Book Review Roundup

Book Reviews for Hamnet, The Sentence, Happy Place, The Girls with No Names and The Magnolia Palace

I’m very overdue on sharing reviews for the books I’ve recently read. You can check out most of them over on Instagram @jessicamaffetoreauthor. But here is a quick roundup of some that I haven’t had a chance to do a full review on:

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

Tookie, an Ojibwe Minnesota bookstore clerk and former convict, is haunted by the ghost of Flora, a frequent but annoying bookstore customer. Trying to understand why Flora’s ghost won’t leave the store is only one of the troubling things on Tookie’s mind as the world shuts down with COVID, race riots break out across the country, and she struggles to come to terms with her past.

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Harriet and ex-fiance Wyn haven’t told their best friends they broke up months ago. Now they’ve agreed to fake it for one last week for their friends’ sake at their favorite place–the Maine cottage where they’ve all made so many great memories. Neither of them want to admit they didn’t want to break up in the first place. What could go wrong?

The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick

Young women who “misbehaved” in the early 1900’s may have found themselves sent to institutions like the House of Mercy in Manhattan. While there, they would have been forced to work, live and learn proper behavior under terrible conditions. Effie Tildon is convinced her older sister Luella has been sent to the House of Mercy after she disappears following an argument with their parents. Effie devises a brave plan to get herself admitted in order to save her sister, but everything goes horribly wrong. Now Effie must find a way to save herself.

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

Agnes, a mysterious, free-spirited woman, marries and has three children–Susanna, Hamnet and Judith. Her beloved son is taken by illness at the age of eleven and Agnes is overcome with grief. Her husband pulls further and further away from the family, frequently traveling to London to write plays and act on the stage while Agnes remains home caring for the girls and grieving their son. Until one day she hears that her husband has written a play that sounds so much like their son’s name that she must go see what he has written for the world to see…

The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis

Former model Lillian Carter leaves everything she has behind after being swept up in a scandal that threatens to ruin her. Lillian takes the first opportunity she accidentally stumbles into–a job working as the private secretary for the daughter of steel tycoon and art collector, Henry Clay Frick. She only plans to stay long enough for the scandal to pass. But Lillian is drawn deep into a life of priceless art, family drama, and the mystery of a missing jewel that is still unsolved decades later.

Read anything good lately? I love suggestions! Let me know what to read next 🙂