal start to The Chronicles of Light and Dark. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Dark Unwinding, by Sharon Cameron (fiction) – invention, espionage, affection

Book cover of The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron published by ScholasticClever clockwork devices,
A hidden town,
A special man with a child’s heart,
A spy and traitor plotting destruction…

Is it any wonder that Mr. Babcock used Uncle Tully’s money to rescue working families from the poorhouses and create a unique village to fill all the estate’s needs? Or that agents from enemy countries would try to steal Uncle Tully’s work to use against England? Or that Katharine might finally find love?

The author promises us a sequel in fall 2013, so visit Stranwyne Keep yourself soon – and watch out for Aunt Alice’s sharp tongue!
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Book info: The Dark Unwinding / Sharon Cameron. Scholastic Press, 2012.  [author’s website] [publisher site]

My Recommendation: It seems that Uncle is squandering away the family fortune, so it falls to Katharine to quietly visit the old man and gather enough evidence to have him declared insane. As “the poor relative”, the young lady has no choice but to make the long carriage journey to Stranwyne Keep, and a mysteriously strange place she finds it indeed.

A drowsy housekeeper, a mute young boy, a belligerent apprentice named Lane – that’s the entire staff for this huge English manor house? Mrs. Jeffries recognizes Katharine as Mr. Simon’s orphan daughter and avers that cousin Robert’s scheming mother must have sent her here to uproot Mr. Tully.

Where is all the money going if Uncle doesn’t throw lavish parties or buy fine horses? In his workshop across the moors, childlike genius Uncle Tully creates precise inventions in miniature with Lane’s assistance and keeps an unvarying personal timetable. Automatons, clockwork creations, part science, part magic, all Uncle Tully.

The family solicitor enlightens Katharine about how this estate is run – and how an entire village supports Uncle Tully’s projects as the estate supports its hundreds of workers rescued from London’s poorhouses! No wonder there is less money in the accounts than before… yet Mr. Babcock assures her that these projects will rebuild the fortune soon.

Katharine becomes convinced that some of her uncle’s entertaining inventions are very practical (others quite dangerous and alarming) as her fondness for this very special person grows, so she decides to support him in defiance of her aunt’s wishes, endangering her own chances of a safer financial future.

But all is not well in this idyllic setting, as strange noises taunt Katharine in the manor, Lane warns her about upsetting her uncle, a visiting student of mechanics begins to court her, people disappear from one location and reappear far away, and the villagers turn against her in defense of their dear Mr. Tully.

Who can she trust now – Lane? Mr. Babcock? Her maid and friend from the village?
What’s causing those eerie noises and her new nightmares?
Is someone really planning to steal inventions from Uncle Tully’s workshop?

A mystery and a Victorian family drama rolled into one, this Dark Unwinding twists and turns as Uncle Tully’s inventions tick-tock along, and a villain seeks to use them for nefarious purposes. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Cinders & Sapphires, by Leila Rasheed (fiction) – British high society & true goodness collide

book cover of Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed published by Disney HyperionEngland and India are so different,
Not even the green of the trees is the same,
But whispers and rumors are too close in both lands.

The objections to British rule over India have moved from prayers to violent demonstrations in 1910, especially following Lord Curzon’s partition of the country to split off Muslim-majority Bengal.

This first book in the At Somerton series will appeal to both fans of Downton Abbey and lovers of historical fiction with its upstairs-downstairs intrigues and political unrest abroad in the time just preceding “The Great War” which we call World War I.

What’s ahead for the Averley sisters and the others At Somerton as 1911 dawns?
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Book info: Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, book 1) / Leila Rasheed. Disney Hyperion, 2013. [author’s website] [publisher site]

My Recommendation:  High society and propriety will encircle Ava’s life in 1910 once the ship reaches England, but an accidental (and unchaperoned) meeting on deck leaves her breathless, hopeful, and confused. People would be shocked if they discovered that she’d kissed a man before her debutante season, utterly appalled if they found out he was Indian!

How dreadful for her father to leave India under a cloud of suspicion after his distinguished career there! Now they are returning to their family estate with her sister Georgiana so that he can marry a wealthy and beautiful widow to keep it afloat for now. The suddenness of the wedding and so many guests descending on quiet Somerton has the servants running to and fro, especially housekeeper Mrs. Cliffe whose daughter is now a housemaid.

