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Showing posts from November, 2013

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

So Beautiful Day is the third book by Elin Hilderbrand that I've read.  Previously I read The Castaways and The Island, both of which were reviewed here on the blog (click the book titles to go to those reviews).  After I finished The Family by David Laskin, I got sucked in to Beautiful Day.  And sucked in is a pretty accurate description because the book was pretty hard to put down while I was reading it.  The common thread that runs through all of Elin Hilderbrand's books is setting; they are all set on Nantucket Island.  I must say that I rather enjoy the island setting.

The Carmichael and Graham families are gathering on Nantucket Island to celebrate the nuptial weekend of Jenna Carmichael, the adored baby of the Carmichael family, and Stuart, the eldest of four brothers Graham.  These families bring with them more than their fair share of drama and tension.  Hanging over all of this is the intensely felt absence of Beth, the much beloved matriarch of the Carmichael fami…

The Family: Three Journeys Into The Heart Of The Twentieth Century by David Laskin

I was between books, and it wasn't looking good for finding a new one that would keep my attention.  However, I recently saw this one on the new books list for the library, and it sounded interesting--the family history element combined with the two world wars grabbed my attention.  At its heart, The Family is an in-depth study of the author's mother's paternal ancestry.  It begins with Laskin's great-great-grandfather in an area of Eastern Europe called the Pale where Russia required its Jewish citizens to live and traces the families of his great-great-grandfather's children and grandchildren through the years.  It is a riveting, at times heartbreaking, read.

Laskin opens the story of his Kaganovich/Cohen ancestors in the late nineteenth century in the old country in an area of Eastern Europe that was Russia at the start of the book then became Poland and Lithuania before becoming Russia again and so on.  It is here that his Jewish ancestors made a comfortable l…