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Post By: Karen Schwind

Why does Cora keep inviting Miss Bunting to dine at Downton Abbey?

I’ve been a fairly avid fan of Downton Abbey since I began watching the first season on video while the second season aired on PBS. (I say fairly because some seasons—the second was one of them—overwhelmed me with melodrama). This season, the story lines aren’t as riveting as those in the best seasons, particularly one […]

3 Stars for Orphan Train–Find out why

  One of the most interesting periods in American history occurred between 1854 and 1929 when the Children’s Aid Society loaded almost 200,000 children onto trains and sent them out West, where childless families or farmers who needed workers showed up and took them home. In our world, this movement seems incomprehensibly harsh. In fact, […]

Birds of a Feather gets 4 stars!

The second novel in Jacqueline Winspear’s Maise Dobbs series is the best of the three I’ve listened to on audio (see Picking up a year after the first, eponymous novel, Birds of a Feather takes place in a country still  trying to recover from The Great War while also struggling through the Great Depression. […]

True Grit more than a “mere” western–5 stars

You would think that since I’ve seen both versions of the movie, reading the book would be redundant and, therefore, boring. Not so. Author Charles Portis succeeds in creating such a compelling voice and complex themes that premier directors Henry Hathaway and the Cohen brothers made four-star movies of True Grit and still left much […]

How many stars does Winspear’s Maise Dobbs novels get? Read and see.

I recently read two novels in Jacqueline Spears’ series about Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator: the eponymous first novel and Among the Mad, the sixth novel in the series. Both novels, preoccupied with the impact of World War I on the men and women who fought it or lived through it, have a kind of […]

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