On my bookshelf

“The Violets of March” by Sarah Jio
This novel is set in Bainbridge Island and Seattle, making it a fun and local choice for my book club. The story was intriguing enough, involving a young divorcee delving into a family secret while stringing along a couple of beaux. Our book club met at The Fat Hen this time, a breakfast/lunch café in north Ballard. I completely recommend it – I had an egg bake over ham and mozzarella and it was absolutely perfect.The bake came served in a little cast-iron skillet that came straight from the oven. I’ve decided I must have a mini cast-iron skillet just like it! What an easy way to keep your meal contained. Back to Sarah Jio, I went to the library after book club to pick up a book that I’d placed on hold ages ago. I had gotten an e-mail from the library informing me a book was ready for pick-up but I didn’t pay attention to what book it was. It turned out to be Sarah Jio’s next novel, a book I don’t even remember placing on hold! So now I get to read two of hers.

“The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain
I cannot put this down. I’m about two-thirds through and will probably finish it by Wednesday! This novel is set in the 1920s and follows Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, through their passionate yet tumultuous marriage. It’s quite fascinating and I love all the literary references – the couple lived in Paris at the time and were surrounded by the likes of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Plus the writing is fantastic, the best I’ve read of late. Since the readers all know that Hadley is Hemingway’s first wife (the book cover tells you as much), you know how the book will end. So right now I’m waiting for the train to wreck. But I can’t avert my eyes.

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