Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lipstick in Afghanistan

Lipstick in AfghanistanLipstick in Afghanistan by Roberta Gately
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The beginning introduction to the main character was awkwardly written. only when Elsa arrived in Bamiyan did the writing take on a natural flow. Intoduction of seconday character, Parween, was well written and was a coherent part of the story. characters were well done, scenes were well set, and a moving story overall.

I was extremely frustrated with the climax of the story. It was so... stupid. I don't want to give spoilers for anyone, so I'll leave it at that.

Summary: Gripped by haunting magazine images of starving refugees, Elsa has dreamed of becoming a nurse since she was a teenager. Of leaving her humble working-class Boston neighborhood to help people whose lives are far more difficult than her own. No one in her family has ever escaped poverty, but Elsa has a secret weapon: a tube of lipstick she found in her older sister’s bureau. Wearing it never fails to raise her spirits and cement her determination. With lipstick on, she can do anything—even travel alone to war-torn Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.

But violent nights as an ER nurse in South Boston could not prepare Elsa for the devastation she witnesses at the small medical clinic she runs in Bamiyan. As she struggles to prove herself to the Afghan doctors and local villagers, she begins a forbidden romance with her only confidant, a charming Special Forces soldier. Then, a tube of lipstick she finds in the aftermath of a tragic bus bombing leads her to another life-changing friendship. In her neighbor Parween, Elsa finds a kindred spirit, fiery and generous. Together, the two women risk their lives to save friends and family from the worst excesses of the Taliban. But when the war waging around them threatens their own survival, Elsa discovers her only hope is to unveil the warrior within. Roberta Gately’s raw, intimate novel is an unforgettable tribute to the power of friendship and a poignant reminder of the tragic cost of war.

Recommended Reading:
The Bracelet by Roberta Gately
The Love Godess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate
Tales From the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell
The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson
Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cleopatra's Daughter

Cleopatra's DaughterCleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd never read a book on this time period before. I was more into the entertainment than historical accuracy. This book had intrigue, many interesting characters, and a decent plot that kept the story moving. I enjoyed it very much.

Summary: At the dawn of the Roman Empire, when tyranny ruled, a daughter of Egypt and a son of Rome found each other...

Selene's legendary parents are gone. Her country taken, she has been brought to the city of Rome in chains, with only her twin brother, Alexander, to remind her of home and all she once had.

Living under the watchful eyes of the ruling family, Selene and her brother must quickly learn how to be Roman – and how to be useful to Caesar. She puts her artistry to work, in the hope of staying alive and being allowed to return to Egypt. Before long, however, she is distracted by the young and handsome heir to the empire...

When the elusive ‘Red Eagle' starts calling for the end of slavery, Selene and Alexander are in grave danger. Will this mysterious figure bring their liberation, or their demise?

Recommended Reading:
Child of the Morning by Pauline Gedge
Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn
The Murder in the Tower by Jean Plaidy
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
Poison by Sara Poole
Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray