Monday, January 25, 2010

Prima Donna by Megan Chance

Sabine Conrad is a young Prima Donna in 19th century New York. She is taken under the wing of the man who ultimately becomes her manager and lover, Gideon Price. Her every move is controlled by him, and, in her attempt to escape, her plan goes awry so that she flees and leaves a murder in her wake.

Four years later she is living out her life as Marguerite Olsen in Seattle, working in a box house, running whores, and desperately hiding her secrets from everyone around her. But when past returns offering a life she thought she could never return to again, she must decide what path she will choose.

This took me so long to read and it's not because I didn't enjoy it. Sabine/Marguerite is a true Prima Donna in every way and she was so unbearable at times I couldn't even read the book anymore for awhile. Spoiled, arrogant and thinking sex will get her everything she wants is a major factor in both aspects of her life. However, the story picks up tremendously when her past comes back to haunt her, and by then end of the book I was cheering for her, although I didn't agree with some of the decisions she made. The constant pace from her current life in Seattle is wonderfully interspersed with journal entries from when she was the Prima Donna of the country before everything went bad.

4 stars

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tethered by Amy Mackinnon

Clara Marsh spends her days among the dead, preparing them for their final resting place on this earth. She finds solace in her loneliness, her garden, and the couple who own the funeral home where she works as a mortician who treat her as their own daughter. But when a young girl shows up at the funeral home, Clara's life begins to unravel. It is obvious the girl is neglected, but Clara really doesn't want to get involved; it reminds her of her own childhood. However when clues arrive that this little girl has a connection to a murdered child Clara prepared 4 years ago, her carefully constructed walls start to fall down as people around her are revealed to be who they truly are and she herself has to decide between continued isolation, or to help a child who's own past, like Clara's is steeped in mystery.

I picked this up on a whim at Target the other day and read it in one day. Completely blown away. There wasn't really a great mystery for me, I kind of figured out who the killer was, but the story of Clara. Her voice throughout this whole book really got to me. She reminded me of myself in many many ways, to the point that I thought I was going to have to stop reading the book for awhile. This is the first time I have ever so identified with a character. Wonderful way to start the new year.

4 stars