Suddenly, Lady Ava and Lady Georgiana will have brothers and another sister (so jealous of everyone), plus a fashionable stepmother who will steer Ava through the intricacies of the London Season to find a husband. Never mind that Ava wants to attend Oxford, wants to think for herself, wants to think at all! And Ravi is at Oxford, might even visit London…

When Rose Cliffe is promoted to ladies’ maid for Ava and Georgiana, she’s sad that her evenings at the piano in the friendly servants’ sitting room are over. Music just flows through her veins, but a country girl like her could never afford piano lessons. The ladies’ maid to the new Lady Westlake hints strongly that learning secrets is the best way to get ahead in this world. The clandestine letters between Ravi and Ava, hinting of violence against the British in India, go through Rose’s hands…

Is there any hope for Ravi and Ava to be together?
What other secrets glide through Somerton’s elegant halls?
Must Ava marry someone, just to keep the estate intact?
As upstairs murmurs and belowstairs whispers collide, more stories At Somerton will follow this debut tale of keeping up appearances, societal expectations, and scandalously delicious secrets. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Other stories, other poets (book reviews) – novels-in-verse

Much like eclipse-viewers look indirectly at the sun, we can get a glimpse into life situations which may or may not mirror our own through novels-in-verse.

Click each title link to open my no-spoilers recommendation in a new window/tab for each of these BooksYALove favorites.
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book cover of After the Kiss by Terra Elen McVoy published by Simon PulseCamille and Becca don’t realize that they share a school, a coffeehouse, and one boy’s kiss… until an ill-timed cellphone photo makes all the connections fall into place.

Told in alternating chapters by each teen, their free verse ranges through the emotions that they must deal with as they try to reconcile what they thought was true with what reality is, After the Kiss  of Alec, the haiku-writing baseball star.

 

book cover of Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe published by VikingSara feels like her life at the ballet academy, far from her small New England hometown, is a never-ending Audition, as the dancers constantly compete for lead roles, for advanced classes, for the eye of handsome student assistant Remington.

Is he really interested in Sara? Can she continue to keep up with her schoolwork and her dance lessons and her hidden relationship with Remington? Only her poetry journal hears her fears and dreams.

 

book cover of Karma by Cathy Ostlere published by Razorbill

Religious turmoil becomes armed warfare in 1980s India, and Maya is caught in the upheaval almost as soon as she arrives with her father and the ashes of her mother, brought “home” to the family which disowned them when they married, a Sikh and a Hindu who thought that love would overcome all.

Is it Karma  that brought their only child to a place she’s only heard of, far from her birthplace on the Canadian prairies, that separates her from her Bapu, that makes her versified memories a clouded mirror?

(all review copies and cover images courtesy of their respective publishers)

Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery, by Keren David (book review) – teens, money, fiscal mayhem

book cover of Lias Guide to Winning the Lottery by Keren David published by Frances LincolnOooh… winning 8 million pounds in the lottery at age 16!
That’s over 12 million US dollars – in a lump sum!
Lia has so many plans for that money…
too bad that everyone else seems to have plans for it, too.

Yes, in the U.K., 16-year-olds can buy lottery tickets (it’s 18 to 21 in US states which hold a lottery).
Yes, the winner’s proceeds are deposited in the bank all at once.
Yes, Lia is sure that everything will be wonderful now…

If you won a big lottery prize, would you hold a press conference as Lia did, or keep it quiet? Could you handle sudden wealth on your own, or would you hire impartial financial advisors?

On this Fun Friday, join Lia on a wild romp from her dreary London suburb to the top shops, as she learns some life-lessons about finance and friendship in this funny novel from Keren David, who brought us the more-serious story of Ty in When I Was Joe (my review) and Almost True (my review); book 3 in that series, Another Life, arrives in the USA in October 2012.
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Book info: Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery / Keren David. Frances Lincoln Books, 2012. [author’s website]   [book website]     [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Book Talk: If her mum would just shut up, Lia could hear the lottery numbers announced. At the internet café, the teen learns that she did indeed win a huge jackpot! Now all her troubles are over…until the new problems begin.

And just who should revive her from her fainting spell at the internet café but the mysterious and handsome Raf, whom she’s been eyeing at school since he arrived at mid-term. Her best friend Shaz was in the middle of family dinner or Lia would have gone to her house to check that last lottery number. Eight million pounds! She dreams about what she’ll do with all that lovely money… move to her own apartment, travel away from their boring London suburb, start living life right away instead of wasting time in high school and university.

The lottery people assign her a financial adviser and a personal banker as her winnings are paid all at once, there’s a big press conference, and suddenly Lia is super-popular at school. Her parents keep saying “we won the lottery” – why don’t they understand that Lia won, not them? Of course some money would help bolster the family bakery business, competing with the new superstores, but it is Lia’s money, thankyouverymuch.

Her pal Jack bought her the lottery ticket as a birthday gift, so his mum thinks he’s entitled to half the money – Jack just wants a motorcycle, never mind that he can’t get a license until he’s 17. Lia spreads around the wealth a bit more, treating a limo full of school chums to a clothes shopping spree, funding vocal lessons for 14-year-old sister Natasha. More time with Raf would be nice, instead of him working two jobs after school.

