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The Silver Baron's Wife

An artistic, sympathetic imagining of the life of a 19th-century woman who made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

A historical novel that draws on the real life of Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor, the second wife of a Colorado silver baron.

Raised in the mid-1800s as a Catholic, Lizzie McCourt commits the first of many indiscretions in her life by marrying a Protestant man, Harvey Doe. After a brief marriage, his erratic temperament and addiction to morphine, alcohol, and brothels leads Lizzie to file for divorce—a rare practice at the time, thought by many to be immoral, no matter the justification. This brings shame upon her family and forces her to leave the church. After finding a job at a Colorado silver mine, she promptly falls for Horace Tabor, a wealthy business owner who happens to be significantly older—and already married. She finds love and companionship with him, although the circumstances surrounding their union only leads to further scandal in their small, pious town. Baier Stein (Sympathetic People, 2013, etc.) artfully intertwines her story with some of the real-life Lizzie’s own journal writings, and the author pays tribute to her protagonist by emulating and maintaining the tone of these entries. In doing so, she authentically constructs a complex, compassionate character whose actions readers will support and celebrate. Lizzie’s choices, especially when she ends a doomed marriage, help to show her as a woman who was ahead of her time and worthy of admiration. The book is well-researched in every facet, from its antiquated yet very readable language to its geographical and historical accuracy. Although Baier Stein glosses over some of Lizzie’s inner turmoil, she still shows her to be deliberate in her actions, reflective, and unapologetic. However, although the majority of the narrative is well-paced and engaging, some resolutions seemed rushed.

An artistic, sympathetic imagining of the life of a 19th-century woman who made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9971010-6-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Serving House Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2016

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MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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