Galerie by Steven Greenberg

02_GalerieGalerie by Steven Greenberg

Every family has secrets, but some are far darker, reach deeper, and touch a rawer nerve than others.

For Vanesa Neuman, the past is a closed book. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, her childhood in the cramped intimacy of south Tel Aviv is shadowed by her parentsí unspoken wartime experiences. But when her father passes away, the closed book falls literally open. Vanesa decides to unravel the mystery of the diary she has received, and strange symbol in it, at all costs.

Set against the backdrop of the Jewish Museum of Prague during the Nazi occupation – Adolf Eichmann’s “Museum of an Extinct Race” – Galerie is fast-paced historical fiction in the tradition of Tatiana De Rosnayís Sarahís Key. From Jerusalemís Yad VíShem Holocaust research center, to the backstreets of Prague, and into the former ìparadise ghettoî of Theresienstadt ñ Vanesaís journey of understanding will reveal a darker family past than she ever imagined and a secret kept alive for over half a century.

When Vanesa Neuman’s father dies, she gets her father’s old diary from the World War II time. Her parents were Holocaust survivors but never spoke about their past and Vanesa feels like she never really knew her parents. She wants to learn more about her family’s history so she travels to Prague with her father’s old diary, which has an odd symbol in it.

The book divides between 1970’s and 1990’s as present day setting place in Israel, Prague and USA. While I liked the book I wasn’t fan of the format. It jumps between different decades with different people telling the story and I was so confused much of the time. I got used to it with time though. The narrator, Vanesa’s husband, isn’t actually present in almost any of the events and seemed like he told what Vanesa had told him. At times he wasn’t sure if things had gone as he thought they had and that was little annoying.

It was interesting to read how Holocaust had such strong effects even to the survivor’s children and we also see how the survivors are treated after the war. I haven’t read much about the survivors in Israel after the war and this gave some light on that.

3,5/5

Published: Evolved Publishing (October 26, 2015)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

03_Steven GreenbergAbout the Author

Steven Greenberg is a professional writer, as well as a full-time cook, cleaner, chauffeur, and work-at-home Dad for three amazing young children, and the lucky husband of a loving and very supportive wife. Born in Texas and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Steven emigrated to Israel only months before the first Gulf War, following graduation from Indiana University in 1990. In 1996, he was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces, where he served for 12 years as a Reserves Combat Medic. Since 2002, Steven has worked as an independent marketing writer, copywriter and consultant.

You can find more information at Steven Greenberg’s website. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 5
Review at Library Educated

Wednesday, April 6
Review & Giveaway at Man of la Book
Interview at Library Educated

Thursday, April 7
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, April 8
Review & Giveaway at Singing Librarian Books

Monday, April 11
Guest Post & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 12
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Wednesday, April 13
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, April 14
Review at Bookramblings
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, April 15
Review at Book Nerd

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The Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie

The Rivals of Versailles

The Rivals of Versailles (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy 2) by Sally Christie

In this scandalous follow-up to Sally Christieís clever and absorbing debut, we meet none other than the Marquise de Pompadour, one of the greatest beauties of her generation and the first bourgeois mistress ever to grace the hallowed halls of Versailles. The year is 1745. Marie-Anne, the youngest of the infamous Nesle sisters and King Louis XVís most beloved mistress, is gone, making room for the next Royal Favorite.

Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a stunningly beautiful girl from the middle classes. Fifteen years prior, a fortune teller had mapped out young Jeanneís destiny: she would become the lover of a king and the most powerful woman in the land. Eventually connections, luck, and a little scheming pave her way to Versailles and into the Kingís arms.

All too soon, conniving politicians and hopeful beauties seek to replace the bourgeois interloper with a more suitable mistress. As Jeanne, now the Marquise de Pompadour, takes on her many rivalsóincluding a lustful lady-in-waiting; a precocious fourteen-year-old prostitute, and even a cousin of the notorious Nesle sistersóshe helps the king give himself over to a life of luxury and depravity. Around them, war rages, discontent grows, and France inches ever closer to the Revolution.

Enigmatic beauty, social climber, actress, trendsetter, patron of the arts, spendthrift, whoremonger, friend, lover, foe. History books may say many things about the famous Marquise de Pompadour, but one thing is clear: for almost twenty years, she ruled France and the Kingís heart.

When Jeanne Poisson is a young child, a fortuneteller tells her that one day she will be the king’s mistress. From that time her whole life strives for her to become the mistress of king Louis XV’s mistress and her mother calls her Reinette from now on. She does fulfill that prediction and falls in love with the king but soon learns that her position won’t bring her friends in the court. She learns the ways of the court and is elevated to the title Marquise de Pompadour.

Like with the last book, The Sisters of Versailles, I hated all of the characters but I liked the book. That surely takes some talent.

I didn’t really warm to Pompadour who at first was too naïve and sometimes I wondered how she could keep her position. I can’t say exactly why she annoyed me but se did. But you have to admire her for rising from nowhere, becoming the confidante to the king and managing to stay there despite not sharing the kings bed. She’s practical enough allowing the king other mistresses and becoming more like a mother figure for him.

I didn’t like Louis in the first book and I liked him even less here. I just wanted to shake him so many times. He’s come far from the man who had doubts about straying from his wife’s bed. He really started the path to the Revolution and it’s a shame he’s not the one to pay for it. I wondered how Pompadour could put up with him so long because he really wasn’t easy man to be with.

The first part was from Pompadour’s view point but in the later it shifts between her and some of the girls trying to get in her place. Through their eyes you can see how Pompadour has learnt her lessons in shrewdness.

I really enjoyed this and I can’t wait for the next and final book.

4/5

Published: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster (April 5, 2016)
Format: ebook
Pages: 448
Source: France Book Tours

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sisters of Versailles - Sally Christie

Sally Christie
is the author of The Sisters of Versailles.
She was born in England and grew up around the world,
attending eight schools in three different languages.
She spent most of her career working
in international development and currently lives in Toronto.

Learn more about the sisters and the mistresses in the Versailles trilogy on her website
Become a fan to hear about her next novels!

Visit her Facebook Page

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Mailbox Monday (11.4.2016)

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is now hosted on its own blog.

books11.4.16
The Second World War by Antony Beevor (purchased)
Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione (bought)
Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione (bought)
Isabella of France: The Rebel Queen by Kathryn Warner (bought)
The House of Godwine: The History of a Dynasty by Emma Mason (bought)
Aethelred II: King of the English, 978-1016 by Ryan Lavelle (bought)
The Life and Times of Edward II by Caroline Bingham (bought)