Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's a New York Themed Day!

So, as you all know, we took a little trip to NYC at the end of May. Before we went, I made a list of things I wanted to see that related to my two favorite things, reading and baking! Sadly, as always happens, this trip ended up going a bit too fast and I ran out of time before I ran out of things to do on my list! But good for you readers, I managed to do a few more things on the
reading sights list than I did on the baking list. But then, there's always the next trip :-)

First up, the famous NY Public Library in beautiful Bryant Park:

I loved how they had little book kiosks in the park:

And of course, no book lovers visit to New York is done without a visit to the famous Strand bookstore (18 miles of books!):

So I came home loving New York, and needed something to extend the feeling. I chose a book set in revolutionary New York, a period which I'm always interested in:

Christine Blevins' "The Tory Widow" opens 10 years before the revolution when Anne, a young woman, is getting married to a much older, and meaner, man. After her wedding, Jack Hampton a young printer kisses her spontaneously, causing Anne to fantasize about what her life could have been if she had been allowed to marry someone like Jack. Ten years later and Anne is a widow when she meets Jack again when he torments her for being a Tory. Anne soon becomes a Patriot, and along with the help of Jack and others, carries out espionage against the British during the occupation of New York. Will Anne and Jack be able to evade the British, or will their Patriot actions be foiled?

Overall, I enjoyed reading "The Tory Widow" although I will admit that the book was uneven, and there were parts that I enjoyed more than others. I wish Blevins had stuck with telling the story from Anne's perspective, instead of switching between Anne and Jack. Blevins had a stronger voice and seemed like a better writer when writing from Anne's perspective. I got a little bored during Jack's sections, since I read the book because I wanted a woman's perspective, not a mans. I think Blevins did a lot of research, and her portrayal of the period feels accurate. I just would have preferred if she had stuck with a single perspective.

If you are interested in the Revolutionary period, especially in New York City, I would recommend this book. It's a fun romance romp through the revolutionary period, just be warned if you don't like shifting narrators.

So what do you think, Lower Manhattan looks a little different than in Anne's time, no?

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