When Shaz says that she can’t accept anything from Lia because her faith states that gambling is immoral, Lia is a bit shocked – can money change friendship so much?
Why is Raf trying to keep that suave gentleman from talking to Lia?
Can Jack’s mum really sue Lia for a share of the winnings?
Why isn’t Natasha home from that party yet and who’s the threatening voice on the phone?

Chapter headings of keen advice for lottery winners contrast vividly with Lia’s comical rush to make the most of her lottery experience, despite everyone’s efforts to help her. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Girls Don’t Fly, by Kristen Chandler (book review) – dreams, family, blue-footed boobies

book cover of Girls Don't Fly by Kristen Chandler published by VikingA chance to study far away instead of babysitting all summer…
Maybe go to the university instead of dental hygienist school….
Prove to ex-boyfriend Erik that she’s better off without him.

Myra imagines herself in the Galapagos Islands with its Darwin’s finches and blue-footed boobies, famous tortoises and amazingly blue sea waters, even as her little brothers break things and mud-wrestle, her big sister drops out of college and moves back home pregnant, both parents work long hours, the family’s carpool schedules look like battle plans – no wonder that Myra feels like she’s holding everything together, even when Erik breaks up with her.

Visit Myra’s study group site at Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake in the author’s slideshow, watch for the next little brother disaster, and cross your fingers that Myra wins that scholarship!

Find Girls Don’t Fly  at your local library or independent bookstore; if you order from the author’s favorite  local indie bookstore, be sure to request an autographed copy!
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Book info: Girls Don’t Fly / Kristen Chandler. Viking, 2011. [author’s website] [publisher site] [book trailer]

My Book Talk: Oh, how Myra feels trapped! Her perfect big sister is suddenly pregnant, her three little brothers are a constant noisy mess, and now Erik wants “some space” – this isn’t how spring of senior year should go!

When their AP Biology teacher announces a scholarship to study birds in the Galapagos Islands, Myra decides to go for it, even if it does require early morning Saturday excursions to Great Salt Lake Marina’s bird observation area and a “high level” scientific study proposal write-up and… $1,000 toward travel costs. Maybe she can scrape together that much money in just 3 months working part-time at the ice cream shop, right?

Saturday 6 a.m. really is early, but the University of Utah graduate assistant who’s leading the bird studies is enthusiastic enough to wake everyone up. Pete is excited that two high school kids from his hometown have a shot at this scholarship, so he helps them all with their project proposals as much as the rules allow.

Erik makes yet another mistake at the ice cream shop and expects Myra to cover for him like she did while they were dating. When she doesn’t and the manager insinuates that she’s irresponsible like her big sister, Myra just quits.

Now she’s got to find another job in this little town. Mom and Dad think she’s saving money to go to dental hygienist school; Myra hasn’t exactly told them that the scholarship requires that $1,000 travel fee, and they don’t seem too optimistic about her winning it anyway, especially when future-dentist Erik is also a competitor.

When the marina secretary quits, the Lake ranger offers Myra the job, part-time till school’s out, then full-time in the busy summer. Alright! A chance to earn the money she needs, do some extra bird-watching for the seminars, and Pete is at the marina whenever he’s not in class.

But can Myra really get away from this town where her family is judged because they don’t go to church like everyone else?
Can she come up with a scientific study idea that’s better than Erik’s so she can win the scholarship?
Can she keep thinking of Pete as only the group’s study leader instead of something more?

Everyone knows that Girls Don’t Fly, but Myra is determined to change all that in this story of family, dreams, life, and longing. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

The Springsweet, by Saundra Mitchell (fiction) – visions on the high plains

Dowsing.
Divining for water.
Rhabdomancy.
Water-witching.

Whatever the name, being able to show just where to drill a water well is an enviable talent in arid places, but not without its consequences. Who could imagine that West Glory’s “springsweet” would be a young lady escaping back-East gossip by moving to the Oklahoma Territory’s vast plains?

And Zora could scarcely have dreamed that her train trip West would bring her to a sodhouse, a nearby all-black town that reminds her of home, a barn-raising, and two unlikely suitors?

While you can read this just-published book on its own, you’ll get a fuller picture of Zora’s life and gifts by reading The Vespertine (my recommendation) first. Just can’t wait for the promised third book to see where Zora’s talent takes her!

So, do you think that dowsing really works?
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Book info: The Springsweet / Saundra Mitchell. Harcourt, 2012. [author’s website] [book website] [publisher site] [book trailer]  

My Recommendation: Ever-separated from her fiancé and her cousin, Zora decides to escape the strictures of Baltimore society by heading West. How can she face friends who don’t understand her continued mourning, family members who expect her to settle for a normal life after losing Amelia’s visions and Thomas’ healing touch?

Rather than allowing seventeen-year-old Zora to marry a widower and raise his children in some log cabin, her mother arranges for her to stay with Aunt Birdie and little Louella at their homestead in the Oklahoma Territory. Rattling westward by train and coach, Zora is jolted when bandits rob the stage just a few miles from her destination, smashing the luggage, and taking the locket that Thomas gave her.

Stranded by the highwaymen in a sudden thunderstorm, Zora trudges along the muddy wagon road toward West Glory and is rescued from a night alone on the prairie by Emerson Birch. Beside his rugged cabin in his lush garden, somehow Zora knows that his well is dug in the wrong place and can see silvery shimmers in the evening darkness that tell her where he should dig for water.

Aunt Birdie welcomes her the next morning, but is openly hostile to Emerson who jumped the gun to claim his land. Life is hard for the two young women and toddler Louella in the tiny sod house, hauling water from a distant well, making soap, trying to keep their crops alive in the dry plains winds.

When dandy Theo de la Croix arrives in West Glory to teach school, Zora wonders if he’d followed her from Baltimore. One kiss at a dance couldn’t mean that much… could it? Courted by Theo, yet drawn by Emerson’s vibrant connection to the land, she begins to finds pieces of joy in the midst of her mourning.

Her gift for seeing where the earth’s secret waters hide is precious in this dry land, so she hires out as a “springsweet” to tell folks where to dig wells. Not all visions are happy ones, and soon Zora must decide whether to tell unwelcome news or to hide her talents.

But how else can the little family get enough money to get through the bitter winter ahead? Should Zora accept Theo’s offer of marriage, or sneak away to see Emerson, or just run back home to a pampered life in Baltimore?

This companion volume to The Vespertine follows Amelia’s cousin Zora as she discovers her own psychic gifts and must decide whether she can truly live with the consequences that those visions may bring. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

N for Naive: Strings Attached, by Judy Blundell (fiction) – mobsters, favors, payback

Kit has see if she can make it in New York City on her own,
since Billy left for the Army.
She can sing, act, dance. She just has to do it.

So what if Billy’s dad wants to help her a little?
“No strings attached,” says Nate the Nose…
How much can you trust a gangster, Kit? How can you be so naive?

New York City in 1950. Recovered from World War II, all hustle and bustle and bright lights, with plenty of time for nightclubs and business deals – legitimate and otherwise. Lots of big theaters and smoky little dives like the one where Kit gets a job, where they’ll believe she’s old enough to work, not a 17-year-old running away from home.

Eventually she has to decide whether Nate’s help is worth the risks of observing which lawyer talks to which shady character at the nightclub, especially when some of them disappear. Can she risk not telling Nate when his son will come visit her? Why does she feel like the Korean warfront might be a safer place for Billy than being with his father?

Find out what Kit decides when you pick up Strings Attached at your local library or independent bookstore. (A fun note about author Judy Blundell: she’s also written Star Wars Journals and Star Wars Jedi Apprentice books under pen name Jude Watson.)
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Book info: Strings Attached / Judy Blundell. Scholastic Press, 2011. [author’s website] [publisher site] [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Book Talk: This chorus line job just could be Kit’s lucky break. When Mr. Benedict offers her an apartment near the New York City club, she considers it – after all, he is her boyfriend Billy’s father…and rumored to be a gangster.

Anything’s better than staying in Providence, with her father’s drinking and her siblings trying to hide it (like triplets could ever hide anything from each other – ha!) and the scorn of Billy’s upper-class mother for the Corrigans’ genteel poverty.

Oh, how Billy argued with his father before leaving for basic training! Nate Benedict just couldn’t believe that he’d be stupid enough to join the Army during the Korean War. Now Billy returns his father’s letters unopened, and Nate wants Kit to let him know how his son is doing when he writes to her.

Nate brings Kit lovely clothes “like Billy would want for her,” and soon her upstairs neighbors think she’s a kept woman. The Greeleys were both teachers until they were fired for possible “Communist sympathies,” so they have lots of time to keep an eye on the neighborhood.

Kit often sees Nate in the nightclub audience, talking to known mobsters and crooked lawyers. When he asks her to have dinner with some of these guests, she realizes that her great apartment has a bigger price than she expected. When Billy forbids her to tell his father that he’s coming to the city, Kit knows that something is going to go wrong.

Does Billy really love her? Is his father a real gangster or just trying to make himself look good to the big city guys? How close is the Greeleys’ opinion of her to the truth of the matter?

A mystery, a love story, a growing-up tale – all piled into the hustle and bustle of 1950 New York City – with Strings Attached. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)